Macro Links Nov 15th “To Finance Election Campaign of 2016”

Macro Links Nov 15th “To Finance Election Campaign of 2016”

You are viewing the Macro Links delayed archive. The real time Macro Links, posted each trading day, are available via the Mercenary Research Suite. To see how it works, click here.




Secret Finding: 60 Russian Payments “To Finance Election Campaign Of 2016”

The FBI is scrutinizing more than 60 money transfers sent by the Russian foreign ministry to its embassies across the globe, most of them bearing a note that said the money was to be used “to finance election campaign of 2016.”

Sessions Recalls Adviser Mentioning Contacts With Russia – WSJ

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified Tuesday that he recalls a meeting with a Trump campaign adviser at which the adviser spoke about contacts with Russians, after testifying earlier this year he knew of no such contacts with the campaign.

Sessions Says He Did Not Lie to Congress on Contacts with Russia – The New York Times

In a marathon session with the House Judiciary Committee, the attorney general said he could not recall a campaign adviser’s briefing on Russia but did remember stopping a Trump-Putin meeting.

Sessions tries to distance himself from Trump advisers’ Russia talks – POLITICO

The attorney general said he hadn’t remembered one meeting with a Trump adviser trying to broker high-level talks with Russia until he saw media reports about it.

Trump Shatters Longstanding Norms by Pressing for Clinton Investigation – The New York Times

If Attorney General Jeff Sessions or his deputy authorizes a new investigation of Hillary Clinton, it would undermine standards that have been in place since Watergate.

Justice Dept. to Weigh Inquiry Into Clinton Foundation – The New York Times

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department said it planned to pursue the possibility of appointing a special counsel to investigate the Uranium One deal.

Sessions moves to quell furore over Clinton Foundation probe

Under sharp questioning from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers on Tuesday, Mr Sessions said that the department would “study what the facts are” before making a decision.



Venezuela slips deeper into crisis after default

Venezuela has suffered what is expected to be the first in a cascade of defaults on more than $60bn of international bonds after missing several interest payments.

The country on Monday evening missed a deadline to make $200m in interest payments on two of its government bonds, spurring S&P to formally declare the first of what are expected to be many defaults. Caracas is already overdue on another $420m of interest payments on other sovereign bonds, which will also soon be in default, as will payments on debt from PDVSA, the state oil company.

Venezuela’s Bondholder Meeting Is a Bust as S&P Declares Default – Bloomberg

Venezuela’s grand gathering with creditors Monday lasted all of 30 minutes and didn’t produce anything of substance. To make matters worse, S&P Global Ratings declared the country in default while Fitch Ratings cited missed payments by the state oil company prompting a fresh selloff in the nation’s bonds.

Venezuelan Bonds Fall Further After Default Determination – WSJ

Venezuelan bonds, already trading at distressed levels, fell further on Tuesday after a credit-rating firm a day earlier declared the nation in default on missed interest payments.

The Class of 1994, Venezuela’s Golden Generation, Is Fleeing the Country – WSJ

Raised during a time of prosperity to become doctors and lawyers and engineers, alumni from an elite Caracas high school are abandoning their homeland. They are among the two million who have left after the Hugo Chávez revolution ushered in economic collapse and a crackdown on democracy.



McConnell Says Roy Moore Should Abandon ’Collapsing’ Senate Bid – WSJ

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell deepened his bid to persuade Republican Senate contender Roy Moore to drop out of the race for an open Alabama Senate seat.

RNC cuts off Moore – POLITICO

The national party pulls out of a fundraising pact with the Alabama candidate, further isolating him.

Roy Moore, Long Divisive in His Hometown, and Even More So Now – The New York Times

Mr. Moore, many people say, clearly had a fondness for younger women in decades past. When he got married to his wife, Kayla, in 1985, he was 38 and she was 24. But around Gadsden, a city of 36,000 in the foothills along the Coosa River, opinions about the recent allegations tend to follow lines that were etched long before.

Steve Bannon And Allies Have Second Thoughts About Roy Moore, Sources Say

Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon is keeping the door open to ditching Roy Moore as the sexual-assault allegations against the Alabama Republican Senate candidate continue to pile up.

Trump faces wrenching call on Moore – POLITICO

President Donald Trump is returning from Asia to a political maelstrom in the United States — one that could force him to decide whether to push out Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a Hail Mary attempt to save the Alabama Senate seat Sessions once held.

