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[Markets] Europe Markets: European stocks mint fresh record with bond yields under control European stocks edged higher in early action on Thursday, with equities resuming their upward march with bond yields under control.
Published:4/15/2021 3:41:37 AM
[Entertainment] Candace Cameron Bure Reacts to Fans Calling Her "Fake" Because She's "Such a Happy Person" Candace Cameron Bure, 2018 iHeartCountry FestivalCandace Cameron Bure is enlisting a friend to remind the world that her positive spirit is not an act. The 45-year-old Hallmark Channel mainstay appeared on the Monday, April 12 episode...
Published:4/15/2021 3:15:36 AM
[Fundings & Exits] Philippines ‘buy now, pay later’ startup Plentina raises $2.2M seed round E-wallets are rapidly gaining popularity in the Philippines, overtaking credit cards, which have a penetration rate of under 10%. Fintech startup Plentina is leveraging that trend with buy now, pay later (BNPL) installment loans that can be used and repaid through e-wallets. The company announced today it has closed a $2.2 million seed round, co-led […] Published:4/15/2021 3:15:36 AM
[Markets] UK Far Ahead Of Europe In Curbing COVID-19 UK Far Ahead Of Europe In Curbing COVID-19

It's not so long ago that much of Europe was looking over to the UK in astonishment at how badly the government was handling the Covid-19 pandemic. As recently as January, the country had the highest death rate in the world.

But now, as Statista's Martin Armstring notes, thanks though to a swift and effective vaccination programme, Europe is now looking across the English channel with envy as pubs across the nation opened up again yesterday, hosting customers outdoors for the first time in months.

Infographic: UK far ahead of Europe in curbing Covid-19 | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

As this infographic above shows, the relaxation of the UK's lockdown rules is not without justification. Comparing the 7-day average new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants with others on the continent, nowhere really comes close to the UK's low 16.8. Portugal, not included here, currently comes closest with 41.6 though unlike the UK, this is on the increase.

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/15/2021 - 04:15
Published:4/15/2021 3:15:36 AM
[JPM] What Is Going On In The Economy: Check Out The First Quarter Financial Results At JPMorgan Chase Published:4/15/2021 2:41:36 AM
[Entertainment] Allison Janney Reveals Why Mom Producers Weren't Pleased About Her Recent Hair Transformation Mom, CBS, Allison JanneyAllison Janney is loving her new look, but the producers of her long-running show Mom apparently took some convincing. The 61-year-old Oscar winner visited The Tonight Show on Wednesday,...
Published:4/15/2021 2:41:36 AM
[Fundings & Exits] Cloud kitchen startup JustKitchen to go public on the TSX Venture Exchange JustKitchen, a cloud kitchen startup, will start trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) Venture Exchange on Thursday morning. It is doing a direct listing of its common shares, having already raised $8 million at a $30 million valuation. The company says this makes it one of the first—if not the first—cloud kitchen company to […] Published:4/15/2021 2:41:36 AM
[topics:organisations/sinn-fein] Northern Ireland riots: Why is there violence in Belfast? Published:4/15/2021 2:41:36 AM
[Markets] Murray: Domestic COVID-19 Identity Documents Must Be Resisted Murray: Domestic COVID-19 Identity Documents Must Be Resisted

Authored by Craig Murray,

Discrimination against people on the grounds of their health status is not acceptable, while the ever increasing reach of the surveillance state is pernicious. The idea of people without Covid-19 antibodies being treated as second class citizens should be anathema to anybody with concern for human liberty.

It is improbable that Covid-19 will be eliminated from the world in the forseeable future. Like Spanish flu or Hong Kong flu, it will lurk around in the mix of seasonal infections for many years to come, hopefully, but not necessarily, like them becoming less severe through serial mutations. It appears likely that, as with flu, there may be a regular vaccination cycle.

Just now, England and Wales are in negative excess deaths. Less people are dying than normally do at this time of year, on a rolling average of the last five years. I presume Scotland will be similar, though I cannot immediately find current figures.

The number of people dying within 28 days of a covid diagnosis is down to approximately 300 a week in the entire UK, and has been steadily falling. How much of this fall is due to vaccination and how much due to lockdown is an open question. But it remains a stubborn and undeniable fact, much as some people do not like it said, that Covid-19 has never been a major threat to young and healthy people. Older people and those in vulnerable groups have in very large majority been at least partially vaccinated now. The odds of those in the unnvaccinated groups dying of covid are really very low indeed.

A medical member of the UK government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Innoculation stated on BBC News on Friday that the risk of mortality to a healthy person under 30 who caught coronavirus was 1 in 117,000. He was explaining that this is such a remote risk, that it was almost as remote as the chances of a serious side effect from the Astra Zeneca vaccine, and that was why the use of that vaccine in that age group was being suspended; not that the vaccine was dangerous to this age group, but that they didn’t need it enough to justify even a minuscule risk.

The point of vaccinating the healthy middle aged and under is not that Covid-19 is a serious risk of death to them; it is not. It is simply to break transmission. Now I have had my first shot of vaccine myself, and urge everyone to take their vaccine. I have expressed before my view that I believe that refusing to be vaccinated is an immoral position; it is to benefit from herd immunity while refusing to accept the very small personal risk from the vaccine itself. But I utterly reject the notion of compulsory vaccination or of penalising those who do not wish to vaccinated by limiting their lives. Health is a personal matter, and discrimination on the basis of health status cannot be correct, nor the revelation of details of health status to people other than medical professionals employed in care.

I have no problem with vaccine certificates for international travel, having carried them my entire adult life. But the idea of having to show intrusive personal identity and health status documents to prove who you are, and prove your antibody levels, before entering a pub or a theatre ought to be anathema to every right thinking person. It is like very poor dystopian science fiction.

If find the daily graphs of whole UK figures from from the Guardian is very helpful (the daily death figure is even lower than the average of about 40 this week because of weekend registration) .

Overall, it does not lie, although the left hand graph is massively distorted in its first months by the lack of testing availability. For most of the period, the relationship between all three graphs remains broadly constant. The glaring anomaly of daily cases in the first few months (the left hand graph) relates entirely to the fact testing was unavailable. It also accounts in very large part for the huge public hysteria over Covid-19. When it was only possible to get a test if you were approaching death’s door, a very high percentage of those with positive tests died. That this led large numbers of otherwise intelligent people to accept ludicrously exaggerated infection fatality rates for the disease, is something I struggled with a great deal.

We are probably many years away from there being a scientific consensus around the infection mortality rate of Covid-19, and indeed consensus may never emerge – there is still much debate over infection mortality rates from various types of flu. This letter published in the BMJ cites the Pastor-Barriuso study finding a median of 0.8% and Ioannidis finding 0.27%. What does appear true is that Covid-19 is particularly transmissible, so while it may not have an infection mortality rate very much greater than influenza, it does have the ability to kill a lot of people in a short space of time and overwhelm health services. There are also the effects of long covid, which appear still to be little understood.

I am genuinely unsure why it causes so much anger to state that those people who are non-geriatric and healthy are only at very slight risk of death from covid-19, when it is an undeniable fact. I feel confident that we have seen the end of mass deaths in the UK, because the at risk sectors of the population have been vaccinated, reducing their chances of getting seriously ill by 80%. So there may be something of a surge in cases following lockdowns, but it will not result in a matching increase in hospitalisations or deaths.

Covid-19 has been a genuine crisis which has killed a large number of people and played havoc with the lives of many others. But it too will pass and the worst of it has passed. It must not be allowed to become an excuse for permanent even higher levels of governmental intrusion and control. We are approaching normality again. Both power-drunk politicians and Stockholm syndrome populaces need to embrace the idea of normal. It is a great deal more pleasant.

*  *  *

Unlike adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, Craig's blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/15/2021 - 03:30
Published:4/15/2021 2:41:36 AM
[topics:in-the-news/uk-coronavirus-lockdown] Who is next on the priority list for Covid vaccines - and how will I be contacted?  Published:4/15/2021 2:10:54 AM
[Markets] Nearly 25% Of UK 'COVID Deaths' Were Not Directly Caused By Virus Nearly 25% Of UK 'COVID Deaths' Were Not Directly Caused By Virus

As the people of England and Wales celebrate the end - or at least the beginning of the end - of the COVID restrictions that have stifled the economy for more than a year, new data from the Office of National Statistics have illustrated a startling conclusion: nearly 25% of registered COVID-19 deaths actually aren't being killed by the virus, something that we have been discussing here at Zero Hedge since we first pointed out that motorcycle accident deaths were being labeled "COVID deaths" in Florida.

This time, it's not just accident deaths, but deaths of all kinds, that have been unduly counted in Britain's COVID death numbers. As the Daily Mail put it, many of the coronavirus deaths which are registered are now people who have died "with" the disease rather than "from" an infection. Dying "with" COVID can land somebody's death counted in the official data even if COVID isn't listed as the primary cause of death on their death certificate.

According to the numbers, 23% of Britons who died in the outbreak died "with COVID" rather than from COVID, as the Daily Mail shows in the chart below. For the record, 23% of the current death toll of 127,123 would be roughly 30K deaths misleadingly labeled.

(Source: Daily Mail)

In the wake of the data's release, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to expedite England's reopening, and warned that cases will rise in the coming weeks as thousands of Britons rush to spend their cash now that pubs and indoor dining have reopened (which happened Monday, as we reported).

The ONS also shared data putting COVID deaths within the context of all deaths recorded in the UK.

While COVID deaths and cases have rebounded across Europe, the UK has been a notable exception, with just 23 deaths reported yesterday, according to data from the UK's COVID dashboard. All together, coronavirus deaths now make up just 4.9% of deaths registered in England and Wales compared with 45% in mid-January.

In reality, the UK has seen fewer than 30 deaths per day from COVID since the beginning of April, despite the government's claims that daily deaths have been as high as 60. Part of this is due to the rush to release data to the public, as numbers in the daily update often actually died days or weeks earlier, and this delay isn't explained to the public.

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/15/2021 - 02:45
Published:4/15/2021 2:10:54 AM
[Markets] : Strategist: Don’t be surprised to see double-digit retail sales growth March retail sales in the U.S. may have climbed by a double-digit percentage, thanks to the $1,400 stimulus checks distributed by the federal government, according to a strategist at a fund manager.
Published:4/15/2021 2:10:54 AM
[Podcasts] ‘Keep Your Hands Off Our Elections,’ Arizona State Lawmaker Tells HR 1 Backers

Arizona just became the first state to formally oppose the Democrat-backed federal election overhaul bill known as HR 1 or S 1 now before Congress. ... Read More

The post ‘Keep Your Hands Off Our Elections,’ Arizona State Lawmaker Tells HR 1 Backers appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/15/2021 2:10:54 AM
[structure:news] Astrazeneca Covid vaccine Q&A: What we know about blood clots, side effects and risks for under-30s  Published:4/15/2021 1:44:59 AM
[Markets] Can We Win In The 'Gray Zone'? Can We Win In The 'Gray Zone'?

Authored by Richard Kemp via The Gatestone Institute,

In March, US President Joe Biden issued his Interim National Security Strategic Guidance. Across the Atlantic, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented the Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy to parliament. Both leaders expressed concern over the increasing challenges in the gray zone and promised measures to respond more effectively.

The gray zone is the space between peace and war involving coercive actions that fall outside normal geopolitical competition between states but do not reach the level of armed conflict. Actions in the gray zone are conducted by states often using proxies including terrorists, and also by terrorist organizations in their own right. Gray zone actions are aggressive and often ambiguous, deniable and opaque. They are intended to damage, coerce or influence, to destabilise target states or undermine the international status quo. They usually seek to avoid a significant military response, though are often designed to intimidate and deter a target state by threatening further escalation.

Gray zone actions are not new and have long been the prevalent form of conflict across the world. But as America and Britain both recognise, globalisation and technology are increasing the frequency and efficacy of such activities, and the speed at which they unfold. More actors are becoming involved, using increasingly powerful means of "gray warfare", including cyber, space, internet, social media, digital propaganda and drones.

Gray zone techniques can include terrorist attacks, sabotage, assassination, blackmail, hostage-taking, espionage, subversion such as funding and manipulation of political groups in a target country), cyber attacks, political warfare including lawfare, disinformation, propaganda, electoral influence and economic coercion. They sometimes involve military intimidation and conventional and unconventional military operations.

Examples include Russia's 2018 nerve agent assassination attempt in the UK, annexation of the Crimea and efforts to influence European parliamentary elections; China's encroachment tactics and actions around disputed features in the South and East China Seas as well as military aggression against India in the Ladakh region and extreme pressure on Hong Kong; Iran's repeated proxy terrorist attacks in the Middle East, South America, the United StatesEurope and elsewhere, seizure and attacks on international shipping and proxy missile attacks against US installations in Iraq; and Pakistan's active sponsorship of the Taliban against the US-led coalition in Afghanistan and terrorist attacks in India.

Britain's Integrated Review undertakes new capabilities to deal with gray zone challenges. Most notably it re-focuses the Special Air Service and other special forces against hostile state actors and creates the Ranger Regiment, a new special forces group akin to the US Green Berets and described by the Defense Secretary as "gray zone warriors".

The UK Ministry of Defense says these measures, together with a more "persistent" forward-deployed stance, will enable British forces to be "credible and capable to deter, and if necessary, defeat our adversaries in conflict as well as to allow us to compete below the threshold of armed conflict". These enhancements may well provide the military capability to operate alongside allies in the gray zone, but do liberal democracies in the 21st Century have the political will to do the dirty work that is necessary to win?

I exclude Israel from this question, as it has long proved highly effective at defending itself using gray zone military actions. A recent example includes a carefully calibrated mine attack on the Iranian IRGC vessel Saviz in the Red Sea on April 6, which some have interpreted as the latest in a series of Iran-Israel tit-for-tat operations against shipping and others believe may be a message from Jerusalem to either (or both) Washington or Tehran on the opening of the Vienna talks on the Iran nuclear deal. The opacity of such actions to outside observers is a characteristic of the gray zone but its meaning is certainly clear to those at whom it is aimed. One thing is certain: perhaps alone among western nations, Israel is unafraid to confront its enemies in the gray zone.

Western nations have multiple pre-emptive and reactive options to respond to gray zone actions directed against them or their allies, most effectively involving multilateral coordination. The objective should be to frustrate or deter, avoiding escalation that might lead to all-out conflict. Broadly, options fall into four categories: diplomatic, informational, economic and military.

With the exception of some informational responses, perhaps involving disinformation, the first three categories carry little political risk for democracies and have been used frequently and to varying effect. For example, after the nerve agent attack on its soil, Britain applied limited economic sanctions and rallied an international diplomatic effort against Russia, expelling more than 100 intelligence operatives across North America and Europe; and the Trump administration imposed counter-terrorism sanctions on Iran following numerous acts of regional aggression.

Beyond symbolic demonstrations of force such as NATO deployments in Lithuania against Russian aggression and the forthcoming UK carrier strike group freedom of navigation patrol in the South China Sea, the military category of responses includes limited conventional combat, covert operations, cyber attacks and espionage. Each of these could be vitally important in confronting gray zone actions but are accompanied by significant political risk.

A prominent recent example is the 2020 US missile strike against Iranian IRGC Quds Force chief Qasim Soleimani, himself a master of the gray zone, who had been involved — among other nefarious activities — for many years in orchestrating attacks against the US and its allies. The killing of Soleimani was an outlier in US operations in the gray zone and was condemned at the time by now-President Biden who likened it to "tossing a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox", and predicted a "major conflict across the Middle East".

Democracies' fear of escalation is a significant constraint against the use of violent military options in the gray zone, and that is exactly the fear that authoritarian states such as Iran wish to instil. As long as responses are carefully calibrated, however, escalation into the sort of conflagration President Biden warned of is unlikely. In fact the point of gray zone operations is to avoid escalation to all-out conflict with the US and its allies.

Provided that the limited purposes of our opponents' gray zone actions are properly understood, however, fear of escalation is not the greatest obstacle to the use of a military option — transparency is. In most countries the work of intelligence services and special forces are classified and do not normally have to be specifically reported or authorised in legislatures. Weighing a decision on even the most limited military intervention, however, political leaders will reasonably be concerned about the possibility of leaks and forced accountability, increasingly so in the era of social media. This is compounded by the reality that our opponents in the gray zone will often leave no stone unturned to reveal and publicise the actions of our forces. The all-pervasive Western media would inevitably seize on any leak or exposure and very often distort it to increase political damage — a problem more rarely encountered by authoritarian states.

All military operations by Western forces must be conducted in accordance with domestic and international law, including in the gray zone, with clear determination by governments on whether conduct of hostilities or law enforcement paradigms apply in specific operations. Adherence to the law, nevertheless, is no guarantee that action that is exposed won't be politically damaging, especially if it goes wrong, which is always a strong risk. This is complicated by the need in some circumstances to adopt an indirect approach — conducting gray zone military action against an opponent in a different country and against a different issue to the one that prompted it.

Churchill famously said: "In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies". This applies equally in the gray zone where opacity and deniability surrounding military action are likely to be essential for its success, both before and after the event, and might also be a critical factor in avoiding further escalation. That puts democracies at a distinct disadvantage compared to authoritarian regimes, which suppress information about their operations, whether legal or illegal.

The Ranger concept envisages UK forces accompanying partners on operations when necessary. In some instances that might expose British troops to legal hazard and is a further factor that is likely to deter political authorisation of gray zone operations. No matter how extensively schooled in the laws of war, there is no guarantee that the type of foreign forces that need British assistance in battle will adhere to them. I knew of a highly trained coalition-accompanied Iraqi unit that whenever attacked on the streets of Baghdad always responded with the "death bloom" — face outwards and empty your magazine at everything that moves. Potentially, accompanying British troops would be considered partially culpable in any such actions.

That aside, opaque and undeclared gray zone military operations that are considered lawful and legitimate today might be seen through a different prism tomorrow. Thousands of British troops have been investigated over spurious allegations of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though operations were conducted more openly, and there have been threats to drag British troops into the dock at the International Criminal Court. Today, retired soldiers are facing prosecution for events that took place half a century ago in Northern Ireland, despite having been investigated and cleared of any wrongdoing at the time. New protective legislation currently going through parliament might limit such legal concerns for the soldiers and commanders involved, but is unlikely to allay the fears of political leaders.

If the political risk is so high, is it necessary to respond in kind to military action in the gray zone? The UK Integrated Review says: "We will seek to deter states from aggressive acts: through the prospect of punishment — by detecting, attributing and responding accordingly." Deterrence is not down to the military option alone. Where possible, diplomatic, informational and economic actions are preferable in providing punishments. But sometimes it is necessary to fight fire with fire, and gray zone opponents who are willing to use military action must also be confronted with a credible military jeopardy to them, and not just a paper capability which will quickly be seen for what it is. The threat or actual use of violent and sometimes escalatory gray zone operations, despite inherent risks, can not only mitigate or prevent potentially serious damage caused by our opponents but also reduce the prospects of the immeasurably worse option of all-out war.

How confident can we be that liberal democracies mean business in the gray zone? When British (as well as American) troops were being killed and maimed in large numbers in Iraq by Iranian proxies using Iranian munitions more than a decade ago, the UK government would not even consider any form of gray zone military action, even non-lethal, against Iran, despite a clear capability to do so. Instead they relied on diplomatic démarches -- and the killings continued. The consequences of such weakness are still being played out in Iran's widespread gray zone aggression. If back then — in the face of the slaughter of their own troops — political leaders' fear of escalation and political fallout caused such paralysis, how likely is it that they will seriously contemplate violent gray zone operations today, especially if the stakes are not as high?

