from Zero Hedge:
Bitcoin just surpased $16,000… For those keeping track, this is how long it has taken the cryptocurrency to cross the key psychological levels:
In the last 36 hours, Bitcoin has blasted through $12,000, $13,000, $14,000, and now $15,000 levels in an unprecedented 28% surge…
With a market cap of around $250 billion, Bitcoin is bigger than Proctor & Gamble and approaching the size of Wal-Mart as the 12 biggest ‘company’ in the S&P 500.
As CoinTelegraqph reports, the price is likely being driven by news of the imminent launch of Bitcoin futures trading. CBOE will be launching their futures market this coming Sunday, December 10, with CME Group following on December 18. Nasdaq plans to launch futures trading in the summer of 2018 and Japan’s Tokyo Financial Exchange is preparing to launch futures trading as well.
Bloomberg has announced that brokerage firms TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest will be offering Bitcoin futures trades to their clients. Even J.P. Morgan Chase may follow suit, despite CEO Jamie Dimon’s infamous views on the digital currency.
GDAX, Coinbase’s digital currency exchange, has been leading the rally all day. The price on GDAX is currently about $500 ahead of other Western Bitcoin exchanges. The likeliest – and most bullish – explanation is that Coinbase is the easiest way for new Bitcoin investors to get involved. Consequently, when GDAX leads the charge as it has today, it probably means new “retail” investors are fueling the rally.
Meanwhile, as CoinDesk reports, Ron Paul wants to know: would you take $10,000 in bitcoin, cash or something else?
The former U.S. Congressman from Texas is currently holding a poll on his official Twitter account that asks in which form they would take $10,000 from a “wealthy person”. The catch: you can’t get rid of it for 10 years.
Paul – who earlier this year called for the U.S. government to “stay out” of bitcoin – put the question to his more than 650,000 followers, asking if they would take $10,000 in the form of bitcoin, dollars, gold or 10-year U.S. Treasury Bonds. The result thus far – one hour remains in the poll at press time – indicate that of the more than 70,000 responses, 54 percent expressed support for bitcoin.
Gold took the second-highest amount with 36 percent, followed by a mere 8 percent for the 10-year bonds. Just 2 percent indicated that they would take the Federal Reserve Notes if offered.
by Dave Kranzler, Investment Research Dynamics:
“In the face of a shock, investors may be surprised to find themselves jammed running for the exit.” That quote is from Paul Tudor Jones, who was one of the pioneers of the modern hedge fund and is considered a brilliant investor and trader. He went on to say that things are “on the verge of a significant change” and that the current market reminds him of 1999.
The current market reminds me of the demise of Pompeii, which was destroyed by the massive volcanic eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. Pompeii was a prosperous city of the Roman Empire on the coast of southwest Italy. It sits at the base of Mt. Vesuvius, a volcano that had been dormant for a long time. Earthquakes and seismic activity, scientists believe, began to “warn” the population of Pompeii roughly 17 years before the big eruption, when a massive earthquake largely leveled Pompeii. Shortly before the eruption more signs began occurring, hinting that something wasn’t right. Though some people evacuated the area, most of Pompeii’s populace was not worried. The rest is history.
Though there are many warning signs, similar to the citizens of Pompeii living at the base of an active volcano, the American public does not seem the least worried
about having their money in the stock market. Retail margin debt, at 100% of market capitalization, is at its highest ever. The percentage of U.S. household wealth (not including home equity) invested in stocks in some form is in its 94th percentile. This is the highest allocation to equities since just before the tech bubble popped in 2000. In other words, despite the numerous warnings for those paying attention, investors have piled most of their savings/wealth into the stock market with complete disregard to the growing probability of a down-side accident.
Last Wednesday the tech stocks were clobbered, with the Nasdaq 100 index down 1.7% and the Nasdaq composite down 1.3%. The SOX semiconductor index was down 4.4%. The famed FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) lost a combined $60 billion in market cap. Interestingly, I could not find any specific event catalyst that triggered the sell-off. As I commented last week, while everyone is looking for a specific “black swan” event to take down the stock market, it’s quite probable that there will not be an specific event that causes the next stock market accident. Perhaps this was a warning “earthquake?”
