WARNING: Laura Ingraham Interviews Marco Rubio…


There’s a big con job just over the horizon.  All of the elements are there.  The timing, the platform, the personalities, the discussion topics, etc., it’s a familiar script.  CTH would like to direct attention to this interview which took place last night on Laura Ingraham’s new Fox News show.  Listen carefully to three elements:

♦On Tax Reform – on one side of Rubio’s ‘full-throated‘ mouth he wants higher taxes on corporations 22% -vs- 20%. In the almost the same breath, inside the same argument, he says “it’s not their (the government’s) money”.   Try to reconcile that.

♦On DACA – [Remember, three months ago President Trump gave congress six months to fix DACA]  Rubio says the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program is not the “Dreamers”.  What? Yes it is. The childhood arrivals ARE the so-called ‘dreamers’.

♦However, much more importantly, listen to what is said on “chain migration“.  Ingraham asks if Rubio supports “chain migration”.   Rubio says no, then immediately says: “I’ve always agreed to limiting chain migration to immediate family members”. WHAT? That is chain migration.

Laura Ingraham suffers from the same interview issue as Sean Hannity. Both conduct interviews where they ask questions but are not listening. Instead, they are waiting to talk. There’s a big difference.

Given the nature of the topics, and the interview on Fox, and knowing the specifics of the 2013/2014 immigration agenda of the Murdoch family specifically on Fox… and the relationship between Murdoch and Rubio… there’s justifiable room for skepticism and cynicism in the narrative construct of this entire interview.

Any reasonable person, receiving those responses, would have called Marco Rubio out for those three jaw-dropping, virtually simultaneous, hypocritical and mutually exclusive positions… Especially the last one on chain migration. Yet Laura Ingraham skipped right over them as if the answers provided were irrelevant and she was simply checking off a list.  [Insert Suspicious Cat Here]

Something is going on in DC that precipitated this interview.

Battered Conservative No-More !

Top 30 Risky Banks – Does it Really Matter?


The Royal Bank of Canada (RPC) has been added to the list of the top 30 banks posing the greatest risk. The top US bank is JP Morgan which is now the only bank required to hold an extra 2.5% of common equity after its US peer Citigroup moved down a tier required to hold 2% extra.

All of this is very nice, but also misleading. The Stress Tests by no means are realistic. It is assuming a single failure and certainly does not even take into consideration a CONTAGION, which nobody understands and there have been no models that will even simulate such events outside of what we have specialized in. The CONTAGION is what created the Great Depression and Herbert Hoover in his memoirs explain how capital acted “like a loose cannon on the deck of the world in a tempest-tossed ers.” Even the CONTAGION that hit in 2010 when Greece petitioned the IMF for a loan and traders immediately looked to see which country would be next, people do not understand that once blood is drawn, capital responds rapidly in the entire spectrum.

Even during the Long-Term Capital Management debacle in 1998, the crisis was in Russia. That sets off a need for liquidity and then all other markets are liquidated trying to raise cash. This is how a CONTAGION unfolds overpowering the fundamental analysis entirely.

 

Economics to this day still does not comprehend the CONTAGION that hit in 1931. It is the CONTAGION that presents the most significant clear and present danger to society as a whole. This is what reshapes countries and politics. We saw in 1933 Hitler, Mao, and FDR all come to power.

High-End Real Estate Starting to Enter Crash Mode


The high-end market in Connecticut is starting to decline. The hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller bought his estate in 2004 for $23 million. He had it on the market for $31.5 million. The best offer he got was $25 million. He took the money and ran. Smart move! With a real estate tax of about $154,000 annually, looks like a break-even deal after 13 years.

 

The high-end real estate boom is now turning sour. We are looking at property values declining in London, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, New York, and even Miami. The shift will now turn toward MOVABLE assets as capital departs from the fixed asset class.