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/15/2021 - 02:00
Published:4/15/2021 1:10:56 AM
[ede27103-44f4-5804-9506-ab2829aa8578] Greg Gutfeld: The toxic, media-driven narrative about policing rides again The mainstream press is all too willing to fan the flames, then let them rage out of control Published:4/15/2021 12:40:44 AM
[topics:in-the-news/uk-coronavirus-lockdown] Wales lockdown rules: What are the latest restrictions? Published:4/15/2021 12:40:44 AM
[Congressional Hall Monitor] Democrats Are Avoiding Open Debate With Their Budget Reconciliation Scheme

By James Wallner -

Chuck Schumer mad

The Democratic Party won control of Congress and the presidency in last year’s elections. And its supporters expect President Joe Biden and House and Senate Democrats to take advantage of unified Democratic control of government to advance long-standing policy priorities like tackling climate change and investing in the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure. …

Democrats Are Avoiding Open Debate With Their Budget Reconciliation Scheme is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/15/2021 12:40:44 AM
[World] Afghanistan: Biden Picks Up A Million Dollar Bill Trump Left on the Ground

President Biden, a longtime Afghan War skeptic, announced the completion of the withdrawal initiated by his predecessor.

The post Afghanistan: Biden Picks Up A Million Dollar Bill Trump Left on the Ground appeared first on The American Conservative.

Published:4/15/2021 12:13:36 AM
[Syndicated Posts] President Joe Biden’s Schedule for Thursday, April 15, 2021

By R. Mitchell -

Summary: President Joe Biden will receive his daily briefing on Thursday then have lunch with the vice president. Later, he and the vice president will meet with the all-Democrat Asian Pacific American Caucus. President Biden’s Itinerary for 4/15/21: All Times EDT 10:15 AM Receive daily briefing – Oval Office12:30 PM …

President Joe Biden’s Schedule for Thursday, April 15, 2021 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/15/2021 12:13:36 AM
[topics:places/kenya] Fourteen spectacular winning images from the Sony World Photography Awards 2021 Published:4/15/2021 12:13:36 AM
[Entertainment] What to watch on Thursday: ‘Younger’ returns on Paramount Plus Thursday, April 15, 2021 | “Ride or Die” premieres on Netflix Published:4/15/2021 12:13:36 AM
[] Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Cashes in on 'Systemic Racism' Published:4/14/2021 11:40:08 PM
[Politics] In a year of reckoning, slavery reparations bill moves forward in the House

The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to send a bill to the floor for the first time to study reparations for slavery and systemic racism in the U.S.

Published:4/14/2021 11:40:08 PM
[Climate] Climate Change Checkup (Steven Hayward) If you have the misfortune to follow the dreary climate change business, you’ll know that one of the fine points is which long-term emissions forecast to plug into your model. Never mind the accuracy of the models for now—even a good model is vulnerable to the age-old GIGO problem—”garbage in, garbage out.” In climate model forecasting, if you have an absurd emissions forecast, you’ll get absurd (but headline-grabbing) results. People Published:4/14/2021 11:40:08 PM
[Markets] The Moneyist: I’m on track to retire at 58. My fiancée is in debt and drives my old car, and I support her family. How do I ensure my son inherits my wealth after I die? ‘My concern is that if I am married, the savings I have would go to her and subsequently her children, bypassing my son.’
Published:4/14/2021 11:40:08 PM
[007021bb-ea8a-5477-8d74-98dfd74f0085] Tucker Carlson: America is now one nation with two very different justice systems 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' host analyzes the discrepancies between justice doled out to those who agree with the Biden administration, and those who don't. Published:4/14/2021 11:10:12 PM
[structure:news] Thursday morning UK news briefing: Today's top headlines from The Telegraph Published:4/14/2021 11:10:12 PM
[World] The Wall Street Journal Should Not Go Woke

A conservative bastion faces the dilemma of a modern newsroom.

The post The Wall Street Journal Should Not Go Woke appeared first on The American Conservative.

Published:4/14/2021 11:10:12 PM
[Markets] : A hot housing market means buyers are making offers with risky waivers. What to know before trying this strategy Real-estate agents report that a majority of home buyers are opting to waive one or more contingencies.
Published:4/14/2021 11:10:12 PM
[Markets] : China’s Tencent Music announces new CEO and chairman In a statement, the Chinese music-streaming company said Zhu "Ross" Liang has been named CEO, and Cussion Kar Shun Pang has been appointed chairman of the board.
Published:4/14/2021 10:41:21 PM
[Markets] Can The Great "Awokening" Succeed? Can The Great "Awokening" Succeed?

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via AmGreatness.com,

We all know that we are living in revolutionary times. The origins, ascendence, values, laws, and future of the United States are all under assault by self-described, though accurately described, revolutionaries.

It is a Jacobin, Bolshevik, or Maoist moment. All aspects of life, well beyond politics, are now to be ideologically conditioned. Everything from kindergarten messaging, cartoons, workplace reeducation, and television commercials to college admissions, baseball games, and the airlines are to be “fundamentally transformed” along racial lines.

Long gone is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a colorblind society. Gone, at least at the state level, is confidence in the melting pot of assimilation, integration, and intermarriage (although mixed marriages and multiracial children are at an all-time high).

Gone are even the affirmative-action doctrines of proportional representation and disparate impact. (Yet the two mandates were always arbitrarily applied, in the sense that the U.S. Postal Service and the professional football and basketball leagues never paid much attention to racial quotas based on demographic percentages, which apparently only applied to white and Asian “overrepresentation” elsewhere).

Wokeism, however, is essentially tribal. It seeks to identify particular nonwhite constituencies, unite them not by identical class, not by similar skin color, not by collective similar history, not by shared experience, not by mutual cultural affinities, not by longstanding historical alliances, but simply by two premises:

1) Those of the woke collective are either claimants to being “nonwhite,” and thus victims of racism, or they are architects and supporters of the wokeist agenda, and:

2) they can thereby all either directly leverage reparatory concessions in hiring, admissions, careers, compensation, and general influence or ensure the revolutionary guillotine exempts themselves.

A cynic might add that much of this new racialism is a product of globalteering, and seeks to cater to huge foreign markets—China especially—by both “looking more like the world,” and delighting America’s critics, while appeasing far less moral audiences and consumers abroad than a perceived shrinking market at home.

Still for the woke revolution to succeed, a number of experiments will have to go its way.

Merit Was Always a Sham?

Wokeism assumes that merit was mostly an arbitrary white construct. Its use was to insist on ethnocentric and culturally exclusionary criteria to ostracize the Other. Otherwise, “merit” had not much relation with real competency.

Is that allegation true? We shall soon see.

But note first that few are saying to keep bar-exam grading static, or SAT minimum scores for admission the same, and thereby instead create a Marshall Plan effort in the inner-city to stop the violence, turn failed schools into stellar academies, and honestly critique single-parent households, illegitimacy, and inordinate criminality—as an effort to ensure African American youth are not just qualified, but better qualified meritocratically than those who are deemed to hold these monopolies.

Instead, take the United Airlines idea that it won’t necessarily train the most qualified would-be pilot candidates. Now it will target applicants by racial groupings and, by fiat, limit white males to 2,500 of 5,000 slots in its pilot-training schools. If a nonwhite applicant has less prior experience with flight, scores lower on a test, or compiled a less than competitive high school or college record, it won’t matter then. These were all always useless benchmarks apparently.

In today’s age of computer-driven avionics, the prerequisite ability to do math, to know something about navigation, to understand computers, or to have the proper temperament to fly a plane doesn’t really matter. The fact that thousands will enter pilot training, and soon aircraft controlling, in part on the basis of their gender or race, will not in any way affect the safety or efficacy of travel.

We will know fairly soon the answers to this woke experiment by two criteria: Will pilot error, whether fatal or incidental, increase? And will our elites, whether in Air Force One, or in their own Gulfstreams, follow suit and hire pilots on the basis of their diversity first, and avionics record second.

We can ditto race-based criteria now used at the corporate and financial level, in high-tech, the military, entertainment, education, and in likely everything from movie roles to book contracts to national awards.

Again, such emphases assume that our current managers, professionals, and directors of the last 50 years were heretofore racists or were hired by racists. Or at least they satisfied artificially constructed high standards that bore little relation to actual skills required on the job.

Or they must no longer enjoy percentages in the workplace simply representative of their demographic percentages, but rather in reparatory fashion become underrepresented rather than just demographically correct.

To sum up, in other words, if there were similar race-based/diversity criteria applied to the current meritocratic NBA, would it matter all that much?

If African American athletes were by protocol and statute kept to between, say, 12-20 percent of the NBA player roster, to reflect the black 12-13 percent of the U.S. population, would it make that much difference?

Would the starting L.A. Lakers five, with one African American forward, one white player, a Latino guard, an Asian center, and a Punjabi shooter be all that less exciting, skilled, or successful a team? Are the current standards that accept or reject an NBA player constructed or weighed to favor African Americans that can be judged by their “overrepresentation”?

In the logic of wokeness, would the resulting appeal of a team—that “looks more like” a multiracial America—make up in diversity, unity, cohesion, equity, inclusion, and appeal what it lost in sheer abilities to make plays, dribble, shoot, rebound, dunk, or block? Were the all-white racialist and exclusionary teams of the 1940s really no different in skill and ability than the purely meritocratic 2021 teams? Of course not.

Again, we are going to find out, and in a number of professions, what happens when traditional meritocratic standards are replaced by woke guidelines.

Some Racism Is Not Racism

Wokeism assumes asymmetry. That is, it assumes, for recompensatory purposes, that the spirit of slavery remains, that the hatreds propelling Jim Crow from 1879 to 2021 are very much alive, that the civil rights movement of “equality of opportunity” of the last 55 years was more or less a noble dud. And the result is wokeism’s doctrine that reparatory bias is not bias. Or if it is, the people will understand, Animal Farm-style, why some discrimination is good and different from other discrimination that is bad or why some prejudice is more tolerable than other prejudices.

If asymmetrical wokeism then operates with a necessary and correct imbalance accepted by most, then there will be nothing wrong. There will follow no backlash, no social chaos, in using race to denigrate others collectively.

There will be nothing wrong in ad nauseam using “whiteness,” “white privilege,” “white supremacy,” and “white terrorists’” in pejoratively stereotypical terms—collectively to apply to all 230 million deemed whites‚ whether the unemployed welder or the part-time junior college instructor or Bill Gates—in a way that it would be terribly wrong to talk pejoratively and collectively in terms of any other group.

If one collates all the things that have been said over the years about whites in general by Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, or Maxine Waters, and yet more recently in more sophisticated fashion by the new generation of racialist-obsessed intellectuals such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ibram X. Kendi, Damon Young, or Elie Mystal, and then switched the terms white to black, would there be any outcry that it was becoming wrong to deductively extrapolate from individuals collective values and beliefs, and then, in circular fashion, reapply them to individuals as an innate trait?

We shall soon discover whether this tenet of wokeism—asymmetrical use of collective stereotyping—is widely accepted by 330 million Americans. We will soon see one of three consequences from this unapologetic woke racial generalizing:

1) The American people are so inured to their hateful origins and history, that they do not mind at all when whites are collectively demonized as enjoying positions they never earned and thus logically should not continue to enjoy.

Or,

2) Given that no one objects to stereotyping 230 million people, no one objects to anyone stereotyping others on the basis of race, in the manner that once fostered the civil rights movement.

Or,

3) We will all for survival, as Rwanda, the Balkans, and Iraq teach us, group together by first-cousin affinities and tribes. Recalling Hobbes’ bellum omnium contra omnes, we will freely stereotype, denigrate, and separate from other groups on the premises that our particular generalizations and deductions are the one and only true and accurate typecasting.

Artur Widak/NurPhoto

Dr. Frankenstein and His Woke Monster

What made a 90 percent white population of the late 1950s and 1960s finally sicken of racial bias? Many things—protests, boycotts, the force of moral persuasion. But three things stand out.

One, segregation and bias were always contrary to the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Two, these assumptions of racial prejudice were not predicated on any discernible science, logic, or coherent basis other than tribal bias, hatred, and ignorance.

Three, racial unfairness robbed the United States of critical talent by ignoring merit and substituting pseudo-scientific tribal affinities.

Yet by the emerging 1960s did anyone really believe that Perry Como de facto had a better voice than Harry Belafonte or Sammy Davis, Jr., that Sidney Poitier must be a less gifted actor than Frank Sinatra, that Hank Aaron was innately less impressive than Roger Maris, or that Senator Edward Brooke was less competent an American senator than Senator Herman Talmadge? Again, no.

Wokeness is returning to such tribal separation and crackpot categorization on the one assumption that its arbitrary rules will not alienate Americans as they finally did in the past.

So now are we to believe that non-whites can pick the race of their future roommates in colleges without audit or complaint? Farm aid shall be doled out to all except whites? Welfare in Oakland must exclude poor white recipients? Vaccinations will be targeted to non-white groups first? Will 330 million Americans grow to accept that racial typology will govern all state policy—in following a noble and successful historical precedent?

In each mass shooting, we shall broadcast the horror only if the shooter is white and his victims not so, but mute the story if the opposite should be true?

For noble purposes, criminal suspects shall not be identified by race unless they are white? It will be fine in advance to announce the gender and race of a vice-presidential candidate that mostly alone will determine the selection? We will massage data, and suppress or publicize statistics depending on their usefulness to the woke movement?

If blacks are disproportionately responsible for hate crimes against Asian Americans, we will keep still, or better yet nobly lie that whites are.

Such wokeness assumes that the Eastern Europeans never tired of their ministry-of-truth propaganda, that the cynical Soviet citizen never ignored Pravda’s assertions, or that Cubans really believe the Castro communiques.

Wokeness is either unaware of, or unconcerned with, the seething religious, caste, and racial tensions that plague India, or wrecked Lebanon, or unwound Yugoslavia. That is, the woke believe their Byzantine books of race-based exceptions, exemptions, and absolutions will convince 330 million Americans that segregation, or official untruth, are permitted, given historical circumstances and the common good.

But they will not.

Finally, wokeness takes for granted that its elite white Dr. Frankenstein architects will always control the prejudicial woke monster they created—on the assumption that one will never devour its creators. But history suggests ideologies often do just that.

Over the last two weeks, many of America’s most elite colleges seem to have deliberately restricted white admissions to around 30-40 percent of their incoming classes—on the altar of diversity and post-George Floyd wokeness. Yet, not every high-earning, bicoastal white liberal can give $10 million to Yale or Stanford or sire a likely future Major League Baseball star.

For the woke white elite, then, it will be hard to find some exemption from the rules that 70 percent of the population will be artificially recalibrated to 30 percent of the successful admissions.

A white liberal may have said “Who cares?” when hard-working Asians who represent six percent of the U.S. population were deliberately restricted to no more than 30-40 percent of the nation’s “best” colleges. But now? Will he really preen, “Bravo, my super-prepped, hyper-achieving prodigy got rejected at all the good schools and I’m so proud he took one for the woke team?”

Or what happens to the wannabe woke CEO who offered every sort of humiliating “unearned” confession, but nevertheless was still of the wrong color? Or what will be the mindset of the progressive, white male lieutenant colonel who found that his loud wokeness was mostly useful in preparing him to better understand why he should not be promoted to brigadier general?

It is OK for woke whites to be constantly accused of “unearned privilege” as long as their bicoastal billets were tolerably reduced by just 20 percent due to racial gerrymandering. But does their magnanimity extend to a 30-40 percent white jizyah, that cuts so close to progressive homes?

Will the brilliant actress in a blockbuster classic mumble, if even just privately, that she was the wrong color to be nominated as best actress?

Sure, some may feel that these are elite psychodramas. But for that reason, they will become mostly the angsts of the Left. The liberal white elite class engineered a system of woke racialism that they assumed rested on some sort of unspoken 70 percent white/12 percent black/10 percent Latino/six percent Asian, and two percent “other” formula that would always still leave them plenty of spoils while the unhappy consequences fell instead on Dotty the Deplorable, Charlie Chump, Cliff the Clinger, and Irene Irredeemable. They did not sign up for a 30-40 percent white allotment that cuts into the white woke; that is, the good and the morally superior whites.

So this, too, will be another of wokeism’s greatest tests, when elite writers, professors, actors, lawyers, newsroom grandees, and CEO magnificoes learn that they, too, can be of the wrong color under the new tribal prejudice they fostered.

Wokeism is creating a future group of politically incorrect Trotskyites on a proverbial rendezvous with a Mexican ice ax, given that by birth they will never be woke enough for the new Stalinism.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 23:40
Published:4/14/2021 10:41:21 PM
[Markets] : U.S. set to sanction Russia over SolarWinds hack, election interference: reports The Biden administration is expected to announce sanctions against Russian officials and entities for their alleged roles in election interference and the SolarWinds hack, according to multiple reports Wednesday night.
Published:4/14/2021 10:10:29 PM
[Markets] Australian Military Reminded Its Role Is "Lethal Violence" & Not "Woke" Activism Australian Military Reminded Its Role Is "Lethal Violence" & Not "Woke" Activism

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

The Australian military has been reminded by MPs that its core mission is the “application of lethal violence” in response to concerns about it being too “woke” following a performance during which scantily clad dancers twerked on a Navy ship.

The advisory came after awkward scenes where young women gyrated suggestively in front of military officials, some of them elderly, during a ceremony to formally commission the Navy’s newest ship, a debacle that was dubbed a “shitshow” by one member of the government.

“We’re meant to be a fighting force,” he added, echoing comments by backbencher Phillip Thompson, who argued that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) had lurched “too far to the left” with its focus on social justice issues.

“Our ADF shouldn’t be left or right, they should be straight down the middle of what their job is, and their job is to defend our nation, our interests, our values, our sovereignty, but also when we go on operations, have an unapologetic aggression and violence to get the mission done,” said Thompson.

Noting that Navy standards should be higher, Thompson asserted, “We’ve got the CDF, we’ve got members of Parliament there, and the Governor-General’s there, I don’t think it’s appropriate to be twerking.”

Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie was also prompted to reiterate the what the primary focus of the military should be, insisting that its core mission will always be the “application of lethal violence” and that “mission clarity” is a key component of their work.

Hastie said that when the “role, identity and purpose” of the military becomes confused it leads to weakness and could even be “deadly on the battlefield, at sea or in an aerial dogfight.”

“Inside government, there are frustrations over recent military decisions seen as too “politically correct”, such as a 2018 directive banning soldiers from wearing “death” symbols,” reports ABC Australia.

The U.S. military really needs to learn from Australia’s approach given its current obsession with social justice, most recently exemplified by Joe Biden’s reversal of Trump’s ban on transgender troops.

So long as the U.S. military distracts itself with inane woke diversity nonsense, China will continue to laugh heartily in America’s face while accelerating and perfecting its own fighting capabilities.

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Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 23:00
Published:4/14/2021 10:10:29 PM
[] 'Mostly dry protest'? Water bottle-throwing mob chases off CNN crew near police HQ in Brooklyn Center, MN Published:4/14/2021 9:40:47 PM
[f55ed897-39f1-5718-a628-0cb2d3feb812] Danica Patrick on how Aaron Rodgers split taught her a lot about heartbreak Danica Patrick said during an appearance on “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” that she "learned a lot" from her split from NFL star Aaron Rodgers. The pair called it quits last July after two years together. Published:4/14/2021 9:40:47 PM
[Markets] The Fed Has Convinced Investors That It Will Tolerate Higher Inflation The Fed Has Convinced Investors That It Will Tolerate Higher Inflation

By Steve Englander, head of Global G10 FX Research and North America Macro Strategy at Standard Chartered Bank

Suppose inflation surprised and nobody cared

  • March CPI surprised well to the upside: yields and the USD fell

  • The FOMC (lack of) reaction function has credibility, in our view

  • The broad USD drop reflects growing conviction that yields will lag activity and inflation

Investors increasingly convinced of Fed inflation tolerance

March CPI inflation came in like a lion and went out like a lamb, all in a day. The 0.34% m/m print on core inflation is the highest since 2006, other than July and August 2020, which were the bounce back from anomalously low readings during the height of the COVID-19 shutdowns

But 10Y UST yields edged up briefly after the 8:30AM EDT release and were below their pre-8:30AM levels by 8:32AM. Inflation breakevens rose initially, but real yields fell even more, pulling down nominal yields; eventually, breakevens came off as well. The USD fell almost immediately and continued falling most of the day.

