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Fri, 20th January 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “Electoral College” Tag

Priebus: Trump “Accepts” That Russia Played A Role In Election Hacking

In a surprising twist, incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Sunday on Fox News that President-elect Donald Trump accepts that Russia played a role in hacking the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta.

Priebus, the former RNC chairman, said Trump understands that Moscow was behind the intrusions into the Democratic Party organizations. “He accepts the fact that this particular case was entities in Russia so that’s not the issue” and added that Trump “is not denying that entities in Russia were behind this particular hacking campaign.”

“But here’s the thing that I think everyone needs to understand — when this whole thing started, it started from the Russians 50 years ago … This is something that’s been going on in our elections for many, many years.” Priebus said it “happens every election period.”

“In this particular case, it started way back in 2015 before either nominee of either party was chosen,” Priebus said. “And it started … as a spearfishing expedition over many different institutions.”

Additionaly, Priebus blasted the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for its lack of IT defenses. The DNC was warned multiple times by the FBI before being hacked, Priebus added, and officials didn’t respond. “So yes, we have bad actors around the world,” Priebus said.”But we also have a problem when we have a major political institution that allows foreign governments into their system with hardly any defenses or training.”

As Reuters notes, Priebus’ comments marked a major shift in the official Trump narrative: the president elect has repeatedly dismissed claims that the Russians were trying to help him, arguing that those charges are the product of his political opponents trying to undermine his victory. 

So far, Trump has only indirectly acknowledged the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the election and has consistently downplayed its significance — and the president-elect has a history of later contradicting what his surrogates tell the media.

On Friday morning, shortly before being briefed by US intelligence, Trump tweeted that “Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place.The Republican National Committee had strong defense!” He then tweeted two follow-up comments, first that “Intelligence stated very strongly there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results. Voting machines not touched!” followed by “Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the loss by the Dems was so big that they are totally embarrassed!”

After the briefing, Trump stated, “While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines.”

Donald Trump Seals Electoral College Victory, Officially Becomes 45th US President

It’s finally over: Donald Trump has secured 304 Electoral Votes following the Texas vote (with 2 faithless electors), officially securing the presidency of the United States.  Of course, the now official President-Elect Trump took to twitter to confirm the victory:

Texas’ 36 electoral votes for Trump pushed him over the edge at around 4:30 Central Time, even though two rogue electors’ defections deprived Trump of one of those votes. That gave Trump 304 total electoral votes.

A quick recap of the day’s events from the WSJ:

 Members of the Electoral College meeting in state capitals across the country on Monday confirmed President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, ending a last-ditch campaign to deny him the presidency. Mr. Trump amassed at least 270 electoral votes on Monday afternoon—enough to officially become the president-elect over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, according to a tally of votes by the Associated Press.

Typically just a formality, this year’s Electoral College vote attracted an outsize amount of attention after a group of mostly Democratic electors made a late push to block Mr. Trump’s path to the White House. They argued the Electoral College had a constitutional duty to act independently of the will of the voters in extraordinary circumstances. Protesters gathered in several state capitols across the country to encourage electors to reject Mr. Trump.

Bitcoin trade volume hits record in November

A record 174.7 million bitcoins changed hands, so to speak, in November, a 50% or so increase from the previous month’s trade volume, according to Bitcoinity.org.

The spike came as Chinese jumped into the digital currency as a way to shift their assets into dollars.

 The previous monthly record, which came in March, was 148.6 million bitcoins.

The November trading volume was worth $137 billion.

The yuan has been weakening against the U.S. currency since Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election on Nov. 8.

Many Chinese evade restrictions on directly buying dollars by taking a detour into bitcoins. This is what they were doing last month.

Shifting Paradigms and the Market Adjustment

Around the middle of the year, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard revealed his new economic approach.  He argued that during economic phases, or paradigms, economic relationships wee fairly stable, such as unemployment and inflation.  
We cannot predict when a new paradigm emerges.  Economic forecasts must assume the continuation of whatever is the current paradigm.  Bullard accepts the need for one more interest rate, perhaps next month to bring the Fed funds to a neutral target within the existing set of economic relationships.  
Investors see two trends which could very well portend a changing paradigm.  First is reflation.  It was clear that whichever candidate won the US presidential election, fiscal policy was set to turn more accommodative.  Trump promised a large stimulus package, which included tax cuts as well as spending increases.  The size of the package he talked about during the campaign, and his economic advisers are maintaining after the election, is on par with the February 2009 measures when the economy was in the throes of the credit-crisis-induced recession.   
The limits of monetary policy were gradually becoming recognized and emphasized by economists and policymakers.  A few countries, such as Canada, led by a new Liberal government, provided modest fiscal support.  The UK is also widely expected to increase government spending.  Investors anticipate that Hammond, the UK Chancellor the Exchequer, will outline an increase in infrastructure investment (rail and roads) in the Autumn Statement on November 23.  Trump’s campaign rhetoric stands out for its size and the fact that it is for a US economy that is already growing near trend, which the Federal Reserve estimates near 1.8%.  The inflationary implications of provided significant stimulus under such pre-existing conditions are not lost on investors.  

