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Announcing the world’s largest Initial Coin Offering ever launched at USD 350 Million; Is also the world’s first eco-friendly, tangible, Waste to Energy treatment plant, fully integrated onto the blockchain network. 4NEW, will revolutionize and standardize the industries of Waste and Energy by offering services as a wholesaler within the Utilities sector that is fully integrated onto a decentralized, distributed ledger enabling all actors within the industry to trade waste and energy transactions using the 4NEW Coins towards payments within the 4NEW ecosystem.
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Authored by Alex Thomas via SHTFplan.com,
A meeting of the College Republicans at the University of California, Santa Cruz was taken over and subsequently shut down by hard-left students who literally screamed that the groups very existence was a threa…
Last weekend, One River’s CIO Eric Peters explained what he thought would be the nightmare scenario for the next Fed chair, who as we now know will either be Jerome Powell or John Taylor, or both (with an outside chance of Yellen remaining in her post). According to the hedge fund CIO, the “worst case scenario” is one in which despite an improving economy, yields simply refuse to go up, leading to the final asset bubble and Fed intervention that “pops” it:
“if we don’t see a sustained cyclical jump in wages, then yields won’t go up. And if yields don’t go up, then the asset price ascent will accelerate,” continued the strategist. “Which will lead us into a 2018 that looks like what we had expected out of 2017; a war against inequality, a battle for Main Street at the expense of Wall Street, an Occupy Silicon Valley movement.” He paused, flipping through his calendar. “Then you’ll have this nightmare for the next Federal Reserve chief, because they’ll have to pop a bubble.”
While Peters never names names in his pieces, the “strategist” in the weekend letter was BofA’s Michael Hartnett, who several days after Peters penned the above, followed up with some thoughts of his own on precisely this topic, and in a note released this week, described what he believes is the “biggest market risk” for the market. Not surprisingly, it is precisely what Peters was referring to in the above excerpt.
Responding to the question of “What is the biggest market risk”, Hartnett writes that “in our gut, it’s that the two most important investment trends of the past decade, central bank liquidity & technological disruption, ends in a bubble for tech stocks (Chart 7), & High Yield & EM bonds, the epicenters of the “scarce growth” & “scarce yield” themes.
As with Peters, for Hartnett it all comes down to one thing: inflation and higher yields, specifically among long-dated yields:
Multi-year lows in unemployment, multi-year highs in consumer confidence, soaring global PMIs, soaring profits, a doubling of the oil price, fiscal stimulus…little wonder the world is short bonds in 2017.
And yet inflation & bond yields refuse to rise.
The reason is simple: in attempting to stimulate wage growth, and thus benign inflation, the Fed continues to target the symptom of a condition which it no longer has any control over. Remember: Deflation = Debt + Demographics + Disruption? Well, they’re back. Quote Hartnett:
Aging Demographics and excess Debt remain structural impediments to higher inflation. But the biggest impediment is technology, and the potential for the labor market to be permanently disrupted, as AI and robotics crush wage expectations, particularly in the service sector.
For now the bond market still gives the Fed the benefit of the doubt, with 10Y yields occasionally pushing higher when the nearly extinct bond vigilantes make a surprise appearance, pushing rates up at least until the next deflationary scare emerges. But what happens if the bond vigilantes finally throw in the towel? Well, that’s what unleashes the final bubble… and sends 30Y yields toward 2% and the Nasdaq to 10,000.
Capitulation of bond bears would send 30-year Treasury yields toward 2%, the Nasdaq toward 10,000, and high yield & Emerging Market bond spreads 100bps tighter (all-time lows…241bps in the US, 179bps in Europe, 139bps in EM). The outperformance of “deflation” versus “inflation” could turn exponential (Chart 8).
And while the market may or may not have a major correction in the coming months (Hartnett also predicted last week that the next major market drop will take place between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day), the longer-term implications as this tension is finally resolved either way, most likely with the intervention of the Fed – whose next chair will have no choice but to burst the bubble – will define the market for the next generation, or as the BofA strategist puts it:
‘“Icarus Unleashed” in coming quarters would then set-up 2018/2019 as a period of volatility, aggressive Fed tightening to pop bubbles, and more hostile War on Inequality & Occupy Silicon Valley politics, setting the stage for the end of the bull market as Icarus crashes back to earth.’