The Fed appears to have convinced market participants that it is going to tolerate high inflation at least in 2021, acting on its flat Phillips curve, flat labor-market view. Many Fed speakers have essentially labelled any 2021 inflation surge transitory. Investors do not necessarily believe that the Fed is correct in its assessment, but most investors see fighting the Fed for eight or twelve months as a losing proposition. Given the Fed stance, bond-market hawks are backing off until there is unambiguous evidence that the Fed is wrong or the Fed shows some sign of reconsidering its stance.

In retrospect, Fed Vice Chair Clarida’s statement that he would look at 2022 data to see if inflation pressure persisted was seen as message that the Fed was not likely to scrutinize incoming data for evidence that the inflation upturn could be more persistent than expected.

This change in market perception has implications for FX as well. Our medium- to long-term USD view is largely predicated on the expectation that the Fed will not permit yields to rise as much as activity and inflation would suggest. The market reaction to the CPI release (and earlier in April to the payrolls release) suggests market participants are buying into this view as well.

Strong demand, higher inflation and low yields tend to increase external imbalances and reduce the incentive for capital inflow. Earlier this year, expectations of stronger demand led to higher yields, and the unexpected upward adjustment in yields derailed our and the consensus short-USD view. The Fed’s success in capping market yield expectations has pushed real yields below -70bps and opens the door to renewed USD weakness if the moves are sustained. We had anticipated this renewed broad USD weakness in H2, but it could resume more quickly.

The RUB, NOK, ZAR, SEK, BRL, CAD, AUD gained the most after the CPI release, so commodity currencies did well on higher inflation outcomes. Gold, oil and non-oil commodities had a pretty good day, as might be expected when there is a whiff of inflation and interest rates (particularly real rates) fall. Safe havens such as the CHF, JPY and even EUR were about c.0.4%, so relative-value trades favoured high-beta currencies, although the outperformance was not as pronounced as earlier in the year.

Why did an upside inflation surprise lead to lower yields?

Going into the CPI print, consensus expectations had been edging up. The average y/y forecast for core was 1.54%, so there was a significant minority who expected the higher print, especially forecasters with the most recent forecasts. Nevertheless, the outcome was a surprise and there was no special factor to explain a ‘perverse’ bond market reaction to an inflation surprise.

We have noted at times that investors approach big anticipated market events such as FOMC meetings and US labour data with caution, often holding back on trades until the event has passed without a major shock. Once the event proves uneventful, investors feel comfortable entering positions that they had avoided in the run-up. At times when the surprise is modest, post-event trading can go in the opposite direction to the expected impact of the shock if that is the market bias.

We think that the upward drift of yields in the two days preceding the CPI release may have reflected uncertainty on the market reaction to a high print as much as uncertainty on the CPI itself. Even though the surprise was higher CPI than expected, the market takeaway was that there was little reaction. This encouraged bond bulls to keep buying and signaled to bond bears that there was a low ceiling where yields were likely to head. Ever since the US labor release, we and investors have been carefully watching the market reaction to positive surprises as an indication of how much conviction there remains on the strong USD, short bond trade. Tuesday's reaction signaled that an outcome that would likely have been viewed as deeply negative for asset markets a month or two ago is now viewed as benign.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 22:20
Published:4/14/2021 9:40:47 PM
[Uncategorized] Chauvin Trial Day 13 Wrap-Up: Solid Day for Defense With Forensic Expert Witness

Blackwell scored no major points, hit with “My Cousin Vinny”-style response

The post Chauvin Trial Day 13 Wrap-Up: Solid Day for Defense With Forensic Expert Witness first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:4/14/2021 9:40:47 PM
[Corporate Ameirca] United Airlines doubles down on wokeness (Paul Mirengoff) Fresh off of its announcement of a plan to make women and “people of color” 50 percent of its new pilot hires, United Airlines has taken its wokeism one giant step further. It has “committed to being 100% green by reducing our carbon emissions 100% by 2050.” The airline says it “has invested in ground-breaking technology to make our goal a reality” but acknowledges that “there’s still a long way Published:4/14/2021 9:08:54 PM
[Markets] MarketWatch First Take: VMware to finally come into its own in Dell spinoff, but strategic cloud remains After years of being majority-owned by another company, VMware Inc. finally will separate from its parent, now Dell Technologies, but the deal will not resolve the underlying issues for the virtualization software maker.
Published:4/14/2021 9:08:54 PM
[TC] Atrium, which help sales managers more easily see who is (or isn’t) crushing it, just raised $13.5 million There’s no shortage of data-driven sales management tools in the market. Naturally, Atrium, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based company cofounded by serial entrepreneur Pete Kazanjy, says it does a far better job of empowering sales managers to improve their team’s performance. How? By giving them easy, digestible, real-time insights into who on their team is outperforming, […] Published:4/14/2021 9:08:54 PM
[1b392f58-f233-5b8b-97ac-b5112656d689] 'F9' trailer teases Vin Diesel, John Cena showdown: 'You turned your back on me' The two actors face off in the latest installment of the "Fast & Furious" franchise, which is set to be released on June 25. John Cena stars as Jakob Toretto, the brother of Dom, played by Vin Diesel, and Mia, who is portrayed by Jordana Brewster. Published:4/14/2021 9:08:54 PM
[Entertainment] David Hasselhoff's Daughter Hayley Makes History as European Playboy's First Curve Cover Star Hayley Hasselhoff, ITV Palooza 2019Hayley Hasselhoff is making history as the first-ever curve model to cover European Playboy. The daughter of David Hasselhoff shared the historic cover image to her Instagram on...
Published:4/14/2021 9:08:54 PM
[Markets] ???????Elon Musk's Futuristic Public Transport Tunnel Is "Lamest Thing In Las Vegas" ???????Elon Musk's Futuristic Public Transport Tunnel Is "Lamest Thing In Las Vegas"

Elon Musk's "futuristic" subterranean transit system under Las Vegas is like a boring amusement park ride.

Musk's The Boring Company has spent months drilling, digging, paving, lining, and electrifying tunnels under Las Vegas with a promise to whisk passengers in driverless Tesla vehicles at speeds of 155mph. But late last week, a handful of reporters were able to experience the tunnel in a far less exciting way. 

Instead of futuristic vehicles zooming through the tunnels, Tesla vehicles hit a maximum speed of about 35 mph, far less than was initially promised. 

The first section of the much-touted Vegas tunnel from one end of the Las Vegas Convention Center to the other is 4,475 feet. It's the first of four sections, making a total of about 1.7 miles of tunnel. 

According to tweets from Las Vegas Review-Journal's Mick Akers, the media was invited to the tunnel last Thursday. 

The latest unveiling of the underground transit system, hidden 40 feet beneath the Las Vegas Convention center, was "about as exciting as a sheet of unpainted drywall discarded in a closed office park," wrote Jalopnik's Jason Torchinsky. He called the tunnel "dumb" and said it was the "lamest thing in Vegas." Watching Tesla Model 3s drive slowly through the tunnel was not exactly what Musk promised. But anyone who has followed the billionaire salesman over the years shouldn't be surprised. 

Remember when Musk tweeted this in December 2019? 

"Boring Co is completing its first commercial tunnel in Vegas, going from Convention Center to Strip, then will work on other projects," Musk tweeted

Well, it's 2021... 

More on the disappointment: 

Gizmodo wrote: "Elon Musk's 'Public Transit' in Las Vegas still just humans driving cars slowly in a tunnel."

CNET's Sean Szymkowski also concluded the tunnel was "lame." He said: 

"It seems like this project is quickly turning into Tesla cars driving people underground, rather than some sort of futuristic transport system."

Hopefully, the Boring Company remains in a testing phase, and the colorful, hyped-up tunnel can one day reach faster speeds. 

"Unfortunately, for now, it looks sort of disappointing," Szymkowski said.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 22:00
Published:4/14/2021 9:08:54 PM
[Politics] “You son of a b-tch!” – Geraldo and Bongino war on-air over Daunte Wright shooting – [VIDEO] Dan Bongino rightly called out Geraldo on Hannity tonight for pumping the race narrative into the Daute Wright shooting and Geraldo couldn’t take it, calling him a ‘son of a b-tch’ and . . . Published:4/14/2021 9:08:54 PM
[Politics] “You son of a b-tch!” – Geraldo and Bongino war on-air over Daunte Wright shooting – [VIDEO] Dan Bongino rightly called out Geraldo on Hannity tonight for pumping the race narrative into the Daute Wright shooting and Geraldo couldn’t take it, calling him a ‘son of a b-tch’ and . . . Published:4/14/2021 9:08:54 PM
[Entertainment] In Honor of the Latest Masked Singer Reveal, Let's Rewatch a Clip From Scooby Doo The Masked SingerSometimes, no matter what a person has done or what they are best known for, your brain only works one way. That's the case with Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath and us, here at E!...
Published:4/14/2021 8:39:42 PM
[Markets] : Who was flying last year during COVID-19? A lot of people carrying guns, according to the TSA 'We're here to remind you that firearms, replica weapons & BB guns are NOT allowed in your carry-on bag,' the Transportation Security Administration said.
Published:4/14/2021 8:39:42 PM
[structure:news] Canadian MP caught naked in virtual meeting of House of Commons Published:4/14/2021 8:39:42 PM
[Columnists] Gov. Hutchinson’s Distortion of Reagan

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas raised ire from conservatives for vetoing legislation passed by the Arkansas state Legislature that would have banned “gender-affirming” medical... Read More

The post Gov. Hutchinson’s Distortion of Reagan appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/14/2021 8:39:42 PM
[Markets] America Lost Its Religion: Church Membership Plunges Below 50% For First Time  America Lost Its Religion: Church Membership Plunges Below 50% For First Time 

Americans' faith in organized religion continues to trend down at an accelerated pace. A new poll from Gallup shows for the first time since the public opinion polling company began asking questions in 1937, the number of Americans who view themselves as members of a church, synagogue, or mosque has plunged below 50%. Keep in mind, in 1937, when Gallup first asked the question, 73% went to church, synagogue, or mosque. 

America is losing its religion, and this trend of a more secular state has been accelerating since the Dot Com Bust (the early 2000s). The poll found 47% of Americans said they were a part of a church, synagogue, or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.

The gradual decline of Americans losing their religion began in the 1950s and rapidly accelerated in the early 2000s. America's unique combination of wealth (status quo power) and worship during the 20th century appears to be unraveling in the 21st century. 

The obvious question that comes to mind is what the hell happened around the Dot Com Bust? 

Perhaps, the shift away from organized religion is due to millennials. Polling data found membership at a house of worship correlations with age, with older Americans more likely to attend church, synagogue, or mosque than younger generations. 

Since the early 2000s, the percentage of Americans who don't associate themselves with religion has increased from 8% in 1998-2000 to 13% in 2008-2010 and 21% since 2017. 

As millennials come to age and in the next couple of years will dominate the workforce, the loss of religion will undoubtedly continue, triggering a "religion crisis" for organized religious institutions. 

Indeed, as the society-wide shifts in ideals and beliefs occur as the millennial generation takes power, their taste for organized religion sours. 

There are a couple of major trends driving the plunge in faith in organized religion - millennials with no religious preference are soaring above all other generations, and religious membership is plunging among the youth. In fact, membership continues to decline across all generations, but millennials are increasing faster. 

America is losing its religion. 

So the next question: Why are millennials losing faith faster than all other generations?

Well, maybe the American Dream of getting married, buying a home with a white picket fence, having kids, attending church or temple, and having a stable career is unattainable for the young generation as they're bound by ball and chain to insurmountable student loans, credit card debt, auto loans, and crappy jobs.

As America's youth slips away from organized religion and past traditions, maybe this is a symptom of a dying country. 

The much larger question of the sudden loss of religion is the social ramifications this may have for the country as a secular state could be in the making. 

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 21:20
Published:4/14/2021 8:39:42 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: House and Senate Dems to introduce bill to pack Supreme Court Democrats in both the Senate and the House are teaming up to introduce a bill to pack the Supreme Court: 🚨House and Senate Democrats are introducing a bill to PACK THE SUPREME . . . Published:4/14/2021 8:39:42 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: House and Senate Dems to introduce bill to pack Supreme Court Democrats in both the Senate and the House are teaming up to introduce a bill to pack the Supreme Court: 🚨House and Senate Democrats are introducing a bill to PACK THE SUPREME . . . Published:4/14/2021 8:39:42 PM
[] Durable Trades: Professions That Have Stood the Test of Time for Hundreds of Years Published:4/14/2021 8:14:24 PM
[3658a6cb-dd7e-5110-90dd-e240c8ac6eee] Disney chief says ABC passed on 'incredibly well-written scripts' that lacked diversity One of Disney's top bosses has spoken candidly about pilots the company passed on due to a lack of diversity in their scripts. Published:4/14/2021 8:14:24 PM
[Politics] Florida House passes bill banning men from participating in female sports! Here comes Florida, which could be the next state to ban men from participating in female sports: THE HILL – Florida’s state House on Wednesday passed a bill that would ban transgender . . . Published:4/14/2021 8:14:23 PM
[Politics] Florida House passes bill banning men from participating in female sports! Here comes Florida, which could be the next state to ban men from participating in female sports: THE HILL – Florida’s state House on Wednesday passed a bill that would ban transgender . . . Published:4/14/2021 8:14:23 PM
[Politics] At climate summit, Biden will try to reassure a skeptical world that the U.S. is back

Rejoining the Paris agreement was the easy part. Now the Biden administration must choose a new goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that's both ambitious and practical.

Published:4/14/2021 8:14:23 PM
[Markets] LBMA Acknowledges "Buying Frenzy" In Silver Market And Silver Shortage Fears LBMA Acknowledges "Buying Frenzy" In Silver Market And Silver Shortage Fears

Submitted by Ronan Manly, BullionStar.com

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) has just published a new report titled “Silver Investment 2021: Report” which looks at recent developments in the investment silver sector.

While it’s not clear who actually wrote the report, as no author is specified, the LBMA states that it “acknowledges Metals Focus' contribution to this report” so we can assume Metals Focus actually wrote it or was heavily involved. Metals Focus is a precious metals consultancy based in London, which also at times, writes the Silver Institute’s annual World Silver Survey.

That the LBMA has decided to publish a specific report on investment silver at this time is notable in itself (as it hasn’t published this type of distinct report in the past), but beyond this, the report itself is worth reviewing for what it says, as much as what it leaves out.

Pitched as a “Spotlight on Silver Investment, a report which explores the key developments in silver investment over the last 12-18 months”, the LBMA report (which is quite short at 15 pages) focuses on recent trends in demand for silver Exchange-Traded Products (ETPs), silver coins and bars, and the in silver futures market. It also surprisingly mentions the #Silver Squeeze in great detail, which is refers to the “much-publicised social media campaigns” and a “social media buying frenzy” of silver bars and coins, and silver ETPs.

The report begins by commenting that “the past 12-18 months have witnessed some incredible developments in the silver investment market, including a dramatic improvement in investor activity”, and that the combined demand from silver bars, coins, ETPs and futures positioning rose by about 20% in 2020, with the growth in this trend carrying over into the first quarter of 2021.

It was only a Matter of Weeks - The ETFs

In chapter 2 on silver ETPs (more commonly called ETFs), the LBMA report notes that silver ETF holdings reached a record high on 1.2 billion ozs in early February 2021, and that London is the world’s largest storage centre for ETF silver, calculating that 725 million ozs is held on behalf of silver ETF’s such as the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) by LBMA custodians in London (the custodians being JP Morgan and HSBC and their sub-custodians Brinks, Malca-Amit and Loomis).

Surprisingly, the LBMA report acknowledges that strong inflows into silver-backed ETFs in late January and early February, if they had persisted, could have led to the LBMA London vaults running out of acceptable (good delivery) silver bars for the ETFs. The LBMA report states that:

“Early 2021 saw an unprecedented 110Moz added in just three days. Although some liquidations emerged, there were concerns that London would run out of silver if ETP demand remained at a high level.

and

“this year, the location of the custodial vaults has come into sharper focus as ETP demand has jumped, leading to concerns about the potential availability of metal.

This is something I had highlighted in a BullionStar article on 8 February titled “Houston, we have a Problem”: 85% of Silver in London already held by ETFs” which concluded that:

“A few more days of inflows like the ones seen over 29 January to 2 February would be a major emergency for these ETF providers, particularly the iShares SLV. Because there is just not that much physical silver left in the vaults of JP Morgan, Brinks, Malca-Amit, Loomis and HSBC, which is not already reported as being in these ETFs.”

Back to the LBMA report, which continues:

As the social media frenzy gathered pace in late January, demand for coins, bars and ETPs all jumped. For the latter, global holdings surged by 119 mn ozs in just three days. This was concentrated in the iShares fund (SLV), where holdings rose by 110 mn ozs. Given that most of this metal was allocated in London, fears emerged as to whether there was enough silver should demand continue at this pace.

What the LBMA report fails to mention though is that this extra silver (3,416.11 tonnes in the form of 113,501 Good Delivery silver bars) could only be added to SLV over those 3 days by SLV’s custodian JP Morgan frantically tapping into silver bars which it claimed to have secured in 5 vaults all over London, namely Brinks vault in Premier Park London, Loomis London vault near Heathrow, Brinks Unit 7 vault Radius Park near Heathrow, Malca Amit London vault, and JP Morgan’s own London vault.

More importantly, the LBMA / Metals Focus report also fails to mention that concerns about a lack of silver in London were so great that the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) actually changed its prospectus in early February, adding the wording that:

The demand for silver may temporarily exceed available supply that is acceptable for delivery to the Trust, which may adversely affect an investment in the Shares.

It is possible that Authorized Participants may be unable to acquire sufficient silver that is acceptable for delivery to the Trust 

Luckily, I did mention the SLV prospectus amendment it in an article titled “#SilverSqueeze hits London as SLV warns of Limited Available Silver Supply” from 14 February.

The LBMA / Metals Focus report goes on to say that:

“had demand in iShares continued at the frenetic rate of late-January/early February it would only have been a matter of weeks before London’s existing stock was used up.

While it would have been surprising to see ETP demand maintain this pace of buying, the concerns were still very real.

This reflects both the time required for a refinery to convert non-Good Delivery (GDL) material into 1,000oz bars approved by LBMA as Good Delivery and then delivery of this by sea freight into London.

If the above sounds like too much honesty from the bullion bank LBMA, you are not alone in thinking so. Perhaps no one from the LBMA read the Metals Focus draft of the report before they hit publish. Its a far cry from the bullion bank apologists of the silver market, for example see here and here. who said that there was no shortage of silver in the London market.

Spoken for – Silver Good Delivery bars destined for the London vaults

Its also interesting to see from the above quote, that silver, since it is bulky, is not transported by air but by container truck when moving within a Continent such as Europe, and by sea, when moving between continents or to an island nation such as Britain. Silver enters London via container ports located in  the terminal ports to the east of London.

Above Ground Stocks - Not So Much

A section of the LBMA report also looks at identifiable global above ground silver stocks, commenting that “the recent jump in ETP demand has led to fears as to whether there are sufficient above-ground bullion stocks, should ETP holdings see a further sharp increase”

But, are there sufficient above-ground bullion stocks, that could be called upon by the ETFs?

