"Don't Open It" – 9 Mexican States On Alert After Radioactive Material Stolen

In light of the recent spate of emergency drills and nuclear attack
preparedness plans across the United States, it seemed notable that an unknown amount of stolen radioactive material has prompted the head of national emergency services to issue an alert today in nine Mexican states.

A vehicle carrying mobile industrial radiography equipment filled with Iridium-192 was stolen in the city of Tlaquepaque in the state of Jalisco, and as Reuters reports, the alert and search for the stolen material covers the states of Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Michoacan San Luis Potosi, Durango and Zacatecas, according to a post on Luis Felipe Puente’s Twitter account.
??Alerta en #Jal, #Col, #Nay, #Ags, #Gto, #Mich, #SLP, #Dgo y #Zac, por fuente radiactiva robada . Si la ves repórtala al 911 y no la abras. pic.twitter.com/Z9L93BG1Bo
— Luis Felipe Puente (@LUISFELIPE_P) April 24, 2017
Puente encouraged people with information about the stolen material to report it but added: “don’t open it.”
Somewhat shockingly, theft of radioactive material in Mexico is a somewhat of a common occurrence. Last year a container of radioactive substance used for industrial X-rays was also taken along with a car. Similar occurrences also happened in April 2015 and in July 2014. In December 2013, thieves – apparently unaware of the contents of their heist – stole a vehicle containing medical equipment with highly radioactive cobalt-60, a material that could be used to produce a “dirty bomb,” according to the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear watchdog.

Source: Zerohedge – "Don't Open It" – 9 Mexican States On Alert After Radioactive Material Stolen

Bernie To Introduce $15 Federal Minimum Wage Legislation On Wednesday

We all knew it was coming and now it has finally been confirmed that the Senate’s favorite Socialist will introduce legislation later this week calling for a $15 federal minimum wage.  The pending release of the bill was confirmed earlier today by Bloomberg’s Josh Eidelson.  Apparently co-sponsored by fellow liberals, Senator Murray, Keith Ellison, Bobby Scott and Raul Grijalva, the bill will call for a $15 federal minimum wage to be fully implemented by 2024.
Bernie Sanders, Sen. Murray, Keith Ellison, Bobby Scott, Raul Grijalva et al will unveil bill Wednesday to raise minimum wage to $15 by 2024
— Josh Eidelson (@josheidelson) April 24, 2017
 
For those silly ‘math’ people out there, that’s a mere 107% increase in minimum wage over just a few short years, which we suspect will at least slightly outpace inflation over the same period.
As our readers are undoubtedly aware, Bernie has long been an advocate of the $15 “living wage.” The Daily Caller provided some background on the other sponsors’ efforts to meddle in labor markets.

Murray has pushed for a federal minimum wage increase in the past, introducing the “Raise the Wage Act” in April 2015. The legislation called for the federal minimum wage to be increased from $7.25 to $12 an hour by 2020. The bill never made it far in the Republican-controlled Congress, but Murray has remained a leader in efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.
 
Ellison lost narrowly to Perez in the DNC chairperson race and remains a favorite among liberal activists. The progressive Minnesota-Democrat is a favorite among unions, and has been a strong advocate for the Fight for Fifteen movement.
 
Grijalva, who co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) with Ellison, was a part of efforts by the CPC to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in the summer of 2015. Shortly after Murray’s efforts, the CPC introduced the “Pay Workers a Living Wage Act” in July 2015.
 
Scott joined Murray in sponsoring efforts to get the minimum wage to $12 per hour in 2015, arguing (at the time) that a $12 minimum wage was much more politically feasible at the time.

We’ve written extensively about the unintended consequences of higher minimum wages, namely the pink slips that seem to come shortly after their implementation.  So rather than rehash all of the stats, for those interested, here are a few of our favorite articles on the topic:

Something “Unexpected” Happened When Seattle Raised The Minimum Wage
Harvard ‘Shock’ Study: Each $1 Minimum Wage Hike Causes 4-10% Increase In Restaurant Failures
State Minimum Wage Hikes Already Passed Into Law Expected To Cost 2.6 Million Jobs, New Study Finds
Dear Bernie, Meet the “Big Mac ATM” That Will Replace All Of Your $15 Per Hour Fast Food Workers

Of course, given that Democrats don’t control a single branch of the federal government at the moment, and the socialist party has never controlled a single branch to the best of our recollection, we’re going to go out on a limb and guess that Bernie’s bill won’t get passed anytime in the immediate future.  That said, at least he’s one step closer to getting a bunch of fast food workers fired, and we’re sure they really appreciate all his hard work. 