An Alabama Senate Candidate Keeps Democratic Leaders Away — but Not Their Money – The New York Times

Doug Jones has portrayed his race for the Senate as an Alabama effort, apart from the national Democratic Party, but he is reaping the fruit of an energized party.



Cohn: ‘We’ve Got to Get Taxes Done This Year’ – WSJ

Gary Cohn, the president’s top economic adviser, said Tuesday he is confident Congress will pass a sweeping tax overhaul, adding that lawmakers need to act before year’s end.

Steven Mnuchin Says Trump Won’t Bend on Corporate Tax Rate of 20% – WSJ

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration wouldn’t support tax legislation with a corporate tax rate of more than 20% as part of any future compromise between the House and the Senate.

Senate GOP Tax Plan to Include Repeal of Health Law Individual Mandate – WSJ

Senate Republicans signaled they would seek as part of their tax-overhaul package a repeal of the Affordable Care Act requirement that most Americans have insurance coverage

Senate Plans to End Obamacare Mandate in Revised Tax Proposal – The New York Times

Senate Republicans have decided to include the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that most people have health insurance into the sprawling tax rewrite, merging the fight over health care with the high-stakes effort to cut taxes.

The move to tuck the repeal of the so-called individual mandate into the tax overhaul is an attempt by Republicans to solve two problems: math and politics. Repealing the mandate, a longstanding Republican goal, would save hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade. That would free up money that could be used to expand middle-class tax cuts or help pay for the overall cost of the bill, which can add no more than $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. It could also help secure the votes of the most conservative senators, enabling lawmakers to pass the bill along party lines.



Household debt rises by $116 billion as credit-card delinquencies pile up – MarketWatch

Household debt rose by $116 billion, or 0.9%, to $12.96 trillion in the third quarter, the New York Fed said Tuesday. That’s the highest level in nominal terms, though not when compared to the size of the economy. Credit-card debt rose by 3.1% while home equity lines of credit, or HELOC, balances fell by 0.9%. There were small gains in mortgage, student and auto debt.


Robert Shiller: Passive investing is a dangerous, ‘chaotic system’

Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller is seeing worrisome issues surrounding the growing popularity of index funds and ETFs among retail investors.

“The strength of this country was built on people who watched individual companies. They had opinions about them. All this talk of indexes, it’s a little bit diluting of our intellect. It becomes more of a game,” Shiller said Monday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “It’s a chaotic system.”



Trump’s Tweets May Be His Undoing – Talking Points Memo

Seeing Assange prompt a Trump tweet, via Don Jr, is I suspect only the first and clearest of many examples. Who told Trump what? In a lot of cases Trump’s tweets will likely tell us. Trump’s October 12th Wikileaks tweet was totally opaque until we found out about Don Jr’s DMs with Assange a few minutes before. Trump’s tweets are impulsive, immediate, unvarnished. They amount to realtime surveillance of what he was thinking and what he knew at key points of the campaign. They just require the fruits of the ongoing investigations to decipher what they mean.

Trump in Asia: A break from the past but uncertain results

As he jetted across the region, to five nations, six cities and three summits over 12 days, Trump pushed regional leaders to reshape trade deals to America’s liking, but he won no firm commitments from his hosts. He opened the door to negotiations with North Korea, but then seemed to shut it again by deriding the dictator Kim Jong Un as “short and fat.”

For all his tough campaign talk on trade, Trump appeared reluctant to take a confrontational stance. He cajoled and flattered leaders in Tokyo and Seoul without eliciting firm commitments for a more balanced economic relationship. At a summit in Vietnam, he vowed to hold rising superpower China accountable for unfair business and trade practices. Yet in Beijing, the president said, “I don’t blame China” for a growing trade gap.

“He seemed far more interested in pomp and circumstance — red carpets, fancy meals, and the flattery of foreign leaders — than advancing American interests in a region that is increasingly looking to China for leadership,” said Schumer, D-N.Y. “And after the president’s performance, those countries are going to turn more to China. At least they have strength and direction, even though China will take advantage of them for sure as they have taken advantage of us.”

The Czech Republic’s anti-Havel – POLITICO

He’s brash, provocative and blatantly politically incorrect. He recently called 90 percent of Czech Roma “unadaptable” and lazy, and he volunteered to remove a burkini from the body of a Muslim woman. He has been accused of being a racist and a cynical opportunist.

