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Only In California: Sacramento To Pay Gang Bangers A Cash Stipend If They Stop Killing People

Authored by Mac Slavo via,
You’re probably thinking this is a satirical report from The Onion.
We thought so, too.

But be assured it’s very real, as reported by Fox 40 Sacramento:
After a violent weekend of suspected gang-rela...

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Dems and Conservatives alike want to help Trump cut taxes — by charging carbon polluters

Democrats and Conservatives alike are preparing a push to make a fee on carbon emissions part of the tax reform package.

crude oil

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Why it’s nearly impossible to trade Currencies with success

(Elite E Services) — 9/1/2017 — As we have explained in our book  Splitting Pennies – trading FX is nearly impossible; or at least, it may be possible for some time, but in the long run, it’s a near certainty that without the use of professional algorithmic trading systems you will blow up your account.  That’s because of the dynamics of how FX works vs. other markets.  In traditional markets, there is a bias towards positive movement; all CEOs of public companies want their stock to go higher.  Bull traders, 401k investors, pension funds – basically everyone wants the stock market to go up.  The short sellers aren’t ‘pessimists’ so much as ‘realists’ that over-inflated P/E ratios are a sign for a crash from unrealistic levels.  This is NOT the case in FX.  Currency markets have opposing forces like ‘gravity’ and ‘anti-gravity’ – every country wants both a strong currency and a weak currency.  This may seem illogical, welcome to the world of Currency!  The reason is simple – exporters want a cheap currency and importers want a strong currency.  Politicians usually favor a weak currency because it’s good domestically and big business favors a strong currency (at least in the USA) because USA is a net importer.  Let’s have a look at today’s USD action most noticed in EUR/USD:


On the surface this looks like a great trading opportunity – but is it?  EUR went up on poor US Payroll data; and then fell on dovish jawboning from the ECB.  Planned conspiracy to manipulate FX or just random brownian movement?  Believe what fits into your mind that helps you sleep at night, either way – would you have been able to buy EUR at 1.1924, sell near the high at 1.1980 and then reverse, covering near 1.19 handle?  All within 10 minutes?  Maybe someone did it, even if by accident, but the point is that any trading plan or investment strategy shouldn’t rely on the ability of such skills because even if as a trader you were able to achieve this great feat – would it be able to repeat it, day in and day out – for years?  Probably not.

Enter more paradox such as “Triffin Dilemma”:

The Triffin dilemma or Triffin paradox is the conflict of economic interests that arises between short-term domestic and long-term international objectives for countries whose currencies serve as global reserve currencies. This dilemma was first identified in a 1929 book, Gold and Central Banks, by Polish economist Feliks M?ynarski,[1] who identified a fundamental instability in a gold-based international monetary system, that the reserve currency countries would tend to accumulate foreign reserves, but as the volume of these grew relative to the country’s gold reserves, international investors would begin to fear suspension of convertibility; later in the 1960s, it was rediscovered in the context of the Bretton Woods system by BelgianAmerican economist Robert Triffin, who pointed out that the country whose currency, being the global reserve currency, foreign nations wish to hold, must be willing to supply the world with an extra supply of its currency to fulfill world demand for these foreign exchange reserves, thus leading to a trade deficit. Due to M?ynarski’s precedence in articulating the problem, Barry Eichengreen has suggested renaming the problem to “the M?ynarski dilemma“.[1]

This is not only true for a reserve currency – any currency has a conflict between short term and long term interests.  For example, if a currency is weaker it can help exporters in the short term to boost sales, but hurt the same exporters in the medium term when they need to go out into the world and buy raw materials for higher prices.  This push and pull is what defines modern Forex on a systemic level.  While average investors certainly don’t need to know this unless you’re planning on getting a job with a central bank, it can help any investor understand how and why Currency markets fluctuate the way they do.  It should also be noted that these forces maintain ‘bounds’ naturally, establishing a sort of ‘high’ and ‘low’ limit for any FX pair.  For example the EUR/USD now trading around 1.19, it can go in next days to 1.20 or 1.21 but not 1.90, for example.  Even in rare cases such as the “Brexit” the GBP/USD went down by less than 10% – which is a lot, for a major Currency.  So let it be known to all that these risks in FX are investable (with the help of algorithms) and hedgeable.  Looking from a risk management perspective, it is a lot more manageable than securities, commodities, or bonds – which have the finality of the ‘ulimate’ risk (default) – as Currency is ‘money’ the Euro can’t ‘default’.