Source: Zerohedge – Bernie To Introduce Federal Minimum Wage Legislation On Wednesday

Government Shutdown Averted? Trump Punts On Border Wall, Will Wait Until September

In what may the flip-flop that resonates the most among his core voter base, Trump said that contrary to recent reports that the White House demands funding for Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border be part of the spending bill – which has become a wildcard whether the government is shut on Friday night or not – Trump said on Monday that he is “open to waiting until later this year” to secure funding for said wall, a flop that would clear the way for Congress to strike a deal to avoid a government shutdown on Saturday, the WSJ reported.
On funding the border wall, Trump said he could get it this week or the administration could come back to it in September.
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) April 24, 2017
As recently as Monday morning, top administration officials had indicated the president wanted to include money to begin building a wall along the Southern border in the bill needed this week to keep the government running after its current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, which is also the president’s 100th day in office.
However, during a reception with conservative media at the White House on Monday night, when Trump also unveiled the 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, the president addressed the issue and indicated his willingness to wait and “flexibility” whether the wall is funded in this spending bill or one that will be needed in late September.
Trump punting on the issue of wall funding will remove one of the last remaining hurdles facing congressional Democrats and Republicans hammering out the five-month bill they must pass this week to avoid a partial government shutdown.
And with the debate over the border wall effectively over for the time being, lawmakers should now be able to come to an agreement on the spending bill relatively quickly. Both Democrats and Republicans had signaled they were willing to increase money for the military and for broader border security before administration officials last week indicated that Mr. Trump would press for money to begin building the wall.
While there had been little appetite among Republicans on Capitol Hill to demand funding now for the border wall specifically, rather than offer a general boost for tighter border security, the big winners will be Democrats, whose votes will be needed to pass the spending legislation in the Senate; they had made it clear they would oppose a spending bill that included money to start building the border wall.
To be sure, Schumer was delighted:

“It’s good for the country that President Trump is taking the wall off the table in these negotiations,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said in a statement Monday night. Earlier Monday, Mr. Schumer had said the wall was a “nonstarter” for Democrats. “Now the bipartisan and bicameral negotiators can continue working on the outstanding issues,” he said.

Democratic votes will be needed, because Republicans hold just 52 seats in the Senate, where spending bills need 60 votes to clear procedural hurdles. House GOP leaders will also likely have to rely on some Democratic help, since some conservative Republicans are expected to oppose it.
Republicans will also be content: many members of the GOP had indicated they would be satisfied with a spending bill that included money for means of strengthening security along the border other than a wall. “Border security’s the main issue—whether that includes a wall or technology, drones, or repairing what we have,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R., W.Va.) said Monday evening. Ms. Capito said she wasn’t interested in risking a shutdown over the border wall.
“I’m not going to risk a shutdown over anything,” she said.
Other Republicans echoed that their top priority was making sure they crafted a spending bill that could clear both chambers before the government runs out of money. “I wouldn’t mind funding the wall, but it’s a question of what we can do up here, what’s doable,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Indeed, it seems that almost everyone is a winner except those Americans who actually believed Trump would “build that wall” as he promised on virtually every stop of his campaign tour.
Well, there is hope: he may still do it in late September. However, since the tensions between Democrats, Republicans and Trump will be the same, if not worse then making an agreement even more unlikely, please don’t hold your breath.

