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17-11-2017, 11:40 AM
Everything Else - Global News Tracker

How I didn’t shoot Kim Jong-un



I flew to the places where 80% of people voted Trump. I wanted to meet those involved in his presidential campaign in the Deep South. Is Trump’s United States really the country of their dreams?

Our reporter, Dawid Krawczyk, flew to the southern American state of Georgia to better understand the people who pushed Trump to the presidency. Who are these people? How do they imagine their future? Is Trump’s America the country of their dreams? And most importantly, what caused pious southerners to vote for a bombastic Northerner? 

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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17-11-2017, 12:33 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker
(17-11-2017 11:40 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  
How I didn’t shoot Kim Jong-un



I flew to the places where 80% of people voted Trump. I wanted to meet those involved in his presidential campaign in the Deep South. Is Trump’s United States really the country of their dreams?

Our reporter, Dawid Krawczyk, flew to the southern American state of Georgia to better understand the people who pushed Trump to the presidency. Who are these people? How do they imagine their future? Is Trump’s America the country of their dreams? And most importantly, what caused pious southerners to vote for a bombastic Northerner? 

I had a dream the other night in which Kim Jong-un was President of the United States.
Confused
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17-11-2017, 12:42 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker
(17-11-2017 12:33 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(17-11-2017 11:40 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  
How I didn’t shoot Kim Jong-un



I flew to the places where 80% of people voted Trump. I wanted to meet those involved in his presidential campaign in the Deep South. Is Trump’s United States really the country of their dreams?

Our reporter, Dawid Krawczyk, flew to the southern American state of Georgia to better understand the people who pushed Trump to the presidency. Who are these people? How do they imagine their future? Is Trump’s America the country of their dreams? And most importantly, what caused pious southerners to vote for a bombastic Northerner? 

I had a dream the other night in which Kim Jong-un was President of the United States.
Confused
That's quite strange dream.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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17-11-2017, 12:48 PM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker
(17-11-2017 12:42 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(17-11-2017 12:33 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  I had a dream the other night in which Kim Jong-un was President of the United States.
Confused
That's quite strange dream.

A simple transposition based on similarities, I guess.
Hobo

But I digress....
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18-11-2017, 08:37 AM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2017 08:46 AM by Kaneda.)
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker
Manhattan Retail: The New Rust Belt
ZeroHedge - Nov 17, 2017 12:25 PM

Via Global Macro Monitor,
"Bleecker Street, said Faith Hope Consolo, the chairwoman of the retail group for the real estate firm Douglas Elliman, “had a real European panache. People associated it with something special, something different.” Ms. Consolo, who has negotiated several deals on the street, added: “We had visitors from all over that said, ‘We’ve got to get to Bleecker Street.’ It became a must-see, a must-go.”

Early on, Ms. Consolo said, rents on the street were around $75 per square foot. By the mid-to-late 2000s, they had risen to $300. Those rates were unaffordable for many shop owners like Mr. Nusraty, who was forced out in 2008 when, he said, his lease was up and his monthly rent skyrocketed to $45,000, from $7,000."

– NY Times


Retail is not just being Amazoned in Manhattan, retailers are being priced out of business by exorbitant rents.

Note to commercial landlords: Lower your rents! But, God forbid, that would be deflationary!


Source: Donut Shorts
"One response to the neoclassical argument is that, in fact, prices are not perfectly flexible (they exhibit “stickiness”). For this reason, the economy is not self-correcting, at least not in the short run. Wages and prices may be “too high” (and, therefore, result in suppliers offering larger quantities for sale than demanders are able and willing to buy), but not come down quickly and eliminate the market surplus. This view has been widely attributed to John Maynard Keynes, and is, in fact, a key argument in what is known as “New Keynesian” economic theory."
– Dollars & Sense

[Image: 20171117_retail.jpg]

From NYT
"During its incarnation as a fashion theme park, Bleecker Street hosted no fewer than six Marc Jacobs boutiques on a four-block stretch, including a women’s store, a men’s store and a Little Marc for high-end children’s clothing. Ralph Lauren operated three stores in this leafy, charming area, and Coach had stores at 370 and 372-374 Bleecker. Joining those brands, at various points, were Comptoir des Cotonniers (345 Bleecker Street), Brooks Brothers Black Fleece (351), MM6 by Maison Margiela (363), Juicy Couture (368), Mulberry (387) and Lulu Guinness (394).