Miloš Zeman is also the president of the Czech Republic. His first term, now drawing to a close, has been marked by declarations that have provoked outrage and disbelief at home and abroad, such as a claim that the recent wave of migrants was a plot by the Muslim Brotherhood to “gradually gain control” of Europe.

“Other politicians are much more diplomatic, but people don’t want to hear that anymore. Zeman doesn’t have any reason to be diplomatic,” said Charvat. “He says what people want to hear, the way they want to hear it.” In that, he resembles Donald Trump. “He was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Trump after he was elected,” Charvat said. “And he told Czechs that Trump was just like Miloš Zeman.”

Europe’s Economic Dilemma | International Selection Comment | Finanz und Wirtschaft

Europe faces a serious problem. Although economic activity has recently increased, the eurozone has lost the ability to respond to the next downturn when it happens, as it inevitably will.

The ECB’s policies mean that it has no ammunition left to fight the next recession, which could be caused by a collapse of asset prices, starting with the price of long-term bonds. German ten-year bond prices are extremely high, reflecting a current yield of less than 0.5%. A fall in US stock and bond prices, which are also out of line with past experience, could cause European asset prices to decline in sympathy.

Alternatively, European exports could fall in response to geopolitical events in Asia or the Middle East, depressing overall economic activity in Europe. An end to the US expansion, now in its ninth year, could pull down demand in Europe. Although the US economy is now performing very well, the excessive level of asset prices – the result of a decade of near-zero interest rates – poses a threat to stability.

Whatever the cause of the next downturn, ECB policies that helped in the past would no longer be available. The conventional response – reducing interest rates – is impossible, because current short-term interest rates in the eurozone countries are already near zero or negative.

Central banks should embrace digital currencies, Axel Weber says

Central banks should be more open to creating digital versions of their currencies, which could offer significant benefits to society, the chairman of Swiss bank UBS says.

Axel Weber is a past president of Germany’s conservative Bundesbank — and was once tipped as a future head of the European Central Bank. As UBS chairman, he is helping to drive a revolution in how banks, companies and individuals conduct financial transactions.

Mr Weber says central banks are wrong to think it is a case of either traditional cash or e-currencies. Payment patterns evolve, he says, with younger generations more likely to pay via mobiles, independently of banks. If central banks regarded digital currencies as an opportunity, they could “probably provide non-account-related payment services for society in a cheaper and more economic way”.

It’s more that the threat of the crypto world financing terrorism or enabling money laundering will eventually prompt a stronger response from authorities. There is “a relatively high probability that regulators will regulate it at some point”.

In China, the central bank has said it will develop a digital currency using the blockchain technology behind bitcoin. In Europe, Sweden’s Riksbank published a report in September suggesting there were few obstacles to issuing e-krona.

But other central banks have been much more cautious. Jens Weidmann, Mr Weber’s successor as Bundesbank president, argued the focus should instead be on improving existing payment systems.

Bitcoin’s High Transaction Fees Show Its Limits – Bloomberg

The Bitcoin rate spike, still alive despite bitter divisions in the community that supports the cryptocurrency, has laid bare the biggest problem with Bitcoin: Compared with fiat currencies, it’s painfully inconvenient and expensive to use as a means of payment.

Bitcoin was never a particularly convenient means of payment. One can get a Bitcoin debit card and use it anywhere cards are accepted, but the fees on them — charged on top of the Bitcoin transaction fees — are generally higher than at your bank. For merchants, it’s convenient to sign on to accept the cryptocurrency via specialized payment platforms — but then the rate volatility and the same high transaction fees make it unattractive for a merchant who mostly works in a fiat currency economy. In July, Morgan Stanley issued a report saying merchants’ acceptance of Bitcoin was on a downward trend just as the cryptocurrency’s exchange rate went through the roof.

Some merchants stick to the currency, perhaps for PR value. BitPay, one of the top Bitcoin payment platforms, reported last month it was on track to process $1 billion in payments to merchants this year; the dollar volume of the transactions in January through September was up 328 percent year-on-year, the company said. But Visa, for example, processed $6.3 trillion in payments last year. Bitcoin hasn’t even begun to make a dent in this market.

The Real ‘War on Coal’ Is in China – WSJ

The U.S. is suddenly coal country again, thanks to President Trump. But in the real coal country—the one that sucks up half of global supply every year—demand for the black stuff is poised to deteriorate sharply over the next year. Investors hoping strong global growth and favorable U.S. policies will boost coal prices and stocks should keep focused on China instead.