Source: Zerohedge – Government Shutdown Averted? Trump Punts On Border Wall, Will Wait Until September

The Geopolitics Of Nuclear Weapons Explained (In 3 Simple Maps)

Authored by George Friedman, Xander Snyder, and Chyenne Ligon via MauldinEconomics.com,
Nuclear bombs have a strange quality: They are a type of weapon that countries spend enormous sums of money to develop but don’t actually intend to use. While chemical weapons have been frequently used in war, no country has detonated a nuclear bomb since the end of World War II.
Nuclear weapons are in their own category. Their efficacy comes from their ability to deter aggression, as the potential for massive devastation forces countries to rethink moves that threaten an adversary’s essential national security interests. States, therefore, are unlikely to use nuclear weapons against one another. However, the risk of a nuclear attack would increase if they were to fall into the hands of non-state actors that follow a different set of calculations that don’t necessarily take into account the defense of a predefined territory.
Nine countries currently have nuclear weapons with an assortment of delivery systems. The following graphics outline which countries possess or have possessed nuclear weapons, as well as some states capable of producing them. They also show how these weapons have reshaped the constraints that countries face in their geopolitical calculations.
Current Nuclear Powers

This map highlights three aspects of the global nuclear arsenal.
The first is a distinction between deployed and reserve weapons. Deployed nuclear weapons are already attached to a delivery system and ready to use. Warheads in reserve still require this final attachment step before they can be delivered.
 
The second aspect is the three delivery systems that comprise the nuclear “triad”: land-based missiles (usually ballistic missiles but sometimes also cruise missiles), submarine-launched missiles (SLBMs), and weapons carried by aircraft (usually bombers but sometimes air-to-surface cruise missiles loaded on fighters or fighter-bombers). Land-based ballistic missiles—especially intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM)—provide long-range strike capability within a short period. SLBMs have retaliation capabilities in the event that a country’s land-based ballistic missile arsenal is destroyed in a first strike. Warheads on aircraft are more flexible, since bombers can be recalled after a strike has been ordered, but they are slower to reach their target than missiles (except in the case where bombers are already in flight and their target is nearby). Each nuclear country has a different mix of delivery capabilities, but only the United States and Russia are known to definitively possess a full triad, while China and India are suspected to have it.
 
The third aspect is the large portion of global nuclear arms held by the United States and Russia. Currently, the US has approximately 4,480 warheads, and Russia has 4,500. These figures include both strategic warheads (which are meant to strike sites located far from any hypothetical battlefield) and nonstrategic, or tactical, warheads  (which are intended to be used near a battlefield, and as a result, are usually less powerful). The size of these arsenals, however, pales in comparison to each country’s peak inventory during the Cold War: The US had 31,255 in 1967, and the Soviet Union had 40,159 in 1986.

Throughout the Cold War, the doctrine of mutually assured destruction required a sufficiently large force that would allow for a massive retaliation even if a first strike eliminated a large portion of a country’s nuclear arsenal. Additionally, during most of the Cold War, delivery systems were not particularly accurate, which required that nuclear weapons have very large yields to reliably strike a target that might be located miles away from the point of detonation (many hydrogen bombs were in the several megaton range). As the accuracy of delivery systems improved, fewer nuclear warheads were required to maintain a credible deterrence threat, leading to a decline in both countries’ arsenals.
Nuclear weapons fundamentally alter the relations between countries because each country is forced to think more pointedly about its adversaries’ security imperatives. Developing a strong understanding of those imperatives is critical to avoiding a nuclear retaliation. While several “hot” wars and other tense moments occurred during the Cold War, none escalated to a direct confrontation between the Soviet Union and the US.
For a more recent example, consider the case of North Korea, which has received a lot of attention in the last week due to a recent missile test and the expectation of another nuclear test. It is a poor country whose nuclear program has allowed it to punch above its weight internationally and force superpowers to approach it with great caution. North Korea’s deterrent capability would be eliminated the moment it uses a nuclear weapon, which would be akin to committing certain suicide. While many fear the irrationality of North Korea’s leadership, Geopolitical Futures’ current understanding of the regime is that it has persisted for decades throughout the Cold War and after the fall of the Soviet Union because it is able to make cautious calculations and has continued to choose not to inflict destruction on itself.
Former Nuclear States