Today, every one of those clothing and accessories shops is closed.

Mr. Sietsema, the senior critic at Eater NY, has watched with mild schadenfreude but greater alarm as his neighborhood has undergone yet another transformation from a famed retail corridor whose commercial rents and exclusivity rivaled Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Calif., to a street that “looks like a Rust Belt city,” with all these empty storefronts, as a friend of Mr. Sietsema’s put it to him recently.

In the heart of the former shoppers’ paradise — the five-block stretch running from Christopher Street to Bank Street — more than a dozen retail spaces sit empty. Where textured-leather totes and cashmere scarves once beckoned to passers-by, the windows are now covered with brown construction paper, with “For Lease” signs and directives to “Please visit us at our other locations.”"
– NY Times

"Affliction comes to us, not to
make us sad but sober; not to make
us sorry but wise." -H.G. Wells
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18-11-2017, 08:58 AM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker
“The fish rots from the head”: a historian on the unique corruption of Trump’s White House
"Politicians lie, but this is different."

Updated by Sean Illing - @seanilling - sean.illin@vox.com - Nov 16, 2017, 9:00am EST

[Image: GettyImages-488227900.0.0.jpg]Tom Pennington/Getty

“Politicians lie, but this is different,” says a historian who studies presidential history and estimates the Trump administration easily ranks among the most corrupt in American history.

Robert Dallek is a presidential historian and the author of several books, including his latest about FDR titled Franklin Roosevelt: A Political Life. Writing recently for the Guardian, Dallek lamented the “disaster” that is the Trump presidency but also reminded readers that American democracy is surprisingly resilient and has survived far worse.

Despite Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp,” the first year of his administration has been plagued by resignations, investigations, and scandals. Dallek estimates that historical examples of corruption, like that of the Warren G. Harding administration, don’t hold a candle to how Trump and his people have conducted themselves in the White House.

History will judge Trump, and it will not be kind.

I spoke with Dallek about the history of corruption in American presidential politics and why he sees the Trump administration as “a low point in our history.” What makes Trump exceptionally dangerous, Dallek argues, is how effortlessly he lies and what kind of tone he has set in this White House.

“The fish rots from the head,” he told me, “and the stench of this administration starts at the very top.”

Our conversation, lightly edited for clarity, appears below.

Quote:Sean Illing

You’ve studied a lot of presidents and White Houses. Is the corruption and the lying in this administration unique in your mind?

Robert Dallek

This administration is a low point in our history. We’ve been through scandals before, going as far back as the Grant administration in the 19th century and the Harding administration in the early 20th century. Presidents have been accused of bribery and shady gift-giving. So it’s not entirely unique to see scandals subsume a White House.

But the shamelessness of this administration, the dishonesty, the total indifference to facts, is something I haven’t seen before — at least not this blatant. I think it’s demoralized people and made them even more cynical about politics.

Sean Illing

Is this the most dishonest administration you've ever seen or studied?

Robert Dallek

The short answer is yes. Politicians lie, but this is different. I suppose if you wanted to be generous, you might say this is the least effective and trustworthy administration since Warren G. Harding, whose administration was overwhelmed by the Teapot Dome scandal in 1921, in which Harding’s secretary of the interior leased Navy petroleum reserves in Wyoming and California to private oil companies at incredibly low rates without a competitive bidding process. That was a massive scandal, one of the biggest we’ve seen at the level of politics.