A final note to all you Bitcoiners – Bitcoin is a Currency it’s only a matter of time before it’s integrated into the Forex system, because BTC/USD is an FX pair.  Good time to brush up on your FX and understand the broader market (not just the microcosm of Cryptocurrencies).

So now for the good news, the Currency Market provide a number of opportunities for algorithmic trading systems that continually profit, making FX a new budding asset class.

Today’s move is a blip on the radar, a non-event for hedgers – and a potential huge trading opportunity for algos.  Game on!

For a pocket guide to make you a Currency Genius checkout Splitting Pennies.

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Hurricane Harvey Looters Targeting Fuel Tanks As Google Searches For “How To Siphon Gas” Soar

Texas resident Joe Roan woke up to a rather unpleasant surprise yesterday morning as he discovered the remnants of a would-be thief attempting to steal gasoline from his Jeep Wrangler tank.  Unfortunately, as a local CBS affiliate pointed out last night, with refinery outages resulting in growing gasoline shortages, this is becoming a rather common occurrence for Texas residents.

Joe Roan didn’t witness the crime, but he found the evidence in his driveway.


“I came outside this morning and found this water hose was sticking out,” he said, holding the hose a thief left hanging out of his Jeep’s tank.


On the ground sat a gas tank.


“Instantly I knew someone was trying to steal my gas,” he said. “Maybe a car drove by when they were doing it and they ran? I don’t know.”


Roan said the thief didn’t even manage to get any fuel.


Meanwhile, Google searches for "how to siphon gas" have soared as criminals have been forced to hone their skills before taking to the streets.



Of course, the rampant onset of gasoline thieves is the result of fuel shortages which are often exacerbated by the pure panic of people trying to keep their tanks topped off. As we've reported several times in recent days, long lines at gas stations have become a common sight from the Texas shores up to Dallas.

Flooding from Harvey has caused a temporary gas shortage, creating long lines and price hikes at gas stations in Texas.

— ABC World News Now (@abcWNN) September 1, 2017

Watch live: Lines at gas pumps growing longer in North Texas -->

— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) August 31, 2017


Meanwhile, one seasoned energy trader warned this is "only just beginning" as the hangover from Hurricane Harvey flows downstream to retail gas prices...

As Bloomberg notes, Harvey impact currently includes:

  • Colonial says it’ll commingle Rbob and conventional gasoline
  • Explorer Pipeline planning to start lines Saturday, Sunday
  • Logjam grows to 29 oil tankers as 11 ports remain closed
  • Total Port Arthur is said facing extended shutdown on power loss
  • Texas storm bucks N.Y. traders with wild gasoline expiry swings
  • NHC issues final advisory on Harvey; losing tropical character

Which has left retail gas prices at the pump at their highest in 2 years...


And, judging by their usual lagged response to RBOB, they are set to go dramatically higher in the next few weeks...


All of which has resulted in the predictable onslaught of price gouging, with the Dallas News reporting sightings of gas prices ranging from $2.99 a gallon to $8....

There were multiple reports of gas stations charging anywhere from $2.99 to $8 for a gallon of regular gas.


At the 76 gas station in Garland, the fuel-price display unit outside showed $8 for a gallon. The station was swamped with calls from angry customers after a photo was posted on social media, according to Robert Fernandez, who works there.


There have been numerous complaints about high gas prices, according to Kayleigh Lovvorn, spokeswoman for the office of Texas Attorney General.


“When evaluating whether a business is engaging in price gouging in the sale of fuel, we look to see if they are charging excessive or exorbitant prices,” Lovvorn said in an emailed statement. “We recognize that certain market conditions, such as decreased production and closed refineries, might cause market fluctuations.”


The attorney general’s office is looking into 984 complaints filed between August 25 and Thursday afternoon. On Thursday alone, its Consumer Protection Division received more than 500 complaints, “many of which involve allegations of high fuel prices in Dallas, including amounts ranging from $6 to $8 dollars per gallon.”

...which is still pretty cheap compared to what Best Buy is charging for water.


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EPRINC urges relaxed ethanol requirements

Relaxation of ethanol requirements for gasoline sold in the US would
help relieve pressure on fuel supplies and costs to consumers caused by
Hurricane Harvey, according to the Energy Policy Research Foundation Inc.The post EPRINC urges relaxed ethano...

Quantifying Treasuries’ Upside In A Recession

"But, but, but, rates have nowhere to go but higher..." is all we have heard for the past year.

