Tuesday, May 18, 2021

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Toronto Home Price Bubble Descends into Bear Market

by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

With surprise rate hike, Bank of Canada turns against housing market.

Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area, the largest housing market in Canada, plunged 34.8{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in August compared to a year ago, to 6,357 homes, with sales of detached homes and semi-detached homes getting eviscerated:

Sales by type:

  • Detached houses -41.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}
  • Semi-detached houses -37.3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}
  • Townhouses -27.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}:
  • Condos -28.0{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

Even as total sales plunged, the number of active listings of homes for sale soared 65{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-over-year to 16,419, with 11,523 new listings added in August, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

“The relationship between sales [plunging] and listings in the marketplace today [soaring] suggests a balanced market,” the report explained, adding hopefully:

“If current conditions are sustained over the coming months, we would expect to see year-over-year price growth normalize slightly above the rate of inflation. However, if some buyers move from the sidelines back into the marketplace, as TREB consumer research suggests may happen, an acceleration in price growth could result if listings remain at current levels.”

And the average price of all homes, at C$732,292 in August, plunged 20.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from the crazy peak in April (C$920,761). By this measure, it has now entered a bear market.

The average price in April had shot up 30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-over-year. To cool this nutty business, the Ontario government introduced a laundry list of measures on April 20. It included most prominently a 15{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} transfer tax on nonresident foreign speculators. That appears to have done the trick.

Given the enormous price gains in recent years, the market remains hyper-inflated, and the four-month downturn into a bear market hasn’t even brought prices back to the year-ago level, with the average price for all types of housing up 3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, and the condo price up 21.4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-over-year.

To cool a similarly nutty housing bubble in Vancouver, the government of British Columbia had passed a year ago similar legislation with a 15{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} nonresident foreign speculator tax. But worried about an outright implosion of the bubble, it has since been subsidizing with taxpayer money down-payments aimed at first-time buyers and condos, which has inflated the condo bubble and condo speculation to new heights.

Politicians – they’re desperately dependent on extracting property taxes from homeowners – don’t want the world’s most majestic housing bubble to implode. They just want it to remain stable so that taxes can be extracted from willing homeowners that have gotten rich off years of house-price inflation. But for now, the Ontario government is letting the market ride.

The TREB report said that the sharp drop in average prices “points to fewer high-end home sales this year compared to last.” So are speculators with the most money abandoning the market?

Even the Bank of Canada has been warning home buyers – particularly speculators – all year long about big potential losses. Then in July, it raised its target for the overnight rate by 0.25 percentage points. Another rate hike was expected in December, to match the Fed’s presumed rate hike.

But today, in a surprise move, it raised rates again by 0.25 percentage points, to 1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} – and there are now expectations that it might raise its target rate a third time later this year. In response, the loonie jumped 1.3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} against the US dollar this morning.

These rate hikes “would just further dampen” the housing market, explainedBank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter, adding that the surprise increase so soon after July’s rate hike “accentuates” the Bank of Canada’s urgency to raise rates.

Read More @ WolfStreet.com

SMALL FLASH CRASH KNOCKS GOLD DOWN $4.90 TO $1334.14 AND SILVER DOWN ONE CENT TO $17.86

by Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

USA TELLS UN ITS 5 WISHES TO CURTAIL KIM OF WHICH BOTH RUSSIAN AND CHINA DISAGREE WITH THOSE SANCTIONS/IRMA FLATTENS ST MARTAAN AND NOW IS HEADING STRAIGHT FOR MIAMI/LOOKS LIKE THE DEBT CEILING DEBACLE HAS BEEN PUT OFF FOR ANOTHER 3 MONTHS SO AS TO FUND HARVEY

GOLD: $1334.15 DOWN   $4.90

Silver: $17.86  DOWN 1 CENT(S)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1334.20

silver: $17.88

SHANGHAI GOLD FIX:  FIRST FIX  10 15 PM EST  (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SECOND FIX:  2:15 AM EST  (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1342.93 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  $1339.90

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $3.03

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1344.02

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1338.00

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$6.02

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1340.15

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1339.90

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1337.85

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 1338.85 ???