There are other examples, of course. Most obviously, there’s Nixon and Watergate, which was a watershed moment in American political history. Ulysses S. Grant’s reputation as a Civil War general was shattered by the Whiskey Ring scandal in 1875, in which Treasury officials basically stole tax dollars from alcohol distillers. Other presidents, like Bill Clinton, have lied shamelessly as well.

Still, I think what we’re seeing right now will, eventually, rise above these examples, with the possible exception of Watergate. But a lot of this depends on the outcome of the Russia investigation. If it goes the way it appears to be going, it will exceed even Watergate.

Sean Illing

Do administrations tend to pay a political price when they deceive and overstep in this way?

Robert Dallek

Typically they do. Look at Trump’s numbers right now. For a president in the first year of his term to have never achieved 50 percent approval rating is something of a political disaster. I mean, Franklin Roosevelt never saw his approval rating dip below 50 percent during his 12-year presidency. Truman’s popularity slipped to 32 percent near the end of this administration due to the stalemate in Korea. Nixon’s support collapsed and went down to 25 percent during Watergate.

But Trump has been historically unpopular since the day he took office, in part because of how dishonestly he conducted himself during the campaign. What we’re seeing now is very ugly and, I think, very corrupting to our political system.

Sean Illing

How so?

Robert Dallek

Well, our system depends upon something like a consensus, something like majority rule. But now we have a president who outright lies about ... everything. He lies about the number of votes he received, about the size of his inauguration crowd, about his own achievements, about Muslims cheering in the streets after 9/11, and so on. He lies about basic observable facts.

I think the cumulative effect of all this lying is to make people deeply cynical about our entire system, and that’s very corrupting.

Sean Illing

What, exactly, is so unique about this administration in terms of the corruption and the graft?

Robert Dallek

Obviously the examples of corruption are numerous: Trump refused to divest from his business interests; there are questions about whether he’s violating the emoluments clause by running Trump International Hotel in DC; there’s the indictment of his former campaign manager Paul Manafort; there’s the looming indictment of his former national security adviser Michael Flynn; Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, failed to disclose $1 billion in loans connected to his real estate company; and of course several of his Cabinet heads are being investigated for profligate travel expenses.

But here’s what I think is unique: Often you see a lot of corruption result from a lack of oversight, but I think this administration is quite different in that Trump really sets the tone for all this. He encourages it, really. The fish rots from the head, and the stench of this administration starts at the very top.

Sean Illing

In what ways does he set the tone?

Robert Dallek

Trump is the head of government, and people know they can get away with things. Look at all the incidents of corruption I just laid out, and that’s not even close to a complete list. Like Nixon, Trump has created a culture in his administration in which people feel comfortable with corruption. Trump himself has shown a complete indifference to democratic norms, to rule of law, and that sends a pretty clear signal to the people beneath him.

Again, Trump’s lying is a big facilitator of all this corruption. This is a guy who will look right into the camera and lie without any hesitation at all. It’s hard to overstate what kind of tone that sets in an administration; it makes everyone more comfortable when they lie, when they deceive, when they cover things up.

Sean Illing

Part of what I find so bizarre about Trump’s lying is how pointless it often is. Usually there is some utility behind a politician’s lie — they’re trying to cover something up, for instance. But Trump lies when he doesn’t have to lie, and he does it with an alacrity I’ve never seen before.

Robert Dallek

It’s pathological. This is the kind of thing you see when you’re dealing with a malignant narcissist, someone who believes everything revolves around him. Trump has to be the best, has to be admired, has to be the most successful. He lacks a rational restraint that you would hope to see in a leader or a president.

Sean Illing

You’ve got a pretty broad perspective on all this, having studied previous administrations. How alarmed are you by what we’re seeing in this White House?

Robert Dallek

I would be more alarmed if we didn’t have an outspoken opposition party and a powerful media opposition that does not bend a knee to the administration, that continues to ask hard questions and to report whatever the truth seems to be. This is a strength in the country, and I have optimism that the judicial system will also support the rule of law and help to sustain our traditions.

