Headline News Archives

Monday 11.14.2016

EU Threatens to Punish Britain for Getting Close to Trump

European Union policy spokesman and Berlin Brexit negotiator Axel Schäfer has said that Britain was “delusional” if it opted to prioritise deeper trade relations with the U.S. over remaining in the Single Market.

The senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partner told The Times that Britain would be left “more isolated after Brexit” with less chance of striking a trade deal with the U.S. following the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential election.

Mr. Schäfer, who, after the EU referendum result said that the political bloc had not done enough to counter populist, Eurosceptic, “anti-EU tirades”, claimed that hopes of a trade deal with the U.S. under President Trump were unfounded:

“What changed [with Trump’s election] is the likelihood of a speedy and preferential trade deal between UK and US…Even before Tuesday the chances were rather low, now the hope for this kind of deal seems delusional.” He added: “With a more inward-looking Trump administration, it is in United Kingdom’s own interest to seek close co-operation with their EU partners in this field.”

India raises withdrawal limit as rupee anger mounts

The Indian government has raised the limit on cash withdrawals following widespread public anger about the surprise abolition of 500 ($7.6) and 1,000 rupee notes last week. Customers can now withdraw up to 2,500 rupees a day from cash machines, rather than 2,000, the finance ministry said.

Many cash machines are not working because they have not been adapted for the new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes.

Long queues at many banks were making it difficult to make withdrawals.

The government said Indian banks had received 3 trillion rupees ($44bn, £35bn) of large denomination notes since the move was announced on Tuesday night. The abolition of the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes is intended to crack down on corruption and bring cash worth billions of dollars in unaccounted wealth back into the economy.

Kenneth Cole to close most stores in US

New York: Fashion chain Kenneth Cole said Friday it will shut nearly all its US stores over the next six months and shift its strategy to emphasize online sales.

The move affects 63 outlet stores in the US, leaving the youth-oriented apparel and shoe maker with just two full-priced stores in the US, according to Bloomberg News.

"At Kenneth Cole, our goal is to be the global standard for New York style and social consciousness. As we continue on our path of strengthening our global lifestyle brand, we look to expand our online and full-price retail footprint across the globe," said Mark Schneider, chief executive of Kenneth Cole.

"We need to focus our energies and resources to better serve the consumer on their terms," he said. "Over the next six months we will be closing our US outlet division."

When People Laughed At The Idea Of Trump Actually Being Elected President! Compilation

$221,692,000,000: Federal Taxes Set Record for October; $1,459 Per Worker; Feds Still Run Deficit of $44,192,000,000

Federal tax revenues set an all-time record of $221,692,000,000 for the month of October, according to the newly released Monthly Treasury Statement.

In constant 2016 dollars that is the most taxes the federal government has ever collected in October, which is the first month of the fiscal year.

The record $221,692,000,000 in taxes collected this October was up $6,718,330,000 from the $214,973,670,000 in constant 2016 dollars that the Treasury collected in October 2015.

Despite bringing in record tax revenue of $221,692,000,000 this October, the federal government ran a deficit of $44,192,000,000 during month. That is because federal spending in October was $265,884,000,000

In Europe Hundreds of Uber drivers go unpaid after banking glitch

The taxi-hailing service, which is already facing legal claims from drivers who believe they have been wrongly classed as self-employed, said drivers in Scotland and a number of cities outside London had been affected by what it said was a banking glitch.

An Uber spokesperson said: “Unfortunately an error by the bank has meant that payments due by today were delayed to a very small proportion of drivers who use our app. We immediately contacted the bank about this and they have already re-initiated the payments to arrive by Monday. We have contacted everybody affected to explain what has happened and offer our sincere apologies.”

Uber sent an email to drivers telling them they would receive payment on Monday, but some drivers claimed they had been warned that their money may not arrive until next Wednesday.

Without their weekly pay, some drivers said they would be unable to pay bills or buy petrol in order to work over the weekend. Others had incurred bank fees, because direct debit payments had gone out of their bank without cover from their expected pay. One driver said: “If I am unable to get payment then I am left with half a tank of fuel and then I am out of work.”