LBMA / Metals Focus more or less say no, stating that:

  • “there is a gulf between the total of silver above-ground stocks and the portion which can be quickly allocated against ETPs.”
  • “Even though above-ground stocks are difficult to pin down, there is no doubt that bullion stocks account for a small share of the total.”
  • The biggest identifiable silver holdings are held in London, COMEX [New York] and Chinese approved vaults, which at the end of 2020, stood at a combined 1.694 bn ozs of silver.

It’s interesting that the point about the 1000 oz silver bar market being far smaller than the above ground stock of silver is a point which exactly concurs with what was described by David Morgan in an interview which he recently did for BullionStar Perspectives. See relevant section of that interview video here.

But how much of these identifiable silver holdings in London, COMEX [New York] and Chinese vaults are actually available to ETFs? The LBMA report would have you believe that the answer is ‘a lot’. But is this really the case?

Regarding identifiable silver holdings held in London, the LBMA has just published its latest London vault holdings data, claiming that at the end of March there were 1.249 bn ozs (38,859 tonnes) of silver held in the London LBMA vaults. This data is then referenced in the new LBMA / Metals Focus report.

Putting aside the fact that this was a massive 11% increase on the amount of silver that the LBMA claimed was stored in the London vaults as of the end of February, and that none of these claims are verifiable and none of the claimed silver is independently physically audited in real time, Metals Focus calculates that 725 mn ozs (or 58%) of this London silver was held by ETFs at that time.

The LBMA report says that this ETF silver in London is held by “ten ETP funds”. Its unclear how LBMA / Metals Focus arrived at the figure of 10 ETFs, since there are actually 14 of these ETFs. See here for details. These ETFs are iShares SLV and SSLN, Wisdomtree PHAG and PHPP, Invesco SSLV, Aberdeen Standard SIVR and GLTR, ETF Securities‘ PMAG and PMPM, and five Deutsche Bank XTrackers ETFs. Perhaps they are counting all the XTrackers as one.

Out to lunch? – The LBMA, Royal Exchange, City of London

LBMA / Metals Focus also fail to account for the silver held in London LBMA vaults by GoldMoney and Bullion Vault, which together store about 690 tonnes in total. This silver is not available to ETFs. Nor is the allocated silver holdings held in LBMA London vaults by investment institutions, family offices and High Net Worth individuals. And finally, the elephant in the room, the LBMA report does not acknowledge the massive outstanding unallocated silver positions which are claims against the bullion banks for silver which they have not got but would have to try to allocate from stocks of silver that are in the LBMA London vaults, if unallocated silver holders requested allocation.

Regarding the COMEX approved silver inventories in New York (combined registered and eligible categories), the LBMA report says that there was a total of 393 mn ozs of silver in those vaults at the end of February, but concedes that of this total, over a quarter represents silver bars held by the SLV in JP Morgan’s vault in New York. This is something I first explained in the “Houston, we have a Problem” article in early February. See section 'A Note about SLV and COMEX' here.

LBMA also fails to mention that a lot of other eligible silver in the COMEX vaults in New York may have nothing to do with COMEX trading. The CME have already gone on record to explain to the CFTC regulator that in the case of 'Eligible Gold" in COMEX vaults, this is the case. It is also the case with silver to some extent.

Regarding China, the LBMA report says that as of the end of 2020, the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) held 130 mn ozs of silver bullion stocks, and the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) held 89 mn ozs. None of these SGE and SHFE silver stocks are related to ETP holdings, but they are stocks which are used in SGE and SHFE trading and can be quickly withdrawn into the Chinese silver market.

Excluding LBMA London, COMEX and China, the report says that “silver bullion stocks that exist elsewhere and are in a deliverable form (specifically LBMA or COMEX Good Delivery compliant) appear extremely modest.

These other locations would be, according to the LBMA report a) India, where some bonded warehouses hold good delivery silver bars, but these are for the local market, and rarely flow back to London, and b) Switzerland, which apart from silver allocated to Swiss silver ETFs, stores little other silver holdings.

LBMA / Metals Focus go on to suggest that it’s possible to add both the silver in the London LBMA vaults to all the silver held in COMEX, and view them as a combined pool of available silver for the ETFs. The report says:

“Another way to view this is to look at combined Comex/LBMA holdings, which at end-February were 1,518 mn ozs. ETPs vaulted in these locations stood at 880 mn ozs, which meant that 42%, or 638 mn ozs was in theory immediately available to meet new silver ETP demand.”

But this is wrong. Why? Because silver not currently in ETFs is not necessarily available to ETFs, and besides, ETFs which hold their silver in London cannot hold silver in New York (apart from SLV). Its against their prospectus rules.

This, however, doesn’t stop the LBMA report from sweeping the problem under the carpet by concluding that “the pool of available metal should be sufficient, for the foreseeable future at least, to meet new ETP demand.

Although in the next sentence they seem concerned about the potential lack of supply as they continue that “this also pre-supposes there is no repeat of the social media frenzy.” Note to LBMA - the social media frenzy is still on, and by being worried about it, it will now only get more frenzied.

There then follows a bizarre line in the report which says – “Should this occur [repeated frenzy], higher prices would almost certainly be triggered, which would be met by heavy selling.” We therefore have to ask, “heavy selling” from who? The bullion bank members of the LBMA no doubt?

Under the Radar - The Retail Market

Chapter 3 of the LBMA report discusses the retail silver market. Briefly, some highlights from Chapter 3 are as follows (quotes from the report are in italics):

  • Retail investment in silver (coins and bar demand) recovered in 2020 and into 2021
  • The [retail] sector then burst into life this year, initially as a social media buying frenzy emerged
  • The industry was quickly beset with product shortages, in part due to logistical restrictions
  • While social media discussions have abated, silver coin and bar demand has remained extremely strong, especially in the US
  • Ongoing strength in the US coin and bar market, which also reflects some supply issues, extended product delivery lead times and premiums

First some corrections to the above. Product shortages primarily arose due to huge demand, not logistical restrictions. And, if the LBMA / Metals Focus is not aware of it, ‘social media discussions have not abated.' Far from it. Just look at Twitter and Reddit.

This doesn’t stop the report condescendingly referring to ”the recent, if short-lived, social media phenomenon surrounding silver that emerged in the US in late-January this year and what legacy, if any, it leaves behind.

  • Global retail investment in silver coins and bars in 2020 is estimated to have exceeded 200 mn ozs for the first time in four years. This was the result of higher demand in the US and Germany, while purchases in India weakened sharply.
  • Over the past decade, the US has been the largest retail investment market in all but two years (2018-19), when purchases fell sharply
  • During 2018-19, India occupied top spot, with retail investment in each year exceeding 50 mn ozs. ..In general, Indian demand has typically benefited from strong silver price expectations, with many viewing silver as being undervalued. This has often led to a surge in investment when prices have fallen.
  • In India, high net worth individuals tend to purchase large silver bars, such as 5kg, 15kg and 30kg bars. Others are consumers and investors who buy small-minted bars
  • Germany completes the top-three listing and has only emerged as a prominent market for silver bars and coins over the past two years.
Silver ‘frenzy’ by the Silver Stackers

Social Media Storm becomes Folklore

There then follows an entire section of the LBMA report titled ‘The Social Media Storm”, which begins:

“The events of late January/early February this year have almost become folklore in the silver market. It is worth recalling how this emerged and its impact on retail buying even after the social media storm faded.”

For obvious reasons, the LBMA would like to have people believe that the #silverSqueeze has faded. If anyone wants to check on Twitter and Reddit, they will, however, see that this is not the case. The LBMA / Metals Focus then show their hand by dismissing the existence of a bullion bank short position in silver.

"Buoyed by this success, social media discussions soon focused on silver, and in particular longheld conspiracies that financial institutions were holding significant short positions."

Not content with hurling conspiracy theory accusations against anyone mentioning the Wall St silver short position, while trying to pretend the frenzy has faded, the LBMA report then doubles down, referring again to both in the same sentence:

"Although the silver price achieved a six-year high of $30.10, the social media frenzy quickly faded – dynamics in the silver market are quite different to those behind the GameStop trade. In essence, there were no massive short positions in silver to force out.

But then the social media frenzy was seemingly back:

“As the social media frenzy was picked up by the mainstream media, silver benefited from widespread news coverage, particularly in the US.”

“As dealer inventories were depleted the emphasis shifted to silver coin and bar manufacturers. Although many fabricators quickly ramped up production, three issues emerged –

a) lockdown restrictions affected how much the manufacturers could respond to the jump in demand, c) the increase in retail sales was so great that delivery lead times grew, ..added to concerns about a shortage of silver, which further boosted sales, c) US Mint gold and silver Eagle coin minting scaled back due to switch of production to new design.”

“As a result, February and March 2021 have seen retail silver investment demand remain exceptionally strong in the US.”

Finally, the LBMA / Metals Focus report also notes it does not see recent inflows into silver ETPs as competing with the demand for silver bars and silver coins, as the retail investors are new buyers with a different profile to physical silver stackers:

“[Silver] ETPs have attracted a large swathe of new buyers, including those active in the stock market who might not have previously bought precious metals. As a result, there appears to be little sign of an adverse impact on physical investment by the success of silver ETPs.

Conclusion

This new silver report published by the LBMA is indeed a strange report, discussing as it does the fact that if inflows into SLV and the other ETFs had continued , "it would only have been a matter of weeks before London’s existing [silver] stock was used up". And its a far cry from LBMA CEO Ruth Crowell on 8 February, telling NASDAQ that there were 'healthy' silver stocks in London.

Equally strange is the LBMA acknowledging the power of the social media buying frenzy in silver (cue memes of silver back Ape 'frenzy'). Which would make a good story that the  report was written by Metals Focus, and published by the LBMA intern when the rest of the LBMA staff was out to lunch. Stranger things have happened.

On a serious note, it's increasingly obvious that those few days in late January and early February when there were huge inflows into SLV and when the silver price hit $30, terrified the powers that be within the bullion banks and within the central banks that the silver market was about to explode. Which is why the silver price was not allowed to rise any further and which is why the CFTC and US Treasury was monitoring the action closely.

It should also give hope to the #SilverSqueeze movement that the LBMA thinks they have 'faded' and gone away. Because, as Sun Tzu once said on the art of war,  "Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak".

For those who want to read the report, it can be downloaded here.

This article was originally published on the BullionStar.com website under the same title "LBMA acknowledges “Buying Frenzy” in Silver Market and silver shortage Fears". 

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 21:00
Published:4/14/2021 8:14:23 PM
[Markets] : Biden administration to reinstate fair-housing policies dismantled under Trump — including one aimed at combatting residential segregation The Department of Housing and Urban Development has submitted drafts of two fair-housing rules for review.
Published:4/14/2021 8:14:23 PM
[Columnists] Steven Crowder Calls Out YouTube Censorship

The most viewed conservative commentator on YouTube is Steven Crowder with his channel, Louder with Crowder. His fans love his politically incorrect jokes. He also... Read More

The post Steven Crowder Calls Out YouTube Censorship appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/14/2021 8:14:23 PM
[] Drew Holden's thread on media's brazenly biased coverage of Trump and Biden on Afghanistan may be his 'most damning' yet [screenshots] Published:4/14/2021 7:39:27 PM
[World] Russia testing U.S. on Ukraine; Biden administration must respond

Over the last few weeks, Russia has been conducting a sizable military buildup along its border with Ukraine and in occupied Crimea. These Russian deployments are spontaneous and the Kremlin's plan is unclear. But one thing is certain: The Biden administration is being tested by Moscow.

Ukraine is in the ... Published:4/14/2021 7:39:27 PM

[] 1,500 Rabbis Slam the ADL for 'Grossly Misplaced Charges of Anti-Semitism' Published:4/14/2021 7:39:27 PM
[Markets] A Third Bank Joins The Doom Chorus, Sees Painful Correction In 3 Months: Here's Why A Third Bank Joins The Doom Chorus, Sees Painful Correction In 3 Months: Here's Why

Quietly, one bank after another is telling its clients that the music is about to end.

It started with Morgan Stanley, whose chief equity strategist Michael Wilson over the weekend said that while the S&P 500 has continued to make new all-time highs, "underneath the surface, there has been a noticeable shift in leadership which could be telling us something about the reopening that may not be obvious." More specifically, the Russell 2000 small cap index has underperformed the S&P 500 by 8% since peaking on March 12. While this follows a period of historically strong outperformance, when relative strength like this breaks down, Wilson said that he has taken notice. Furthermore, some of the cyclical parts of the equity market we have been recommending for over a year are starting to underperform, while defensives are doing a bit better. If that weren’t enough, indices of IPOs and SPACs have underperformed by 20% and are both down for the year.

But wait, there's more: as the once most bullish Wall Street analyst warned, the breakdown of small caps and cyclicals is "a potential early warning sign that the actual reopening of the economy will be more difficult than dreaming about it" as small caps and cyclicals have been stellar outperformers over the past year. In essence, they were discounting the recovery and reopening that we are about to experience. However, "now we must actually do it and with that comes execution risk and potential surprises that aren’t priced."

And here a big problem emerges: while policymakers have provided tremendous support for the economy with both monetary accommodation and fiscal stimulus, the lockdowns have reduced supply, destroying it in some cases, and sending prices soaring while hammering profit margins.

As a result, we are now seeing evidence of supply shortages in everything from materials and logistical support to labor. The punchline is that 1Q earnings season may bring bad news on costs and margins, particularly with respect to 2Q outlooks. We’ve been writing about this risk for weeks and believe it will be idiosyncratic in how it plays out, with some companies executing well while others don’t.

Meanwhile, the underperformance in IPOs and SPACs is to Wilson "a signal that the excessive liquidity provided by the Fed is finally being overwhelmed by supply" who ominously notes that his experience is that "when new issues underperform this much, it’s generally a leading indicator that equity markets will struggle more broadly." When combined with the fact that leverage in the system is very high, it could spell more trouble for riskier, more speculative investments, he concludes.

Morgan Stanley's concern was repeated by Bank of America whose chief quant and equity strategist Savita Subramanian today published a piece titled "Five Reasons To Curb Your Enthusiasm" (which we discussed earlier today) in which she said that "amid increasingly euphoric sentiment, lofty valuations, and peak stimulus, we continue to believe the market has overly priced in the good news. We remain bullish the economy but not the S&P 500."

She then listed 5 reasons why stocks are priced to absolute perfection and reality will most likely disappoint, including: i) the bank's sell side Indicator < 1ppt away from euphoria; ii) S&P 500 valuation indicates paltry (2%) returns over the next decade; iii) Outsized (2+ std dev) returns precede losses 75% of the time; iv) BofA's Fair Value model spits out S&P 500 at 3635, v) the Equity Risk Premium dropping below 400bps – this is only the third time since the global financial crisis that the ERP dropped below 400bps, and the two prior instances were Jan 2018 (399bps) and Sep 2018 (394bps), after which the S&P 500 posted -10% and -20% peak-to-trough declines, respectively.

Bottom line: while an amused Subramanian jokingly notes that in another measure of Wall Street bullishness: "we’re tied for last place among strategists’ forecast for the S&P 500", she is quite happy with her year-end S&P500 target of 3,800, some 9% below today's closing price.

And now a third bank has joined the ominous chorus. In a recent note from Deutsche Bank's chief equity strategist Binky Chadha, "When Growth Peaks", he writes that historically, qquities have traded closely with indicators of cyclical macro growth such as the ISMs (correlation 73%), and growth (ISM) typically peaks around a year (10-11 months) after recession ends, "right at the point we would appear to be."

As a result, "very near term", Deutsche Bank expects equities to continue to be well supported by the acceleration in macro growth, and see buying by systematic strategies and buybacks driving a grind higher, however, the bank also now expects a "significant consolidation (-6% to -10%) as growth peaks over the next 3 months."

The chart below shows a strong correlation between the ISM and equities and the simplified view is that when the ISM peaks a correction is likely. As noted above, Binky’s team has identified 36 peaks in the ISM in the post-WWII period. Two-thirds of these peaks (24) were an inverted-V shape, while the rest (8) saw the ISM stop rising and flatten out at an elevated level.

Excluding episodes of a declining ISM that eventually ended in recessions, which currently appears unlikely and which led to far lower stock prices anyway, the S&P 500 sold off around these growth peaks by a median of -8.4%. But even episodes which saw the ISM flatten out rather than fall, saw a median -5.9% sell-off.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, in terms of timing the sell-off began a median 2 weeks after the peak in the ISM and lasted for a median of 6 weeks.

Although using historical experience as a guide argues for a near -6% pullback if growth flattens out near the peak, given positioning is unusually elevated so early in this expansion, Binky thinks the correction could be materially larger than average and in the 6-10% range.

The good news is that with that hiccup out of the way, things return back to normal, and after this correction, the DB strategist says that "the ongoing strong growth means that equities will rally back" and later in the year the risks are mostly based around inflation and the Fed’s response. 

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 20:20
Published:4/14/2021 7:39:27 PM
[5e0b966c-4156-5e0b-a558-7a73e299f59c] Jessica Simpson ‘wanted to be a recluse’ amid constant body-shaming, mom says Jessica Simpson allegedly dealt with so much body-shaming in her career that the negativity nearly forced the singer to "want to be a recluse," her mother Tina Simpson revealed to the "Today" show on Wednesday. Published:4/14/2021 7:39:27 PM
[Anti-Americanism] This is justice?

Today Kim Potter, the Brooklyn Center MN police officer who accidently shot Daunte Wright, was arrested and will be charged with manslaughter. The white officer who shot and killed a young Black man Sunday has been arrested and charged with manslaughter, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput confirmed Wednesday. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said its agents […]

The post This is justice? appeared first on Flopping Aces.

Published:4/14/2021 7:39:27 PM
[Markets] : Shopify to lose three of its top seven executives In a blog post, CEO Tobi Lutke said the company's chief talent officer Brittany Forsyth, chief legal officer Joe Frasca and chief technology officer Jean-Michel Lemieux "will start to transition out of their current roles."
Published:4/14/2021 7:39:27 PM
[Entertainment] See Nicole Kidman Transform Into Lucille Ball in First Photos From Being the Ricardos Set Nicole Kidman, 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards, SAG Awards, Red Carpet FashionsNicole Kidman is a woman of many wigs. This week, the actress donned a new hairstyle as she stepped into the role of Lucille Ball on the set of Aaron Sorkin's new movie, Being the...
Published:4/14/2021 7:39:27 PM
[Free Speech] [Eugene Volokh] Pharma Co. Suing American Society of Anesthesiologists, Seeking Removal of Criticisms in Anesthesiology Journal + Retraction Pacira Biosciences, Inc. is suing over allegedly "false and misleading statements made about EXPAREL, a pain medication drug." Published:4/14/2021 7:09:20 PM
[d76af62b-9af9-5ffb-830c-8faa701b5212] Colton Underwood apologizes to ex Cassie Randolph following tumultuous split: ‘I messed up’ After coming out as gay, Colton Underwood is issuing a public apology to his ex-girlfriend Cassie Randolph for "how things ended" in their tumultuous relationship last year. The two connected during his season of the "Bachelor" in 2019. Published:4/14/2021 7:09:20 PM
[Markets] Pathologist Blames Floyd Death On Heart Problem, Would Not Have Classified As Homicide Pathologist Blames Floyd Death On Heart Problem, Would Not Have Classified As Homicide

A forensic pathologist testified on Wednesday that George Floyd died of a sudden heart rhythm disturbance due to his advanced heart disease, and not from lack of oxygen from the way he was restrained by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, according to the Associated Press. Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death.

Former Maryland chief medical examiner Dr. David Fowler said that the combination of fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd's system, heart disease, and potential carbon monoxide poisoning from automotive exhaust were contributing factors in the 46-year-old Floyd's death last May.

"All of those combined to cause Mr. Floyd’s death," said Fowler, who also said that he would have classified the manner of death as "undetermined," not homicide as the county's chief medical officer ruled. He added that some of the contributing factors could be ruled homicide and others could be ruled accidental.

Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson is trying to prove that the 19-year Minneapolis police veteran did what he was trained to do and that Floyd died because of his illegal drug use and underlying health problems.

Prosecutors say Floyd died because the white officer’s knee was pressed against Floyd’s neck or neck area for 9 1/2 minutes as he lay pinned to the pavement on his stomach, his hands cuffed behind him and his face jammed against the ground. -AP

Potential factors listed by Fowler included: "Floyd’s narrowed arteries, his enlarged heart, his high blood pressure, his drug use, the stress of his restraint, the vehicle exhaust, and a tumor or growth in his lower abdomen that can sometimes play a role in high blood pressure by releasing “fight-or-flight” hormones" per the report, all of which could have acted together to make Floyd's heart work harder and/or go into arrhythmia before it suddenly stopped.

On cross-examination, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell attacked Fowler's findings, getting the former chief medical examiner to admit that he didn't take into account the weight of Chauvin's gear when he analyzed the pressure on Floyd's body, or that anyone who dies after being deprived of oxygen technically dies of arrhythmia.

"And if a person dies as a result of low oxygen, that person is also going to die ultimately of a fatal arrhythmia, right?" asked Blackwell, to which Fowler responded: "Correct. Every one of us in this room will have a fatal arrhythmia at some point."

Blackwell also attacked the carbon monoxide claim.

"You haven’t seen any data or test results that showed Mr. Floyd had a single injury from carbon monoxide. Is that true?" Blackwell asked. "That is correct, because it was never sent," Fowler replied.

Blackwell then countered by noting that Chauvin's squad car was a gas-electric hybrid, and Fowler had no data on how much carbon monoxide was actually released - or if the engine was running at the time.

While several medical experts called by the prosecution have concluded that Floyd died from lack of oxygen due to the way Chauvin restrained him, Fowler said that the knee on Floyd was "nowhere close to his airway," and that Floyd's ability to speak and groan showed that the airway was still open. He also said that there wasn't enough pressure to cause bruises or scrapes on Floyd's neck or back - and that Floyd did not complain of vision changes or other symptoms which would indicate insufficient oxygen to the brain.

"The bottom line is, moving air in and out, and speaking and making noise is very good evidence that the airway was not closed," said Fowler.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 20:00
Published:4/14/2021 7:09:20 PM
[Kristen Clarke] Kristen Clarke lies under oath about defunding the police (Paul Mirengoff) Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Kristen Clarke, Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Clarke appeared along with Todd Kim, the nominee to head the Environment and Natural Resources Division. This meant a pretty easy time for Kim. Clarke, by contrast, came under heavy fire. She tried to deflect it through a combination of lies and nonsense. Consider her exchange with Sen. Ted Published:4/14/2021 7:09:20 PM
[Uncategorized] Report: Democrats preparing legislation to pack Supreme Court, adding four new Justices

"The bill would add four seats to the high court, bringing the total to 13, from the current 9"

The post Report: Democrats preparing legislation to pack Supreme Court, adding four new Justices first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:4/14/2021 7:09:20 PM
[] The Truth About 'Papa John' Schnatter Finally Comes Out Published:4/14/2021 6:40:18 PM
[Markets] US Intelligence Issues Ominous Warning Over 'Sustained Economic Downturn' And Other Long-Term Threats US Intelligence Issues Ominous Warning Over 'Sustained Economic Downturn' And Other Long-Term Threats

The US Intelligence Community has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic will have long-term fallout, and will impact political and economic realities across the globe.

According to the Annual Threat Assessment - which comes on the heels of a separate intelligence report last week which offers a grim view of global challenges likely to be faced over the next 20 years - the pandemic is expected to contribute to "humanitarian and economic crises, political unrest, and geopolitical competition," and will "strain governments and societies."

"The economic fallout from the pandemic is likely to create or worsen instability in at least a few—and perhaps many—countries, as people grow more desperate in the face of interlocking pressures that include sustained economic downturns, job losses, and disrupted supply chains," the report warns.

What's more, food shortages and 'uneven access' to COVID treatments will contribute to humanitarian concerns, while the virus will remain a threat "to populations worldwide until vaccines and therapeutics are widely distributed." The report also warns that a new wave of infections earlier this year "may have an even greater economic impact as struggling businesses in hard-hit sectors such as tourism and restaurants fold and governments face increasing budget strains."

In addition to pandemic-related warnings, the report also predicts that Russia and China will continue to hatch covert influence operations (to blame populist victories on?) - and that Iran will continue to violate the 2015 nuclear agreement. According to the report, China "presents a growing influence threat" in the United States, and has been "intensifying efforts to shape the political environment in the United States to promote its policy preferences, mold public discourse, pressure political figures whom Beijing believes oppose its interests, and muffle criticism of China on such issues as religious freedom and the suppression of democracy in Hong Kong."

The report also warns of domestic extremism - as the threat from foreign terrorist orgs such as ISIS and Al Qaeda has apparently abated. Instead, white supremacy is now the threat - which have led to "at least 26 lethal attacks that killed more than 141 people and for dozens of disrupted plots in the West since 2015." For the sake of comparison, that's fewer people killed in six years than the 170 homicides in Chicago, year-to-date, primarily committed by 'black extremists' against other 'black extremists' so to speak.

"While these extremists often see themselves as part of a broader global movement, most attacks have been carried out by individuals or small, independent cells," the report reads. "Australia, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom consider white racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, including Neo-Nazi groups, to be the fastest growing terrorist threat they face."

"The American people should know as much as possible about the threats facing our nation and what their intelligence agencies are doing to protect them," said Avril Haines, director of national intelligence in a statement accompanying the report.

In short, fear everything and expect the aforementioned go-to narratives.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 19:20
Published:4/14/2021 6:40:18 PM
[39e3111c-7d12-5365-a4ab-98261c7135fc] Woman duped into thinking she was engaged to Prince Harry seeks legal action, calls for his arrest: report An Indian lawyer was duped into believing that she was in a relationship with Prince Harry — and then attempted to seek legal action against the royal for breaking a supposed promise to marry her, a report said Tuesday. The plea, however, was dismissed by Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan. Published:4/14/2021 6:40:17 PM
[Entertainment] Wyatt Pike Breaks His Silence After Unexpected American Idol Exit Wyatt Pike, American Idol, 2021Wyatt Pike is moving on from American Idol for an important, but private reason. The singer, who wowed judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan when he performed an original song...
Published:4/14/2021 6:40:17 PM
[Media] Who Killed Billy Evans?

While reporting on the funeral for slain Capitol police officer Billy Evans on Tuesday, the media skirted around the fact that his killer was an avid Nation of Islam supporter.

The post Who Killed Billy Evans? appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:4/14/2021 6:40:17 PM
[Politics] Biden quietly reversed Trump's ban on worker visas. Will it help or hurt the U.S. economy?

Biden has quietly relaxed one of Trump's signature immigration bans, even as the new administration struggles to hold back a migrant surge along the border with Mexico.

Published:4/14/2021 6:11:17 PM
[World] [Josh Blackman] Classes #24: Second Amendment II and Leaseholds II Ezell v. City of Chicago and Kanter v. Barr Published:4/14/2021 6:11:17 PM
[Entertainment] Brielle Biermann Calls Hit-and-Run Death of Close Friend the "Hardest Thing" She's Experienced Brielle BiermannBravo star Brielle Biermann continues to grieve the loss of her close friend, Ethan McCallister. The 24-year-old took to her Instagram account to share a photo of herself alongside family...
Published:4/14/2021 6:11:17 PM
[Entertainment, Health and Lifestyle] ‘Pause’ on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Reveals One Systemic Flaw Plaguing the FDA

By Brad Polumbo -

FDA logo

The US has lost nearly 570,000 souls to COVID-19-related deaths, according to official statistics, and that number continues to climb with each passing day. But the Food and Drug Administration just recommended a temporary halt on one of the potentially life-saving vaccines currently being distributed to millions. The Johnson & …

‘Pause’ on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Reveals One Systemic Flaw Plaguing the FDA is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/14/2021 6:11:17 PM
[6c13c0c7-6eff-535b-829d-a9023bf98218] Kristin Cavallari, ex Jay Cutler sued over alleged dog bite in Tennessee Kristin Cavallari and her ex-husband, former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler, are being hit with a lawsuit in Tennessee following an alleged incident in which one of their German Shepherd dogs is said to have bitten a man. Published:4/14/2021 6:11:17 PM
[Politics] Mitt Romney and Kyrsten Sinema working on bill to raise minimum wage Both Mitt Romney and Kyrsten Sinema are working on a ‘bipartisan’ bill to raise the minimum wage: DAILY CALLER – Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema have . . . Published:4/14/2021 6:11:17 PM
[Politics] Mitt Romney and Kyrsten Sinema working on bill to raise minimum wage Both Mitt Romney and Kyrsten Sinema are working on a ‘bipartisan’ bill to raise the minimum wage: DAILY CALLER – Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema have . . . Published:4/14/2021 6:11:17 PM
[topics:in-the-news/uk-coronavirus-lockdown] Mixing Covid vaccines 'may give better long-term protection' Published:4/14/2021 6:11:17 PM
[Markets] : Netflix, Uber support U.S. voting rights but oppose shareholders’ push for political, lobbying transparency They were among the companies that signed a letter Wednesday speaking up against voting-rights restrictions, but they're urging "no" votes on resolutions that call for them to report on their political and lobbying spending.
Published:4/14/2021 6:11:17 PM
[Markets] The Racist Incident That Wasn't The Racist Incident That Wasn't

Authored by Dinesh D'Souza via The Epoch Times,

The students, administration, and faculty of Albion College in Michigan were driven into a frenzy two weeks ago when racist and anti-Semitic graffiti surfaced in a dorm stairwell and photos were posted in a local news Facebook group.

The photos included messages such as “White Power” and “KKK.”

Now the campus police have discovered that a 21-year-old black student is responsible.

He has admitted creating the graffiti, and video evidence corroborates his confession, police said.

Here we go again! Another fake racial incident, another hoax perpetrated by a supposed victim.

This is Jussie Smollett all over again.

Fake racial incidents are now commonplace both on the campus and in the culture. So the first interesting question is: why would someone seek to orchestrate a horrific event that didn’t really happen?

It can’t be that the perpetrators, from Smollett to the black student at Albion, are merely trying to call attention to a social problem so that it can be promptly addressed. Blacks didn’t have to stage lynchings in the late 19th century, because tragically there were a lot of them going on in plain sight. Moreover, why would Smollett and his campus counterparts seek to pin the blame on innocent parties for what they did not in fact do?

A good way to understand this bizarre phenomenon is to turn to the discipline of economics, and specifically to the law of supply and demand.

It seems that, both on the university campus and in the culture, the demand for racism exceeds the supply. To put it differently, there’s an enormous desire to find racism, and there’s not enough racism to be found.

This is especially true on the progressive campus, which Albion certainly is. On such campuses, white students do backward somersaults to accommodate blacks and other minorities. It would be interesting to perform a sociological experiment in which black students approach whites and ask them to kiss their feet. I predict that many would. Of course the experiment could not even be attempted in reverse. It would cause a national uproar!

So evidently this black student wanted to find racism at Albion but couldn’t. So he decided to manufacture it. And what might his motive have been for doing that? Perhaps he was sincerely frustrated that the racism he blamed for his personal failures was scarcely in evidence. Consequently, by “bringing out” what he fervently believed to be hidden, he would then find corroboration for his own self-perception as a victim of wicked forces on campus he could not otherwise identify.

That the student was psychologically disturbed in some way, I do not doubt. But the reason I feel no sympathy for him is because, in an effort to assuage his own anxieties, and also perhaps to achieve some public recognition as a poster figure for racist victimization, he’s willing to falsely accuse others. He’s like the cop who plants the evidence he wants to find, so that he can arrest the guy he’s convinced is guilty. A horrific abuse of power!

These staged racial incidents remind me of false #MeToo accusations that have also become quite common. Once again, the motives are psychological: a desire to take revenge on someone for a perceived offense or slight. Or they can be political: an attempt to vindicate the claims of widespread sexism, or even an attempt to keep a nominee who might vote to overturn Roe v. Wade off the Supreme Court.

But this is where the plot of the Albion story gets even more interesting. Having been vindicated by the student’s confession, the college pleads guilty anyway. Here is its statement:

“We know the acts of racism that have occurred this week are not about one particular person or one particular incident. We know that there is a significant history of racial pain and trauma on campus and we are taking action to repair our community.”

This statement is, on its face, a lie.

There were not “acts of racism” that occurred; there was only a series of orchestrated acts that created a false impression of racism. This was in fact the act of one particular person. Yet weirdly, the college minimizes the wicked act of false accusation by implying that its own history of racism somehow drove him to do it. In other words, even though the specific incident was false, the college intends to treat it as if it were true.

It would be as if Brett Kavanaugh, upon being cleared of accusations of sexual predation, would then turn around and acknowledge that even though the specific actions attributed to him did not occur, he was nevertheless conscious of many insensitive and sexist actions he had taken as a teenager, and therefore he was assuming the responsibility of being a sexual predator anyway. This would of course never happen, which is why the college’s actions require an explanation.

Here, then, is the explanation.

Most campuses like Albion, like many other institutions in our culture, have created massive race industries within their bureaucracy. Campuses typically have innumerable deans and other bureaucrats whose full-time job it is to fight racism. Faculties have anti-racism committees. There are racism consultants on hand to provide assistance. Student groups are mobilized to combat racism.

We can see how it becomes an institutional problem for the race industry when there’s little or no racism to be found. Consequently, a bogus incident like the one this 21-year-old kid faked becomes not only useful to the perpetrator, but also useful to the campus bureaucracy. They were waiting and hoping for something like this, so that they could spring into action. It helps people understand why there’s a race bureaucracy in the first place.

I can only imagine the frustration and disappointment of these race professionals when the incident turned out to be fake. No wonder Albion is trying to recover, not from any genuine racism, but rather from the public impression created by the guilty student’s confession that racism on campus is so scarce that it has to be invented. Albion is eager to dispel that impression, so that it can justify its race industry and the resources devoted to sustaining it.

Bottom line: As long as the demand for racism outstrips the supply there will be a market for faked racial incidents. Moreover, such incidents are encouraged, as in this case at Albion, by the failure of the college to turn its wrath on the perpetrator, the way it would surely have done had the perpetrator been a white kid or some sort of white supremacist. As it is, the student has been temporarily suspended—not expelled—and neither the school nor the cops have released his name.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 19:00
Published:4/14/2021 6:11:17 PM
[Uncategorized] Border Crisis: Drones Show Growth at Migrant Facility Under Biden

Customs and Border Protection insisted "the site is intended as a temporary measure."

The post Border Crisis: Drones Show Growth at Migrant Facility Under Biden first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:4/14/2021 6:11:17 PM
[Crime] Minnesota Officer Charged With Manslaughter (John Hinderaker) Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter this afternoon. As you no doubt know, she tried to tase Daunte Wright as Wright was fighting with two other officers, and inadvertently pulled her Glock instead of her taser. This is the relevant statute: 609.205 MANSLAUGHTER IN THE SECOND DEGREE. A person who causes the death of another by any of the following means is guilty of Published:4/14/2021 6:11:17 PM
[] Actress, trans rights activist, and amateur endocrinologist Jameela Jamil is confident that 'puberty blockers are not permanent' because she's an idiot Published:4/14/2021 5:40:39 PM
[AMZN] Is Palantir Actually Overvalued? Published:4/14/2021 5:40:39 PM
[World] The crisis of American civilization

We are now in a crisis of American civilization fully as dangerous and real as the crisis of the U.S. Civil War or World War II. 

During both those crises, if America had lost, it would have ceased to be America — and the cause of freedom around the world ... Published:4/14/2021 5:40:39 PM

[Entertainment] Aaron Rodgers Ribs Jeopardy! Contestants Stumped By Green Bay Packers Question Aaron Rodgers, NFL Honors Jeopardy! contestants missed a touchdown moment when they failed to answer a question about their guest host Aaron Rodgers' NFL team. On April 13, Aaron--one of the stars who stepped...
Published:4/14/2021 5:40:39 PM
[332d9572-0382-5e99-9475-2a02326f993f] 'Real Housewives' star Braunwyn Windham-Burke talks status of her open marriage to husband Sean The couple has been married for over 20 years and shares seven kids together. "The Real Housewives of Orange County" star recently spoke about how they have an open marriage ever since she came out as gay last year and pursued a relationship with a woman. Published:4/14/2021 5:40:39 PM
[Cryptocurrency] Daily Crunch: Coinbase goes public Coinbase makes an impressive public debut, Dell spins out VMware and Ford announces a new hands-free driving system. This is your Daily Crunch for April 14, 2021. The big story: Coinbase goes public Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase went public today via direct listing at an opening price of $381 per share, climbing to nearly $430 before […] Published:4/14/2021 5:40:39 PM
[] The Truth About 'Papa John' Schnatter Finally Comes Out Published:4/14/2021 5:40:39 PM
[Markets] CDC committee votes to extend the ‘pause’ for J&J’s COVID-19 shot CDC committee votes to extend the ‘pause’ for J&J’s COVID-19 shot Published:4/14/2021 5:40:39 PM
[Markets] Cryptos: Coinbase has fueled ‘a lot of frenzy’ and ‘that never ends well,’ bitcoin bull Novogratz tells MarketWatch Wealthy investor Mike Novogratz speculates that bitcoin could be worth $100,000 by the end of 2021 and sees that value increasing by five-fold by 2024, as the nascent crypto market continues to evolve and grow.
Published:4/14/2021 5:40:39 PM
[Opinion] This Transparency is Opaque

By Ray Cardello -

Apparently, the term Transparency has lost its meaning. The Biden Team, going back to the campaign and continuing today, has tried to sell the story that President Trump was not transparent but had a Presidency filled with lies and mistruths. Being a political junkie, I paid attention to every aspect …

This Transparency is Opaque is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/14/2021 5:40:39 PM
[Biden Administration] Biden DOJ Pick Struggles to Defend Record on Black Panther Prosecutions

Justice Department nominee Kristen Clarke struggled to explain her criticisms of a civil rights case lodged against members of the New Black Panther Party during her confirmation hearing Wednesday.

The post Biden DOJ Pick Struggles to Defend Record on Black Panther Prosecutions appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:4/14/2021 5:40:39 PM
[Markets] ???????Corn Prices Rally To Highest Since 2013 On Cold Blast Slowing US Seeding ???????Corn Prices Rally To Highest Since 2013 On Cold Blast Slowing US Seeding

Chicago corn futures rallied to 2013 levels Wednesday as concerns about cold weather slowing US seeding caught traders' attention, according to Reuters

Temperatures across the Corn Belt, mainly in the midwestern US, roughly covering western Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, eastern Nebraska, and east Kansas, will experience well below average temperatures through this weekend. On a separate note, we covered how the cold spell has led to another Texas power crisis

The cold blast has likely delayed seeding across the Corn Belt as farmers wait for warmer temperatures. Planting corn in cooler climates is still possible, but colder soil can take corn kernels much longer to germinate and increases the risk of seedling death. 

 Here's the difference between planting corn early and late. 

Corn prices today hit the highest level since June 19, 2013. Prices have nearly doubled since August 2020. 

The latest estimates from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) show farmers could face another year of high corn prices after initial planting estimates came in below expectations. This is happening as US exports of corn nears a record high following increased demand from China. 

While US farmers celebrate, food prices are undeniably soaring faster than inflation and incomes around the world.

... prompting a very worried Albert Edwards to warn about rapid food inflation could result in socio-disturbances unless food prices stabilize and revert to much lower levels (see "Why Albert Edwards Is Starting To Panic About Soaring Food Prices.") The first places where unrest could happen due to higher food prices are in emerging market countries.  

