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Thu, 30th March 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “D.C.” Tag

“Did Russia Ever Interfere In The US Elections?” Putin Answers: “Watch My Lips, No”

Speaking at a CNBC-moderated panel, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again said that accusations of Russian interference in the US presidential elections are “lies” used for “domestic American politics.”

“We said on numerous occasions and I reiterate that we are confident … And know for sure that opinion polls in the Unites States show that very many people are … friendly towards the Russian Federation and I’d like to tell these people that we perceive and regard the United States as a great power with which we want to establish good partnership relations,” Putin said and added “All those things are fictional, illusory and provocations, lies. All these are used for domestic American political agendas. The anti-Russian card is played by different political forces inside the United States to trade on that and consolidate their positions inside.”

Putin refuted the findings of a January ODN report which in January found that “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary (Hillary) Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the report said, adding that intelligence agencies have “high confidence” in that assessment, although have yet to release any of the facts backing the assessment.

FInally, Putin explicitly denied that Russia meddled in the U.S. elections. Putin quoted George Bush when asked if the “Russian government had ever tried to influence the outcome of the US presidential election, and there will be no evidence found?” to which he responded “Watch my lips, no.”

Here Are The 26 People Responsible For Today’s Market Plunge

As we noted first thing this morning, and as we, and others, have been warning since December, the passage of Trump’s tax plan is conditional on the effective repeal (and/or replace) of Obamacare, which is set for a vote on Thursday.  And yet, it was only today that the market, and the press, appeared to notice that the biggest threat for the market – a market which has long ago priced in the successful passage of Trump’s tax cuts – is that Trumpcare may not pass not only the Senate, but also the House, which in turn would stall Trump’s tax plan schedule well into fiscal 2018 (if not later) as the following Reuters headlines confirms: “Worries about Trump tax plan sink stocks.”

And, unfortunately for Trump and bulls, despite the president’s trip to the Capitol this morning, he failed to whip holdout Republicans. In fact, according to the latest NBC News roll call, there are at least 26 Republicans who as of this moment, 48 hours before the House vote to repeal Obamacare, are either opposed, or lean “strongly against” the health bill despite its recent revisions.

So, for all those who are looking for someone – or someones – to blame for today’s selloff, which is shaping up as the worst of 2017, here is the list of 26 Republican house members who are jeopardizing Trump’s entire domestic agenda. As a reminder, the GOP can only afford to lose 21. If the list below holds, Trump’s biggest legislative push will be a failure on Thursday.

On June 1st The Deep State Will Move To Overthrow Trump

On Wednesday, March 15, 2017 the U.S. government once again hit its debt ceiling. In short, this means that until Congress raises the ceiling, the government will be unable to borrow more money. If you remember the last time this happened, there were weeks of posturing by Republicans and Democrats while some government services started shutting down. After much deliberation and negotiation the debt ceiling was eventually raised and collapse was avoided.

But this time around we may see a very different set of events play out. If it isn’t clear to you just yet, President Trump is under attack from all sides. Democrats, the media and even members of his own Party want to see him fail. But perhaps more importantly, it is the shadow operators known as “The Deep State” who may take this opportunity to lay the blame for decades of machinations at Trump’s feet.

These shadow forces have been at work manipulating everything from the global economy to the political affairs of sovereign nations.

While March 15th is the day we hit our debt ceiling, June 1st, 2017 is the real date to watch. That’s the day the Deep State may finally pull the trigger:

And what better way to do that then to collapse the economy?

Establishment Republicans and Democrats hate trump… many want to see him fail… even if it means a real systematic crisis for the nation.. in fact, many will even see this as a crisis to get rid of the President… to blame him for the last 30 years of mismanaging the country’s finances and be able to rebuke the voters who elected the President with a national mess… Trump and his supporters will be blamed and take the fall… this is the secret plan

The following report from Wealth Research Group explains how and why it will all go down: 

 

Hawaii Judge Blocks Trump’s Second Travel Ban

In the latest legal setback for the President, moments ago Trump’s latest attempt to temporarily bar new immigrants and refugees from six Muslim-majority nations was blocked by a Hawaii Federal Judge, pushing the young administration toward a second defeat on one of the president’s core campaign platforms.

U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson froze the order nationwide

Trump and Saudi Prince discussed new investments worth more than $200B – White House

White House on yesterday’s meeting

Saudi Arabia hailed yesterday’s meeting as a “historical turning point” in relations with the United States. He met with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is the economic power broker in the kingdom.

The White House said they discussed development of a new US-Saudi program with initiatives including infrastructure and energy worth potentially more than $200 billion.

Japan Press : Coming not so soon: Trump’s ‘historic’ tax plan

Despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s bluster on “historic tax reform” and $1 trillion in infrastructure investment, his visions still remain short on specifics, while the Congress appears headed to an epic clash over a contentious corporate tax plan.

American stocks surged in euphoria after Trump said Feb. 9 that he would announce something “over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax.” Yet his address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, his first, contained nothing but generalities — a far cry from the promised “phenomenal” plan.

Female lawmakers in the opposition Democratic Party wore white at Trump’s address Wednesday to show support for women’s rights. © AP 

During the campaign, Trump called for cutting the federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives have drawn up a proposal of their own that would introduce a 20% border adjustment tax to fund a corporate tax rate cut to 20%. This plan would impose no taxes on exports but would bar companies from deducting import-related costs from taxable income.