But what if that is incorrect? quanitifies the upside returns from owning bonds if things don't work out as ebuliently as expected...

It is only logical to assume that after 8.2 years of unimpeded GDP expansion in the US, we are near to the other side of the business cycle, a recession. The average expansion since 1900 is 3.8 years, and this one is already the 3rd longest, only bested by an expansion in the 60’s at 8.8 years and the expansion in the ‘Roaring 90’s’ at 10 years.

Logically and empirically, recessions see much lower interest rates. Cycles associated with the 14 recessions since and including the Great Depression average a drop of 186 basis points in yield (-1.86% in yield) in the 10yr US Treasury. In the last five recessions that we have Fed Funds target data for, the Fed has cut rates an average of 625 basis points (-6.25%) and a minimum of 500 basis points (-5%).

With the Fed at 1.125% now, it is easy to imagine a negative Fed Funds Rate and negative Treasury yields in the next recession. A recent Bloomberg article points to new research from Harvard professor Kenneth Rogoff suggesting that negative interest rates have been proven to work and are a viable choice for the Federal Reserve.

In the next recession we expect rates to fall nearer to Japan and Germany type levels; below 1% and possibly below 0.50% or 0%. Using short-hand, estimates of performance can be calculated using assumptions for where the 10yr UST falls to.

click image for large legible version

*This is a short-hand estimate of what returns may look like before any fees or commissions. This simple model does not take into account carry, rolldown, or active management. Returns could easily be higher or lower than these estimates at these terminal yields. Higher yields would most likely result in lossses.

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Rover Gas Pipeline Gets Phase 1A Approval

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given the go-ahead to the Rover natural gas pipeline project’s Phase 1A, which will transport gas from Cadiz to the Midwest Hub, near Defiance in Ohio. The hub will serve as a distribution center for 68 percent of the gas Rover transports across the States. The US$4.2-billion pipeline, still under construction, will eventually have a daily capacity of 3.25 billion cu ft from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. While the bulk of the gas will be supplied to the domestic market, 32 percent of it…

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Infuriating: Police Arrest on Duty Nurse For Refusing to Break Law

Via The Daily Bell

“Is this patient under arrest?” Alex Wubbles asks the officer, being instructed by legal counsel on the phone.

“Nope,” the officer says.

“Do you have an electronic warrant?” She asks, searching for a way to legally comply with the officers.

“No,” The officer admits bluntly, getting annoyed.

The police did not have a warrant. The police did not have probable cause. The man was not under arrest. The unconscious patient could not consent.

The nurse, Alex, printed out the hospital’s policy which the Salt Lake City Police Department agreed to. She showed it to the officers. She clearly and calmly listed the three things which would allow her to give the police the blood sample: a warrant, patient consent, or a patient under arrest.

The police had none of these things.

“Okay, so I take it, without those in place, I am not going to get blood?” The Officer Jeff Payne is heard saying behind his body cam.

The legal counsel on the phone tries to tell the officer not to blame the messenger, and that he is making a big mistake.

Then, the officer attacks the nurse, Alex Wubbles. He drags her outside, and handcuffs her, while she cries.

“What is going on?!” She says exasperated, wondering why they are doing this to her.

She couldn’t just break the hospital policy and put her job in jeopardy because some police officers illegally told her to. She couldn’t simply collude with the lawbreakers–the police–and illegally hand over a blood sample on behalf of an unconscious patient.

That would have opened her up to lawsuits and job loss.

The officers were, in fact, breaking the law. They had no legal right to demand blood from an unconscious patient who could not consent.

The man they wanted blood from was a truck driver who had struck a vehicle being pursued by the police. It is unclear why they would even need a blood sample from the victim.

But none of these legal facts stopped the police from placing the nurse under arrest.

Wubbles was handcuffed and placed in a police vehicle. She was never actually charged.

You could chalk this up to one crazy officer, Detective Jeff Payne with the Salt Lake City Police.

But then his supervisor showed up to the scene. While the nurse was handcuffed in the cruiser, the supervisor started to lecture her.

“There are civil remedies,” he said, telling her she should have broken the law when the officer told her to. Of course, this ignored the fact that she would have been caught up in the civil action against the officers!

It’s like an episode of the Twilight Zone as the Supervisor lies and says the nurse was obstructing justice. All the nurse wanted was a warrant signed by a judge, the legal requirement to execute a search! And yet not just Officer Payne, but his Supervisor insist that she should have given them what they wanted, without a warrant.