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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,
Asked to name the defining attributes of the America we wish to become, many liberals would answer that we must realize our manifest destiny since 1776, by becoming more equal, more diverse and more democr…
The British Pound continues to be held ransom by the ongoing Brexit talks although next month’s central bank policy decision may underpin GBP
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Bitcoin is the currency of the Internet: a distributed, worldwide, …. Although I heard bitcoin was added as a crypto currency on coin base so that’s a step …The post Bitcoin now added to Google’s currency conversion list!! appeared first…
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The US stock market celebrated the 30th anniversary of Black Monday with the 2017 version of a rocky trading day: Stocks sold off early, with S&P 500 futures recording their steepest post-midnight drop of the year. But the dip was reflexively and aggressively bought, and stocks even poked back into the green seconds before the close as algos mistook a repetitive Politico headline about Jay Powell’s chances of becoming the next Fed chair for news – leaving us with yet another record close.
Of course, the historical juxtaposition of the 1987 crash with today’s unnaturally placid markets practically forced even the most bullish of traders to question how much longer the present market paradigm – where markets listlessly drift through a seemingly interminable series of record highs while trading volume and volatility remain suppressed – can possibly last.
With that question in mind, Real Vision released a video early today containing interviews with some of the biggest names in the hedge fund universe. Though the interview was shot a few weeks ago, remarks from Hayman Capital’s Kyle Bass resonated with market’s mood.
Bass discussed what he sees as the many short- and long-term risks to the US equity market, including the rise of algorithmic trading and passive investment, which have enabled investors to take risks without understanding what they’re doing, leaving the market vulnerable to an “air pocket.”
And with so many traders short vol, Bass said investors will know the correction has begun when a 4% or 5% drop in equities snowballs into a 10% to 15% decline at the drop of a hat.
“The shift from active to passive means that risk is in the hands of people who don’t know how to take risk. Therefore we’re likely to have a 1987 air pocket. This is like portfolio insurance on steroids, the way algorithmic trading is now running the market place.
Investors are moving from active to passive, meaning they’re taking the wheel themselves all at a time when CTAs are running their own algo strategies where they’re one and a half times long and half short and they all believe they can come out at the same time.”
“If you see the equity market crack 4 or 5 points, buckle up, because I think we’re going to see a pretty interesting air-pocket, and I don’t think investors are ready for that,” Bass said.
When it comes to identifying potential catalysts, Bass said the US’s deteriorating relationships with both China and North Korea present significant long-term risks…
“Our trade relationship with China is worsening our relationship with north korea whatever it is continually worsens. We’ve got three people at the head of these countries that are trying ot maike their countries great again, I think that’s a real risk geopolitically.”
…While the unwind of G-4 central bank stimulus could hammer equities and bonds in the short term.
“But when you think about it financially, which is actually easier to calculate, the financial reason is the G-4 central banks going from a period of accommodation to a period of tightening, and that’s net of bond issuance.”
In summary, investors better snap up those out-of-the-money S&P 500 puts before it’s too late, because central banks – try as they might – can’t forestall the return of volatility forever.
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Sant’Agostino, an Italian auction house, is the first to let people bid and settle with bitcoin. Auctioneers determined it will be the first one to allow for bitcoin to enter into the realm of auctioning. This brings bitcoin into yet another aspect of commercial and economic life. Also read: A Look at Five Different Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets […]
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From the Slope of Hope: One of my favorite little books is called Hey Skinny! Great Advertisements from the Golden Age of Comic Books, which pretty much describes the contents exactly. It is a hodgepodge of cheesy ads from the mid 1940s to late 19…
Recently Russia announced that it will be unleashing a CryptoRuble, just a week after Vladimir Putin strongly criticized Bitcoin and other private cryptocurrencies. When announcing the move, Minister of Communications Nikolay Nikiforov acknowledged that it was in part inspired by the aim of getting ahead of other governments:
I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after two months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will.
In doing so, Russia is following the lead of another country that too has become hostile to private crypto, China. Last July the People’s Bank of China became the first central bank to announce it had developed a crypto-prototype that it plans to offer alongside the traditional renminbi.
That the first forays into state-backed cryptocurrency comes from two countries with a history of restricting a free and open internet is not surprising. While Bitcoin originated as a way to opt out of government control of money supply, increasingly governments see the underlying technology as a way to increase their control of the economy.