For comex gold:

SEPTEMBER/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR SEPT CONTRACT MONTH: 0 NOTICE(S) FOR  nil  OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 49 FOR 4900 OZ  (0.1524 TONNES)

For silver:

SEPTEMBER

 

 160 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR

 

800,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 3,078 for 15,390,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

end

Today we had a mini flash crash that took gold down initially to $1331.00.  This happened as soon as London was put to bed and thus we were strictly in the paper markets.  Gold then rebounded a bit but in the end it was down almost $5.00.  Silver ended the session down only 1 cent.As soon as we hit the physical time zones, gold will rebound form where it left off yesterday. It looks like the USA will get a 3 month reprieve on its debt ceiling.  They needed funding for Harvey and did not wish to complicate things.

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest ROSE BY A CONSIDERABLE  3581 contracts from 178,897 UP TO 183,276 WITH THE GOOD SIZED GAIN IN PRICE THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK YESTERDAY’S TRADING (UP 14 CENTS). WE NOW HAVE MORE NEWBIE LONGS ENTER THE SILVER CASINO WITH NO SILVER LONGS EXITING FOR EFP’S. THE BANKERS HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO SUPPLY THE SHORT PAPER IN TOTAL SYMPATHY WITH GOLD

RESULT: A SMALL RISE IN OI COMEX  WITH THE 22 CENT PRICE RISE. 

 In ounces, the OI is still represented by just UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  0.916 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 130{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 160 NOTICE(S) FOR 800,000OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest ROSE BY A MONSTROUS 11,274 CONTRACTS WITH THE RISE  in price of gold ($13.45 GAIN YESTERDAY). The new OI for the gold complex rests at 566,817.

CONDITIONS ARE RIPE AND AMPLE FUEL FOR ANOTHER  HUGE RISE IN THE NUMBER OF  NEWBIE SPECS  ENTERING THE GOLD ARENA WITH THE COMMERCIALS AGAIN SUPPLYING THE NECESSARY PAPER. THE NORTH KOREAN SITUATION CERTAINLY  ENCOURAGED  MORE NEWBIE LONGS TO  BECOME EMBOLDENED IN THEIR CONTINUING QUEST OF TAKING ON THE BANKERS WHO RECIPROCATED IN KIND WITH  SHORT PAPER.

Result: A HUGE SIZED GAIN IN OI WITH THE RISE IN PRICE IN GOLD ($13.45). THE COMMERCIALS SUPPLIED THE NECESSARY SHORT PAPER. MORE NEWBIE LONGS ENTERED THE COMEX CASINO WILLING TO TAKE ON THE BANKERS

we had: 0 notice(s) filed upon for nil oz of gold.

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With respect to our two criminal funds, the GLD and the SLV:

GLD:

Tonight , we had another huge  changes in gold inventory: a huge deposit of 5.91 tonnes

Inventory rests tonight: 837.12 tonnes

it the last two days: 20.69 tonnes

IN THE LAST 37 TRADING DAYS: GLD ADDS 9.02 TONNES YET GOLD IS HIGHER BY $100.75 .

SLV

Today:  WE HAD NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY TONIGHT:

INVENTORY RESTS AT 331.178 MILLION OZ

 

end

.

First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver ROSE BY A STEADY 3,581 contracts from 178,897 UP TO 183,276 (AND now A LITTLE CLOSER TO THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) WITH YESTERDAY’S 14 CENT GAIN IN TRADING. SILVER RESPONDED LIKE GOLD TO THE ECONOMIC CLIMATE (E.G NORTH KOREA’S ATOMIC BLAST.) AS  NEWBIE LONGS PILED INTO THE SILVER ARENA. THE BANKERS HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO SUPPLY THE NECESSARY SHORT PAPER.

RESULT:  A  HIGHER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE INCREASE IN PRICE OF 14 CENTS.  BANKERS SUPPLIED THE NECESSARY  SHORT PAPER.  