Canadian Finance Minister Admits Selling Stock but Denies It Was Because He Knew Tax Hikes were Bearish


The Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau is refusing to say whether he sold millions of dollars worth of company stock just days before introducing tax changes that may have caused share prices to drop. This type of insider-trading is what politicians always manage to get away with no matter what the country. This dispute is rather interesting. Here the opposition is accusing him of selling the stock because he knew that raising taxes would cause the stock to drop. This is showing that the politicians were well aware of raising taxes would be bearish for the Canadian economy. That’s just OK as long as they get theirs.

Morneau has admitted selling the shares. What he is disputing is why he sold them. “I’m hearing that shares that I sold after I got into office, around the time I got into office, was somehow something inappropriate.

President Trump Tweets Critique and Cover for British Prime Minister Theresa May…


Earlier today President Trump re-tweeted some videos showing radical Islamism and behavior of their terroristic followers.  The videos originated from a twitter account of a U.K. citizen.  Prime Minister Theresa May took exception to the sunlight:

“It is wrong for the President to have done this,” May’s office said in response to the retweeted videos, initially posted by British far-right leader Jayda Fransen of Britain First.

“Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions,” May said in a statement. “They cause anxiety to law-abiding people.” (read more)

Moments ago, President Trump responded (again, via Twitter):

The hidden part of this back-and-forth is the strategic two-layer cover this is providing PM Theresa May.    Here’s what media won’t point out:

#1) Prime Minister May’s government is currently in a furnace within the U.K. over the ongoing Brexit issues.   A criticism from Trump ends up bolstering her support as tenuous allies will now rally to her PC defense.

#2) Prime Minister May’s public defense of European political correctness, well received by the far-left within Britain, when contrast against the internal Islamic threat – will also allow her to take more aggressive action against the local Islamists.

No-one in the U.K. wants an attack where horrible POTUS Trump can say: “Toldyaso” etc.

Brilliant…. and horrible.

Oh, the vulgarian…

Brilliant.

Domestic Approval Ratings:

Super-Creepy Expanded Predatory Sexual Assault Claims Against Matt Lauer …


Good grief, when does this get accurately labeled as super-creepy, villain-level, ‘work-place rape‘?

According to updates reports in Variety and The New York Times, NBC Today Show creep, Matt Lauer, actually had a button installed on his desk to auto-lock his office door, and forcibly sexually assaulted a married woman in his office.

VARIETY – […]  These accounts of Lauer’s behavior at NBC are the result of a two-month investigation by Variety, with dozens of interviews with current and former staffers. Variety has talked to three women who identified themselves as victims of sexual harassment by Lauer, and their stories have been corroborated by friends or colleagues that they told at the time. They have asked for now to remain unnamed, fearing professional repercussions.

Several women told Variety they complained to executives at the network about Lauer’s behavior, which fell on deaf ears given the lucrative advertising surrounding “Today.” NBC declined to comment. For most of Lauer’s tenure at “Today,” the morning news show was No. 1 in the ratings, and executives were eager to keep him happy.

[…]  His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him, according to two women who were sexually harassed by Lauer.  (read more)

New York Times: […]  One complaint came from a former employee who said Mr. Lauer had summoned her to his office in 2001 and then had sex with her. She provided her account to The New York Times but declined to let her name be used.

She told the Times that she felt helpless because she didn’t want to lose her job, and that she didn’t report the encounter at the time because she felt ashamed.  (read more)

These latest reports are way beyond “inappropriate sexual conduct”; way beyond.

I mean – how does a person, working in a modern corporate setting, get a button on their desk to lock their office doors and nobody questions the HR risk therein?

Either there’s an entirely different set of common HR rules in the workplace over the past several years, with a complete disconnect from all well-known historic HR practices and procedures….  or there’s an entirely different cultural world that I never even knew existed.

Anyone who is well versed in HR compliance standards, and/or who has ever attended a post-1970’s HR seminar on corporate behavior and personal risk mgmt avoidance, can see the basic level of HR-101 missing here is jaw-dropping.