Trump has not taken a clear stand on the border adjustment tax, and Tuesday’s address only alluded to the issue. “When we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes,” he said. “But when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them nothing, or almost nothing.” Read More 

White House Bars CNN, NYT, Others From Media Briefing

Just a few hours after Trump warned during his CPAC speech that “we’re gonna do something about the media”, he did just that after the White House barred a number of news outlets from covering Sean Spicer’s Q&A session on Friday afternoon.  Spicer decided to hold an off-camera “gaggle” with reporters inside his West Wing office instead of the traditional on-camera briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room according to press reports. 

Among the outlets not permitted to cover the gaggle were various news organizations that Trump has singled out in the past including CNN, The NYT, The Hill, Politico, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News.

Several non mainstream outlets were allowed into Spicer’s office, including Breitbart, the Washington Times and One America News Network.  Several other major news organizations were also let in to cover the gaggle. That group included ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Reuters and Bloomberg, however AP and Time have boycotted the event.

The White House Correspondents’ Association sharply criticized the decision.

“The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House,” Jeff Mason, the association’s president, said in a statement.  “We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not,” he added. “The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.”

Traders Throw In The Towel On March Rate Hike

As we previously noted, while speculatrs had been reducing their shorts in Treasury futures, they had added to Eurodollar shorts – pushing their bets on Fed rate hikes to record highs. However, as Bloomberg notes, signals are starting to emerge that traders who built up that heavy short, or hawkish, eurodollar base since the start of 2016 could be starting to throw in the towel on a March Fed rate hike.

CME confirmed that Wednesday saw record volume in fed fund futures of 658.7k contracts, beating the previous record of 613k on Nov. 9, the day after the U.S. presidential election. Over the course of Wednesday’s session, a total of 283k Apr fed funds futures contracts traded, largest single-day volume seen in the contract. Open interest in the contract rose by 109k, suggesting some short covering before the minutes and potential new longs after the minutes.

Greek unemployment sticks at 23% amid escalating bailout row

Still no respite for Greece.

Amid a fresh escalation in a row over its bailout conditions, Greece’s stubbornly high unemployment rate is showing no sign of improvement.

The country’s jobless rate – which is the highest in the eurozone and has been above 20 per cent for six years – stuck at 23 per cent in November despite a general uptick in its economic prospects at the end of 2016.

The IMF has been accused by Athens and Brussels of an “overly pessimistic” view on the Syriza government’s ability to hit a 3.5 per cent budget surplus target over the next decade, which has led it to a wrong-headed forecast on Greece’s “explosive” debt dynamics.

The Fund’s latest report on the Greek economy suggest its debt-to-GDP mountain could reach 275 per cent over the next two decades without major debt restructuring. Unemployment meanwhile will only fall to 21.7 per cent this year, while the country’s long-term growth rate was downgraded to 1 per cent, IMF economists predict.

US Government’s 2016 Net Loss “More Than Doubled” To $1 Trillion

Just like Apple or Exxon, the government’s annual report contains several important financial statements and detailed commentary about their finances and operations.

But unlike Apple, Exxon, the government can’t manage to turn a profit. Ever.

According to this year’s report, the government’s net loss “more than doubled, increasing $533.2 billion (103.7%) during [Fiscal Year] 2016 to $1.0 trillion.”

It’s extraordinary that they lost $533 billion in 2015, let alone a full trillion in 2016.

Bear in mind, there was no major wars, recessions, or crises to fight.

What did you really receive in exchange for that trillion-dollar loss?

Brand new highway system? Giant tax rebate?

Nope. None of the above.

The sad reality is that it now costs the government so much to run itself, along with paying massive interest on the debt and supporting all of its entitlement obligations, that they lose $1 trillion even in a “normal” year.

What will happen in a bad year?

Then there’s the issue of the government’s “net worth”.

After adding up all of its assets (like tanks, aircraft carriers, government buildings, etc.) and subtracting liabilities (the national debt), the government’s “net worth” was MINUS $19.3 trillion at the close of the 2016 fiscal year.

That’s worse than 2015’s NEGATIVE $18.2 trillion, which was worse than 2014’s NEGATIVE $17.7 trillion, which was worse than 2013’s NEGATIVE $16.9 trillion.

The US federal government is insolvent, plain and simple.

This isn’t some wild conspiracy theory. It is a statement of fact based on publicly available data published by the US government itself.

It’s concerning that the government of the largest economy in the world is bankrupt.

But it’s even more concerning that more people aren’t concerned.

Naturally most of us have been programmed to believe for decades that the US government is rich and always pays its obligations.

This is a dangerous fantasy.

Yes, the government has been able to continually destroy its finances for years without consequence.

And for that accomplishment they should be awarded some special Nobel Prize in Ponzi Schemes.

But history is packed with examples of once-dominant empires who eventually declined under the weight of their unsustainable finances, from the French monarchy to ancient Rome.

Are we really supposed to believe that this time is any different?

Are we really supposed to believe that the US government can continue to indefinitely lose $1 trillion dollars per year without consequence?

Sure, it’s great to hope for the best. And maybe, just maybe, they manage to fix everything.

But it would be dangerous to bet everything you’ve ever earned or plan to achieve on such an unreasonable expectation.

When nations go broke, there are consequences. Simple.