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

 

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY:  Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late TUESDAY night/WEDNESDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 1.07 POINTS OR 0.03{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}   / /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 127.59 POINTS OR 0.46{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/ The Nikkei closed DOWN 27.83 POINTS OR 0.14{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.26{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.5250/Oil UP to 48.83 dollars per barrel for WTI and 53.81 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED. Offshore yuan trades  6.5374 yuan to the dollar vs 6.5250 for onshore yuan. NOW THE OFFSHORE MOVED SLIGHTLY WEAKER  TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN MUCH STRONGER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS MUCH STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE  WEAKER DOLLAR. CHINA IS HAPPY TODAY

Read More @ HarveyOrganBlog.com

Time to Exercise CAUTION in Gold & Silver

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from SilverDoctors:

Just a week ago silver was clinging to $17. Gold is bogged down in the swamp until solidly taking out $1350, and there is quick sand all around. Complacency here and now can sink us like it has all year long. Especially as the MSM has turned bullish, too bullish…

Silver did not decisively break through $17 until last Thursday, just a few trading days ago. On Sunday night, silver futures broke through $18. We are nowhere near the “all clear”.

We must be more careful than ever to not get too bullish or too complacent.

Looking at the daily on silver, there is some resistance around $18.25, and major resistance around $18.50. Seeing that we have just shot up a greenback in a couple of days, this does not mean we will just storm the lines and over-run the resistance. Good news is that since bottoming out at $15.14 in July, we have had two healthy pullbacks. What is worrisome, however, is that the RSI is beginning to signal “overbought”.

If we are rooting for anything this week, it would be nice to see silver hold at $18, because with a dollar move in two days, there is a bunch of factors, both technical and fundamental in nature, that could cause another dollar move before the week is up. If silver breaks-out to $19, that would be the time to get bullish. If it breaks down to $17, that would be the time to back-up the truck and load up on physical while the getting is good.

Gold, as has been the case all year, is faring much better than silver. Gold is within’ spitting distance of the 52-week highs:

As the days go by, the 52-week highs will be taken out all on their own even if gold consolidates here. We recognize, however, there has been very little consolidation in the metals this year. It has been going up, or going down. With geo-political tensions and mother nature reaching a climax this week, some consolidation would be welcome in somewhat of a figurative and literal calm before the storm.

That would also give silver the chance to catch up to gold from their divergence that just does not want to close:

If gold drops from here, silver has room to run, if gold consolidates from here, silver has room to run, and if gold rises in price from here, silver still has room to run. The strength in the yellow metal has not been shown in the white metal, even though it has been shown in literally every other metal, base, industrial or precious. We keep highlighting the fact that the price of three of the four precious metals averages over $1000, and today, the average price for gold, palladium and platinum is over $1,100. Even when we average in silver to get an average price of all four precious metals, we still have an average price of $832.

When we talk about the absolute cheapest asset on the entire planet, there is a reason for that. How long silver remains to have the price suppressed is the question we are all trying to answer, but trying to time purchases for $.50 savings of downside price action could end up in paying $1 more based on just what we have seen in the last few days.

Palladium and copper continue to show the strength in price action that they have showed all year:

Palladium is precious and industrial. Copper is a base metal that the entire internet runs off of. It is not so much an infrastructure “spend”, but an infrastructure “rebuild”, and raw materials are going to be in high demand, which include the metals among other things.

Read More @ SilverDoctors.com

Kentucky Public Employee Retirements Surge As Fears Of Pension Collapse Mount

0

from ZeroHedge:

Slowly but surely it is becoming increasingly clear to public workers in states with massively underfunded pensions that they’ve been lied to for the past several decades as their states can’t possibly afford to pay for the retirement they’ve all been promised.  As a local radio station in Bowling Green points out today, fears over potential pension changes in Kentucky have resulted in a surge of early retirements as workers move to lock in payouts before any potential cuts go into effect.

More state workers retired last month than the year before amid concerns that the legislature and Gov. Matt Bevin will make changes to state retirement plans.

David Smith, executive director for the Kentucky Association of State Employees, said state workers have been retiring after consultants hired by the state recommended drastic changes to the pension systems.

“There are folks that are saying you know what, I don’t care, I’m going to lock in my retirement now and get out while I can and fight it as a retiree if they go and change the retiree benefits,” he said.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that there was a 20 percent jump in state worker retirements last month.

“Who are they going to replace them with if they truly offer up what they’re proposing or what was proposed? Who is going to want to work for state government? I wouldn’t,” Smith said.

As we pointed out last week, Kentucky’s public pensions face a daunting funding hole of $33-$84 billion, depending on your discount rate assumptions, according to a recent analysis conducted by PFM Group.