Perhaps it’s just a different set of HR standards in liberal corporations as opposed to conservative ones?  Dunno, but this crap -as described- is way outside the boundaries.

♦Harvey Weinstein – Hollywood Film Producer; ♦Mark Halperin – MSNBC Senior Political Analyst; ♦Matt Lauer – NBC television journalist and co-host of “The Today Show”; ♦Matt Zimmerman – NBC Senior Vice President of Booking, News, and Entertainment; ♦Charlie Rose – CBS television journalist; ♦Mike Oreskes – NPR News Executive; ♦David Sweeney – NPR Chief News Editor;  ♦Louis C.K. – Comedian who lost his ties to HBO and FX, has had his new movie canceled Netflix special; ♦Kevin Spacey – Actor who is being cut from an upcoming film and was fired from the House of Cards Netflix series; ♦Garrison Keillor – Minnesota Public Radio….

Third Quarter GDP Growth Revised Upward – 3.3% Highest Growth in Three Years…


I’m getting really sick and tired of economic analysts talking down the U.S. economy even when they are surrounded with resoundingly good news.  These economic control agents are furious that President Trump is deconstructing their decades-long lies; and showing just how manipulated the U.S. economy has been – by elites, to the detriment of the middle-class…. I digress:

Despite the devastating hurricanes in August and September the Third-Quarter GDP grew at a revised upward rate of 3.3%. Third quarter growth was initially reported at 3%.

BLOOMBERG – The U.S. economy’s growth rate last quarter was revised upward to the fastest in three years on stronger investment from businesses and government agencies than previously estimated, Commerce Department data showed Wednesday.

The 3rd quarter (July, Aug, Sept) growth was led by business-equipment spending which rose at a 10.4% pace, a three-year high, revised from the initial report of 8.6%. CTH has continually highlighted that capital investment and capital equipment purchasing is a key to see how confident businesses are in the future.

BLOOMBERG – […] While the revised growth rate is in line with President Donald Trump’s goal, economists generally see such a pace as unsustainable and expect growth to slow sometime in 2018. Trump and congressional Republicans are pushing a tax-cut plan with the aim of lifting GDP gains to 3 percent annually, though analysts expect any economic boost to be modest, on balance, if the proposal becomes law.

[…] Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, continues to be the main driver of growth, though revisions showed it was slightly weaker than previously estimated on purchases of both durable and nondurable goods.

The biggest improvement came in business investment, which made a 1.2 percentage-point contribution to growth, up from 0.98 point in the initial estimate a month ago. (read more)

Société Générale Announces Major Reduction in Staff & Branches


 

COMMENT: Mr. Armstrong; Your warning about the European Banks has come to a head today. Société Générale has announced it is closing 300 branches and firing 3450 staff. Everything you have been saying is proving to be correct when nobody else seems to even discuss the matter.

I hope you come back to Paris. A conference here would be very well attended.

PGS

REPLY: Yes, the French bank Société Générale announced a massive staff reduction jobs. The chairman of the board Frederic Oudea, said that the entire banking industry in Europe is facing serious cuts and the withdrawal of Société Générale is preparing for turbulent times that await us beginning in 2018. It is closing about 15% of its branches. It is also selling off individual business units. He was quoted by the London Financial Times:

“I am convinced that the European banking sector is going through a kind of new industrial revolution that is likely to extend over the next decade.”

What we are being called in about by major banks is far more than simply consulting/forecasting. We are dealing with LEGAL issues that will be unfolding with the coming monetary crisis. More and more major concerns need us to address the restructuring of the monetary system they can see is coming.

The tide is turning and it is a hard turn. There is now appearing a German documentary making its debut concerning the mysterious death David Rossi back on March 6th, 2013, who was the communications chief of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank. He fell out of his office window and died. His death has never been truly explained whether it was a suicide or a murder. This film exposes his death within the context of the tense situation within the bank and financial system in Europe.