This graphic shows the degree to which the “smoke” coming from the stock market should not be ignored:
Both graphs are from John Hussman, the highly respected contrarian money manager and one of few remaining market bears (along with me and SSJ subscribers). The graph on the left is a monthly plot of SPX futures from 1998 to present. The graph on the right is Hussman’s margin-adjusted Shiller CAPE ratio chart, which shows the SPX PE at an all-time high. In the absence of meaningful real economic growth to justify the current level of the stock market relative to the two previous bubbles, the only logical conclusion is that the eventual stock crash will be twice as brutal as the last two.
Another plume of smoke billowing from the stock market is the market “breadth.” The number of stocks that are moving higher as the major indices hit new record highs almost daily continues to decline. Currently, 38% of the stocks in the S&P 500 are below their 50 dma and 30% are below their 200 dma. At the beginning of the year, only 20% of the S&P 500 components were below their 50 dma. In the Nasdaq, 40% of the stocks are below their 50 dma and 35% are below their 200 dma. At the beginning of 2017, less than 20% below their 50 and 200 dma’s.
The declining breadth reflects the fact that “investors” continue to chase velocity – i.e. blindly throw money at the fastest moving stocks. This is why the FANGs + AAPL and MSFT represent an absurdly disproportionate percentage of the total move higher in the stock market. Furthermore, the declining breadth of the market is now a function of the “greater fool theory.” This is an economic theory that states that the price of a stock is determined by irrational beliefs and expectations (e.g. “it’s different this time”) rather than fundamental valuation. The price paid for a stock is justified by the believe that someone else will be willing to pay a higher price.
Read More @ InvestmentResearchDynamics.com
by Don Quijones, Wolf Street:
Catalonia’s recent declaration of independence may have been a largely symbolic act but the economic hangover it has left in its wake is very real. Last month the number of unemployed in the region rose by 7,391 — the highest rise in a month of November since 2009. During the same period the number of people registered with social security fell by 4,038 — the sharpest fall since November 2013.
The economic pain is already taking a psychological toll. According to a new poll published by Spain’s Center for Sociological Research (CIS for its Spanish acronym), the number of households that fear that their economic situation will worsen in the next six months surged from 14.2% in August to 22.2% in October. By contrast, in Spain as a whole there was hardly any change, with the rate barely budging from 15.1% to 15.6%.
Almost 3,000 firms have shifted the registered address of their headquarters outside Catalonia since the banned referendum on October 1, many to Madrid. Although the exodus has slowed in recent weeks, every day dozens of Catalan companies continue to change their registered office, despite the express appeal of Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, to stop doing so after the activation of Article 155 of the Constitution.
The Catalan exodus has so far been purely administrative, with companies effectively shifting domiciles, the ‘brass plate’ of the business, to avoid legal and tax complications rather than moving staff or operations, which would have huge cost and logistical implications.
Many of the companies worry that secession would leave them outside the Eurozone and exposed to the unpredictable policies and possible tax grabs of a new republic burdened with heavy debts. Such fears were compounded last week when Catalonia’s deposed president Carles Puigdemont suggested that the region may be better off outside not just Spain, but also the European Union.
“Perhaps there are not many people who want to form part of this EU…so insensitive to the abuse of human rights, of the democratic right of a part of its territory only because a post-Franco right wants it to be that way,” he told Israeli state broadcaster Kan.
Puigdemont’s comments, ironically made from Brussels, provoked a fierce backlash from both Spanish and Catalan politicians, as well as companies based in the region. They included the Volkswagen-owned SEAT group, which warned that if a new government in Catalonia called another referendum on secession from Spain and the European Union, it would not only change its headquarters, but would close the bulk of its facilities in Catalonia, including the Martorell plant. Those facilities directly support some 14,500 local jobs.