Now, am I sure of all that? Of course not. Anything can happen. But I'm hopeful that we will turn back in a more constructive direction in the next round in our presidential politics.

Sean Illing

Last question: When historians 100 years from now look back at this administration, what do you suppose they’ll say about Trump's impact on the trajectory of American politics?

Robert Dallek

Well, it depends on what's going to come next. If you're right that there is a deepening cynicism, that there is a destructive outcome to Trump's administration, they'll see him as leading a great decline in our national political ethos. But Trump might also produce a positive reaction in the citizenry that leads to a renewed political dynamism and more engagement in civic life.

As a historian, I find faith in the past. In 1932, during the Great Depression, the country was so demoralized and so beaten down that nothing good seemed possible. But then along came Franklin Roosevelt, and almost overnight he raised the country’s hopes.

Is there another FDR around the corner? I have no idea. Frankly, I doubt it. But you’ve got to have hope nevertheless. I’m 83 years old, and I’ve seen a lot in my lifetime. I know how bad things can get, but I also know how quickly they can get better.

"Affliction comes to us, not to
make us sad but sober; not to make
us sorry but wise." -H.G. Wells
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18-11-2017, 09:07 AM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2017 10:00 AM by Kaneda.)
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker
President Trump Accelerates Drone Strikes In Somalia
ZeroHedge - Nov 17, 2017 9:45 PM

President Trump’s expansion of war is most evident in the skies of Somalia where an acceleration in drone strikes have been reported.

U.S. Africa Command has conducted fourteen airstrikes since August bringing the year’s total to eighteen. The increased tempo of airstrikes started in September between the Kismayo and Mogadisu region.

Earlier this month, we reported on Trump’s administration hitting a new milestone - when U.S. Africa Command launched its first airstrike against the Islamic State-linked fighters - further accelerating the US presence..

[Image: Screen-Shot-2017-11-17-at-9.04.07-AM.png]
  • U.S. Africa Command has released data on 18 strikes this year, more than four times the average over the previous seven years.

The escalation of U.S. Africa Command presence in Somalia was made possible by president Trump’s order in March that ”allows the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct lethal action against al-Shabaab within a geographically-defined area of active hostilities in support of partner forces in Somalia.”

Defense One outlines a majority of the airstrikes have been situated around Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia where a mixture of Al-Shabab attack zones and support zones reside.

Back in October, Al-Shabab blew up a truck bomb in the capital killing 300 making it one of the nation’s worst terrorist attack ever. The devastating bombing was in response to President Trump and Somalia’s newly elected president forming new military efforts to combat the rise in Islamic State-linked fighters in the country.

Drones have been responsible for most of the airstrikes and what the report states it’s impossible to verify how many ‘extremist’ have been killed.

[Image: Screen-Shot-2017-11-17-at-8.30.14-AM.png]

Defense One notes,
"
The Bureau for Investigative Journalism estimates that the strikes have killed as few as 88 people and as many as 124. The group also says it has tracked nearly 30 strikes for 2017, about a dozen more than the Pentagon"


Micah Zenko, a writer at foreignpolicy.com, outlines (dated Nov 09) that in 5+ months Trump has bombed Somalia 17 times verse Obama bombed Somalia 29 times in 7+years. The explanation for Trump’s rapid bombardment is the geographical spread of strikes in the country is much larger, plus he authorized a new enemy back in March - ISIS.

Micah Zenko
@MicahZenko
"In 5+ months, Trump has bombed Somalia 17 times.

In 7+ years, Obama bombed Somalia 29 times."
7:19 PM - Nov 9, 2017


Earlier this year, the US military reported about 50 US troops were stationed in Somalia providing training and advice for the Somali military, but as of lately the figure now stands at 500.

Before President Trump, the US military has always maintained a small presence in the region. Now it seems with the geographical spread larger and a new enemy in the region defined; the endless wars will most certainly continue further enriching the US-military industrial complex.