The medium-term outlook is even worse. Ongoing drives to cut capacity in electricity intensive industries like aluminum and steel aren’t going away, meaning another structural step-down in industrial power demand over the coming years is likely. President Xi Jinping’s emphasis on a “better”—not just richer—life for Chinese citizens means tougher environmental enforcement is here to stay. Finally, a glut of cheap natural gas in Asia means that shutting down dirty coal plants in China is more affordable than in years past.

Coal prices aren’t necessarily set to collapse—but optimists hoping that U.S. policies alone can rescue the global coal industry and push prices higher are in for a long, hard dig.




Dallas Fed chief ‘actively considering’ December rate rise

One of the Federal Reserve’s leading doves has said he is “actively considering” backing another increase in short-term interest rates at the central bank’s meeting next month, pointing to the risks that an overheating job market will create “imbalances and excesses” in financial markets.

Jerome Powell fears “blah, blah, blah” is all investors hear from the Fed – Bloomberg

Federal Reserve Chair nominee Jerome Powell has likened central bank communication to a popular Far Side cartoon: A man chides his dog Ginger about rooting through the trash, but all the dog hears is “Blah, blah, Ginger, blah, blah blah.”

While Powell is widely seen as hewing to the Fed’s current strategy of gradually raising interest rates if he is confirmed by the Senate to take over the central bank’s top spot in February, he could push for changes in how it gets its message across, especially in the so-called dot plot that sets out officials’ projections of where policy is headed.

Top Central Bankers Defend Stimulus Efforts – WSJ

The heads of four of the world’s most important central banks defended their sweeping crisis-fighting measures in a rare joint appearance, and discussed how words themselves have become a vital policy tool.

The leaders of the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan and Bank of England—whose terms all end in the next two years—have relied heavily on verbal communication in recent years as their policy decisions have grown more complex.

Janet Yellen’s departure as chair of the Federal Reserve in February will mark the beginning of a long farewell to the group of central bankers who helped steer advanced economies out of the financial-crisis era.

White House Considers Former Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian for Fed Vice Chairman Post – WSJ

The White House is considering economist Mohamed El-Erian as one of several candidates to potentially to serve as the Federal Reserve’s vice chairman.



U.S. Manufacturing Rides Rising Tide, Buoyed by Global Growth, Optimism – WSJ

American manufacturing has picked up pace over the last 12 months thanks to steady global economic growth, a rise in energy and other commodity prices, and increased confidence.

The sector “absolutely has improved relative to where we were a year ago,” said William Strauss, a manufacturing economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, who described the growth as modest. Employment numbers point to the overall progress. The U.S. manufacturers have added 156,000 workers since Donald Trump was elected president in November 2016, according to government data.

As Construction Booms, Philadelphia Seeks to Preserve Its Past – The New York Times

As demand for commercial property surges with a strengthening downtown economy, preservationists and the city authorities are searching for ways to defend the fabric of this historic city from the wrecker’s ball.

The city is adding staff to its Historical Commission, which designates buildings as historic and must approve any demolition permits for those buildings. And Mayor Jim Kenney has set up a task force on historic preservation to recommend ways to foster economic growth without sweeping away the past, aided by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which this year listed Philadelphia’s historic neighborhoods as among its “national treasures.”

The measures, though in their early stages, offer hope to Philadelphia’s preservationists, who struggled for years to defend historic buildings from the decay that resulted from a stagnating economy and are now trying to counteract a threat to older buildings from a suddenly vigorous property market.

Toyota, Mazda Said to Narrow Choice to N. Carolina, Alabama – Bloomberg

Alabama and North Carolina are the final states in the running to win a prized Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. joint car factory worth $1.6 billion, according to people familiar with the negotiations.



China’s Indicators Point to Slowing Economy – WSJ

With the Chinese leadership’s 2017 growth target secure, the economy showed signs of slowing in October after Beijing dialed back stimulus efforts and closed northern factories around a big Communist Party meeting.

Growth in factory output, fixed-asset investment and retail sales all slowed a tad in October, as Beijing imposed tighter pollution controls and continued restrictions on home purchases in the country’s big cities.

Industrial output, a rough proxy for economic growth, expanded by 6.2% in October compared with a 6.6% increase the month before, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday. The reading, though it met economists’ estimates, was the second slowest this year.