The problem is that the aggregate underfunded liability of pensions in states like Kentucky have become so incredibly large that massive increases in annual contributions, courtesy of taxpayers, can’t possibly offset liability growth and annual payouts.  All the while, the funding for these ever increasing annual contributions comes out of budgets for things like public schools even though the incremental funding has no shot of fixing a system that is hopelessly “too big to bail.”

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

AS IRMA THREATENS, FLORIDA HITS THE PANIC BUTTON WITH MASSIVE RUN ON FOOD AND WATER SUPPLIES

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by Geoffrey Grider, Now The End Begins:

On Monday night, shoppers said, Publix in College Park was out of bottled water. A viewer also gave News 6 a picture showing empty water shelves at the Walmart on Alafaya Trail near the University of Central Florida. Micah Kropp stopped by Publix in College Park and bought water by the gallon since that was the only option. He’s also stocking up on canned food, crackers and diapers.

ALTHOUGH HURRICANE IRMA IS DAYS AWAY FROM POTENTIAL IMPACT, THE CURRENT PROJECTED PATH SHOWS IT POSSIBLY HITTING FLORIDA AS A CATEGORY 5 STORM.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I live in Northeast Florida in Saint Augustine, 2 hours away from Orlando and about 6 hours away from Miami, but the people here had already started picking the shelves clean. As of 6:00 PM this evening, not a single grocery store or supply market had any water for sale. They promised more supplies were coming, and then refused to say when. The people are in a very clear state of panic, and have begun hording food and especially water. If this is how people react to natural weather phenomenon, how do you think they will get through the Tribulation if they miss the Rapture? Answer. They won’t.

People around Central Florida were already experiencing a shortage of supplies at grocery stores on Monday, but the managers of some big-box stores said they have reinforcements on the way. On Tuesday, shoppers lined up outside several stores, including Costco in Altamonte Springs, for a chance to get supplies, including water, batteries and food.

“It was a little bit of a pandemonium,” shopper Diane Williams said. “Getting here was worse than being inside. It’s just that everybody is panicked, so they are preparing, which is wise, but it’s just, like, crazy.”

Patrick Sutton, the assistant manager at the Home Depot in Altamonte Springs, said the store ran out of generators on Monday and water and flashlights by Tuesday afternoon.

“I think everyone is more aware of what’s going on because of what happened with Harvey in Texas,” he said. “I was here in 2004 for Charley and it was not taken so seriously back then. Now, everybody is taking it more seriously, which allows them to get the supplies they need and gives us time to get the supplies soon enough.”

Home Depot Corporate launched its Rapid Response Team, sending trucks from Atlanta to Florida on Tuesday to restock the shelves across the state.

“My trucks are on the road right now and will be coming in the next days. We have a couple of more days before the storm hits, so we have more time,” Sutton said. “By the end of the week, they will have everything they need.”

On Monday night, shoppers said, Publix in College Park was out of bottled water. A viewer also gave News 6 a picture showing empty water shelves at the Walmart on Alafaya Trail near the University of Central Florida.

Micah Kropp stopped by Publix in College Park and bought water by the gallon since that was the only option. He’s also stocking up on canned food, crackers and diapers.

“I got a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old, so (I’ve) got to think a little differently with them at the helm, and then will be traveling this week for work, so not sure when I will have the time. It will be kind of hectic,” Kropp said.

Read More @ NowTheEndBegins.com

Intensifying Russia Probes: Why? It’s a Proven Fact that Russia Did Not Hack DNC Computers

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by Mish Shedlock, Mish Talk:

Politico reports Russia probes kick into high gear. CNN says Intensifying Russia probes could pit Hill against Mueller. Esquire says All These Trump Associates Will Testify About Russia This Fall.

There is only one angle in the Russia story worth investigating: Hillary’s role, the CIA’s role, and the FBI’s role in the Russia blame game.

Let’s kick off that discussion with a detailed look at the alleged Russia hack of the DNC servers.

Former NSA experts say it wasn’t a hack at all, but an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. Timestamp analysis proves that it’s impossible for Russia or anyone else to have externally hacked the DNC computers.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense understood that Russia was not behind the scandal. We now have proof.

The Nation headline story from August 9, New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack does not do justice to the significance and gravity of the real story, but the article presents the case nicely.

