ZeroHedge: Guest Post: How Can You Tell Whether Russia Has Invaded Ukraine?

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Submitted by Dmitry Orlov via ClubOrlov blog,

Last Thursday the Ukrainian government, echoed by NATO spokesmen, declared that the the Russian military is now operating within Ukraine's borders. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't; what do you know? They said the same thing before, most recently on August 13, and then on August 17, each time with either no evidence or fake evidence. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt.

You be the judge. I put together this helpful list of top ten telltale signs that will allow you to determine whether indeed Russia invaded Ukraine last Thursday, or whether Thursday's announcement is yet another confabulation. (Credit to Roman Kretsul).

Because if Russia invaded on Thursday morning, this is what the situation on the ground would look like by Saturday afternoon.

1. Ukrainian artillery fell silent almost immediately. They are no longer shelling residential districts of Donetsk and Lugansk. This is because their locations had been pinpointed prior to the operation, and by Thursday afternoon they were completely wiped out using air attacks, artillery and ground-based rocket fire, as the first order of business. Local residents are overjoyed that their horrible ordeal is finally at an end.

 

2. Read more »

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ZeroHedge: China Will Revise Its GDP Definition Until Its Hits Government “Growth Targets”, Goldman Explains

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Previously we have commented that when all it takes for a country to “hit” its GDP target, is to adjust said definition by adding the benefit of estimated ancillary items as prostitution and drugs, GDP loses all relevancy and meaning in its transformation to an arbitrary, goalseeked policy measurement and validation tool straight out of China’s Department of Truth. After all how else would the Spanish political kleptocracy boast the “favorable” impact of its disastrous policies if it wasn’t for a slew of recent definitional revisions. And yet, all throughout our commentary we were doing so tongue-in-cheek: after all, it is taboo for the very serious economists to discuss the hilarious systemic failures that allow their most prized indicator of “growth” to become a mockery of fringe tinfoil blogs.

At least, it was taboo until now, because moments ago, in an example of “very serious phrasing”, none other than the bank that does god’s work on earth (especially when it means providing off balance sheet financing for the bank of the Holy Spirit), just reported that the reason why China will hit its growth target is because of, drumroll, its fudged GDP. Only Goldman is far more serious when it says all of this, with the result being just too hilarious for words: to wit: “In the coming months, China’s National Bureau of Statistics is to make adjustments to the methodology used to calculate GDP. These adjustments are likely to boost real GDP growth by 0.1-0.2pp, thereby making it easier for the government to reach its goal of “around 7.5%” GDP growth in 2014.

But wait there’s more, because the biggest adjusted “contributor” to China’s economy will be the retroactive benefit from R&D that previously was treated as a cost rather than an “investment.” Yup: research and development, which in China has a different name: Piracy and Reverse Engineering, only R&D is sexier than P&RE.

Which brings us to the question of the day: have we finally gone full econotard? Or is changing the rules to hit your target, while fabricating the dumbest possible adjustments, now considered very serious economic policy?

Full note from Goldman Sachs, whose humor value is far higher than the author intended:

China’s statistical adjustments are likely to make it easier to reach the GDP growth target

The coming months will see two changes to China’s economic statistics. Read more »

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ZeroHedge: The Scariest California Drought Map Yet

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Across California, reservoirs are running dry as the drought continues to weigh dramatically on many parts of the economy. The following map, showing the dismally low levels of reservoirs in all their horrible glory could be the scariest drought map yet…

 

 

Source: CDEC




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ZeroHedge: 3 Important Gold Charts – Transparent Holdings Fall As Bullion Goes East To Russia and China

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3 Important Gold Charts – Transparent Holdings Fall As Bullion Goes East To Russia and China


Chart 1: Changes in Holdings (millions of oz) vs Gold Price


Nick Laird of
www.ShareLynx.com has compiled some great new charts on the transparency of public gold holdings over time. The charts were emailed to us Monday night. Sharelynx.com is one of the internet’s most comprehensive sources for market related charts and is well worth the subscription. The charts are very illuminating and provide great insight into how gold has shifted between non public sources and public sources over the last 10-12 years. Below we reproduce some of Nick’s charts and some GoldCore commentary on the trends that we find most interesting.