Listening to the Supervisor’s justification is a real trip. He repeatedly says, things like, “If you already have a sample, we can just go get a warrant, but all I’m hearing is no, no, no.”

What? Yes, go get a warrant! That is what you have been repeatedly told by the nurse and hospital staff!

You can tell from the video she is not some anti-cop crusader. She was legitimately trying to do her job and follow the law to the best of her ability. Before she is arrested, you can tell she is worried and uncomfortable, trying her best to keep the situation calm and professional.

And then the police handcuffed and dragged a crying nurse out of the building to intimidate and harass her further.

She is a strong woman. She stood up to their bullying and lies and did not give in. Despite the best efforts of the police, she would not help them violate the Fourth Amendment rights of her patient.

Police should not be able to just handcuff people and drag them to a car as an intimidation method. Payne should be fired and charged with assault.

The supervisor should also be fired, for continuing to harass that poor woman after learning quite clearly that his officer was attempting to break the law. These people are a threat to the public.

But all too often Police Cheif’s and other officers line up behind their disreputable colleagues.

And that is why people have such a problem with the police. Fire the bad officers, and maybe the good ones can take the public spotlight.

But if the police treat nurses like this, surrounded by hospital staff, how can we expect them to treat the rest of us?

This is the Salt Lake City Police Facebook page if you would like to leave a friendly note.

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Has Iraq Stopped Cheating On The OPEC Deal?

OPEC’s no.2 Iraq is currently producing 4.32 million bpd of oil, below the 4.351 million bpd ceiling it had pledged in the production cut deal, Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said on Friday, in what is the first sign that one of the worst-compliant producers so far may have finally started to stick to its commitment—a couple of months after the original agreement was set to expire. Despite Iraq’s optimism, its central government doesn’t yet have the full picture of the oil exports of the Kurdistan Regional Government,…

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“MAGA”: There Is Now An ETF Investing In Companies That Support The GOP

The ongoing ETF insanity, which as of the end of August saw Vanguard fund inflows of $1.6 billion every day (or $100 million every single hour) has now boldly crossed over into the political arena, with the upcoming launch of the "MAGA" ETF, which hopes to "make America great again" by investing exclusively in companies that support the Republican Party, and Trump of course.

To keep it simple, the Point Bridge GOP Stock Tracker ETF will - as one would expect - list under the ticker “MAGA,” in reference to Trump's campaign slogan. In addition to MAGA, Hal Lambert, founder of Point Bridge, is planning a set of what it calls Politically Responsible Investing products. MAGA is expected to begin trading on September 7.

Unlike other ETFs which invest in specific industries, products, or factors, the ETF strategy will instead analyze the political contributions of the employees and the PACs of S&P companies. It will then pick the top 150 Republican stocks based on their contribution data for ETF inclusion. Lambert, a major Texas Republican fundraiser, refers to the approach as “politically responsible investing.”

Speaking to the Daily Caller, Lambert said that “corporations have been very active in political contributions and those effect the outcome of elections. Many are now becoming outwardly vocal in their attacks on President Trump and Republican policies to the detriment of their shareholders and the country. Investors need to support the companies that are supportive of President Trump and the Republican Party because that drives policy across the country.”

“How can a company that has a fiduciary duty to shareholders support candidates that want higher taxes on their company which ultimately harms their shareholders? Investors should have a way to say no thank you to companies that are actively against their interests.”

Lambert said that the top five Republican contributors in the past two election cycles were: AT&T, Marathon Petroleum, Home Depot, Exxon Mobil, and Altria. “All of those stocks will be in the ETF,” Lambert said. The launch of the fund comes as major corporations are increasingly getting involved in politics (just google GOOGLE).

Before rushing in, keep this in mind: one sector fund investors will miss is the one that has been the best performing YTD: tech. As of the most recent election cycle, the MAGA ETF will not have any large technology companies that are typically Democratic in their contributions, but Lambert maintains that with 150 stocks, it still contains plenty of industry diversity.

The fund, which is expected to list on the BATS exchange, has a rather generous annual expense ratio of 0.72%. Which is why investors may want to look to cheaper, knock-offs alternatives: according to Reuters, a rival group, Active Weighting Advisors LLC in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, plans a Republican Policies Fund and a Democratic Policies Fund listed under the tickers GOP and DEMS.

Is it unclear if there will be any correlation between the performance of the GOP or DEMS and the actual approval polling of either the Republican or Democrat party, although it is very clear that

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