It is now a year since the Democratic National Committee’s mail system was compromised—a year since events in the spring and early summer of 2016 were identified as remote hacks and, in short order, attributed to Russians acting in behalf of Donald Trump. A great edifice has been erected during this time. President Trump, members of his family, and numerous people around him stand accused of various corruptions and extensive collusion with Russians. Half a dozen simultaneous investigations proceed into these matters. Last week news broke that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had convened a grand jury, which issued its first subpoenas on August 3. Allegations of treason are common; prominent political figures and many media cultivate a case for impeachment.

All sides agree that relations between the United States and Russia are now as fragile as they were during some of the Cold War’s worst moments. To suggest that military conflict between two nuclear powers inches ever closer can no longer be dismissed as hyperbole.

All this was set in motion when the DNC’s mail server was first violated in the spring of 2016 and by subsequent assertions that Russians were behind that “hack” and another such operation, also described as a Russian hack, on July 5. These are the foundation stones of the edifice just outlined. The evolution of public discourse in the year since is worthy of scholarly study: Possibilities became allegations, and these became probabilities. Then the probabilities turned into certainties, and these evolved into what are now taken to be established truths. By my reckoning, it required a few days to a few weeks to advance from each of these stages to the next. This was accomplished via the indefensibly corrupt manipulations of language repeated incessantly in our leading media.

Lost in a year that often appeared to veer into our peculiarly American kind of hysteria is the absence of any credible evidence of what happened last year and who was responsible for it.

We come now to a moment of great gravity. Forensic investigators, intelligence analysts, system designers, program architects, and computer scientists of long experience and strongly credentialed are now producing evidence disproving the official version of key events last year.

Two, houses built on sand and made of cards are bound to collapse, and there can be no surprise that the one resting atop the “hack theory,” as we can call the prevailing wisdom on the DNC events, appears to be in the process of doing so.

Research into the DNC case took a fateful turn in early July, when forensic investigators who had been working independently began to share findings and form loose collaborations wherein each could build on the work of others. In this a small, new website called http://www.disobedientmedia.com proved an important catalyst. Two independent researchers selected it, Snowden-like, as the medium through which to disclose their findings. One of these is known as Forensicator and the other as Adam Carter. On July 9, Adam Carter sent Elizabeth Vos, a co-founder of Disobedient Media, a paper by the Forensicator that split the DNC case open like a coconut.

Forensicator’s first decisive findings, made public in the paper dated July 9, concerned the volume of the supposedly hacked material and what is called the transfer rate—the time a remote hack would require. The metadata established several facts in this regard with granular precision: On the evening of July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes of data were downloaded from the DNC’s server. The operation took 87 seconds. This yields a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.

These statistics are matters of record and essential to disproving the hack theory. No Internet service provider, such as a hacker would have had to use in mid-2016, was capable of downloading data at this speed. Compounding this contradiction, Guccifer claimed to have run his hack from Romania, which, for numerous reasons technically called delivery overheads, would slow down the speed of a hack even further from maximum achievable speeds.

What is the maximum achievable speed? Forensicator recently ran a test download of a comparable data volume (and using a server speed not available in 2016) 40 miles from his computer via a server 20 miles away and came up with a speed of 11.8 megabytes per second—half what the DNC operation would need were it a hack. Other investigators have built on this finding. Folden and Edward Loomis say a survey published August 3, 2016, by http://www.speedtest.net/reports is highly reliable and use it as their thumbnail index. It indicated that the highest average ISP speeds of first-half 2016 were achieved by Xfinity and Cox Communications. These speeds averaged 15.6 megabytes per second and 14.7 megabytes per second, respectively.

“A speed of 22.7 megabytes is simply unobtainable, especially if we are talking about a transoceanic data transfer,” Folden said. “Based on the data we now have, what we’ve been calling a hack is impossible.”

The stamps recording the download indicate that it occurred in the Eastern Daylight Time Zone at approximately 6:45 pm. This confirms that the person entering the DNC system was working somewhere on the East Coast of the United States.

In addition, there is the adulteration of the documents Guccifer 2.0 posted on June 15, when he made his first appearance. This came to light when researchers penetrated what Folden calls Guccifer’s top layer of metadata and analyzed what was in the layers beneath. They found that the first five files Guccifer made public had each been run, via ordinary cut-and-paste, through a single template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints. They were not: The Russian markings were artificially inserted prior to posting. “It’s clear,” another forensics investigator self-identified as HET, wrote in a report on this question, “that metadata was deliberately altered and documents were deliberately pasted into a Russianified [W]ord document with Russian language settings and style headings.”