In his charts, Nick has defined transparent gold holdings as “Total Published Repositories, Mutual Funds and ETFs”, and the gold holdings in millions of ounces are derived from these sources. The data therefore covers known private holdings of gold but excludes both the holdings of central banks, the official sector, and holdings in private ownership including for example GoldCore Secure Storage holdings.

The first chart shows a long term view of transparent gold holdings since 1970. As the gold bull market began in the late 1990s, the amount of gold held in transparent holdings rose sharply and displays a very high correlation with the rising gold price.


Read more »

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ZeroHedge: Back To The Future

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Submitted by Tim Price via Sovereign Man blog,

“Sir, Arnaud Montebourg, the former French economy minister and the sourest note in the Hollande repertoire, dares to complain of “absurd” austerity policies ? (“Hollande purges cabinet following leftwing revolt”, August 26.) If those policies are absurd, it is because they were not accompanied by the structural reforms so badly needed to make the French economy healthy. I am speaking of long outdated redundancy and seniority labour laws, oppressive regulations for the business sector and the unbearable bureaucratic roadblocks that stand in the way of start-ups.

 

“To these, one can also add the traditional Gallic mindset of envy, if not outright hostility, towards those French citizens and other Europeans who are willing to work longer, harder and smarter and want to make good money; a mindset that Mr Montebourg never hesitated to parade before the world. Now that he and his cohorts on the left of the Socialist party have departed the government, perhaps François Hollande can move forward and leapfrog France from the 19th to the 21st century.”

- Letter to the FT from Stan Trybulski, Branford, Connecticut, 28th August 2014.

 

“There’s a great deal of ruin in a nation.”
- Adam Smith.

 

“You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats, procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.”
- Thomas Sowell.

Read more »

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ZeroHedge: Volatile Day: Gold, Oil, & Bonds Dump As The Dollar Jumps

Be prepared for the next great transfer of wealth. Buy physical silver and storable food.

Today was a significant day for many markets. For the 7th time in the last 8 months, US Treasuries opened the month with weakness (30Y up 8.5bps, 2Y +3bps from Friday). Significant JPY and GBP weakness pushed the USD Index to fresh 14-month highs (+0.25% on the week). USD strength smacked gold (-$20 to $1265), silver, and crude oil significantly lower (WTI under $93 and Brent testing towards $100, both down over $3). US equities decoupled (lower) from VIX and JPY-carry around the European close after hitting new all-time highs in the early session (over 2,006 for S&P Futs). Volume was better (but then it was a down day). Despite oil weakness, Trannies took off leading the day (with Dow and S&P closing lower from Friday). Credit traded with stocks for most of the day but ignored the late-day VWAP ramp in the S&P, closing at its wides. The ubiquitous late-day buying panic saved S&P 2,000… because it can.

 


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ZeroHedge: Angelo Mozilo Responds To Charges:: “No, No, No, We Didn’t Do Anything Wrong”

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If Angelo Mozilo’s lawyers are to be believed, the former orange head of Countrywide can not be sued by the government (for civil purposes obviously, no former banker in the US can ever be held criminally liable under the Obama administration) because he is, well, sick. However, the same disease apparently does not prevent the 75 year old from giving 30 minute telephonic interviews, such as this one he granted to Bloomberg’s Max Abelson before Labor Day from his 12,692-square-foot house in Santa Barbara, California.

A brief tangent: “interviews with Mozilo, 75, and three friends show what retirement looks like for a chief executive officer linked to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Remaining out of public view like Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s Richard Fuld or Jimmy Cayne of Bear Stearns Cos., Mozilo has submitted plans for Old West-style offices in California, taught students in Italy about finance, invested in a building in the Arizona desert that houses a Taco Bell and written about his life so that his grandchildren will “know the truth.“ 

So what is the truth?

Here are some of the choice excerpts from the man who is “baffled by a new effort to punish him, proud of past triumphs and incensed by criticism.