Together with the Nissan plant in the Zona Franca district of Barcelona, SEAT’s Martorell plant accounts for almost 20% of the total automotive production in Spain (555,000 vehicles out of a total of 2.8 million). The two factories underpin one of the most important industrial sectors in Catalonia, providing jobs for over 90,000 people as well as 7% of Catalonia’s Gross Domestic Product.
If SEAT or Nissan were to shut their facilities in Catalonia, it would be a massive blow for the region. In the short-to-medium term, it would also hurt Spain’s economy, since it would take the companies up to two years to relocate their production facilities to other parts of Spain. In the interim they would probably shift production to other plants in Europe with excess capacity. In other words, Spanish exports would sharply decline, at least temporarily.
This underscores a vital point (and one that is all too often ignored by people in other parts of Spain): what is bad for Catalonia’s economy is not necessarily good for the rest of Spain, especially given the large role Catalonia plays in Spain’s export economy.
Although Catalonia makes up only 16% of Spain’s population, its four provinces – Barcelona, Gerona, Lleida and Tarragona – account for 25% of its exports. Barcelona, of course, is the dominant region, accounting for $56 billion of Spain’s total exports in 2016 ($277 billion) — almost double what Spain’s second biggest exporting province, Madrid, generated during the same period ($30.5 billion).
Read More @ WolfStreet.com
by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:
I have never seen anything quite like this in my entire life. As 2017 began, Bitcoin was selling for about $1,000, and many were optimistic about what the new year would bring. But nobody could have imagined this. When Bitcoin hit $5,000 in October, it made headlines all over the world, but it has continued to rise at an exponential rate since then. My friend Joseph told me that Bitcoin would hit $10,000 “by December”, and it actually happened. This week, the euphoria has hit an entirely new level, and as I write this article the price of Bitcoin is sitting at an eye-popping $13,899.50.
The price of Bitcoin is going up so fast that it is difficult to keep up with it. Just check out this chart. Bitcoin hit $12,000 on Tuesday night, and it could very well be above $14,000 by the time this article gets to you. The following is how CNBC summarized the price movements that we have been witnessing over the past few days…
Bitcoin climbed above $13,000 Wednesday afternoon after topping $12,000 Tuesday night.
The volatile digital currency leaped 11 percent to hit a record high of $13,017.96 and was last trading near $13,000, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin topped $12,000 Tuesday night in a rapid recovery from a 20 percent drop last week.
I have been writing a lot about Bitcoin lately, and I will probably be writing about it a lot more in the months ahead. We are in uncharted territory, and the financial community is having a difficult time coming to terms with what is happening. In all my years, I have never seen this sort of exponential growth over an extended period of time…
Just in the year 2017, Bitcoin, in particular, has seen unprecedented increases in value relative to the U.S. dollar. On January 1, 2017, the price of Bitcoin had just topped $1,000 per coin. Fast-forward to December 1, 2017, and the price of Bitcoin blew right on past $10,000 per coin.
So how high could Bitcoin ultimately go?
At this point it seems like the euphoria will never end, and some analysts are predicting a price of 1 million dollars by the year 2020. Books with titles such as “Mastering Bitcoin For Dummies” are starting to pop up all over the place, and there is no shortage of people that are willing to teach the finer points of trading Bitcoin (for a fee of course).
But there are trouble signs on the horizon as well.
For example, on Wednesday we learned that “the largest crypto-mining marketplace” in the entire world has been hacked…
As Bitcoin explodes higher on what now appears to be constant demand out of South Korea, there were unconfirmed (at least until recently) reports that Nice Hash, the largest crypto-mining marketplace, has been hacked with over 4,000 bitcoins worth over $50 million stolen.
50 million dollars is a lot of money. If Bitcoins can be stolen this easily, will investors really feel safe having so much money tied up in cryptocurrencies?
This hack is one of the biggest news stories in the world right now, and NiceHash has put out a lengthy statement about this incident. The following is an excerpt from that statement…
Unfortunately, there has been a security breach involving NiceHash website. We are currently investigating the nature of the incident and, as a result, we are stopping all operations for the next 24 hours.