Timeline

  • On June 12 last year, Julian Assange announced that WikiLeaks had and would publish documents pertinent to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
  • On June 14, CrowdStrike, a cyber-security firm hired by the DNC, announced, without providing evidence, that it had found malware on DNC servers and had evidence that Russians were responsible for planting it.
  • On June 15, Guccifer 2.0 first appeared, took responsibility for the “hack” reported on June 14 and claimed to be a WikiLeaks source. It then posted the adulterated documents just described.
  • On July 5, Guccifer again claimed he had remotely hacked DNC servers, and the operation was instantly described as another intrusion attributable to Russia. Virtually no media questioned this account.

The Washington Post, CNN, and nearly every mainstream media outlet published the “Russia did it” story with no proof or even plausibility.

James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, admitted in May that “hand-picked” analysts from three agencies posted an Intelligence Community Assessment that they had “high confidence” Russia was behind this.

The Nation notes “The FBI has never examined the DNC’s computer servers—an omission that is beyond preposterous.”

Instead of examining the DNC servers, the FBI relied on the reports produced by Crowdstrike.  The co-founder and chief technology officer of Crowdstrike, Dmitri Alperovitch, is on the record as vigorously anti-Russian. Crowstrike was also under the employment of the DNC.

Investigating the Wrong Target

Trump should not be the one who is under investigation.

Read More @ MishTalk.com

The Insanity in Korea – But Is it Logical?

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by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics:

The South China Post reported that Chinese scientists fear that a mountain in North Korea under which the last five bombs detonated as tests, may collapse crumbling into a crater. They fear that the radiation underground would then leak across region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the escalating crisis concerning North Korea’s weapons program is placing the world at risk of developing into a “global catastrophe” with massive casualties. Putin has UNREALISTICALLY said that the only way to resolve the crisis was through diplomacy. For that to be even a possibility, it requires talking. Kim Jong Un has not even met with the leader of China – its once closet Allies.

Let’s put this is perspective. Why is Kim pushing the world to the brink? Kim Jong Un looks at this differently He believes that the survival of his regime depends on possessing nuclear weapons. He is most likely NOT interested in starting a nuclear war for he cannot be so stupid to believe he would win. Yet, Kim also realizes that the prospect of the USA sending a nuke to North Korea is also not likely for that would antagonize China and risk pollution drifting to South Korea and Japan, not to mention China. So with all the saber rattling, Kim is not stupid and realizes that the USA cannot launch a first strike.

Now, why is the goal of Kim? To be honest, Kim Jong Un does not trust the USA for from the outsider perspective, he has watched how American intervention in Iraq ended in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, his execution as well as family members, and left the country ravaged by war and a puppet of Washington. Obviously, Kim has made the determination that had Saddam truly possessed nuclear power then the USA would never have intervened. This logic is understandable for it creates the stalemate between USA, China, and Russia. The USA invading Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria with the objective of regime change creates the image that one must protect themselves and this is Kim’s perspective.

Read More @ ArmstrongEconomics.com

Massive $30 Billion Outflow Streak in U.S. Stocks Raises Red Flag

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from Birch Gold Group:

Investors are pulling money out of the U.S. market at an alarming rate, resulting in the longest and most aggressive outflow streak since 2004. Meanwhile, stocks are middling. Does this wave of selling mean stock prices have finally reached their peak?

Here’s how the trend could impact markets moving forward, and how you could possibly use it to your advantage…

Longest Outflow Streak in 13 Years

U.S. stock funds were sapped by $30 billion over the past 10 weeks. Investors are abandoning U.S. markets and reinvesting their funds elsewhere — primarily in emerging markets and European or Japanese stocks (which received a combined $36 billion in inflows over the same 10-week period).

Investors are fleeing the U.S. for multiple reasons…

First of all, political instability is growing stronger by the day. The Trump administration continues to involve itself in fresh scandals, while struggling to rid itself of old ones. And the dizzying spin of the administration’s revolving door of officials only makes things worse.