“You’ll have to ask those people, ‘What do you have against Mozilo, what did he do?’” he said in a 30-minute call with Bloomberg News before Labor Day, one of his few interviews since the firm’s downfall. “Countrywide didn’t change. I didn’t change. The world changed.”

Mozilo doesn’t understand why he and his firm, blamed by lawmakers and authorities for lax underwriting and predatory lending, have been seen as villains.

Read more »

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FSN: Andrew Hoffman – Major Precious Metals Attack Underway

Be prepared for the next great transfer of wealth. Buy physical silver and storable food.

from Financial Survival Network

Welcome to another Manipulation Monday (even though it’s Tuesday) with Andrew Hoffman. Listen in as Andy talks about:

  • Operation Annihilation PM Part II;
  • ECB on Thursday Trillion Dollar QE;
  • Collapsing manufacturing data around the world;
  • Spain issuing new debt at low rates;
  • Currencies falling around the world thanks to Draghi;
  • Yen broke 105 yen to the buck;
  • Abenomics will be doubled up when it ends in April;Diffusion indexes keep going up right before the election;
  • Labor Day attack;
  • Ukraine is getting close to a real war with Russia;
  • ISIS our next 911.

Click Here to Listen to the Audio

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ZeroHedge: Summarizing Morgan Stanley’s Entire “S&P At 3000 In 2020″ Report In One Sentence

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Do you believe in miracles? Morgan Stanley’s Adam Parker does, having given up on his sane bearish case long ago, he now predicts S&P to 3,000 because “if we get EPS growth of 6% per year from 2015-2020, that would drive S&P500 earnings to near $170; a 17x multiple would translate into a peak level for the S&P500 near 3000 under this scenario.” So, just some simple math, eh? But he does add, “of course, no one can predict unforeseen shocks to the economy,” but they will never happen, right?

 

To back up this simple statement of mathematics, Parker produces 27 pages of fluff that in now way supports the actual thesis with long-term projections, simply shrugging away the fact that this would be the longest period of expansion (with no recession) in history.

 

Parker’s Bottom line is a little less exuberant than the headline-makers would like you to believe…

Business cycles don’t die of old age, they die of overheating. Debt dynamics, particularly in the US, paint the picture of a more prudent household sector and well-managed corporate sector, both of which remain far from the heights of leverage typically associated with risks to business cycle expansions. Moreover, volatility in the economy has trended lower over time, owing in part to technological advances that have helped companies remain nimble when sudden changes in aggregate demand occur, and in part to a rising share of companies that carry no inventory.

 

The current expansion is more than five years old, and with little evidence of global synchronicity, there are no signs as yet that the global economy is overheating. The current US expansion has already lasted longer than the average expansion in the post-WWII period, but the factors we monitor and have discussed here lead us to conclude that it isn’t unreasonable to expect that this expansion could be the longest on record. In a scenario where the cycle does extend for several more years, earnings could grow modestly as well. Read more »

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ZeroHedge: US Troops Are Heading To Ukraine

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While only ‘humanitarian adviser’ boots on the ground are present in Iraq (and Syria), Reuters reports that preparations are under way near Ukraine’s western border for a joint military exercise this month with more than 1,000 troops from the United States and its allies. As Obama told reporters last week, “that a military solution to this problem is not going to be forthcoming,” it seems a little odd ‘strategically’ to go ahead with the Rapid Trident exercise Sept. 16-26 as a sign of the commitment of NATO states to support non-NATO member Ukraine, entailing the first significant deployment of U.S. and other personnel to Ukraine since the crisis erupted.

As Reuters reports,

As fighting between the army and Russian-backed rebels rages in eastern Ukraine, preparations are under way near its western border for a joint military exercise this month with more than 1,000 troops from the United States and its allies.

 

The decision to go ahead with the Rapid Trident exercise Sept. 16-26 is seen as a sign of the commitment of NATO states to support non-NATO member Ukraine while stopping well short of military intervention in the conflict.

 

 

“At the moment, we are still planning for (the exercise) to go ahead,” U.S. Navy Captain Gregory Hicks, spokesman for the U. Read more »

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