$ES_F MOC SELL $650mil $$
$ES_F SPX moc implied imbal $1.3B for SALE $$
$ES_F 02:34:26 TRADINGDATA2: (bshepard) ESM moving the the favored direction of the imbalalce meter ... down $$
$ES_F 81% sell side $$
John_Monaco (13:41:50): 75% sell side on the close
Who is Best Qualified to Decide how How Your Wealth Should be Used?
I have noted before that my fellow citizens and I are the best wealth redistributors one can find. We know quite well, with only rare exceptions, where the wealth we obtained should go – how we should spend or invest or save our earnings, etc.
But vast numbers of political thinkers and players disagree. They hold that our resources must be taken from us and they, not we, should be the ones who decide what to do with them. Why? Who are these folks to butt in and remove us from the driver’s seat and place themselves and their chosen few in there instead?
Spooner had the right idea. As Joseph Schumpeter remarks in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy: “… the state has been living on a revenue which was being produced in the private sphere for private purposes and had to be deflected from these purposes by political force. The theory which construes taxes on the analogy of club dues or of the purchase of the services of, say, a doctor only proves how far removed this part of the social sciences is from scientific habits of mind.”
Consider how insulting it is! Why is the president of the country better qualified than we are to determine where our resources will do the most good? Why are members of Congress or local politicians? Who on earth do these folks think they are?
In the past it used to be thought that certain folks in society had special qualifications to allocate the wealth that has been produced as well as to make most of the important decisions in need of being made. Kings, lords, barons, and such knew better than the paeans – you and I – as to what our labors ought to fund. Ergo, taxation and other takings!
Government – enforced compassion
Don’t you see how nasty this is, how it impugns our capabilities to be prudent, careful, sensible, wise and so forth?
Advocates of government wealth redistribution blatantly insult the rest of us by denying us the good sense it takes to spend our wealth. Wealth redistribution means exactly that. Somehow we need to be coerced – or nudged or intimidated – into doing what these bullies have decided needs to be supported with our wealth.
Why? Who are these people?
In the past there was an excuse – by sheer birth certain folks, coming from certain families or classes or whatever – had the qualification to manage our wealth and indeed us as well.
That has certainly happened – from the moment the State has come into being (i.e., shortly after the violent conquest phase).
But that is sheer prejudice! They really have no more clue than you or I about where to spend the funds we have come by! Indeed, as the tragedy of the commons demonstrates, the more folks are involved in spreading the wealth, the less well the wealth is likely to be spent. Most will be wasted instead of well spent, even when the intention is to do the right thing with it.
We ought to regard wealth redistribution and it’s source, taxation, not only forced taking but a serious insult toward the citizenry and reject it wherever possible.
A well-worn ritual…
* * *
Addendum: Bernie Sanders Has Already Won
Senator Bernie Sanders is aiming to become the democratic party’s nominee for the presidency of the United States of America. He considers himself a democratic socialist. But his mission is actually superfluous.
In fact, Senator Sanders has already succeeded. America has for a long time been governed according to the principles of democratic socialism, as have many other Western countries.
This became clear to me as I was attempting to “go solar”. In order to install solar power at my home in Silverado, CA, I needed to submit the plan to the county planning commission. Their approval was necessary to go forward with the plan.
Solar permit application process for businesses – click to enlarge.
Any other substantial alteration of one’s property — the addition of a garage or new section — must be approved by such commissions. Indeed, throughout the country to undertake an installation such as I was contemplating, proprietors must obtain permission from various commissions, all of which are supposed to have been established by democratic means!
As I see it, this means that the country is being governed by the principles of democratic socialism.
There are now even “studies on the solar permitting process”, as absurd as this seems.
"On The Cusp Of A Staggering Default Wave": Energy Intelligence Issues Apocalyptic Warning For The Energy Sector
The Energy Intelligence news and analysis creator and aggregator is not one to haphazradly throw around hyperbolic claims and forecasts. So when it gets downright apocalyptic, as it did this week in a report titled "Is Debt Bomb About to Blow Up US Shale?", people listen... and if they are still long energy junk bonds, they panic.
"The US E&P sector could be on the cusp of massive defaults and bankruptcies so staggering they pose a serious threat to the US economy. Without higher oil and gas prices -- which few experts foresee in the near future -- an over-leveraged, under-hedged US E&P industry faces a truly grim 2016. How bad could things get?"
The full report by Paul Merolli, a senior editor and correspondent at Energy Intelligence:
Debt Bomb Ticking for US Shale
The US E&P sector could be on the cusp of massive defaults and bankruptcies so staggering they pose a serious threat to the US economy. Without higher oil and gas prices — which few experts foresee in the near future — an over-leveraged, under-hedged US E&P industry faces a truly grim 2016. How bad could things get and when? It increasingly looks like a number of the weakest companies will run out of financial stamina in the first half of next year, and with every dollar of income going to service debt at many heavily leveraged independents, there are waves of others that also face serious trouble if the lower-for-longer oil price scenario extends further.