Central Europe grows at fastest in nine years

Central Europe’s fastest expansion for nine years and strong growth in German spurred the EU’s vigorous economic recovery in the third quarter. However other economies were left in the shade by Romania, which grew 8.6 per cent year on year after increased government spending on pensions and public sector salaries stoked a boom in private consumption.

The strong reading from Romania — which was almost 3 percentage points above expectations — prompted warnings from economists of the need for fiscal and monetary tightening, amid fears of inflation and a lack of capacity in the labour market.

“It’s obvious this growth rate is not sustainable — Romania is not China. We are seeing excess demand and it’s a very clear sign of overheating,” said Ionut Dumitru, chairman of Romania’s fiscal council.



Jim Chanos Adds To Tesla Short, Sees Musk Stepping Down | Zero Hedge

“Put it this way. If you wouldn’t be short a multi-billion-dollar loss-making enterprise in a cyclical business, with a leveraged balance sheet, questionable accounting, every executive leaving, run by a CEO with a questionable relationship with the truth, what would you be short? It sort of ticks all the boxes.”

G.E. Rolls Back the Breadth of Its Ambitions – The New York Times

John Flannery, the new chief of General Electric, is backing away from the ambitious designs of his two predecessors, who steered the corporate giant and its conglomerate-style empire building for more than three decades.

Mr. Flannery, who became chief executive in August, left no doubt on Monday that the conglomerate era is long gone. The new G.E., he declared repeatedly in his first detailed presentation on its future, will be a smaller company with fewer businesses.

The operations up for sale include businesses that reach back to the days of G.E.’s founder Thomas Edison, like light bulbs and railroad locomotives. More than $20 billion in assets are earmarked for sale in the next couple of years.



Buffalo Wild Wings shares soar on report of takeover bid

Buffalo Wild Wings’ shares rose nearly 26 percent in early trading on Tuesday, a day after a report said the company received a $2.3-billion takeover bid from private-equity firm Roark Capital Group. Roark’s offer of more than $150 per share was a premium of at least 28 percent to the fast-food chain’s close on Monday.



Richest 1% own half the world’s wealth, study finds | Inequality | The Guardian

The globe’s richest 1% own half the world’s wealth, according to a new report highlighting the growing gap between the super-rich and everyone else. The world’s richest people have seen their share of the globe’s total wealth increase from 42.5% at the height of the 2008 financial crisis to 50.1% in 2017, or $140tn (£106tn), according to Credit Suisse’s global wealth report published on Tuesday.

“The share of the top 1% has been on an upward path ever since [the crisis], passing the 2000 level in 2013 and achieving new peaks every year thereafter,” the annual report said. The bank said “global wealth inequality has certainly been high and rising in the post-crisis period”.




ICOs: Cryptocurrency ‘pump and dump’ scams organised on Telegram – Business Insider

Cryptocurrency exchanges are rife with “pump and dump” scams that would be illegal in most markets and leave unsuspecting investors at risk of large losses, a Business Insider investigation has found.

Crypto traders are using the secure messaging app Telegram to orchestrate the scams. Their strategy is to suddenly inflate the price of a cryptocurrency by coordinating a few buyers to act at specific times.

Then, after the price rises, they attract other, unwitting investors to buy into the price momentum. The “pumpers” quickly sell the coin to make a profit. The coins often crash just minutes after the initial surge, leaving the second wave of investors with losses.

The Forks and Fights Behind Bitcoin’s Turbulence – Bloomberg

Bitcoin’s price has always been volatile, but its 29 percent down-and-mostly-back-up over the last few days was a doozy even for it. For those trying to follow along, there was no shortage of bitcoin jargon to wade through — forks, bitcoin cash, Segwit2x and transaction blocks among them. The big picture is this: The turmoil is what happens when a community designed so no one person or group is in charge tries to sort through the vexing technical and commercial problems created by the pioneering digital currency’s success. This may be a minor bump in the road before factions with diverging interests and ideologies come back together. Or it may be a sign that bitcoin’s future is likely to be fractured.



One57 Foreclosure Shatters Price Dreams at Billionaires’ Tower – Bloomberg

The 6,240-square-foot condo spanning the skyscraper’s 79th floor sold for $36 million last week to an unidentified buyer, the highest of five bidders in addition to the lender. The price was 29 percent less than the $50.9 million that Nigerian businessman Kolawole Akanni Aluko paid for the apartment when he bought it new in 2014.