For example, if the government plans to subsidize certain farms, say some corn farms, to support this sector of agriculture, they can directly add a certain amount of money to the wallets of some farms, for instance 100 million dollars and program this money to be sent to certain fertilizer merchants at a certain time, and that each can only spend maximum of 10 million dollars per year, and in this way, they can make sure that the farmers won’t squander the windfalls, and that this money won’t flow to other sectors, for instance, the stock market or real estate market.
Even though this kind of monetary policy is bound to fail, from the perspective of government officials, CBDC provides them a better tool. For them, with the help of the CBDC, they can plan and manage the economy better.
Not to be left behind, the IMF – who some analysts, such as Jim Rickards, believe is prepared to step up to replace the US dollar as the next global reserve currency – recently opened the door to issuing their own cryptocurrency in the future. While some crypto-advocates have naively celebrated recent comments by Christine Lagarde on the future potential of digital currency, such praise simply reflects the increasing awareness of technocrats that the finance is changing and they must be prepared for it. Considering central banks around the world have continued to advance their war on cash, it is not surprising to see Lagarde and others come adapt to the concept so quickly.
The usefulness of state-controlled crypto is why we should expect increased scrutiny and regulation on private cryptocurrency exchanges.
It’s been reported that the Chinese government, which shutdown private crypto-exchanges in September, is looking into reopening exchanges with increased regulation. Russia, too, is working on exchange regulation, rather than an outright ban. This apparent change in direction may be the consequence of China’s exchange ban resulting in an increased use of peer-to-peer platforms in the face of the government crackdown.
For the same reason that government prefers regulated bank accounts to cash and safes, state officials may recognize the benefit to propping up licensed exchanges. Already we have seen numerous cryptoexchanges be willing to collect and hand-over sensitive customer information in exchange for government-issued licenses. Much like banks, these exchanges are increasingly being enlisted as tax collectors for government.
Calm Before the Storm?
While this loss of privacy may outrage Bitcoin’s initial supporters, it’s understandable why many current holders may be perfectly happy with these developments. After all, while much of Bitcoin’s initial appeal was its usefulness in black markets, a major reason for its astronomical rise in value is its increasing appeal among average customers who were never all that concerned with financial services regulation. Not only has it helped its appeal as an investment, but also its daily use. Japan, for example, saw a major surge in retailers accepting Bitcoin once a firm regulatory framework was implemented.
It is worth wondering whether this harmony between government and consumers will continue, however, once state-controlled crypto truly ramps up.
After all, we’ve already seen government rely upon traditional boogeymen of terrorists, drug dealers, and other criminals as justification for their increased control. The increasing use of Bitcoin by hackers and extortionists provides a modern-day twist to these age-old scare tactics. Is it all that difficult to foresee a scenario where governments attempt to freeze all regulated exchanges in the aftermath of some terrorist attack or other scenario? Or go one step further, and legally mandate replacing a privately-held asset for a government-issued currency?
The example of China demonstrates the inherently decentralized nature of Bitcoin will likely always ensure a degree of functionality beyond the reach of government. At the same time however, the increased popular appeal of crypto-currency also means increasing reliance on third-party services, and fewer individuals securing their investments in private wallets. Since the most popular – and thus most lucrative – exchanges and other services have an inherent incentive to maintain a good relationship with legal authorities, it is easy to see how this easily plays to the benefit of government officials.
Already within the industry debate is raging between those who prioritize “efficiency” and mainstream appeal – even at the expense of crypto’s decentralized-origins. Luckily, Bitcoin’s original Austro-libertarian ethos means that we are likely to see major industry influence pushing back on state-control.
A Preemptive Strike for Monetary Freedom
In the meantime, this is yet another reason why what little political capital libertarians on monetary policy have should not be wasted pursuing moderate reforms such as forcing the Fed to embrace rules-based monetary policy. There is no hope to ever transform the Federal Reserve into a useful – or even non-harmful – institution. That hope does exist, however, in crypto.
As future monetary policy is soon to become a major topic of conversation as President Trump rolls out his Federal Reserve nominations, it would be a major loss for the cause to not see Senator Rand Paul and other Fed-sceptics use the opportunity to push discussion about the need for competition in currencies. Further, the recent surge in states that have legalized the use of gold and silver for the payment of debt means there has never been a stronger political case for the elimination of legal tender laws and the taxes imposed on alternative currencies like Ron Paul proposed when in Congress. Such a move now could help set the stage for America being a true safe haven for private crypto in the future.
Doing so may give the cryptocurrency industry the freedom to give us a fighting chance to truly end the Fed, and their clones around the world.
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