In the meantime, soaring corn exports and prices are a blessing for US farmers who have had their farm incomes collapse in recent years. 

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 18:40
Published:4/14/2021 5:40:39 PM
[] Jake Tapper could've saved himself a lot of embarrassment before sharing Atlantic piece examining 'Canada's vaccine mess' Published:4/14/2021 5:07:34 PM
[World] Cancel culture: The new way of justice by the leftist 'woke' mob

When you do a “Google Search” on the name Ray Donovan or you mention that name to any Generation Z person on a college campus these days, you are likely to hear about a popular television adventure series on Showtime by that name. It ran for seven seasons and was cancelled ... Published:4/14/2021 5:07:34 PM

[2021 News] Israel takes out Iranian uranium enrichment facility

Israel takes out Iran’s uranium enrichment facility. Again. We are torn with indecision about which is the proper analogy, Charlie Brown trying to kick the football held by Lucy or Wile E. Coyote chasing the Road Runner… or maybe the Iranians are Keystone Cops… or maybe circus clowns…

The post Israel takes out Iranian uranium enrichment facility appeared first on IHTM.

Published:4/14/2021 5:07:34 PM
[Entertainment] Jax Taylor Claps Back at "Really Sad Individuals" Accused of Making Fake Instagram Accounts for His Baby Brittany Cartwright, Jax Taylor, PregnancyNow that Jax Taylor is a dad, he most certainly doesn't have time for the trolls! Just one day after he and his wife Brittany Cartwright announced they welcomed their first child...
Published:4/14/2021 5:07:34 PM
[Funding] Creator monetization and CRM startup Pico raises $6.5M Pico, a New York startup that helps online creators and media companies make money and manage their customer data, announced today that it has launched an upgraded platform and raised $6.5 million in new funding. In a statement, the startup’s co-founder and CEO Nick Chen said Pico helps creators with their two biggest problems — […] Published:4/14/2021 5:07:34 PM
[Markets] One Dead, 12 Missing After Lift Vessel Capsizes In Gulf Near Louisiana  One Dead, 12 Missing After Lift Vessel Capsizes In Gulf Near Louisiana 

A ferocious storm quickly traversed Louisiana on Tuesday and along the way capsized a large commercial vessel in heavy seas in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship, known as a liftboat or a jackup barge, was carrying 19 people at the time of the incident. A massive search and rescue operation by the U.S. Coast Guard and a fleet was immediately launched and continued into Wednesday. 

The vessel was the 129-foot liftboat Seacor Power and capsized about eight miles from the Port Fourchon on Tuesday afternoon.

Coast Guardsmen have found one dead and rescued six. There are still 12 people missing. 

Video has emerged of the Seacore Power capsizing. 

On Wednesday, the Coast Guard's 8th District Headquarters in New Orleans wrote in a Facebook post that search and rescue operations continued off the Lousiana Coast. 

"We are currently in the midst of a mass #searchandrescue case off the #Louisiana Coast. The crew of the pre-commissioned U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Glenn Harris, one of the new 154-foot Fast Response Cutters, U.S. Coast Guard Station Grand Isle and multiple #goodSamaritan vessels rescued 6 people from a capsized commercial lift boat. We've got U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile and #USCG Air Station Corpus Christi aircrews helping search as well."

At the time of the incident, Chris Franklin, chief meteorologist at local news 4WWL New Orleans, said wind gusts were over 70 mph offshore with heavy seas on Tuesday afternoon. 

"There was a microburst of weather that came through the area at the time," Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lally told CBS.

In a statement, Seacor Marine, the owner of the vessel, said it was "deeply saddened" by the incident and was working closely with the Coast Guard in search and rescue efforts. 

Capt. Ronald Dufrene told CBS his offshore trawler "Mister Jug" was in the area when the incident occurred. He said winds were at least 80 mph and seas rose 15 to 20 feet. 

"They lost the wind gage at 80 miles an hour," Dufrene said. "They say it blew like that for more than an hour."

"People who have been fishing 30, 40 years - the first time they put their life jackets on was yesterday. ... I know three boats for sure said that," Dufrene said.

For those who aren't familiar with liftboats, the Seacor Power is designed to become an offshore platform by dropping three towering legs down to the seafloor.

In the coming hours or days, the Coast Guard will likely provide updates on the 12 people still missing. 

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 18:00
Published:4/14/2021 5:07:34 PM
[Politics] Kamala Harris faces diplomatic pitfalls in tackling migration from Central America

Corruption underscores the challenge Harris confronts in working with leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to stem migration to the U.S.

Published:4/14/2021 4:37:19 PM
[Entertainment] 10 Revolve Finds We're Obsessed With This Week E-Comm: Revolve April Obsessions We independently selected these products because we love them, and we hope you do too. Shop with E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our...
Published:4/14/2021 4:37:19 PM
[] Yes, the Australian Military Did Actually Use Twerking Tarts to Commission a Ship [VIDEO] Published:4/14/2021 4:37:19 PM
[1227c06e-8449-5780-9242-5df0acce55e8] Sharon Osbourne to appear on Bill Maher's show after her exit from 'The Talk' Osbourne departed "The Talk" in March after CBS completed an internal investigation over her verbal spat with co-host Sheryl Underwood. Published:4/14/2021 4:37:19 PM
[ECL] Hear how to raise big funding (and use it well) from FirstMark’s Rick Heitzmann and Orchard’s Court Cunningham Orchard, founded in 2017, was relatively early to the proptech industry. The company, originally called Perch, focused on dual-trackers, which are folks who are both buying and selling a home simultaneously. FirstMark Capital led both the Series A and the Series B funding rounds for Orchard, doubling down on the real estate platform. It goes […] Published:4/14/2021 4:37:19 PM
[Politics] Staples Center will require vaccine passports OR covid tests before entrance into games, but it gets even more ABSURD… The Staples Center in Los Angeles has now issued new guidelines for admittance into their games, requiring either a vaccine passport or a Covid test within 72 hours of the event: A . . . Published:4/14/2021 4:37:19 PM
[Politics] Staples Center will require vaccine passports OR covid tests before entrance into games, but it gets even more ABSURD… The Staples Center in Los Angeles has now issued new guidelines for admittance into their games, requiring either a vaccine passport or a Covid test within 72 hours of the event: A . . . Published:4/14/2021 4:37:19 PM
[Markets] The Moneyist: My mother is dying of cancer. My stepfather told me that she made a will. When is a good time to ask her about it? ‘Obviously, I don’t want to sound greedy, but I feel as though this is important information for me and the rest of my family to know.’
Published:4/14/2021 4:37:19 PM
[The Courts] District Court Upholds Ohio Law Banning Down Syndrome Abortions

A district court upheld an Ohio law banning abortions of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome Tuesday, marking a victory for the pro-life movement at the state level.

The post District Court Upholds Ohio Law Banning Down Syndrome Abortions appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:4/14/2021 4:07:43 PM
[Cloud] Dell is spinning out VMware in a deal expected to generate over $9B for the company Dell announced this afternoon that it’s spinning out VMware, a move that has been suspected for some time. Dell, acquired VMware as part of the massive $58 billion EMC acquisition (announced as $67 billion) in 2015. The way that the deal works is that Dell plans to offer VMware shareholders a special dividend of between […] Published:4/14/2021 4:07:43 PM
[Entertainment] Paul Flores and His Father Ruben Officially Charged in Murder of College Student Kristin Smart Kristin SmartPaul Flores has been charged with first-degree murder in connection to the 1996 disappearance of college student Kristin Smart. On Wednesday, April 14, San Luis Obispo County District...
Published:4/14/2021 4:07:43 PM
[Politics] Lachlan Murdoch's Mettle Congratulations are in order to the chairman of Fox News, Lachlan Murdoch, for his refusal to bow to a demand that he fire Tucker Carlson. The demand was made by the Anti-Defamation League after a broadcast by Mr. Carlson on immigration. The ADL reckoned Mr. Carlson's "rhetoric was not just a dog whistle to racists it was a bullhorn." Mr. Murdoch rejected the claim with a polite note. It's nice to see a press baron standing up for a controversial newsroom star for a change. ADL's complaint is... Published:4/14/2021 4:07:43 PM
[Markets] Is The DOJ Lying About The Ashli Babbitt Case? Is The DOJ Lying About The Ashli Babbitt Case?

Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary,

Today, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia issued a press release explaining their decision to not prosecute the officer who shot and killed unarmed protester (and veteran) Ashli Babbitt on January 6, 2021.

It states that DOJ officials, along with the Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, “conducted a thorough investigation of Ms. Babbitt’s shooting.” This included reviewing video footage, getting statements from officers and other witnesses, collecting physical evidence, and the results of Ms. Babbitt’s autopsy.

They explain:

“As members of the mob continued to strike the glass doors, Ms. Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out.  An officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fired one round from his service pistol, striking Ms. Babbitt in the left shoulder, causing her to fall back from the doorway and onto the floor.”

You’ll notice there’s no mention of a verbal warning to Ms. Babbitt or other efforts to subdue her without the use of deadly force.

Continuing on, the DOJ maintains that the “focus of the criminal investigation was to determine whether federal prosecutors could prove that the officer violated any federal laws, concentrating on the possible application of 18 U.S.C. § 242, a federal criminal civil rights statute.”

The press release focused on the term “willfully”:

The DOJ concluded:

“The investigation revealed no evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer willfully committed a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242.  Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”

This conclusion should be no surprise. Not because of the law or the facts, but because of the people in charge of the Department of Justice. The U.S. Capitol Police, like the Park Police, have always had a special relationship with the DOJ – one that includes preferential treatment. This case is no different.

For starters, the three basic elements to a prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 242 are that the defendant (1) acting under color of law; (2) willfully; (3) deprived the victim of a federally protected right.

Excessive force is easy to establish. The Supreme Court has held that the government must introduce evidence that the action of the officer in shooting to kill Babbitt was “excessive in relation” to a legitimate government objective. Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135 S. Ct. 2466, 2473-2474 (2015). This is an objective standard – the force must be objectively unreasonable when viewed from the standpoint of a reasonable officer at the scene. Here, Babbitt was unarmed, was climbing through a window and not attacking anyone. In response, she is shot and killed. Easily excessive.

This brings us to “willfulness.”

We have serious doubts about the DOJ position that there was “no evidence” to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer willfully violated Section 242. As an initial matter, the DOJ press release neglects to mention whether the officer used excessive force, instead going right to an analysis on willfulness. We believe this reveals their intent to soften the blow of the press release.

As to willfulness, 18 U.S.C. applies “when the defendant understands that he is unjustifiably invading a legally protected interest, or acts in reckless disregard of the law.” However, the defendant need not have been “thinking in constitutional terms,” as long as his “aim was not to enforce local law but to deprive a citizen of a right and that right was protected by the Constitution.” Screws v. United States, 325 U.S. 91, 106 (1945).

Here, the DOJ exaggerates - and at worst, lies - about its “willfulness burden.” We doubt the DOJ couldn’t prove willfulness in this case.

In fact, the DOJ has brought Section 242 prosecutions with less egregious facts.

As the DOJ has argued in other cases, the officer’s prior training on the use of force could be viewed “as evidence that his conduct was willful.” Are we to think that this officer didn’t have training on when force became excessive?

In another case, the DOJ argued to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that to establish “willfulness,” the jury was required to find that the defendant “intended to use more force than was reasonable under the circumstances – i.e., force that violated [the victim’s] well-established due rights as a pretrial detainee.”

What makes the Babbitt case different? The victim and the location.

This case should have gone to the jury. If this killing took place in Minnesota or Chicago the results would have been different.

 

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 17:00
Published:4/14/2021 4:07:43 PM
[Markets] NewsWatch: How much money should I spend on Coinbase stock? Financial advisers offer guidance to young investors 'They have these dollar signs in their eyes,' one adviser said.
Published:4/14/2021 4:07:43 PM
[Uncategorized] Report: California Public School Teachers Being Told to Hide Critical Race Materials From Parents

“[We] have to be extra careful about what is being said, since we can’t just say something controversial now that we’re in people’s homes [because of remote learning].”

The post Report: California Public School Teachers Being Told to Hide Critical Race Materials From Parents first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:4/14/2021 4:07:43 PM
[Markets] Dow Jones Futures: Goldman, Wells Fargo Enter Buy Zones As Stock Market Rally Shifts Again; Coindesk Jumps In Debut; Taiwan Semi Earnings Due The market rally had a negative day, shifting from growth and into cyclicals and financials. Coindesk stock jumped in its debut. Published:4/14/2021 4:07:43 PM
[Society] These 11 Incidents Underscore Outrage of Biden’s Slap in Face to Gun Owners

Just a little over halfway through its first 100 days, the Biden administration has made it very clear where it stands on the Second Amendment,... Read More

The post These 11 Incidents Underscore Outrage of Biden’s Slap in Face to Gun Owners appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/14/2021 4:07:43 PM
[World] Is Biden quickly caving in on the Iran deal?

During the 2020 campaign, then-candidate Joe Biden promised to reverse the Trump withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, along with the lifting of sanction, causing great concerns among many experts and allies such as Israel.

Since taking office, however, key members of the Biden administration, including National Security ... Published:4/14/2021 3:37:36 PM

[Markets] The Dow ends in positive territory, but most stocks close lower Wednesday The Dow ends in positive territory, but most stocks close lower Wednesday Published:4/14/2021 3:37:36 PM
[Markets] Final Nail In The Coffin Final Nail In The Coffin

Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,

The stock market is trading at record highs. The mainstream financial media will tell you it’s because the market is anticipating a robust recovery as the economy continues to reopen and vaccination numbers grow.

But don’t buy into the happy talk that all is well with the U.S. economy.

The unemployment rate has indeed dropped. But initial unemployment claims are on the rise again. That’s a trend that will show up as weaker job creation in the months ahead.

The declining headline unemployment rate ignores over 10 million able-bodied Americans between the ages of 25 and 54 who don’t have jobs but are not counted as unemployed because they haven’t looked for a job recently.

If you’re a waitress, why would you look for a job if half the restaurants in town are closed or out of business?

You can judge the health of the economy based on a few key metrics: the labor force participation rate, real wage increases, and initial unemployment claims. Right now, all three point to slower growth and a recovery that is running out of steam.

Of course, some claim the cure is more government spending.

Under 10% To Actual Infrastructure

No sooner had Biden signed the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bailout bill, than his administration proposed another $4 trillion of deficit spending for “infrastructure.”

Proponents of the bill claim the spending is for “infrastructure.” But most of what they’re saying about this legislation is phony.

Most Americans understand infrastructure to mean bridges, tunnels, roads, railroads, airports and other needed additions and improvements to the transportation network. But the bill only provides about $400 billion for those types of projects, under 10% of the proposed total.

The rest goes to windmills, solar panels, subsidies to electric vehicles, and school repairs (as a payoff to teachers’ unions).

Even more spending goes to items that have nothing to do with infrastructure, such as day care, tuition, unemployment benefits, community organizers and other welfare-style programs.

In other words, it’s more of a political project than an economic package to provide good jobs and stimulate the economy.

One difference between Biden’s $4 trillion infrastructure spending binge and the $1.9 trillion of COVID relief is that the White House is at least going through the motions of trying to pay for the new spending with massive tax increases.

Phony Talking Points on Taxes

In round numbers, today’s view is that Biden will have $4 trillion of new “infrastructure” spending combined with $2.1 trillion of tax increases, making the net new deficit spending on infrastructure $1.9 trillion.

But the tax increases are the subject of even more phony talking points.

Biden proclaimed that he would not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000. But now, “anyone” is being redefined to include a married couple filing a joint return with $400,000 combined income.

This means that if one spouse makes $220,000 and the other spouse makes $180,000, then the combined income of $400,000 would be subject to the new top bracket of 39.6% that Biden wants.

A spouse making $220,000 may sound like a lot of money, unless you happen to live in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Miami and have two or more children. In this case, it’s barely enough to get buy after income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes and a generally high cost of living.

Additionally, much of the tax increase burden will fall on U.S. corporations, which will hurt our international competitiveness and force corporations to move businesses and jobs offshore to avoid the higher taxes in the U.S.

So, Biden’s tax plans will drive U.S. jobs offshore and punish the middle-class, not just the “rich.” It will be just one more headwind for economic growth in the years ahead.

Modern Monetary Theory Is Here Now

The real takeaway from the avalanche of new spending is that the last vestiges of fiscal constraint are vanishing.

I’m sure you’ve heard about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) by now.

Biden may or may not understand what MMT is, but it doesn’t matter. The point is, it’s here.

MMT is now the law of the land in the form of extreme deficit spending.

There’s a complete disregard for the size of the deficit or whether spending is paid for with taxes. The resulting unprecedented growth in the debt-to-GDP ratio has now put the U.S. in the same super-debtor league as Lebanon, Greece and Italy.

Bernie Sanders is chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and his muse is Professor Stephanie Kelton, the bright light of MMT advocates.

Presidents and members of Congress have always been addicted to spending; but now, they have intellectual air cover in the form of the callow analytics of MMT.

At this stage of the process, there is no stimulus or real growth, just more debt. The already slow recovery will slow further, and the debt will remain.

That’s what rising initial claims for unemployment benefits are telling us.

Biden Wants to Be the Next FDR or LBJ

The infrastructure spending bill may be broken into two pieces so that part of it can be passed under a process called “reconciliation” that requires no Republican votes. The tax bill itself may be separated for the same reason.

The result is that the entire program may require three separate bills and lots of horse-trading behind the scenes, but the Democrats are determined to get it all done by the end of the summer.

Democrats want at least large parts of this new spending plan out of committee by the end of May and passed by the entire House of Representatives by the Fourth of July.

Then they hope the Senate will act quickly and get the entire package done before the August recess.

There’s a method to the madness.

Biden and Democrat party leaders know that 2022 is an election year for the House and Senate. The Democrats may very well lose the House; they currently have a slim nine-vote margin (222-213), and it would only take five losses to flip the House to a 218-217 Republican majority.

New administrations typically lose 20 or more House seats in their first mid-term election, so the Democratic majority is definitely in danger.

The Republicans could eke out a slim majority in the Senate as well. Either result (or both) would put an end to the Democrats’ ability to ram through their agenda.

The window for Democrats’ plans such as the New Green Deal, free tuition, free healthcare, free child care, increased unemployment benefits, student loan forgiveness, and so-called infrastructure is brief.

By August, we’ll know if the country has held the line on reckless spending and more welfare or if Biden will get to make history by permanently pushing America to the left in the manner of FDR’s original New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.