Note: While Iran appears to have discontinued its nuclear program in accordance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we chose to include it in the third map to discuss the geopolitical ramifications of an Iranian nuclear breakout.
Several countries had nuclear weapons or weapons programs that were subsequently abandoned. Three factors contributed to these forfeitures: changes in geopolitical circumstances that decreased the need for nuclear deterrence, pressure from a major power that provided a guarantee under its own nuclear umbrella, and outside intervention that resulted in destruction of the weapons programs.
Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine all inherited nuclear weapons when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Belarus was left in possession of 81 warheads and an assortment of nonstrategic nuclear weapons. Kazakhstan had 1,410 nuclear-tipped missiles. Ukraine was left with 1,900 strategic warheads and between 2,650 and 4,200 nonstrategic nuclear weapons, making it the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world. All three countries signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and returned the weapons to Russia by the mid-1990s to be dismantled.
South Africa is the only country that independently developed its nuclear weapons and subsequently forfeited them. The pro-apartheid government pursued nuclear energy and weapons development from the 1960s to the ’80s, eventually producing six nuclear weapons. In 1989, the program was stopped as apartheid came to an end and the government of F.W. de Klerk handed power over to the African National Congress. The weapons and associated facilities were dismantled, and South Africa signed the NPT in 1991.
Two developments influenced South Africa’s decision. A 1988 agreement between Cuba, Angola, and the US resulted in the withdrawal of 50,000 Cuban troops that had been stationed in Angola during the Cold War and supported by the Soviet Union. The risk of Soviet intervention posed by these troops in the ’70s was one of the main reasons South Africa developed nuclear capability in the first place. Second, South Africa weighed the costs and benefits of joining the NPT and realized that improved relations with the world more than offset the decreasing deterrent utility from the bomb since the Cuban forces had been withdrawn and the Soviet Union no longer posed a threat.
Argentina and Brazil are two of the seven other countries that abandoned their nuclear programs before acquiring nuclear weapons. They both secretly pursued nuclear weapons capability beginning in the late ’60s to early ’70s. By the early ’90s, both countries had given up their weapons programs and signed the NPT.
South Korea and Taiwan had secret nuclear programs in the ’70s that were discovered by international intelligence. Both programs were subsequently disbanded—South Korea’s in 1975 when it signed the NPT, and Taiwan’s in 1988 as a result of diplomatic pressure from the US.
In the Middle East and North Africa, Iraq, Syria, and Libya all had active nuclear weapons programs. Iraq’s nuclear program was forcibly dismantled after the Gulf War, and Libya voluntarily gave up its secret nuclear program in 2003 under the direction of Moammar Gadhafi. Syria’s nuclear ambitions never progressed as far as those of its neighbors, but it is believed to have possessed enriched uranium and built a research reactor with the aid of North Korea. In 2007, Israeli airstrikes took out Syria’s reactor, suspending the nuclear program indefinitely.
Nuclear Latency

When a country does not currently have nuclear weapons but has a peaceful nuclear program that could be used to produce nuclear weapons, it is said to be in a state of “nuclear latency.” To build a nuclear weapon, a country must have technical knowledge and capabilities, access to materials, and a well-developed industrial sector. Of the 31 countries that possess nuclear power plants, we have identified five important countries for which the acquisition of nuclear weapons would radically impact relations with both their regional neighbors and global powers. These countries have both the technological and economic resources to develop nuclear weapons and are likely to play pivotal roles in major geopolitical events within the next decade. 
Iran’s nuclear ambitions led to intense negotiations with the West. In 2015, the negotiations resulted in the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which saw Iran shelve its nuclear program for a set period of time in exchange for benefits including sanctions relief. However, if Iran were to continue enriching uranium in secret and develop a nuclear weapon despite the JCPOA, it would alter the balance of power in the region. Iran would have a new, asymmetric power relative to its Sunni rivals and force Israel to reconsider strategies that incorporate pre-emptive strikes.
Japan has large stockpiles of plutonium from civilian uses and already possesses uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing technologies. Estimates of Japan’s breakout time range from six months to several years. Japan’s alliance with the United States has thus far deterred it from developing nuclear weapons because it knows it can rely on the US for defense. However, North Korea’s progress in its nuclear program could drive Japan to reconsider. A nuclear Japan would threaten China’s desired hegemony in the region and force it to proceed with greater caution in its actions in the South China and East China seas.
South Korea and Taiwan have advanced civilian nuclear programs and technical knowledge that could be redirected into a weapons program. They also have the need to defend against regional threats. As North Korea appears to move closer to possessing a deliverable nuclear warhead, the South Korean government has debated acquiring a nuclear weapon. Taiwan is in a similar position. Its sovereignty is threatened by mainland China, which possesses nuclear weapons. Taiwan could consider developing a nuclear weapon to discourage Chinese aspirations to fully reclaim the island. South Korea and Taiwan are concerned about escalation, however, so instead choose to rely on the nuclear guarantee provided by their alliance with the US.
On the other side of the world is Germany. Germany is a highly industrialized state with civilian nuclear capabilities. It is currently protected under the NATO nuclear umbrella by the US and the European nuclear powers (France and the United Kingdom). It also is bound by international treaty not to pursue weapons development. However, it is not inconceivable that Germany would consider developing nuclear weapons to deter Russian aggression if it questioned America’s commitment.
Conclusion
Every country has a red line, past which its security imperatives will be threatened and it will be compelled to respond with force. Without a sufficient deterrent, potential adversaries incur less risk when they test where exactly that line is. Introducing nuclear weapons into these calculations, however, forces the aggressor to proceed with caution because the risk of massive retaliation is great. This is a difficult balance to strike when the addition of nuclear weapons by one party is itself the act that breaches the security imperatives of the other.
The world’s eyes are now set on North Korea for this reason: The United States is in the process of deciding whether recent developments in North Korea’s nuclear program have crossed this boundary and, if they have, what force constitutes an appropriate response. Though the US is not directly threatened by North Korea’s nuclear weapons (based on the current understanding of its ballistic missile technology), the safety of its allies would be jeopardized by a North Korean bomb. British and French fears that the US would not make good on its nuclear guarantee led to proliferation in Europe. Similarly, if the US’s Asian allies question the credibility of its guarantee, the risk of nuclear proliferation in the region will grow.