JCPenney Handing Out $500 Coupons To Lure Shoppers On Thanksgiving

Even though JCPenney is starting its Black Friday sales online next Wednesday, the retailer is still hoping it can convince some folks that they’d rather be shopping in physical stores on Thanksgiving than spending time with loved ones/taking turkey-induced naps by offering up coupons worth $500 off to the first people to come through the doors.

Hundreds of customers will have a chance to get coupons for anywhere between $10 and $500 off their purchase if they’re among the first to arrive on both of those days. It’s not that simple, however: in order to get $500 off your purchase, you’ll have to buy at least $500 worth of stuff first. The same goes for coupons for $10 and $100 off.

So what are your odds of actually scoring that $500 off coupon? Probably pretty slim: JCPenney says 1 in 100 coupons will be $100 off $100, with the other 99 in 100 being $10 off $10. “Additionally, each store will have at least one $500 off $500 coupon,” the retailer notes in the fine print.

JCPenney is getting an early start by opening at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, which is two hours before Macy’s and three hours before Walmart, Target, Sears, and Kohl’s are slated to open.

The U.S. Is Sending 150 Border Agents To South Texas

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is deploying 150 Border Agents to help process a spike in immigrants who have been arrested after illegally entering the country.

Border Patrol agents from Arizona and California, among other places, will temporarily be reassigned to the Rio Grande Valley-area along the Texas-Mexico border, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Other agents, who are currently working another portion of the Texas border, will also join them.

The additional agents will help screen, classify, and process the undocumented immigrants who have been taken into custody there, according to officials. Many of the illegal immigrants are families and unaccompanied children.

Since 2014, the Rio Grande Valley has been the U.S. region with the most illegal-immigrant arrests—many of whom are seeking asylum from drug-fueled violence south of the border, according to the Associated Press.

Bond Guru Jeffrey Gundlach: It's Now or Never for Fed Rate Hike

The current leg of the bond market's rate rise is 80 percent over and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note cannot move above 2.35 percent by the end of the year, Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital, said Friday on CNBC.

Gundlach, who oversees more than $106 billion in assets at Los Angeles-based DoubleLine, said the Federal Reserve "absolutely" should raise interest rates in December, if they plan to ever move.

"If the Fed doesn't raise rates in December, they'll never raise rates again," he said. "The bond market is giving them carte blanche to raise interest rates," Gundlach said. "The Fed absolutely should raise rates in December if they ever plan on raising them again."

Treasury yields overall jumped to the highest levels this week since January, a possible signal that markets believe Donald Trump's policies could spark a rise in inflation.

DOW & Gold $125,000-Hyperinflation Coming

Trump’s Rise May Save Banks Billions by Disrupting Global Rules

The election of Donald Trump may allow banks to dodge the full impact of global regulators’ post-2008 crisis crackdown.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is racing to complete a revamp of international capital standards by year-end. The U.S. has pushed for strict rules to protect against future market meltdowns, whereas Europe and Japan want to rein in proposals that could hit banks with billions in costs. Basel Committee members including the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank are under enormous industry pressure to soften the rules.

Trump’s ascendancy and his vow to dismantle financial regulations could throw another wrench in the works. If he stalls U.S. implementation of the revised Basel Committee standards on how banks measure asset risk, or ignores them altogether, Europe could follow suit. And if the U.S. and Europe go their own ways, the last piece of the global response to the financial crisis could be undermined.

“I think that before Trump, Basel was going to be softened down significantly,” Sam Theodore, managing director for financial institutions at Scope Ratings AG, said in an interview. “And now with Trump, I think the whole thing is going to become more of a symbolic exercise.”

Can Trump Really Revive The U.S. Coal Industry?

With the election of Donald Trump as President, forecasters and analysts are dashing to determine how his policies are likely to affect global energy. It’s likely that his measures will benefit oil and gas, though his consistent vagueness and apparent confusion over industry fundamentals makes that somewhat unlikely.

But where Trump has been somewhat vague on oil and gas, he’s been positively exuberant about coal. A key point in the Trump campaign’s energy and economic plan was the rejuvenation of the American coal industry. This position was a component of Trump’s broader attempt to appeal to white working class American voters. But can he deliver?