"I could see a wave of defaults and bankruptcies on the scale of the telecoms, which triggered the 2001 recession," Timothy Smith, president of consultancy Petro Lucrum, told a Platts energy conference in Houston last week. Much has been made about the resiliency of US oil production in the face of low prices, but the truth is that many producers are maximizing their output — even unprofitable volumes — because they need the cash flow to service their debt (related). "As an industry, we're at the point where every dollar of free cash flow now goes to paying back debt," Angle Capital's Steve Ilkay told the same conference. Ilkay, who advises North American producers on asset management, said during the boom years of 2012-14 about 55% of the sector's free cash flow, which is calculated by subtracting capital expenditures from operating cash flow, was allocated toward debt repayment.
With West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stuck below $50 per barrel since August — and closer to $40 recently — the industry has responded with deeper cuts to capex and a greater focus on efficiency (EIF Nov.4'15). However, experts say this won't be enough to avoid a bloody reckoning with persistent low oil and gas prices, as the sector grapples with some $200 billion-plus in high-yield debt, which it absorbed to finance the shale oil boom. Credit quality has been steadily deteriorating since June 2014, when WTI peaked at $108/bbl. Standard and Poor's says there have been 19 defaults so far in 2015 across the US oil and gas industry, while another 15 companies have filed for bankruptcy. Besides those that have missed interest or principal payments, the default category also includes companies that have entered into "distressed exchanges" with their creditors, including Halcon, SandRidge, Midstates, Goodrich, Warren, Exco, Venoco and Energy XXI (EIF Jul.8'15).
Of the 153 oil and gas companies that S&P applies credit ratings to, roughly two-thirds are E&P firms. Among these E&Ps, 77% now have high-yield or "junk" ratings of BB+ or lower. 63% are rated B+ or worse, and 31% — or 51 companies — are rated below B-. What does this all mean in layman's terms? "Quite frankly it's a lot of gloom and doom," says Thomas Watters, managing director of S&P's oil and gas ratings. "I lose sleep over what could unfold." He says companies with ratings of B- or below are "on life support," while those further down the ratings scale at C+ or lower are "maybe looking at a year, year-and-a-half before they default or file for bankruptcy." While capital markets were still open to struggling E&P firms in the first half of the year, they are closing fast as investors accept a "lower-for-longer" oil price scenario. High-yield E&P firms raised $29 billion from 44 issuances of public debt in 2014. So far in 2015, $13 billion in junk-rated debt been raised from 23 issuances — but only two have come after June (EIF Jul.29'15).
After posting negative free cash flow of $24 billion in 2015, capex cuts and efficiency measures should help the industry post positive free cash flow of $8 billion in 2016, S&P reckons. However, the high-yield E&Ps are expected to see negative free cash flow of $10 billion, so the group that can least afford a cash crunch will get just that. Better hedging could have helped, but data from IHS Energy shows a woefully under-hedged E&P sector in 2016. Small producers have 27% of their oil production hedged at an average price of $77/bbl; midsized firms have 26% hedged at $69; and large producers have just 4% hedged at $63. That is much less protection than E&P firms had in place for 2015 (EIF Aug.19'15).
Small and midsized producers, which rely heavily on revolving lines of credit with banks, have not yet seen these liquidity lifelines cut off. Some analysts were shocked after banks reduced lines to credit to E&Ps by just 10% on average during October redetermination negotiations (EIF Oct.14'15). Banks appear to be putting off the inevitable in hopes of a price rebound. Many have been using price forecasts above the average 12-month forward strip — suggesting the pain could extend to energy lenders if markets don't recover as they expect. Heading into October redeterminations, Macquerie Tristone's energy lending survey showed banks using an average 2016 WTI price outlook of $54. That has since dropped to around $47 this quarter — closer to the $46 indicated by the Nymex strip.
Yet another source of concern for E&Ps and their lenders are price-related impairments and asset write-downs (EIF Nov.11'15). Year-to-date, there has been $70.1 billion in asset write-downs in 2015, approaching the $94.3 billion total for the previous 10-year period of 2005-14, according to Stuart Glickman, head of S&P Capital's oil equities research. And he expects even more write-downs and impairments to emerge at year-end. "Companies are putting this off for a long as they can. You don't want to be negotiating in capital markets with a weakened hand," says Glickman. This will be a problem up and down the E&P sector, not just for the little guys. Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest US independent producers, shocked earlier this month by indicating a $13 billion reduction in the so-called PV-10, or "present value," of its oil and gas reserves to $7 billion. Had Chesapeake used 12-month futures strip prices — instead of Securities and Exchange Commission-mandated trailing 12-month prices for PV values — the value would've fallen to $4 billion. "That's staggering, just alarming to me," said Watters, noting that E&P firms' borrowing capacity is contingent on such measures (EIF Jul.22'15).