Source: Zerohedge – The Geopolitics Of Nuclear Weapons Explained (In 3 Simple Maps)

Canadians Get "A Little Mad" As Refugees Continue To Flood In From U.S.

Just over a month ago we highlighted the comments of one recently deported Mexican nationalist who told Reuters that illegally immigrating to the U.S. was over, courtesy of the Trump administration, and that it was “Canada’s turn” to welcome the world’s immigrants with open arms.

“For those without documents, I think (the United States) is over. Now it’s Canada’s turn.”

And, with each passing month, new immigration stats from Canada seem to indicate that Reuters’ young border-hopper was a very prescient fellow indeed.  According to stats highlighted by the Financial Times today, “land border asylum claims” in Canada continue to skyrocket with Quebec crossings up nearly 3x YoY and crossings into Ontario surging as well.
Meanwhile, the FT insists that the following propagandastory from a man named Abdi, a Somalian refugee who fled the U.S. out of fear of Trump, is typical of what’s driving the illegal and dangerous migrations north. 

“Every time you see the TV, Trump is still talking about deportation, every time,” Abdi says, lounging on a steel-framed bed at a Salvation Army hostel in a gritty stretch of Winnipeg, the capital of Canada’s Manitoba province, where he has slept since sneaking across the border in March. “It scares me, it scares my friends, it scares everybody who is an immigrant living in the US.”
 
As they gaze out of the window on to central Canada’s prairies, he and two other Somali men recount their journey. Abdi says that if he returns to Somalia, the fragile east African state ravaged by decades of civil war, he would be killed, which is why he slogged through waist-deep snow and -30C temperatures to get to Canada.
 
“My country for me is fire . . . you see the fire, you run away. So I can’t return . . . but when you see [Trump] talking like that, you don’t feel free either,” he says.

 
Of course, one day after Trump signed his first immigration executive order back in January (see “Trump Signs Executive Orders To Keep “Radical Islamic Terrorists” From Entering US, Rebuild US Military”), Canada’s ‘progressive’ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent the following tweet as an apparent jab at the new U.S. administration.
#WelcomeToCanada pic.twitter.com/47edRsHLJ5
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
 
And while ‘open borders’ sound super nice in a political speech, the practical reality is that the majority of Canadians, just like Americans, don’t approve of unfettered illegal border crossings that place a massive financial burden on taxpayers and are often accompanied by a surge in crime (see “Half Of Canadians Want Illegal Immigrants Deported”).

Within Canada’s political arena, the issue is becoming hugely divisive, with many of the same debates and sentiments that have been so prevalent in the US. For Mr Trudeau, openness to refugees is a core conviction — part of the progressive image that his father, Pierre Trudeau, who led Canada for 15 years, is credited with shaping. Roland Paris, a former adviser to the younger Mr Trudeau, whose cabinet includes turban-wearing Sikhs and Muslims, says he is “unlikely to back down on this”.
 