"Affliction comes to us, not to
make us sad but sober; not to make
us sorry but wise." -H.G. Wells
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18-11-2017, 09:15 AM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2017 10:02 AM by Kaneda.)
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker
The Republican tax bill is far, far, far worse than it had to be
There's a better way to do basically everything the Republican tax bill is trying to do.

Updated by Dylan Matthews - @dylanmatt - dylan@vox.com - Nov 17, 2017, 1:30pm EST

[Image: 875038664.jpg.0.jpg]Alex Wong/Getty Images


Republicans had a decade at least to come up with a comprehensive tax reform plan that achieves their goals without raising taxes on the middle class. They failed.

The Senate plan causes about 13 million fewer people to have health insurance by repealing the individual mandate and hurting enrollment in both Medicaid and Obamacare exchanges. That will, according to the best evidence we have, lead to an increase in preventable deaths on the order of 15,600 people per year. It will also increase individual health insurance premiums even for people who still do purchase insurance.

By 2027, poor and middle-class people will see their taxes go up across the board. People making between $10,000 and $20,000 a year, the working poor, will see their income go down by 1.5 percent. Millionaires will see their income go up by 0.4 percent.

Even before major individual tax provisions expire at the end of 2025, the bill raises taxes on a significant share of people. In 2018, economist Ernie Tedeschi estimates that 11 percent of taxpayers will be paying more. The bill’s tweaks to tax brackets, doubling of the standard deduction, elimination of personal exemptions, and expansion of the child tax credit interact in sometimes unpredictable ways. Some families win, but others lose. Even in the early years, it’s not an across-the-board tax cut.

The bill cuts alcohol taxes on wine, beer, and liquor. We know that alcohol taxes are effective at reducing drunk driving, violent crime, and liver cirrhosis, and that increasing them saves thousands of lives a year. Raising the cost of a six-pack of Bud Light by 50 cents could save 2,000 to 6,000 lives every year. So cutting alcohol taxes, as the tax bill does, will likely increase preventable deaths in the US significantly.

It didn’t have to be this bad

Here’s the thing, though: Whatever the goal Republicans have, it didn’t have to be achieved this way. There is for each and every purpose a better bill that could be written.

uppose Republicans wanted an across-the-board tax cut that helped both middle-class and rich people. They could’ve simply cut the 10 percent tax bracket to 8 percent, or that plus cut the 15 percent bracket to 12 percent. That helps middle- and upper-class people (though not the poor) and creates no losers. If they wanted to conform to Senate rules, they could have it all expire after eight or 10 years, just as the current legislation does. If they wanted to make it permanent, and cared deeply enough, they could’ve gone nuclear on the filibuster and passed a permanent cut with 51 votes.

But Republicans also want a lower, permanent corporate tax rate. Also doable: You can finance substantial rate cuts by removing tax breaks from the corporate code. Robert Pozen at Harvard Business School has estimated that eliminating the deductibility of interest payments on corporate debt would enable a cut in the corporate rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. If you wanted to, at the same time, allow 100 percent deductibility of all investments at the time they’re made, the rate would have to go up somewhat. But you could definitely cut the corporate rate, and pay for it permanently, by eliminating certain deductions and broadening the base. You don’t have to raise taxes or take away health care from middle-class people.

Republicans have grander aspirations than that, however. If you read the “Better Way” tax framework released by House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady in 2016, you’ll see page after page of arguments for transitioning away from taxing income to taxing consumption. A lot of economists agree with that goal, even progressive ones (though others insist taxing consumption is inherently regressive).

Luckily there’s a plan in Congress that achieves that goal, is revenue-neutral, and doesn’t raise taxes on the poor or middle class. It’s Sen. Ben Cardin’s (D-MD) Progressive Consumption Tax Act. Cardin would exempt the first $100,000 of income for couples from income tax ($50,000 for singles, $75,000 for single parents), meaning that the vast majority of people would no longer pay income taxes. He'd consolidate rates to three — 15, 25, and 28 percent — and cut the corporate tax to 17 percent. That's a lower top individual rate, and a lower corporate rate, than the Senate is proposing. To pay for it, he'd introduce a value-added tax, the kind of consumption tax used in most other rich countries, and add a rebate so that poor people don’t see their taxes go up.