The difference for investors in terms of portfolio construction and asset allocation is huge. I’ll be watching closely and keeping you ahead of the curve. We won’t have long to wait.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 16:20
Published:4/14/2021 3:37:36 PM
[Entertainment] Anupam Kher Exits New Amsterdam After Character's Surprise Resignation Anupam Kher, New Amsterdam, NBCDr. Vijay Kapoor has put down his stethoscope. On Wednesday, April 14, E! News learned that Anupam Kher has departed New Amsterdam for good. As fans of the NBC medical drama well know,...
Published:4/14/2021 3:37:36 PM
[Markets] US STOCKS-Wall Street ends mixed despite bumper big-bank earnings Wall Street indexes closed mixed on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 falling despite another record intraday high for the latter and big banks' stellar results on the first day of earnings season. Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Wells Fargo & Co rose 2.3% and 5.5% respectively on bumper first-quarter profits. Goldman capitalized on record levels of global dealmaking activity, and Wells reduced bad loan provisions and got a grip on costs tied to its sales practices scandal. Published:4/14/2021 3:37:36 PM
[Automotive] Ford takes aim at Tesla, GM with its new hands-free driving system Ford will debut its new hands-free driving feature on the 2021 F-150 pickup truck and certain 2021 Mustang Mach-E models through a software update later this year, technology that the automaker developed to rival similar systems from Tesla and GM. That hands-free capability — which uses camera, radar sensors and software to provide a combination […] Published:4/14/2021 3:11:39 PM
[Entertainment] Addison Rae Shares How She Relates to Britney Spears' "Overwhelming Life" Addison Rae, Britney SpearsThese two stars seem to have a lot more in common than their Louisiana-hailed upbringings. TikTok and social media star Addison Rae recently shared how she can relate to some of the...
Published:4/14/2021 3:11:39 PM
[Education] Court’s College Pronoun Ruling Is Win for Right to Affirm Reality, Speak Freely

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently in favor of philosophy professor Nicholas Meriwether’s First Amendment rights at Shawnee State University—and rightly so.... Read More

The post Court’s College Pronoun Ruling Is Win for Right to Affirm Reality, Speak Freely appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/14/2021 3:11:39 PM
[Politics] “We only let people on the air…who take the bait” – CNN director says more of the quiet things OUT LOUD to Project Veritas James O’Keefe has a new video out today from CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester, where he talks generally about how things work at the network, how they manipulate people, and how they . . . Published:4/14/2021 3:11:39 PM
[Politics] “We only let people on the air…who take the bait” – CNN director says more of the quiet things OUT LOUD to Project Veritas James O’Keefe has a new video out today from CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester, where he talks generally about how things work at the network, how they manipulate people, and how they . . . Published:4/14/2021 3:11:39 PM
[Markets] Dow gains but misses out on record as Fed's Beige Book points to U.S. growth U.S. stocks finished mostly lower on Thursday as the Federal Reserve's Beige Book showed growth and inflation was picking up in the U.S. economy. The S&P 500 fell 0.4% to 4,125. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 55 points, or 0.2%, to 33,732, based on preliminary numbers. The blue-chip benchmark hit an intraday record earlier in the session but ended below the record close of 33,800.60 set last Friday. The Nasdaq Composite slid 1% to 13,858. Investors parsed through better-than-expected earnings from banks including Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase. The strong results showed the broadening benefits of the recovery, Shares of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global rose over 30%. Published:4/14/2021 3:11:39 PM
[Markets] Dollar Dumps Amid COIN Carnage, Archegos Angst, & Ignited Inflation Dollar Dumps Amid COIN Carnage, Archegos Angst, & Ignited Inflation

While soaring import and export price inflation was enough to spook some...

Source: Bloomberg

All eyes were on Coinbase's IPO (direct listing). The stock opened at $381, spiked to $429.54, then tumbled back below it's open

Still could have been worse, anyone else remember the BATS IPO in 2012?

Probably the most disastrous IPO of all time, BATS, an alternative stock exchange, was forced to pull out after a bizarre technological glitch in its own exchange! Trading was halted after the stock plunged to $.04 from an initial price of $15.25 just a few moments after it opened.

And as crypto stole the headlines, the dollar continued its recent demise...

Source: Bloomberg

The dollar ran the stops from early March and has tumbled back to what is a key level here...

Source: Bloomberg

Does make you wonder if Washington has "meddled with the primal forces" one too many times?

Small Caps went vertical at the cash open in a haze of utter ridiculousness, but everything rolled over as COIN broke below its open level...

Anxiety over whether the Archegos debacle is over arose again last night as Credit Suisse dumped big blocks of Discovery and iQIYI...

Bank stocks were mixed after earnings with JPM down, WFC and GS up

Source: Bloomberg

Notably, the Bitcoin-proxies all slid lower today also...

Source: Bloomberg

"Most Shorted" stocks were squeezed hard at the open (which probably explains the spike in Small Caps), but after Europe closed, the shorts started to slide and hedge-fund-faves were also dumped...

Source: Bloomberg

Bonds were sold today with yields in the belly and the long-end up around 2bps

Source: Bloomberg

Amid the Coinbase excitement, cryptos were choppy today with bitcoin hitting a new record high near $65,000...

Source: Bloomberg

And Ethereum also hit a new record high above $2400 before fading...

Source: Bloomberg

Ether is notably outperforming BTC in the last few days...

Source: Bloomberg

Despite the dollar weakness, gold was hit on the inflation data this morning and never bounced back...

Oil prices on the other hand were on fire, with WTI spiking above $63 after a surprisingly large crude draw...

Finally, while EPS season commencement obviously matters from a sentiment-, vol-, dispersion- and gross / net leverage- impact; Nomura's Charlie McElligott warns that locally, Op-Ex cyclicality will likely matter the most for market prices over the next week + period:

The Vol crush into Op-Ex has meant ongoing supportive Vanna- and Charm- flow, while hedger Delta is covered in out of the money Calls and Puts.

Yet analytics showing ~36% of SPX Gamma will be running-off after this Friday’s upcoming expiration, with an even more eye-watering 55% reduction of QQQ Gamma, 64% (!) of IWM and 47% of EEM, sets us up for “freedom to move around the cabin” thereafter beginning Friday morning and into start of next wk, with the prior hedging buffers sharply lowered in both directions and allowing for much larger price ranges again both directions - especially with aforementioned massive $Deltas (SPX $Delta 96%ile, QQQ $Delta 100%ile) as source of potential de-risking.

In other words - brace!

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 16:01
Published:4/14/2021 3:11:38 PM
[Foreign Affairs] Joe Biden’s Great Power Tests
The return of history.
View Post
Published:4/14/2021 3:11:38 PM
[BTC-USD] Thinking About Buying Coinbase? - Here's Your Note Published:4/14/2021 2:37:07 PM
[Politics] Pipeline Worker Three Months After Biden Killed Keystone: “We’re hurting and we need jobs.” Published:4/14/2021 2:37:07 PM
[Democrats] A Democratic Lawmaker Sold Her Small Business. Now She Favors a $15 Minimum Wage.

When Rep. Elaine Luria (D., Va.) first ran for office in 2018, she presented herself to voters as a small business owner who understood the economic risk of a uniform minimum wage hike. In her first year in office, she both sold her small business and abandoned her opposition to a one-size-fits-all $15 minimum wage.

The post A Democratic Lawmaker Sold Her Small Business. Now She Favors a $15 Minimum Wage. appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:4/14/2021 2:37:07 PM
[Middle Column] Skeptical steak sandwich takes down Neil deGrasse Tyson in epic Twitter battle
Published:4/14/2021 2:37:06 PM
[Markets] U.S. stocks mostly lower as economic data points to growth in early spring, slight inflation uptick U.S. stocks are mostly lower Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve's Beige Book points to a moderate pace of economic growth in early spring and more companies looking to hire. Published:4/14/2021 2:37:06 PM
[Free Speech] [Eugene Volokh] Threat of Frivolous but Reputation-Damaging Lawsuit Can Be Criminal Extortion, if it's used as an attempt to get a settlement, the Ninth Circuit rules . Published:4/14/2021 2:37:06 PM
[Markets] Egypt Impounds Suez-Blocking Megaship 'Ever Given' As Authorities Seek $900 Million Compensation Egypt Impounds Suez-Blocking Megaship 'Ever Given' As Authorities Seek $900 Million Compensation

The Egyptian authorities have seized the massive container ship that notoriously blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week as the government demands hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from its owners. 

This week, an Egyptian court ordered Ever Given's Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha, to pay a whopping $900 million in compensation after the vessel blocked the world's most important waterway for six days. 

The seizure was first reported on Ahram Gate, a state-run website, on Tuesday: 

Lieutenant General Osama Rabie, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), confirmed in a press statement, today, Tuesday, that the Panamanian ship "Evergiven", which ran aground earlier for six days, was seized for failure to pay an amount of $ 900 million , which is the value of what it caused. The delinquent ship from losses to the Authority as well as the flotation and maintenance process, according to a court ruling issued by the Ismailia Economic Court.

The Authority relies in its estimation of the fees mentioned in the guidance regulation in force within the Suez Canal Authority, and the Authority based its request for precautionary seizure on the ship, on Article 6 of the Economic Courts Law, which is exclusively the jurisdiction of the appellate circuits in the economic courts, to first consider all disputes and lawsuits that It arises from the application of maritime trade law.

The Authority also based its request on Article 59 of the Maritime Trade Law, which permits precautionary seizure of ships by order of the head of the court or whoever acts on his behalf. The order also permits the imposition of this seizure even if the ship is ready to travel, and it is also based on Article 60, which states that The precautionary seizure is signed except for the fulfillment of a maritime debt, and the debt is considered maritime if it arises from several reasons, including port fees and waterways, the expenses of removing, salvaging or lifting the ship's wreck and cargo, and the damages caused by the ship due to collision, pollution or other similar maritime accidents.

The compensation payment Egypt seeks includes lost revenue from the ships that would have transited the waterway during the blockage and damages to the canal and the equipment and labor to dislodge the mega container ship from the canal's bank. 

For at least two weeks, Ever Given has been moored in Egypt's Great Bitter Lake, at the canal's midpoint as it undergoes inspections and now seizure. 

Osama Rabie, chairman of the SCA, told the Wall Street Journal that the vessel "will remain here until investigations are complete and compensation is paid." He added, "the minute they agree to compensation, the vessel will be allowed to move."

WSJ said Ever Given's Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha, is locked in SCA discussions on compensation amounts. The vessel's owners filed a lawsuit in a British court with the hopes of limiting its liability for the incident.

Rabie told Egyptian television on Monday that a complete investigation into the mishap on the canal will be wrapped up by the end of the week. He said even after the investigation is complete - compensation negotiations could continue. He said the ship's owners were attempting to reduce compensation by at least 90%. 

All and all, Ever Given's six-day accident in the world's most important waterway could turn out to be the most expensive parking ticket ever. 

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 15:25
Published:4/14/2021 2:37:06 PM
[Markets] Market Extra: This new ETF gets you access to the backbone of the crypto world The 'digital asset ecosystem' is now mature enough to support a fund that tracks companies offering ancillary services, and a new Van Eck ETF will attempt to be a pure-play version of that strategy.
Published:4/14/2021 2:37:06 PM
[] [WATCH] CNN Director Reveals the Awful Truth Behind CNN's COVID-19 Death Toll Counter Published:4/14/2021 2:37:06 PM
[2021 News] What is the difference between Ashli Babbitt and Daunte Wright?

What is the difference between Ashli Babbitt and Daunte Wright?  In this case both of the deceased were unarmed. In one instance we have a white cop shoot a black man and the white cop gets charged with 2nd-degree manslaughter. In the other case, we have a black cop shoot a white protestor and he […]

The post What is the difference between Ashli Babbitt and Daunte Wright? appeared first on IHTM.

Published:4/14/2021 2:37:06 PM
[Society] Biden Nominee for Border Chief Called Covington Kids ‘Cruel,’ Questioned Their ‘Parenting’

President Joe Biden’s pick to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection jumped on the bandwagon in 2019 against a group of Kentucky high school students who were... Read More

The post Biden Nominee for Border Chief Called Covington Kids ‘Cruel,’ Questioned Their ‘Parenting’ appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/14/2021 2:07:15 PM
[Markets] "All The Good News Are Priced In": BofA Lists 5 Reasons Why The S&P Will Drop To 3,800 "All The Good News Are Priced In": BofA Lists 5 Reasons Why The S&P Will Drop To 3,800

Bank of America chief quant, Savita Subramanian, starts off her latest strategy note titled appropriately enough "Five Reasons To Curb Your Enthusiasm" with a question: why despite the recent upgrade of US GDP from BofA economists and why despite positive guidance from companies - which led BofA to also raise its 2021 EPS estimate - did the bank not change its year-end S&P price target of 3800, nearly 400 points below where the index is trading today?

Here is Subramanian:

Amid increasingly euphoric sentiment, lofty valuations, and peak stimulus, we continue to believe the market has overly priced in the good news. We remain bullish the economy but not the S&P 500. Our technical model, 12-month Price Momentum, has recently turned bearish amid extreme returns over the past year. We thus incorporate higher likelihood of 12m returns mean-reverting to “normal” levels by taking the weight down in our other models and raising the weight of our 12m price momentum model to 20% from 0%.

With that big picture view in mind, Subramanian then proceeds to list 5 reasons why - as the note is titled - investors should curb their enthusiasm but first makes some big picture observations, pointing out that while the correlation between returns and quarterly/annual earnings growth is low, at just 12%/22% - a host of other factors matter as well. Subramanian notes that while over the past month, only one of our five target models has grown more bullish on stocks (which is also based on earnings), the bank's 2021-22 EPS forecasts of $185 and $205 imply 2900-3200 on the S&P 500 based on the average forward P/E of 15.5x vs 20x-22x currently implied by today’s price level which is in the top ~90th %tile. Furthermore, and as we noted a few months ago, companies that beat on earnings in Q4 underperformed in the subsequent days to a level not seen since just before the dot com bubble burst, "suggesting the market was pricing in blowout earnings" and with record inflows into stocks in 1Q, such optimism has only accelerated. Translation: stocks are priced to absolute perfection and reality will most likely disappoint.

This brings us to the five reasons why according to Savita "blowout earnings =/= blowout market", and the prudent step here is to take some chips off the table, a conclusion even Goldman would agree with as the bank over the weekend reiterated that its own S&P year-end target of 4,100 isn't likely to change.

1. Sell Side Indicator < 1ppt away from euphoria: BofA's contrarian measure of Wall Street’s bullishness is <1ppt away from a “sell” signal.

As we noted last week, the last cycle when it was this close to a “sell” (May 07), the S&P dropped 7% over the next 12mths. As shown in the chart below, the indicator historically has tended to be a good predictor of subsequent returns.

Still, Subramanian hedges that she is not calling for a full-fledged bear market as just 58% of the bank's “Bear Market Signposts” have been triggered vs. 80%+ ahead of prior bear markets...

And in amusing twist, the BofA strategist says that in another measure of Wall Street bullishness: "we’re tied for last place among strategists’ forecast for the S&P 500."

2. S&P 500 valuation indicates paltry (2% p.a.) returns over the next decade: As BofA notes, valuation is almost all that matters over the long-term (~80% explanatory power as shown in chart below).

With the increase in valuations in April, BofA calculates that this framework yields 10-yr price returns of just 2%/year (versus 5% in Nov., and 10% 10 years ago).

3. Outsized (2+ std dev) returns precede losses 75% of the time: The S&P 500 posted 12 month returns of +54% through March, marking the best 12m since 1936, the third highest on record, and 2.3 std. dev. above average.

This, needless to say, is abnormal: as Subramanian notesm two+ standard deviation moves have only happened four other times since 1928, with losses occurring over the next 12 months in three of the four cases (avg. next 12m ret. of -4%).

4. Fair Value model spits out S&P 500 3635: This is based on BofA's 2022 cyclically-adjusted earnings forecast of $173 and its equity risk premium (ERP) forecast of 425bp by year-end (vs. 398bp today) as 2H shifts to concerns about peak earnings and peak stimulus.

5. The Equity Risk Premium dropped below 400bps – a contrarian negative signal: This is only the third time since the global financial crisis that the ERP dropped below 400bps, according to BofA. Two prior instances were Jan 2018 (399bps) and Sep 2018 (394bps), after which the S&P 500 posted -10% and -20% peak-to-trough declines, respectively.

* * *

So what - if anything - should one buy according to BofA? According to Subramanian, pick "small over large, cyclicals over defensives, capex over consumption, stocks over bonds." Given Subramanian's positive outlook on economic and profits growth, plus the potential for a big recovery in capex, she prefers "areas tethered to GDP and capex."

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 14:50
Published:4/14/2021 2:07:15 PM
[Entertainment] Nicole Kidman Reveals the Secret Skill She Uses to Pamper Keith Urban Nicole Kidman, Keith UrbanNicole Kidman may be an Oscar-winning actress, but she's also, apparently, a master masseuse. In an interview with InStyle, the Big Little Lies alum shared the spa treatment her...
Published:4/14/2021 2:07:15 PM
[Uncategorized] Brooklyn Center Council Member Voted to Fire City Manager Because She Feared BLM Retaliation

"He was doing a great job. I respect him dearly. I didn't want repercussions at a personal level," Brooklyn Center Council Member Kris Lawrence-Anderson said of her vote to fire City Manager Curt Boganey.

The post Brooklyn Center Council Member Voted to Fire City Manager Because She Feared BLM Retaliation first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:4/14/2021 2:07:14 PM
[Startups] Beat the deadline: Apply to compete in Startup Battlefield at TC Disrupt 2021 Startup Battlefield — the matriarch of all pitch competitions — is the stuff of tech legend. Heck, it even played a role in the HBO show, “Silicon Valley,” and its influence touches early-stage startups around the globe. Under no circumstance will you find a bigger, better platform for launching your startup to the world. Battlefield […] Published:4/14/2021 2:07:14 PM
[d735aa41-cd2d-5f41-ac37-dc6403cae265] Rep. Adam Kinzinger: Biden and Afghanistan – protecting country's stability more important than politics Now is not the time to leave Afghanistan. Through the stabilizing efforts of the United States military, the NATO mission, and the Afghan government, we have achieved so much. Published:4/14/2021 2:07:14 PM
[Markets] Dow Jones Rally Led By Surging Goldman Sachs Stock; FCX Gives Buy Signal, Coinbase Soars In Debut Goldman Sachs and Chevron were top gainers in the Dow Jones today, but technology stocks lagged as the Nasdaq sits just below its all-time high. Published:4/14/2021 2:07:14 PM
[Politics] Liar Joe Biden makes more ABSURD Jim Crow comparisons during Al Sharpton speech Joe Biden is continuing to spread his lies about Jim Crow, making even more absurd comparisons during a speech for Al Sharpton’s National Action Network: DC EXAMINER – Some parts of the . . . Published:4/14/2021 2:07:14 PM
[Politics] Liar Joe Biden makes more ABSURD Jim Crow comparisons during Al Sharpton speech Joe Biden is continuing to spread his lies about Jim Crow, making even more absurd comparisons during a speech for Al Sharpton’s National Action Network: DC EXAMINER – Some parts of the . . . Published:4/14/2021 2:07:14 PM
[] UN Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield: To join the Human Rights Council, America has to acknowledge to the world that white supremacy is woven into our founding [video] Published:4/14/2021 1:37:21 PM
[World] Natanz blackout: A harbinger of future cyber-war with Iran, China and Russia

Sunday, April 11, saw another harbinger of future warfare so revolutionary it needs new vocabulary. Israel’s apparent “cyber-blackout” of Natanz is the latest example of what I call, in my book of the same name: “Blackout Wars.”

April 11 is “National Nuclear Day” in Iran.

Just hours before U.S. Secretary ... Published:4/14/2021 1:37:21 PM

[Apps] Deepfake video app Avatarify, which process on-phone, plans digital watermark for videos Making deepfake videos used to be hard. Now all you need is a smartphone. Avatarify, a startup that allows people to make deepfake videos directly on their phone rather than in the cloud, is soaring up the app charts after being used by celebrities such as Victoria Beckham. However, the problem with many deepfake videos […] Published:4/14/2021 1:37:20 PM
[World] Biden Afghan Pullout 'Arbitrary' and a 'Mistake' Say Critics Published:4/14/2021 1:37:20 PM
[Politics] 'It is time to end America's longest war.' Biden to announce U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by Sept. 11

President Biden to announce U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that drew America into its longest war.