Read More @ TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
by Stefan Stanford, All News Pipeline:
In the story over at the Daily Mail that Steve Quayle linked to on his website on Sunday they reported that according to President Trump’s National Security Adviser, each North Korean missile launch brings the world closer to war with the possibility of nuclear war increasing every day.
Telling Fox News’ Bret Baier that “we’re in a race to be able to solve this problem”, HR McMaster also warned “there’s not much time left” as each time that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un fires an ICBM into space, “he gets better at it”.
And while many have warned that McMaster is a ‘deep state’ intruder into President Trump’s cabinet and that we should stay aware, McMaster warns that Kim’s rogue regime poses the greatest immediate threat to the United States and to the world that we face. Of great concern to us was this overlooked sentence from that story on Kim’s recent ICBM launch:
The ballistic missile fired last week did not survive re-entry into the atmosphere – it broke up.
And while that might sound like ‘a win’ for America and a sign that Kim’s nuclear program in North Korea still has a way to go to be able to go up against us, as Mike Adams reported back on Natural News back on November 30th, a nuclear warhead wouldn’t NEED to survive re-entry into the atmosphere if it was detonated at a height of between 30 and 400 kilometers over the United States, nearly instantly sending our nation back to the dark ages.
As Adams reports as also heard in the 1st video below, such a strike could easily end up culling 90% or more of the US population, with a single warhead strike, after the total breakdown of our society that would be caused once the electrical grid goes down.
And while the US military and citizen radio operators across America recently took part in exercises that would simulate such an attack upon America that would take down not only the grid but all communications, Americans in general are TOTALLY unprepared for such an attack and all of the chaos and madness that would come along with it.
Within this new story from over at WND titled “ASTRONOMICAL LOSS OF LIFE IN POTENTIAL U.S. WAR WITH N. KOREA – ‘It is a race because he’s getting closer and closer, and there’s not much time left’“ they report what a war with North Korea would likely look like according to military experts, and it’s horrifying.:
“We will see a horrible loss of human life. Probably 300,000 to 400,000 in the first week, civilian and military,” they said. “Probably over 2 million by the time three weeks is up.”
While North Korea has reserves of about 6 million forces and has the 6th largest Army in the world, they only have about a two- to three-week supply of food, ammunition, fuel, etc. So all of Kim’s military goals would have to be met within that small window. Yet if Kim’s goal is to send America back to the dark ages, he wouldn’t need anywhere near that much time.
Is America just one EMP attack away from near-extinction? It has been said that all civilizations are only two meals and 24 hours awayfrom barbarism.
Read More @ AllNewsPipeline.com
from Zero Hedge:
Well that escalated quickly…
Just a few hours ago, Bitcoin surged above $13,000 and now, on notable volume, it has reached the stunning $14,000 level… up 20% today…
For those keeping track, this is how long it has taken the cryptocurrency to cross the key psychological levels:
As Bitcoin has soared, it appears traders have sold other cyrptocurrencies to chase it as Ether has dropped in sync..
One of the regions in the world with the most active Bitcoin community is South Korea where so many Koreans have embraced bitcoin that the prime minister recently warned that cryptocurrencies might corrupt the nation’s youth.
As Bloomberg reports, while neighboring Japan hosts more transactions by some measures, Korea punches far above its weight: In the 24-hour period through Wednesday evening in Seoul, about 21 percent of the world’s bitcoin trades on fee-charging venues involved the Korean won, according to Coinmarketcap.com. The country accounts for about 1.9 percent of the world economy.
As Korean policy makers grow increasingly worried that the mania has gone too far, the nation could become a focus for bitcoin traders around the world. Korea’s top financial watchdog, which briefly roiled cryptocurrency markets with its ban on initial coin offerings in September, said this week that it has “grave concerns” about overheated speculation and has formed a task force with other government bodies to increase supervision.
from ITM Trading:
We are now in the tenth week in the corporate sector buying pattern shift. Consumer Services leads with a whopping Buy/Sell Ratio at $213.36 of selling for every $1 of buying, though Basic Industries and Business services are not far behind with $196.16 and $188.63 respectively. Intel Corp is the individual stock examined this week. There has be zero insider stock buying over the last three months.