Politicians have been finagling banks for a long time trying to hide the truth about the failed Euro. The filmmakers were interviewed by Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten in which they report that the 2009 takeover of Banca Antonveneta by Monte dei Paschi at an insane price was under the supervision of the Banca d’Italia. The state they have a document with the signature of Mario Draghi at the time approving the deal at an extremely high price. The argument is basically that the absorption of  Banca Antonveneta was similar to the bailout of a failed bank which started the 1931 Banking Crisis.

What you must understand is that to sustain the Euro, which is all about keeping the power in Brussels, there have been massive transfers from the north to the south of Europe. This includes Greece, Italy, and Spain. The entire crisis has been the conversions of their previous national debts to Euro. Then the Euro doubled in values. Southern Europe has paid a vast price that has decimated their economies and driven the unemployment of the youth to as high as 60% in regions. This is the LOST GENERATION all to support the power base in Brussels.

The EU and the ECB have completely failed. This is the entire issue. The bailouts of Southern Europe have created a permanent Euro rescue scheme that has completely failed to help anyone. Greece is the poster-child of the Euro. It is impossible for Greece to ever repay the debts. Italy is still in crisis and Spain is on the verge of watching its budget blow-up starting in 2018.

Europe has entered a phase where it is no longer about trying to create jobs and a sustainable economic growth. This is now all about holding on to power in Brussels. Nobody will address the issues in advance. Thus, we are being called in by banks who see the handwriting on the wall and want to survive the chaos. This is more of a LEGAL restructuring than just consulting.

Zarrab has Flipped – Is Erdogan the real Target?


The New York Justice System is what it is. They have “flipped” the Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab into a prosecuting witness offering him a reduced sentence if he testifies. That means the deputy chief of the Turkish Halkbank, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, is now the only defendant in the process to stand trial. According to the New York Times, Zarrab is now listed as a “suspected accomplice” on a list of potential witnesses and other stakeholders handed over to members of the jury on Monday. This is now really political for his testimony could have serious consequences for the Turkish government. Zarrab had close contacts with the family of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan must expect to be in the sights of the US investigators themselves. The question is now, are they targeting Erdogan to discredit him internationally?

 

AI v Self-Aware


 

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I heard you will be the keynote speaker at the Hack-Miami Programmer’s conference in 2018. Can I ask a question given your expertise in AI. What is your opinion of Sophia? Is this really AI warranting that she was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia?

See you in Miami

HPK

ANSWER: Sophia is a great development. However, proof that this is not the type of AI everything thinks it is all we need do is listen to a joke. When Sophia is talking to anyone, it’s really being handed the lines. It might determine when it’s the right time to say something, but those pithy one-liners aren’t from the robot. Someone has programmed that. You can ask Google Home a joke and she too will answer. These are scripted lines. The robot can process what you are asking, but it cannot actually create a joke from scratch. It is possible to move toward that, but there is no guarantee every joke would actually be funny.

The AI that people think they are watching is a fully cognitive robot that is self-aware. I wrote a program for my children back in the early 1980s. I installed a Dragon voice board and wrote a program to be a politician. It would interact with my children and record likes and dislikes. When my daughter would go back the next day, it would ask about something it knew like how is your dog.

The politician part came into play whenever it did not understand a line of conversation. It would simply change the subject. My kids would bring friends over and did not understand that the computer I created was not exactly off the shelf. They would tell their friend that their computer talked.

Likewise, Socrates is not cognitive. It understands how to analyze and go well beyond what humans are capable of. However, it is still not self-aware. I personally do not believe a computer can simply become self-aware by evolution. That theory is really based on the idea that there is no God and we have emerged simply because of our brain structure. Thus, if we create a neural net big enough, the theory is consciousness will somehow emerge as did we. I do not buy that.