The plan, based on a proposal by Columbia tax law professor Michael Graetz, accomplishes basically all of Republicans’ substantive tax reform goals. It lowers income tax rates, and dramatically lowers the corporate tax. By exempting the majority of Americans from income taxes, it reduces the importance of deductions and credits. And it shifts the tax burden to consumption by adding a VAT.

But unlike the Senate or House tax bills, it doesn’t increase the deficit, and it’s not regressive. The Tax Policy Center modeled the Graetz plan back in 2013 with a VAT rate of 12.9 percent, and slightly tweaked individual tax brackets (14, 27, and 31). TPC found that it would cost $0. It’s completely revenue-neutral. And it's progressive. The top 0.1 percent would see their income fall by 0.9 percent, and the poorest fifth would see their income grow by 1.2 percent.

If Republicans really want to give needy people a tax cut while shifting the tax code to consumption and lowering individual and corporate tax rates, there’s your plan. You can work with Cardin on putting together a passable version right now.

Perhaps a VAT is too dramatic a step. I have a plan for then, too! Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden has for years put out bipartisan tax reform plans, first with Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) and then with Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN), who have both since left the body. The plan sets a top rate of 35 percent, lowers the corporate tax rate to 24 percent, and, according to a 2010 analysis from the Tax Policy Center, would have made the tax code slightly more progressive. That analysis came before some of the high-income Bush tax cuts were revived, so the effect relative to today's laws would be different. But it’s a model for a way to cut corporate rates and simplify the code while not making the tax code more regressive.

Republicans have to ask themselves what they’re in this for
I don’t know what’s in the hearts of Orrin Hatch or Kevin Brady or Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell. I don’t like to assume malign motives of politicians, even ones I vehemently disagree with. But the details of this tax bill are less consistent with an honest desire to achieve certain principled changes to the tax code — to make it simpler, or more pro-investment, or more tilted at taxing consumption rather than income — than with a desire to get the tax deal done fast, a desire to help important constituencies, and a desire to thumb the eyes of perceived ideological enemies.

That explains why, rather than paying for corporate cuts by offsetting an appropriate number of corporate tax breaks, the Senate wants to cut Medicaid and Obamacare. It sticks it to programs that are important to Democrats, furthers the GOP’s long-running interest in undermining Obamacare, and avoids making hard decisions about corporate benefits that might delay passage.

It explains a variety of anti-university provisions inserted into the bill. If you care about lowering tax rates on savings and investment, you do not insert a random excise tax on the earnings of big university endowments. But if you care about sticking it to coastal elite universities that are full of liberals, that provision makes sense. So does treating tuition waivers for PhD students as taxable income. This will hurt the economy dramatically in the long run by undermining human capital developments and creating a less educated workforce. It might even cost lives by impeding biomedical research. But it’s a good way to own the libs.

Republicans had years to put together this tax bill. They had the whole Obama administration, even the last two years of the Bush administration when they were in the minority. They could’ve done better. They had the tools and resources to do better. Other politicians and policy analysts had come up with ideas to help them do better.

That they didn’t do better is a massive failure.

"Affliction comes to us, not to
make us sad but sober; not to make
us sorry but wise." -H.G. Wells
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18-11-2017, 09:20 AM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2017 10:01 AM by Kaneda.)
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker
Traders Puzzled After Chinese Media Warning Triggers Market Selloff
ZeroHege - Nov 17, 2017 10:37 AM

Overnight we highlighted that despite a massive weekly net liquidity injection by the PBOC (which ended on Friday when the PBOC drained a net 10bn in liquidity) Chinese stocks failed to hold on to Thursday's gains, and resumed their slump...

[Image: 20171116_szcomp1_0.jpg]
... headed for their worst week in 7 months.