Published:4/14/2021 1:37:20 PM
[Politics] Democrats Threaten to Oppose Biden Spending Plan if SALT Deduction Cap is not Repealed  Published:4/14/2021 1:37:20 PM
[e306f570-81f6-5158-b56e-f3614fba4569] 'Cake Boss' star Buddy Valastro reveals recovery progress after injuring hand in a bowling accident Buddy Valastro updated his fans on how his hand is recovering after suffering a major injury in a bowling accident. Published:4/14/2021 1:37:20 PM
[In The News] Federal Prosecutors Will Not Charge Capitol Officer Who Shot Ashli Babbitt, Citing Self-Defense

By Chuck Ross -

Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday they will not seek charges against a Capitol police officer who fatally shot Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt as she attempted to enter a restricted area of the Capitol along with a group of protesters on Jan. 6. The officer, who has not been identified, acted …

Federal Prosecutors Will Not Charge Capitol Officer Who Shot Ashli Babbitt, Citing Self-Defense is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/14/2021 1:37:20 PM
[Entertainment] Younger's Molly Bernard Recalls Being There for Hilary Duff's "Amazing" Birth Hilary Duff, Molly BernardThese Younger pals are ready to get old together! Co-stars Molly Bernard and Hilary Duff have been through thick and thin together. Bernard has even been there for the Lizzie McGuire...
Published:4/14/2021 1:37:20 PM
[Markets] Officer Who Shot Duante Wright Arrested, Charged With Manslaughter Officer Who Shot Duante Wright Arrested, Charged With Manslaughter

Former police officer Kim Potter, who resigned after fatally shooting Duante Wright outside Minneapolis on Sunday, was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, per Axios, citing Minnesota law.

Photo: Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images

In policy body camera footage, Potter appeared to have accidentally pulled her gun instead of a Taser during a traffic stop of Wright, who had an outstanding firearm warrant and expired tags.

The shooting has sparked a new wave of Black Lives Matter protests, and led to three consecutive nights of unrest.

On Tuesday, Potter and Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon submitted their resignations. Meanwhile, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman's office referred Potter's case to Washington County Attorney Pete Orput under a new policy meant to avoid conflict-of-interest issues with local police, given their close working relationship.

In a statement for Wright's family, attorney Ben Crump said: "While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back. This was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate, and unlawful use of force. Driving while Black continues to result in a death sentence."

"It’s past time for meaningful change in our country. We will keep fighting for justice for Daunte, for his family, and for all marginalized people of color. And we will not stop until there is meaningful policing and justice reform and until we reach our goal of true equality."

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 14:20
Published:4/14/2021 1:37:20 PM
[Society] Federal Court Upholds Ohio Ban on Aborting Babies Because of Down Syndrome

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Ohio may enforce its ban on abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The 6th U.S. Circuit... Read More

The post Federal Court Upholds Ohio Ban on Aborting Babies Because of Down Syndrome appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/14/2021 1:37:20 PM
[Markets] Jobless claims preview: Another 700,000 Americans likely filed new claims last week The Department of Labor released its weekly report on new jobless claims on Thursday. Published:4/14/2021 1:37:20 PM
[Apps] Triller owner gets a new CEO with acquisition of Amplify.AI; also acquires livestreaming service FITE TV Would be TikTok competitor Triller, operated by parent company TrillerNet, is gaining a new CEO, the company announced today. The short-form video app said it’s acquiring an A.I.-based customer engagement platform, Amplify.AI, whose co-founder Mahi de Silva will now become TrillerNet’s CEO. Existing CEO Mike Lu will transition to president of TrillerNet and will focus […] Published:4/14/2021 1:08:40 PM
[Entertainment] Bachelor's Colton Underwood to Return to Reality TV After Coming Out as Gay Colton Underwood, The Bachelor, Season 23, 2018Colton Underwood is returning to reality TV in a way he's never done before. After coming out as gay in a televised interview on Monday, April 14, the 29-year-old former football...
Published:4/14/2021 1:08:40 PM
[1aec8619-eb11-5dc5-8950-d37453963a87] Bobby Brown accuses Nick Gordon of foul play in deaths of Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina on 'Red Table Talk’ Bobby Brown revealed that he believes Nick Gordon is responsible for the deaths of Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina Brown.  Published:4/14/2021 1:08:40 PM
[Markets] Coinbase stock pops in initial trades Coinbase stock pops in initial trades Published:4/14/2021 1:08:40 PM
[Law] Hundreds of Corporations, Celebrities Voice Opposition to ‘Discriminatory’ Voting Legislation

Hundreds of corporations, celebrities, and top executives announced their unified opposition Wednesday to “any discriminatory legislation” that makes it more difficult for people to vote.... Read More

The post Hundreds of Corporations, Celebrities Voice Opposition to ‘Discriminatory’ Voting Legislation appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/14/2021 1:08:40 PM
[Afghanistan] Biden commemorates 9/11 anniversary with surrender to Taliban (Paul Mirengoff) There are various ways the U.S. could commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on our homeland. Joe Biden has decided to commemorate them by effectively surrendering to the terrorist outfit that made the attacks possible. Biden says the U.S. will withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11 of this year. There are arguments in favor of pulling out of that country, although I believe the stronger case is for Published:4/14/2021 1:08:40 PM
[Featured] Watch Live: President Biden Delivers Remarks on Afghanistan – 4/14/21

By R. Mitchell -

President Joe Biden delivers a speech discussing his commitment to remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by 9/11/21. The speech is scheduled to begin at 2:15 p.m. EDT. Content created by Conservative Daily News and some content syndicated through CDN is available for re-publication without charge under the Creative Commons license. …

Watch Live: President Biden Delivers Remarks on Afghanistan – 4/14/21 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/14/2021 1:08:40 PM
[Markets] Dr. Fauci Says J&J Halt "Isn't A Cancellation" And That He Doesn't Expect More Cases Of Blood Clots Dr. Fauci Says J&J Halt "Isn't A Cancellation" And That He Doesn't Expect More Cases Of Blood Clots

There was one figure whose voice was notably absent during the response to yesterday's disconcerting news about Johnson & Johnson's shot causing the same types of rare-but-deadly blood clots that European public health officials have seen caused by AstraZeneca's vaccine (which is based on the same adenovirus vector as the J&J jab): Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Despite spending his days fielding press interview requests, the doctor played only a secondary role in the FDA & CDC's announcement and its explanation for why it would all of a sudden halt the J&J jab. Not that the halt was such a huge surprise, as reporters learned during yesterday's press briefing, which was led by the heads of the CDC and FDA.

After making an appearance at White House Press Secretary's briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Fauci went when he started his latest round of interviews, appearing on MSNBC and CNN to defend the J&J jab, saying that it's still safe and that distribution would soon restart.

The European Medicines Agency's safety committee announced late last week that it is investigating thromboembolic (blood clot) events following vaccination with JNJ’s vaccine. PRAC is investigating these cases and will decide whether regulatory action may be necessary. But experts have been closely watching the AZ and JNJ jabs because of FDA briefing documents on JNJ's Phase 3 vaccine data showed a troubling discrepancy for thromboembolic events (blood clots) between the placebo group and the group that received the vaccine. thromboembolic events.

Concerns about potentially harmful blood clots have been disrupting COVID vaccine trials since last fall, when the AstraZeneca trial in the US was halted for more than a month. But Dr. Fauci appeared to wave away these risks, told CNN that while it is necessary to see if there are many more cases of clotting tied to the J&J jab, Dr. Fauci doesn’t expect that will be the case.

Speaking on CNN's New Day program on Wednesday, Fauci said: "There’s a twofold reason: one for an abundance of caution of safety, take a quick look, get more details, but also a heads up to the physicians out there that if you see these kinds of cases, don’t treat them with heparin. There are other modalities of treatment that could be used."

Dr. Fauci added "this isn't a cancellation, it's a pause."

"If anyone’s got a doubt that they may not be taking safety very seriously, I think this is an affirmation that safety is a primary consideration when it comes to the FDA and the CDC," he said.

"That’s why it was done and that’s why it’s a pause."

As for the larger issue of vaccine hesitancy, Fauci said that while the wait-and-see approach is “understandable,” there just isn't enough data available to rule out every possible coplication.

"Over 120 million -- close to 130 million people have already received at least one dose of this. That's a lot of people. How long do you want to wait and see? You have almost half the country who's received at least one dose. I think we've had enough wait and see. Let’s do it," he said.

Also, while we're on the subject of safety, just a reminder - don't stop being fearful:

And while people can still choose to wait it out, as corporations and even some governments push for vaccine passports as a method to speed up the economic reopening, the freedom of making that choice is being effectively taken away from American citizens.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 14:00
Published:4/14/2021 1:08:40 PM
[b41085fd-3e84-5f0c-8c1e-42f2ebc0205e] Michael Goodwin: Biden border, White House chaos -- if it ain't broke, president will break it Joe Biden made an arrogant decision to break what Trump fixed without a real plan of his own. Published:4/14/2021 1:08:40 PM
[Uncategorized] Prosecutors Will Not Charge Capitol Police Officer in Death of Ashli Babbitt

An investigation found "that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution."

The post Prosecutors Will Not Charge Capitol Police Officer in Death of Ashli Babbitt first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:4/14/2021 1:08:40 PM
[Markets] : Kroger launches hi-tech facility as digital competition among grocers heats up Grocers are stepping up their digital capabilities amid soaring online grocery adoption
Published:4/14/2021 1:08:40 PM
[World] Gupta's anti-police rhetoric is disqualifying

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer may soon bring to the Senate floor the nomination of Vanita Gupta, President Biden’s choice to serve as Associate Attorney General. But her declared support for defunding the police and ending qualified immunity must leave Schumer wondering if he can – or should – continue ... Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM

[Entertainment] Devon Windsor Reveals Sex of First Baby as Victoria's Secret Baby Boom Continues Devon Windsor, Johnny Dex, Pregnancy Announcement UPDATE: Devon Windsor is having a girl! The Victoria's Secret model announced in a YouTube video on Wednesday, April 14, that she and Johnny Dex Barbara are expecting a...
Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[World] Mashup Mixmaster Is Back with Stevie Wonder + Van Halen In Another Musical Miracle: 'Chained Uptight' Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[World] [Josh Blackman] Congratulations to Steve Sachs, the inaugural Antonin Scalia Professor of Law at Harvard Law School "Stephen E. Sachs, a leading scholar of civil procedure and constitutional law, will join the faculty of Harvard Law School as the inaugural Antonin Scalia Professor of Law, effective July 1." Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[Markets] Stagflationary forces are building in the economy, Nouriel Roubini warns Stagflationary forces are building in the economy, Nouriel Roubini warns Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[Markets] Dow rises to intraday record, Nasdaq edges lower, as big bank earnings top expectations U.S. stocks are mostly higher Wednesday afternoon as financial powerhouses JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs kick off the first-quarter earnings season by beating expectations. Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[cd2cd909-89dd-5393-806f-d33a6e0b9a55] Luke Bryan says 'make-up sex' keeps 14-year marriage to wife Caroline 'great' The couple married in December 2006 and are raising their two sons, nephew, and two nieces together. Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[structure:news] Wednesday evening UK news briefing: Covid surge testing expanded after more South African variant cases found in London Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[Markets] 'Bitcoin Proxies' Stumble As Coinbase Opens At $100 Billion, Bigger Than Fidelity & Vanguard 'Bitcoin Proxies' Stumble As Coinbase Opens At $100 Billion, Bigger Than Fidelity & Vanguard

After setting its reference price at $250 overnight, which - given the 261.3 fully diluted shares outstanding, implied a market capitalization of $65 billion - Coinbase (ticker symbol COIN) just opened (via Direct Listing) at $381... implying a $100 billion valuation.

It was then panic-bid above $400...

That's bigger than Vanguard, Fidelity, Zoom, and just shy of Target and Micron...

To top Goldman, COIN will have to trade at around $440.

That jump should not be a total surprise since, as CNBC notes, in the five significant direct listings that have taken place on the New York Stock Exchange - Spotify, Slack, Palantir, Asana and Roblox - the opening price was on average about 37% above the reference price.

The offering will be the first major direct listing to take place on the Nasdaq.

MoffettNathanson’s Lisa Ellis became the first analyst to initiate coverage of Coinbase with a buy rating and a $600 price target, calling the company a leader in the cryptocurrency ecosystem even as it sees 2021 as the peak year of the current cryptocurrency cycle, with COIN rev. $4.6b, up 260% y/y.

“We believe cryptocurrencies are one of the most innovative technologies in decades and will succeed, and Coinbase offers a pure expression of this trend,” Ellis wrote in a note titled “Be Bloody, Bold, and Resolute,” a quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

According to Ellis, the COIN price target is justified because it is comparable to companies in “hyper-growth” stages like Adyen, Shopify, Afterpay, Square; is also tracking crypto ETFs, which may dampen retail demand for standalone cryptocurrency brokerages like COIN.

Bitcoin slipped lower ahead of the open in COIN trading.

And perhaps even more notable, so-called bitcoin-proxies such as MicroStrategy, PayPal, Square, and Tesla are all down today...

Source: Bloomberg

As investors prepare to rotate from those 'proxies' to COIN as a more direct proxy.

*  *  *

Here is Decrypt's Will Gottsegen with everything you wanted to know about Coinbase but were afraid to ask...

What is Coinbase?

Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange: a brokerage that lets users buy and sell digital assets like BitcoinEthereum, and more. It was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong as part of the accelerator program Y Combinator. With help from prominent investors like Fred Wilson and Marc Andreessen, it’s grown into the largest crypto exchange in America.

In addition to facilitating retail trades, Coinbase has brokered bigger purchases for companies like MicroStrategy, which now holds a significant amount of its treasury in Bitcoin.

How does Coinbase make money?

Coinbase generates revenue by taking a fee on each transaction. Fees vary between the company’s main app, known simply as Coinbase, and its dedicated app for professional traders, Coinbase Pro. For small purchases, users will usually pay a flat fee of around $2.99. Larger transactions involve percentage-based fees, which can amount to much more.

Ironically, Coinbase is very much a centralized company. Unlike decentralized exchanges, where your crypto is only ever being held or moved around by protocols (i.e. lines of code), Coinbase holds your keys for you, which makes it a little bit like a bank. Granted, it doesn’t have a banking charter. But for some privacy purists, a regulated custodian is too close for comfort.

Is Coinbase profitable?

Yes, and that’s part of what sets it apart from other recent buzzy tech stocks.

When Coinbase initially filed its Form S-1 with the SEC, it said it took home a $322 million profit in 2020, with over $1.2 billion in revenue. That was in February. Last week, the company announced profits between $730 and $800 million on revenue of around $1.8 billion in Q1 of 2021 alone.

The fact that it’s turning a profit at all means it’s doing better than a lot of tech unicorns like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Snap—and it's why many analysts say the stock will be a hit.

Who uses Coinbase?

The company caters to everyone from retail investors (regular people) to institutions (hedge funds, family offices) and publicly traded companies. It has 1,700 employees, 56 million verified users, and saw 6.1 million monthly active users in Q1, a huge spike compared to 2.8 million in Q4 2020.

Who stands to make the most money from Coinbase going public?

Per that S-1 filing, Coinbase’s co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong is set to own 10.9% of issued Class A stock and 21.8% of Class B stock. Marc Andreessen, the company's biggest non-employee investor, is getting 24.6% and 14.2% of Class A and Class B shares, respectively.

So it stands to reason that Armstrong and Andreessen are about to become significantly richer. Other top executives, like Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee and Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal, will also own a sizable amount of Coinbase stock.

One of the more random beneficiaries of the direct listing is the rapper Nas, whose investment firm got into Coinbase early (who knew!), back in 2013. CoinDesk reported that Nas and his team could make as much as $100 million, if things go according to plan.

What happens if Bitcoin’s price tanks?

Beyond being crypto’s first unicorn, Coinbase is also a kind of barometer for the market.

Its perceived value is tied to the health of the crypto market, which makes investing in the exchange a little like investing in Bitcoin. For now, that’s a good thing: the past six months have marked the biggest moment for crypto since the bull market of late 2017, with VCs pouring money into startups, NFTs worming their way into the collective cultural imagination, and the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum breaking through to new all-time highs.

Coinbase clarified in its S-1 that the volume of trades happening on its platform is “directly correlated with transaction revenue and is influenced by both Bitcoin price and Crypto Asset Volatility”—Crypto Asset Volatility being a shorthand for the company’s own gauge of volatility in the market. And since Coinbase makes money on each trade, fewer trades means less money flowing into Andreessen’s pockets.

It’s an opportune time for $COIN to be making its debut. But there’s also no guarantee that Bitcoin won’t tumble back down to $10,000 in a few months and take the price of Coinbase stock down with it. One analyst recently said that the $100 billion implied valuation was far too high, based entirely on “bubble” metrics that could pop down the line.

What happens next?

An implied valuation of $100 billion would make Coinbase one of the biggest exchanges in the world, in competition with the New York Stock Exchange. If that sounds ridiculous on its face, given the still-niche nature of the crypto market, you’re not alone in being skeptical. 

But if Bitcoin holds and Coinbase delivers, Armstrong and co. could be the ones to take crypto trading into the mainstream.

For some investors, that’s incentive enough to look past any red flags.

*  *  *

Finally, for the nerds and geeks, Decrypt reports that Coinbase today coded a message into the first Bitcoin block it mined on the day of its public listing - echoing the hidden message the cryptocurrency’s pseudonymous creator posted on the blockchain’s first block 12 years ago

The message today reads:

“NYTimes 10/Mar/21 House Gives Final Approval to Biden's $1.9T Pandemic Relief Bill.”

It references a New York Times article about the US House of Representatives giving final approval to one of the largest economic stimulus measures in American history.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/14/2021 - 13:28
Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[Markets] : Hedge funds just pulled off their best first quarter since 2006 North American hedge funds beat their regional peers, according to Eurekahedge.
Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[Asia] Indian fintech Zeta turns unicorn with SoftBank-led funding Bangalore-based fintech startup Zeta has clinched the much sought-after unicorn status after finalizing a new financing round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 has led a ~$250 million Series D round in the five-year-old Indian startup, the sources said. The new round valued the […] Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[Uncategorized] Attack On Iran’s Top Nuke Site “Destroyed” Thousands of Centrifuges, Senior Regime Official Admits

BBC: The attack "damaged an unknown number of centrifuges"... "stopped work at the facility for now."

The post Attack On Iran’s Top Nuke Site “Destroyed” Thousands of Centrifuges, Senior Regime Official Admits first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[National Security] Dem House Committee Chairman Blasts Biden For ‘Dragging Feet’ on Defense Budget

The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee slammed the Biden administration for its delay in providing Congress a defense budget plan.

The post Dem House Committee Chairman Blasts Biden For ‘Dragging Feet’ on Defense Budget appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[World] : Coinbase stock pops after going public, with crypto company valued above $100 billion Coinbase Global Inc. became the most valuable U.S. exchange Wednesday amid strong demand for the cryptocurrency platform's newly public stock.
Published:4/14/2021 12:36:38 PM
[] James O'Keefe and Project Veritas' latest video again proves that 'Trump was far too kind to CNN' Published:4/14/2021 12:06:04 PM
[Right Column] Listen: DC’s WMAL Interview – Morano debunks dimming the Sun to save us from ‘global warming’
Published:4/14/2021 12:06:04 PM
[Uncategorized] Officer Charged With Second-Degree Manslaughter in Death of Daunte Wright

The police officer claimed she meant to use her taser gun.

The post Officer Charged With Second-Degree Manslaughter in Death of Daunte Wright first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:4/14/2021 12:06:04 PM
[Featured] White House Press Briefing with Jen Psaki – 4/14/21

By R. Mitchell -

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a briefing Wednesday. The subjects likely to be covered are failure of the Democrats’ police reform bill, Afghanistan, Biden’s upcoming State of the Nation address, and whatever softball questions the press asks. Content created by Conservative Daily News and some content syndicated through CDN …

White House Press Briefing with Jen Psaki – 4/14/21 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/14/2021 12:06:04 PM
[Entertainment] Has Lance Bass Entered the Chat on The Circle? Not Exactly... The Circle Season 2, Lance Bass, LisaLance Bass' assistant is stepping into the spotlight. Well, sort of. In this exclusive clip from season two of Netflix's The Circle, which launches today, April 14, personal...
Published:4/14/2021 12:06:04 PM
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