But Canadians are ambivalent about this type of irregular — some say illegal — migration. A recent poll by Reuters showed almost half of Canadians want these asylum seekers to be deported.
 
Some opposition Conservative politicians have promised to deploy the military to close the border. With Mr Trudeau’s approval ratings at a low of 48 per cent, they sense an opportunity. While Canada has not been shaken by populist tremors in the same way as France or the US, anti-immigrant sentiments are moving into mainstream politics.

 
Meanwhile, conservatives in Canada, taking a cue from the recent U.S. elections no doubt, have ratcheted up their nationalist rhetoric, with politicians threatening to enlist the army to fortify their border.

“There are significant portions of the population that have expressed discomfort with these arrivals,” admits Mr Paris. “The [Conservative candidates] see this as a potential issue to run with.”
 
In Emerson, opinion is divided. Some residents spoke of plans to assimilate the Somali families permanently in a town where there is little unemployment and farmers are often in need of help. “We have the space in Canada. It’s not like Europe where you have people on top of each other,” says Mr Janzen, the mayor.
 
But there is also tension in the town of 678 people. “Canada can’t take care of the whole world and it seems lately like that’s the way it is,” says Wayne Turton, who owns a car repair shop in Emerson. “It makes you a little cranky . . . it makes us a little mad.”

First it was just Trump supporters, but now it’s looking increasingly likely that France and Canada are also filled with a bunch of racist people intent upon protecting their ‘arbitrary’ borders.

Source: Zerohedge – Canadians Get "A Little Mad" As Refugees Continue To Flood In From U.S.

Is The Fed About To Drop The MOAB On Wall Street?

Authored by Michael Pento via PentoPort.com,
Wall Street and our central bank are in for a rude awakening very soon! The idea that the US economy is on stable footing and about to experience a surge in growth is ridiculous. Hence, the consensus that the Fed can normalize interest rates and its balance sheet is nothing short of a bad joke…and it’s on them.
For starters, the government’s fiscal deficit for the month of March came in at $176.2 billion, which means the deficit 6 months into fiscal 2017 is $526.9 billion and running 15% over last year. If not for the calendar timing of receipts and payments, our government's deficit would be a year-to-date $564.0 billion or 23% above last year. In addition, there was an 18% decline in corporate income tax collection. We all know there was no corporate tax reform passed. So the credible conclusion must be reached that corporations are not growing there profits…they are actually shrinking.
The nation will now bump up against the $20 trillion debt ceiling on April 28th and is facing a possible government shutdown. This will happen to coincide with day 100 of Trump’s Presidency.
Unfortunately, Trump resembles more like a swamp creature as the days go on. Sadly, he becoming a flip-flopping carnival barker that duped the American public into believing he was actually going to cause an earthquake in Washington that shook the government back down to its constitutional foundation.
He no longer wants a strong dollar and an end to endless interest rate manipulations that has been robbing the middle class of its purchasing power for decades. Instead he's become a Yellen supporting, bubble blowing, XM bank funding, NATO backing, China loving, card carrying member of the neocons in D.C.
But even though Trump now loves low interest rates, the Fed has probably already tightened monetary policy enough to send stocks into a bear market and the already anemic US economy into recession. More proof of recession and deflation came from the economic data released on Good Friday: CPI down 0.3% in March and even the core rate fell 0.1%, Retail sales fell 0.2% in March and February sales were revised sharply lower to minus 0.3%, from previously reported up 0.1%.
Housing starts, Empire State Manufacturing and Industrial Production have all recently disappointed estimates. Housing starts fell a very steep 6.8 percent to a 1.215 million annualized rate. Empire State Manufacturing dropped from 16.4 in March, to just 5.2 in April and within Industrial Production, the manufacturing component shrank to minus 0.4 percent.
The sad truth is Trump isn't draining the swamp… he's flooding it with more of the same swamp creature from Goldman Sachs that have mucked up D.C. and the Fed for decades.
The Fed is About to Drop the MOAB on Wall Street
The mystery here is why the Fed is raising rates when Q1 GDP growth is just 0.5%, there was under 100K net Non-Farm Payroll job growth and a negative reading on both the headline and core rate of consumer price inflation? Could it really be that Yellen realizes that savers must finally be rewarded for putting money in the bank? Perhaps she has come to the conclusion that asset bubbles must correct down to a level that can be supported by the free market. If only that were true. What is much more likely is that the clueless Fed has duped itself into believing it fixed the economy by its massive distortion of interest rates (100 months of less than 1% Fed Funds Rate), which has forced stock and home prices to record highs–and debt levels soaring to levels never before seen.
Wall Street and the Fed (which is a charter member of the swamp club) have been quick to explain this economic malaise away. The floundering GDP growth is being explained by a perennially weak first quarter. March NFP growth of just 98k is excused by the bad weather that occurred during the survey weak. And negative CPI is being brushed aside by what the Fed hopes are just temporary factors. But unless the data turns around quickly, the Fed’s days of tightening monetary policy may have passed.