[Image: 20171116_szcomp.jpg]

However, it was more than the simply a question of liquidity flows, because it once again appears that Beijing is involved in micromanaging daily stock moves, only unlike the summer of 2015 when China blew a huge stock bubble in a few months, which then promptly burst leaving China scrambling for the next year to figure out how to avoid contagion, this time Xinhua had a different message: sell.

According to Bloomberg, the reason why Chinese stocks - led by Shenzhen shares - slumped on Friday, is due to a warning by state media that one of the nation’s hottest stocks was climbing too fast, which in turn triggered a selloff. And while the SHCOMP closed down 0.5%, the Shenzhen Composite Index closed down more than 2%, with liquor makers and technology companies that had outperformed this year among the biggest losers.

The catalyst that sparked the selloff? China's biggest liquor maker, Kweichow Moutai, which plunged 3.9% - after tumbling as much as 5.8%, its largest decline since August 2015 - after Xinhua News Agency said its China’s biggest "should rise at a slower pace." Other liquor makers fell in sympathy, Wuliangye Yibin slid as much as 5.3% in Shenzhen, the most since July 2016, and Luzhou Laojiao fell 4.7%, although the stocks, which have more than doubled this year, pared their losses by the close.

In commentary published in the state-owned newspaper, the author said "short-term speculation in Kweichow Moutai shares will hurt value investing and long-term investment will deliver best returns."

The bizarre and unusual critique - traditionally China's media mouthpieces have only urged stocks to go higher, never lower - capped a week that saw a rout in Chinese sovereign bonds spill into the equity market amid concern about a government deleveraging campaign and faster inflation. For the week, the Shenzhen gauge fell 4.2%, its worst loss since May 2016. The Shanghai benchmark declined 1.5 per cent.

“The Xinhua warning was the last straw,” said Ken Chen, a Shanghai-based analyst with KGI Securities Co. “Expectations of worsening liquidity conditions are also hurting stocks.”

In retrospect, perhaps the Xinhua warning was not so strange: after China's debt-fueled stock market bubble burst in 2015, wiping out $5 trillion of value, Chinese policy makers have acted to restrain excessive speculation in equities.

“Xinhua is concerned that a runaway rally in a heavyweight like Kweichow will hamper the stability of the overall market,” said Hao Hong, chief strategist at Bocom International Holding Co in Hong Kong.

And while one can wonder why China is suddenly so concerned about even the hint of potential vol spike in the stock market - suggesting that even a modest selloff could have dramatic consequences for the Chinese financial sector - it is certainly strange that whereas even China is acting to restrain the euphoria of its citizens over fears of what happens during the next bubble, in other "developed" countries, the local central bankers, politicians and TV pundits have no problem in forcing retail investors to go all risk assets when the market is at all time highs.

As for China, it will have truly gone a full "180", if in a few months time instead of arresting sellers as it did in the summer of 2015, Beijing throw stock buyers in prison next.

"Affliction comes to us, not to
make us sad but sober; not to make
us sorry but wise." -H.G. Wells
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18-11-2017, 09:45 AM
RE: Everything Else - Global News Tracker
Zimbabwe latest: Crowds outside Mugabe office to force him out
BBC News - Africa

[Image: _98808122_jubilant.jpg]
Protesters in Zimbabwe have headed towards the office of President Robert Mugabe to urge him to step down.

The march came on a day of widespread jubilation in the capital Harare and other cities following the army's takeover on Wednesday.

Soldiers at State House gently pushed protesters away in scenes resembling a party, says the BBC's Andrew Harding.

The army intervened after Mr Mugabe sacked his deputy, signalling that he favoured his wife Grace as a successor.

Mr Mugabe, 93, has led Zimbabwe since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.

The military has kept him confined to his residence and says it is "engaging" with him and will advise the public on the outcome of talks "as soon as possible".
Saturday's rally is supported by the army and members of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
Veterans of Zimbabwe's war for independence - who until last year were loyal to the president, the best-known among them - are also saying Mr Mugabe should quit.
The leader of the organisation urged people to head towards Mr Mugabe's private residence, too.