Many believe all of these issues will come to a head in first-half 2016, as the effect of fewer hedges is felt and banks once again reassess credit lines in April. Pitifully low natural gas prices could also play a big factor, especially if the US experiences a mild winter. The confluence of these factors could be the catalyst that finally spurs a long-awaited tidal wave of mergers and acquisitions throughout the sector (EIF Oct.28'15). News of rampant defaults, bankruptcies and write-downs, combined with closed capital markets, might be enough to lower upstream asset valuations to the point where buyers and sellers can more easily agree to deals. Watters describes an "M&A playland" for strong companies with investment-grade credit ratings, noting that the six largest integrated majors together hold a war chest of some $500 billion. Smith says it could be a great opportunity for majors to improve their positions in US shale, where they were famously late in the game. "Some of the best shale acreage is held by companies with poor balance sheets. It seems like a natural fit," he says.
But there's also some $100 billion in private equity sitting on the sidelines, meaning majors and large independents may face stiff competition (EIF Oct.28'15). Anadarko has openly complained about being outbid for assets by management teams backed by private equity. "Does that mean we're overpaying? No," insists one private equity executive. "It means we're willing to pay a bit more because we think our guys can run the assets better than some larger outfits, who can struggle with cost structures."
If America is so 'exceptional' why is it the world's leader in needing to 'change'...
When it comes to plastic surgery, the United States is still the country with the most procedures worldwide.
You will find more statistics at Statista
In 2014, there were a total of 4.1 million procedures, 20 percent of the world's total, according to data compiled by The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS).
Business is also booming in Brazil and Japan where there were 2.1 and 1.3 million procedures last year respectively.
Unlike on previous occasions when Mark Dice either mocks the stupidity of Americans for having zero clue about the true worth of precious metals, or mocks the stupidity of Americans for having absolutely no understanding of politics (yet supporting Hillary Clinton among others), in his latest clip, the notorious lampooner takes a stroll at 4:30 pm on Thanksgiving night in front of the Best Buy in San Diego where he finds a massive line.
What follows is Mark, armed with just a bullhorn, taking on several hundred consumption zombies waiting in line at Best Buy, armed with just their overdrawn credit cards, or as he calls them "enemies of America. A symptom of this failed country. When this country is bankrupt, and it will be soon, you look in the mirror and that's who you blame."
Number of zombies impacted by his preaching? Zero. Why, because there is a TV for $99.95 to be bought proving the hedonically-adjusted deflationary wave sweeping the world is "all too real" and only much more QE and far more negative rates, making the merely billionaires into trillionaires, can save the global economy.
Nearly four months ago, when bitcoin was still languishing in the low $200s, we explained why in the post-Yuan devaluation regime, where all Chinese capital outflows are now scrutizined through a microscope, bitcoin will inevitably see substantial appreciation as the local population scrambles to transfer funds out of China and into more traditional end markets, such as the US, Canada and western Europe, using such still largely unregulated mediums as bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Why not gold?
This is what we said in the beginning of September: "China's propensity for gold is well-known. We would not be surprised to see a surge of gold imports into China, only instead of going to the traditional Commodity Financing Deals we have written extensively about before, where gold is merely a commodity used to fund domestic carry trades, it ends up in domestic households. However, while gold has historically been the best store of value in history and has outlasted every currency known to man, it is problematic when it comes to transferring funds in and out of a nation - it tends to show up quite distinctly on X-rays."
Which is why we would not be surprised to see another push higher in the value of bitcoin: it was earlier this summer when the digital currency, which can bypass capital controls and national borders with the click of a button, surged on Grexit concerns and fears a Drachma return would crush the savings of an entire nation. Since then, BTC has dropped (in no small part as a result of the previously documented "forking" with Bitcoin XT), however if a few hundred million Chinese decide that the time has come to use bitcoin as the capital controls bypassing currency of choice, and decide to invest even a tiny fraction of the $22 trillion in Chinese deposits.
Two months after we wrote this, bitcoin more than doubled to $500 before retracing some of its recent gains, and has resumed its rise again.
Why? This time the answer is Argentina, where as we reported two days ago, the new president admitted that "there are no more dollars in rhe central bank" which means that the days of the country's capital controls are numbered, and because as Citi said president-elect Macri wants to unify the official and parallel exchange rates (~9.60 and 15.50 ARS/USD, respectively) that will entail a substantial devaluation. Just how overvalued is the peso, you ask? "Grossly."
In other words, another major currency collapse is in store for Argentina, its fourth major one in recent decades.
It also means that as yet another country is about to take currency warfare to the next level, bitcoin is posed for another sharp move higher (even as Chinese demand for the fiat alternative continues to grow).
And since the topic is Argentina's upcoming latest currency collapse, courtesy of Raoul Pal's RealVision, here is an interview by Dan Morehead, Ex-Head of Macro Trading at Tiger Management and now CEO of Bitcoin investment firm Pantera with Wences Casares, an Argentinian Founder of Xapo and one of the pioneers of bitcoin.
Wences, an Argentinian, has seen his family's wealth evaporate not once, not twice but three times due to hyperinflation, devalulation and confiscation and that has led him to bitcoin. His driving philosophy: "There are more people in the world who need a currency they can trust, than there are people in the world who can trust their currency."
More from the person who knows all about currency destruction in the excerpt below...
... and as usual, the full interview can be seen on the RealVision website (which boasts dozens of other interviews with financial luminaries) and where a bitcoin subscription discount is available.
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