Trump wins US presidency in stunning upset

Donald Trump, the property developer known for his divisive rhetoric, has been elected US president in a shock outcome that has roiled global financial markets.

The Associated Press has called the 2016 election for Mr Trump, who is set to garner enough seats in the US Electoral College to pass the critical 270 mark and succeed Barack Obama.

The news represents a stark contrast to polls that had put former secretary of state Hillary Clinton well ahead, and suggested Mr Trump would have a tough path to securing enough support in the Electoral College.

The strong showing was a strong rebuke of the political establishment — something that echoed June’s Brexit vote in which UK citizen’s confounded pollsters by voting to divorce from the EU.

Global financials were rocked by the surprise results, with US stock-index futures pointing to heavy losses on Wednesday. The Mexican peso, which has become a favoured proxy for the election, plummeted more than 10 per cent.

The GOP also had a strong showing in Congressional races, where the AP projected the party to retain control in the House of Representatives. Republicans were also looking more likely to hold their grip on the Senate, repelling an attempt by Democrats that appeared to have good odds of succeeding.

Overnight US Market :Dow closed -42 points. 9th Consecutive down close

The Standard & Poor’s 500  index closed lower Friday for a ninth straight day, marking its longest losing streak in 36 years, as uncertainty and angst related to Tuesday’s tough-to-call presidential election overshadowed a government report showing continued steady job growth.

At the close, the index was down 3.48 points, or 0.2%, to 2085.18. The last time it fell nine straight days was in December 1980, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices, when Republican Ronald Reagan was celebrating his presidential election win over Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.39 points, or 0.2%, to 17,888.28. The Nasdaq composite declined 12.04 points, 0.2%, to 5046.37.

If stocks fall Monday, it would mark a 10th day of losses for the S&P 500, a streak last seen in the summer of 1975, according to Silverblatt. If election angst drags on beyond Election Day the S&P 500 will be in danger of eclipsing its longest losing streak of all time: a 12-day swoon back in April 1966 — or 50 years ago.

Stocks have been dragged down amid signs the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is narrowing, which is creating major uncertainty and making investors jittery. Wall Street had been pricing in a Clinton win, but as polls have narrowed following Clinton’s lastest email scandal, investors have opted to hedge against the possibility of a Trump surprise win.

Still the market’s nine-day swoon has only added up to a loss of 3.07%, which is modest, notes Silverblatt, noting that the S&PP 500 has lost more than that amount on a single day 298 times.

Trump Victory Predicted By Professor Who Has Called Every Presidential Race Since 1984

 

American University Professor, Allan Lichtman, has accurately predicted every U.S. presidential election since 1984 and now he’scalling 2016 for Trump.  Lichtman uses a system he calls the “Keys to the White House” which he developed after studying every election cycle from 1860 through 1980.

Lichtman’s “Keys to the White House” are the following 13 true/false questions, where an answer of “true” always favors the re-election of the incumbent party, in this case, Hillary.  If, however, the answer to six or more of the 13 keys is “false” then the incumbent loses.

Here is how Lichtman answered his “13 Keys to the White House”:

1.  Party Mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than after the previous midterm elections.

Lichtman Answer:  False “They got crushed.”

2.  Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination.

Lichtman Answer:  True

3.  Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president.

Lichtman Answer:  False

4.  Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign.

Lichtman Answer:  False – “In his highest polling, Gary Johnson is at about 12 to 14 percent. My rule is that you cut it in half. That would mean that he gets six to seven.”

5.  Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.

Lichtman Answer:  True

6.  Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.

Lichtman Answer:  True

7.  Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.

Lichtman Answer:  False – “No major policy change in Obama’s second term like the Affordable Care Act.”

8.  Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term.

Lichtman Answer:  True

9.  Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.

Lichtman Answer:  True

10.  Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.

Lichtman Answer:  True

11.  Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.

Lichtman Answer:  False – “No major smashing foreign policy success.”

12.  Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.

Lichtman Answer:  False – “Hillary Clinton is not a Franklin Roosevelt.”

13.  Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.

Lichtman Answer:  True