The transaction marked the fourth time since 2015 that a resale condo at One57 traded at a loss from what the previous owner paid, according to data compiled by New York appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. The price cut on Aluko’s property was the biggest, exceeding even the normal discount one would expect when buying a home from inside a courtroom, said Grant Long, senior economist for listings website StreetEasy.



U.S. to Dominate Oil Markets After Biggest Boom in World History – Bloomberg

The U.S. will be a dominant force in global oil and gas markets for many years to come as the shale boom becomes the biggest supply surge in history, the International Energy Agency predicted.

By 2025, the growth in American oil production will equal that achieved by Saudi Arabia at the height of its expansion, and increases in natural gas will surpass those of the former Soviet Union, the agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook. The boom will turn the U.S., still among the biggest oil importers, into a net exporter of fossil fuels.




Tanks Approach Zimbabwe’s Capital as Power Struggle Intensifies – WSJ

Soldiers in armored personnel carriers moved into the outskirts of Zimbabwe’s capital on Tuesday and the ruling party accused the head of the military of treason, as the battle to succeed the world’s oldest head of state entered a dangerous new phase.

President Robert Mugabe, who is 93 years old, was poised to tap his 52-year-old wife, Grace, as one of his two vice presidents at an extraordinary party congress next month. The first lady’s elevation came after the shock purge of Mr. Mugabe’s former vice president and security chief, who had been by the president’s side for much his 37 years in power.

The prospect of a possible Mugabe dynasty had prompted a threat from the head of Zimbabwe’s armed forces, General Constantino Chiwenga, on Monday that the military would intervene if the purge didn’t come to an end.



Honda, Aston Martin Outline ‘Stark’ Brexit Car-Certificate Limbo – Bloomberg

Carmakers in the U.K. could endure “semi-catastrophic” production interruptions if the European Union stops automatically accepting the nation’s vehicle certification program once Brexit comes into effect, executives told British lawmakers.

U.K. Inflation Holds at 3% as Cheaper Fuel Offsets Food Prices – Bloomberg

U.K. inflation held at a 5 1/2-year high in October, as cheaper auto fuel offset the rising cost of food. Consumer prices rose 3 percent from a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday. Economists had expected inflation to accelerate to 3.1 percent.



At Least 4 Killed in Shooting in Northern California – The New York Times

He said that the gunman was a neighbor and said that he had threatened him, and had stabbed another neighbor, a woman, in a dispute earlier this year, and “I believe he was on bond because of that.”

As far as we know he was, you know, crazy,” Mr. Flint said. “He shoots a lot of gunshots at night, in the morning, like a hundred rounds.” He said he had let his roommate borrow his truck, and the man was returning it when he was shot in the driveway. “My truck was stolen, used in the crime,” he said.

House declares U.S. military role in Yemen’s civil war unauthorized – POLITICO

The resolution says refueling and targeting support for Saudi forces is not covered under previous war authorizations.



Senators Pose Questions About Trump’s Nuclear Attack Authority – WSJ

U.S. senators took a rare look at the decades-old presidential authority to launch a nuclear strike, posing questions at a hearing about the process President Donald Trump would follow if he were to order such an attack.

Data Firm Employed by Trump Campaign Sees Star Wane – WSJ

One year after helping President Donald Trump win the election and earning more than $15 million from a dozen political candidates and committees, the data firm Cambridge Analytica doesn’t have any U.S. political clients, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records.

Research firms that work with winning campaigns usually benefit from their victory and the higher profile it brings. President Barack Obama’s data-centric 2008 presidential run spawned numerous digital firms that are still major political vendors.

Yet Cambridge Analytica’s reputation is facing challenges on several fronts. The company has come under scrutiny in congressional investigators’ probe of whether Trump associates colluded with Russia in the 2016 election, according to three people familiar with the firm’s business. The data firm is also grappling with staff upheaval and complaints from clients that it fell short in delivering services it promised, according to several previous clients.

President Trump has made 1,628 false or misleading claims over 298 days – The Washington Post

An update on The Fact Checker’s year-long project analyzing, categorizing and tracking every false or misleading claim by President Trump.



Wells Fargo repays $5.4 million for repossessing service members’ cars

The third-largest U.S. bank has now repaid about $10.2 million to roughly 860 service members and their co-borrowers for improper repossessions, under a settlement announced in September 2016. Other violations covered by that settlement were discovered more recently, leading to the latest payout, the Justice Department said.



Amazon sells off China cloud assets as tough new rules bite Inc is selling off the hardware from its public cloud business in China, amid tightening regulation over online data that is creating a hurdle for technology firms operating in the world’s second-largest economy.