As many analysts have observed over the last year, coal is in trouble. Rising production costs, environmental regulations and heavy competition from cheap natural gas has cratered coal profits. The largest coal companies in America, including Peabody Energy, have filed for bankruptcy. American coal production in 2016 was 746.5 million short tons, down from over a billion in 2014 according to the EIA. Coal consumption fell over the same period from 917 to 736.9 million short tons, while coal exports fell by 50 percent, from 97 to 57.9 million short tons. If forecasts hold, 2016 will be the worst year for US coal production since 1978. The EIA has predicted that production will grow in 2017, however, by 3 percent.

Expectations that coal can make a comeback were certainly running high in the wake of Trump’s victory on Tuesday. The next day, Peabody’s stock price leapt up by 50 percent, from $8.50 to nearly $13. Global coal trader Glencore saw a 7 percent rise on Wednesday, along with the prices of struggling coal companies Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, according to Bloomberg. Renewables fell across the board, a clear reaction to what many expect to be tepid (to nonexistent) support by a Trump Administration for a clean energy policy.

Trump Picks Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff

President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday picked Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, the favorite of the party’s establishment and a low-key Washington insider, to serve in the influential position of White House chief of staff.

The choice of Priebus, a loyal campaign ally to Trump who has close ties with House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, signaled a willingness to work with Ryan and the Republican-led Congress to get his agenda passed.

The other front-runner for the job had been Stephen Bannon, Trump’s campaign chairman and former head of the conservative Breitbart News. Trump named Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor.

The chief of staff position, which serves as a gatekeeper and agenda-setter for the president, is typically one of the most important early choices for an incoming president. “I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country,” Trump said in a statement. “Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House.”

Buffett: The U.S. economy is 'softer than people think?

The Global “Populist” Doom Tour Swings to Italy

Widespread public disaffection and dissatisfaction are not unique to the UK and US; they’re on the rise all over the developed world. It’s not hard to see why. In the words of Mark Blyth, one of an embarrassingly small number of economists to correctly call both Brexit and the victory of Trump, the last 30 years have seen “a huge amount of economic growth but hardly anyone’s benefited from it.” And now the people are “fed up” and have decided at any opportunity to “give their elites notice that they’ve had enough.”

On December 4th, Italy could become the next whistle stop on the global populist doom tour as its people vote in a national referendum on the government’s proposed constitutional reforms, which seek to drastically curb the role of the upper house Senate, a move that Italian premier Matteo Renzi says will simplify decision-making and ensure stable government. Opponents fear it will make the legislative process more complicated and reduce checks and balances.

The referendum would be a virtual non-event if it weren’t for two key factors: Italy’s blossoming banking crisis and Renzi’s pledge, repeated many times (albeit, ironically, not recently), that he would resign if the constitutional reforms are not passed.

The polls in Italy are neck and neck, though the momentum belongs to the reform bill’s opponents. In the latest poll published by Euromedia 52.1% of respondents opposed his reform agenda, compared to 47.9% in favor. With all opposition parties pitted against him and almost every opinion poll over the past two months showing the ‘No’ camp slightly ahead, Renzi has his work cut out — unless, of course, the polls get it completely wrong again!

A Trump presidency could be good news for financials, Gold, Infrastructure

Like their British counterparts, who voted in June to cut ties with the European Union (EU), American voters resoundingly rejected globalism this week, calling into question the United States’ involvement in military alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—which is 72 percent funded by U.S. tax dollars–and international trade deals, from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Over the course of his campaign, Donald Trump sharply criticized such groups, vowing either to renegotiate the terms or pull out of them altogether. The future of the Paris climate agreement, ratified by over 100 countries as of this month, has also been thrown into uncertainty.

We all remember how Brexit was inaccurately predicted, with polls saying the referendum would fail. In a modern-day equivalent of “Dewey Defeats Truman,” U.S. polls also got the presidential election spectacularly wrong, missing the forest for the trees. Many polls, including CNN, Huffington Post and the Princeton Election Consortium, had Clinton’s chances of winning above 90 percent.

But in a reverse example of the so-called “Bradley effect,” which I shared with you before, people told pollsters one thing but did the exact opposite in the privacy of the voting booth. U.S. voters largely repudiated political correctness, the Washington establishment and a biased media. They demanded sweeping, fundamental changes, and yet another Clinton or Bush just wasn’t the person for the job.

Zero Hedge quoted Nassim Taleb, scholar and author of “Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable” who put into words this frustration: What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

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