Plus, Washington gridlock and the administration’s inability to so far make good on its pro-growth policy promises is giving investors another reason to lose faith in U.S. markets.

We haven’t witnessed an outflow in U.S. stocks this significant since 2004 . And if it continues, it could end up being the biggest in history.

Can Markets Weather This Storm?

With billions being pulled out of the U.S. market, average savers are becoming more concerned about how they could be affected. And rightly so…

There’s no question that U.S. markets will take a hit from this selling activity. The real question is just how big that hit will be.

Although stocks made modest gains over the 10 weeks spanning the outflow, they’re now starting to fall off. This could very well be the catalyst that triggers the end of our current bull market — which, by the way, represents the third longest period of economic expansion in U.S. history.

Markets are cyclical, and we’re long overdue for a correction. That said, if this is the beginning of our next correction, what should average savers do before the situation gets worse?

Well, there are a few things they should know…

Bullish Bets & More Good News On Gold

As the outlook for U.S. stocks grows bleaker, there’s one asset that’s already thriving in response: physical precious metals, especially gold. And the tremendous outflow in U.S. markets is just one of the reasons why gold is shining brighter and brighter.

Nuclear tensions with North Korea… concern that Congress will fail to authorize new spending and raise the debt limit… threat of government shutdown… a falling dollar (which makes gold more attractive to foreign buyers)… and a whole host of other positive price drivers are boosting gold right now.

Read More @ BirchGoldGroup.com

Spare Me The Outrage About DACA

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by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:

Whether it comes from the left, right, CEOs (who love cheap labor damn the law to Hell) or others, just spare me the tears, ok?

I’m not swayed by the claim that the kids involved are blameless.  That doesn’t matter; the fact is that they have accessed and consumed services in this nation to which they were not entitled over the previous years, and nobody is demanding that they pay the cost of said services back.

Theft by conversion is still theft.  Yes, if you have no ability to reason at the time (because you’re a young child) then you cannot be held criminally liable for said theft, but the fact of the matter is that you still got the benefit and paid nothing for it.

That it was your parents that worked under the table (and thus evaded said taxes) or worse, stole someone’s identity (and thus committed both a criminal act and imposed direct cost on someone else) isn’t material.  You were the beneficiary of that conduct — both directly in your home and indirectly in your access to schools, infrastructure, medical care and more that you wouldn’t have had.  You’ve benefited greatly over these years.

May I remind you that President Obama, when he announced this program, admitted he had no legal authority to do so.  Congress could have changed the law over the intervening time, and indeed prior to that time, but did not and has not.

Speaker Ryan’s mealy-mouthed nonsense is even worse, as the person who could have brought said bill to the floor of the House and hasn’t done so.  He is the worst sort of hypocrite and jackass, in that he’s made a nice name for himself by claiming to be for the Rule of Law — right up until it is proposed to be enforced.

Then he turns into someone who condones said theft instead.

DACA is illegal folks.  This is not about compassion, it’s about the rule of law.  If someone manages to break into a bank every day and steal $20 without being caught for years or even decades that does not change the fundamental nature of their act, nor the fact that’s illegal.  Getting away with an illegal act does not make it lawful; it just means, especially when it’s done openly and notoriously, that you managed to sufficiently bribe the cops.

The latter, may I remind you, is a second and more-serious offense, because corruption of the rule of law is usually considered more-serious than simply ignoring or breaking the law.

No, holding cute babies up to the camera won’t change my mind.  Nor will appeals to my alleged “better side.”  The fact of the matter is that our nation’s immigration laws are what they are and those who intentionally broke said laws and/or profited from same must not be rewarded for doing so by giving them the ability to stay, permanent residency or even worse, citizenship.

Nope, nope and nope.  All of the DACA folks have a nation — but it’s not the United States.  They’re citizens of some other country, to which they must return.  Once they’ve done so if they so choose they may petition to enter the United States for the purpose of residency via the established and lawful basis, and should be expected to repay, with interest, all of their previously ill-gotten gains.

If they have acquired skills and education while here then on a score-based system they’d actually have an advantage in requesting legal status — from their nation of citizenship.

But not while here — while here they are illegal invaders, whether they knowingly broke the law or not, whether carried by their parent(s) or wildcatting on their own.

Read More @ Market-Ticker.org