The economy won’t accelerate unless Trump is able to push through a massive tax cut very soon. But that doesn’t look likely in the least. Most importantly, keep in mind, the Fed has been tightening monetary policy since December 2013 when it began tapering QE. Now, after three rate hikes, the economy is teetering on outright contraction and deflation.
What all this warrants is extreme caution in Bubbleville. With geopolitical risk flashing bright red, half percent GDP growth, record high equity valuations and a delusional Fed that continues threatening interest rate normalization; the market’s reality check is surely imminent.

Source: Zerohedge – Is The Fed About To Drop The MOAB On Wall Street?

Powell v. WELLS FARGO BANK, NA | FL 4DCA – neither party disputes the validity of the special indorsement appearing on the allonge filed with the original complaint, the Bank was required to prove a chain of transfers starting with the indorsee, GreenPoint Mortgage.

  MARA POWELL and GLENN KENNETH POWELL, Appellants, v. WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., as Trustee for Structured Asset Mortgage Investments II Inc., Greenpoint Mortgage Funding Trust 2006-AR2, Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Series 2006-AR2, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, and CITY OF LAUDERHILL, Appellees. No. 4D15-3013.District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth […]

Source: Stopforeclosurefraud – Powell v. WELLS FARGO BANK, NA | FL 4DCA – neither party disputes the validity of the special indorsement appearing on the allonge filed with the original complaint, the Bank was required to prove a chain of transfers starting with the indorsee, GreenPoint Mortgage.

Held v. US Bank NA | FL 4DCA- court erred in granting the bank’s motion because no record activity occurred during the sixty days after the court issued the notice of lack of prosecution

  JUDY HELD, Appellant, v. U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, as Trustee for C-BASS 2007-CB7 Trust, Mortgage Loan Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-CB7, UNKNOWN TENANT #1, n/k/a JEAN PIERRE LOUIS, and UNKNOWN TENANT #2, n/k/a ROSE SEIDE, Appellees. No. 4D15-4499.District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District.April 19, 2017.Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial […]

Source: Stopforeclosurefraud – Held v. US Bank NA | FL 4DCA- court erred in granting the bank’s motion because no record activity occurred during the sixty days after the court issued the notice of lack of prosecution

Fla. App. Court (4th DCA) Holds Post-Foreclosure Deficiency Action Not Affected By Publication Service in Foreclosure

The District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Fourth District, recently held that a creditor may obtain a post-foreclosure deficiency judgment against a borrower when the borrower was personally served with process in the post-foreclosure deficiency action, and the fact that the foreclosure court only acquired in rem jurisdiction due to service by […]
Hector E. Lora

Source: Consumerfsblog – Fla. App. Court (4th DCA) Holds Post-Foreclosure Deficiency Action Not Affected By Publication Service in Foreclosure

Illinois App. Court (1st Dist) Holds Potential Chicago Foreclosure Tenant Ordinance Violation Precluded Eviction

The Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, recently reversed a summary judgment ruling in favor of a mortgagee on its post-foreclosure forcible entry and detainer claim, finding genuine disputes as to material facts where the tenant presented evidence that she was a qualified tenant under the Chicago Protecting Tenants in Foreclosed Rental Property Ordinance, and […]
Ernest Wagner

Source: Consumerfsblog – Illinois App. Court (1st Dist) Holds Potential Chicago Foreclosure Tenant Ordinance Violation Precluded Eviction