Outside State House some people staged a sit-down protest in front of a line of troops, and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai addressed the crowd, to cheers.
The BBC's Andrew Harding in Harare says this is a watershed moment and there can be no return to power for Mr Mugabe.

Our correspondent says the situation may appear to be getting out of Zanu-PF's control and there could be a broad push to introduce a transitional government that includes the opposition.

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Mr Mugabe, 93, had been under house arrest since the army takeover, but on Friday he made his first public appearance. He spoke only to open the graduation at a university of which he is chancellor.

Grace Mugabe was not present. It had been thought she had left the country but it emerged on Thursday that she was at home with Mr Mugabe.

The military made its move after a power struggle over the successor for Mr Mugabe.

He sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, apparently to pave the way for Grace Mugabe, who is four decades younger than him, to take over the presidency.

Mr Mugabe's nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, told Reuters news agency the couple were "ready to die for what is correct" and would not step down.


Fear has lifted

Analysis by the BBC's Andrew Harding in Harare

Euphoric crowds are surging through the centre of Harare, chanting "He must go!" and waving placards demanding President Mugabe's immediate resignation. People are sitting on their cars, horns blaring, and on top of buses, holding Zimbabwean flags.

"This is a revolution," said one man emerging from a supermarket to join the protesters. "It has been a long time coming."

For years such scenes have been unthinkable in Zimbabwe, but the army and governing Zanu-PF gave these rallies their blessing, and the fear that held back so many people appears to have lifted overnight.

"We just want change," said a woman in a long queue outside a bank in the centre of Harare. Others spoke of the country's deep economic problems and its soaring unemployment, and hoped that a change of leadership might improve people's lives.

The governing party - now ruthlessly purging itself - will be hoping to retain its iron grip on power in Zimbabwe, but the extraordinary street protests may have unlocked forces that will be hard to control.


Who is backing the protest in Harare?
  • The influential war veterans' association. Leader Christopher Mutsvangwa had called for a huge turnout, saying: "We want to restore our pride."
  • The ruling Zanu-PF. At least eight out of 10 regional branches voted on Friday for Mr Mugabe to resign as president and party secretary. Several regional leaders appeared on TV saying he should step down, Grace Mugabe should resign from the party and Mr Mnangagwa should be reinstated to the central committee.
  • The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) said the rally was a "solidarity march". It said: "As long as the planned march remains orderly, peaceful... and without hate speech and incitement to cause violence, it fully supports the march."
  • Liberal groups opposed to the president. The leader of last year's #Thisflag protests, Evans Mwarire, urged people to turn up.


How did we get here?

Soldiers seized the headquarters of Zimbabwe's national broadcaster ZBC on Wednesday, and loud explosions and gunfire were heard.

Maj Gen Sibusiso Moyo then read out a statement on national television, assuring the nation that President Mugabe and his family were safe.

The military was only targeting what he called "criminals" around the president, he said, denying that there had been a coup.
On Thursday, Mr Mugabe was pictured smiling as he took part in talks with an army general and South African government ministers at State House but sources suggested he might be resisting pressure to resign.

What has been the reaction around the world?
  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged a quick return to civilian rule, but also said the crisis was an opportunity for Zimbabwe to set itself on a new path
  • Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing was hoping for stability and a peaceful "appropriate" resolution
  • UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warned against a transition from "one unelected tyrant" to another
  • Botswana's President Ian Khama said regional leaders did not support Mr Mugabe staying in power
  • Alpha Conde, the chairman of the African Union, a key regional bloc, said the takeover "seems like a coup" and demanded a return to constitutional order
  • South Africa's President Jacob Zuma said the region was committed to supporting the people of Zimbabwe, and was optimistic the situation could be resolved amicably

"Affliction comes to us, not to
make us sad but sober; not to make
us sorry but wise." -H.G. Wells
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