Google Pays to Put Search Engine Back on Firefox Browser in U.S. – Bloomberg

Mozilla Corp. rolled out a major update to its Firefox web browser on Tuesday with a bevy of new features, and one old frenemy: Google.

In a blog post, Mozilla said Firefox’s default search engine will be Google in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The agreement recalls a similar, older deal that was scuttled when Firefox and Google’s Chrome web browser became bitter rivals.

Three years ago, Mozilla switched from Google to Yahoo! Inc. as the default Firefox search provider in the U.S. after Yahoo agreed to pay more than $300 million a year over five years — more than Google was willing to pay. Verizon Communications Inc., the new owner of Yahoo, didn’t sound happy about the new agreement.



US regulators approve first digital pill with tracking system

US regulators have approved the world’s first digital medicine — a pill with an inbuilt sensor — opening up a new front in pharmaceuticals and the “internet of things”.

The tablet can be tracked inside the stomach, relaying data on whether, and when, patients have taken vital medication. The US Food and Drug Administration has given the green light for it to be used in an antipsychotic medication with the aim that the data can be used to help doctors and patients better manage treatment.



Christie’s $479.3m impressionist art sale strongest in a decade

Christie’s clinched its strongest impressionist and modern art sale in a decade on Monday and came close to setting a new record for a van Gogh, as the auction house fired the starting gun on a week of sales expected to bring in at least $1.3bn.

Monday’s sale raised $479.3m from 60 lots, surpassing its low end estimate for the night even though bidding on several works was listless and more than 10 per cent of the lots did not sell. Seats in the typically standing room only Rockefeller Plaza salesroom were vacant.

But when there was appetite, as there was for pieces by Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, René Magritte and Edouard Vuillard, the room came alive.




A surfer learned to punch a shark on YouTube. It may have saved his life. – The Washington Post

Charlie Fry, a British doctor who was in Australia for work, said he had seen a YouTube video of professional surfer Mick Fanning after the Australian escaped from a Great White in 2015, according to the Associated Press. Fanning told a reporter at the time that he punched the shark and got away during a competition on Jeffreys Bay in South Africa.

When the same thing happened to Fry on Monday, he told Nine Network’s “Today Show,” he thought of that viral video. “I was like: ‘Just do what Mick did. Just punch it in the nose.’”

“I was out surfing and I got this massive thud on my right-hand side. It completely blindsided me,” he told Nine Network, according to the AP. “I thought it was a friend goofing around. I turned and I saw this shark come out of the water and breach its head.”

“So I just punched it in the face with my left hand and then managed to scramble back on my board, shout at me friends and luckily a wave came, so I just sort of surfed the wave in,” he added.


The Mercenary Trader Macro Links were created by Justice “Jack” Litle, aka Justice Litle / Jack Litle — the founder of Mercenary Trader — to provide a compact summary of daily information flows. They are accessed via the Mercenary Research Suite, the flagship offering of Mercenary Trader, which combines trading education and trading research. To see how it works, click here.

Recent updates and the latest member content.
>> CLICK HERE to access <<

The Strategic Intelligence Report, containing the Intermarket View, Macro View, Tactical View and portfolio.
>> CLICK HERE to access <<

A daily curated, clickable summary of news, data, insights and opinion across the market spectrum.
>> CLICK HERE to access <<

Analysis write-ups, concise and chart-driven, with updates on new setups and position adjustments.
>> CLICK HERE to access <<

Ongoing tutorials and explanatory materials in respect to pyramiding, position sizing, portfolio management, and more.
>> CLICK HERE to access <<

Ongoing research and insights into personal psychology, crowd psychology, sentiment, behavioral analysis and more.
>> CLICK HERE to access <<

Ideas, insights and research into more efficient use of time, energy and mental focus for enhanced personal performance.
>> CLICK HERE to access <<

Our proprietary toolset for cultivating superhuman performance via behavior adjustments and mental modeling.
>> CLICK HERE to access <<

Ideas, concepts and areas of exploration to better understand markets, probability, human behavior, finance and more.
>> CLICK HERE to access <<

An evolving look into specific market areas — e.g. a country, currency, commodity, industry, company, technology or trend.
>> CLICK HERE to access <<

Unique and one-off collections of trading resources, interviews with top traders, deep dive topical investigations, and more.
>> CLICK HERE to access <<