Author Archives: Bone Fish

The Real Reasons Why The Media Is Suddenly Admitting To The Recession Threat

(Brandon Smith) One thing that is important to understand about the mainstream media is that they do tell the truth on occasion. However, the truths they admit to are almost always wrapped in lies or told to the public far too late to make the information useful.   Dissecting mainstream media information and sifting out the truth from the propaganda is really the bulk of what the alternative media does (or should be doing).  In the past couple of weeks I have received a rush of emails asking about the sudden flood of recession and economic crash talk in the media.  Does this abrupt 180 degree turn by the MSM (and global banks) on the economy warrant concern?  Yes, it does.

The first inclination of a portion of the liberty movement will be to assume that mainstream reports of imminent economic crisis are merely an attempt to tarnish the image of the Trump Administration, and that the talk of recession is “overblown”.  This is partially true; Trump is meant to act as scapegoat, but this is not the big picture.  The fact is, the pattern the media is following today matches almost exactly with the pattern they followed leading up to the credit crash of 2008.  Make no mistake, a financial crash is indeed happening RIGHT NOW, just as it did after media warnings in 2007/2008, and the reasons why the MSM is admitting to it today are calculated.

Before we get to that, we should examine how the media reacted during the lead up to the crash of 2008.

Multiple mainstream outlets ignored all the crash signals in 2005 and 2006 despite ample warnings from alternative economists. In fact, they mostly laughed at the prospect of the biggest bull market in the history of stocks and housing (at that time) actually collapsing. Then abruptly the media and the globalist institutions that dictate how the news is disseminated shifted position and started talking about “recession” and “crash potential”. From the New York Times to The Telegraph to Reuters and others, as well as the IMF, BIS and Federal Reserve officials – Everyone suddenly started agreeing with alternative economists without actually deferring to them or giving them any credit for making the correct financial calls.

In 2007/2008, the discussion revolved around derivatives, a subject just complicated enough to confuse the majority of people and cause them to be disinterested in the root trigger for the economic crisis, which was central bankers creating and deflating bubbles through policy engineering. Instead, the public just wanted to know how the crash was going to be fixed. Yes, some blame went to the banking system, but almost no one at the top was punished (only one banker in the US actually faced fraud charges). Ultimately, the crisis was pinned on a “perfect storm” of coincidences, and the central banks were applauded for their “swift action” in using stimulus and QE to save us all from a depression level event. The bankers were being referred to as “heroes”.

Of course, central bank culpability was later explored, and Alan Greenspan even admitted partial responsibility, saying the Fed knew there was a bubble, but was “not aware” of how dangerous it really was. This was a lie. According to Fed minutes from 2004, Greenspan sought to silence any dissent on the housing bubble issue, saying that it would stir up debate on a process that “only the Fed understood”. Meaning, there was indeed discussion on housing and credit warning signs, but Greenspan snuffed it out to prevent the public from hearing about it.

Today we have a very similar dynamic. Use of the “R word” in the mainstream media and among central banks has been strictly contained for the past several years.  In the October 2012 Fed minutes, Jerome Powell specifically warned of what would happen if the Federal Reserve tightened liquidity and raised interest rates into economic weakness.  He warned that this would have negative effects on the stimulus addicted investment environment that the central bank had fostered.  This discussion was held back from the public until only a year-and-a-half ago.  As soon as Powell became chairman, he implemented those exact actions.

Only in the past year has talk of recession begun to break out, and only in the past couple of weeks have outlets become aggressive in pushing the notion that a financial crash is just around the corner. The reality is that if one removes the illusory support of central bank stimulus, our economy never left the “Great Recession” of 2008.  Signals of renewed sharp declines in economic fundamentals have been visible since before the 2016 elections.  Alarms have been blaring on housing, auto markets, manufacturing, freight and shipping, historic debt levels, the yield curve, etc. since at least winter of last year, just as the Fed raised rates to their neutral rate of inflation and increased asset cuts from the balance sheet to between $30 billion to $50 billion or more per month.

The media should have been reporting on economic crisis dangers for the past 2-3 years.  But, they didn’t give these problems much credence until recently.  So, what changed?

I can only theorize on why the media and the banking elites choose the timing they do to admit to the public what is about to happen. First, it is clear from their efforts to stifle free discussion that they do not want to let the populace know too far ahead of time that a crash is coming. According to the evidence, which I have outlined in-depth in previous articles, central banks and international banks sometimes engineer crash events in order to consolidate wealth and centralize their political power even further. Is it a conspiracy? Yes, it is, and it’s a provable one.

When they do finally release the facts, or allow their puppet media outlets to report on the facts, it seems that they allow for around 6-8 months of warning time before economic shock events occur. In the case of the current crash in fundamentals (and eventually stocks), the time may be shorter. Why? Because this time the banks and the media have a scapegoat in the form of Donald Trump, and by extension, they have a scapegoat in the form of conservatives, populists, and sovereignty activists.

The vast majority of articles flowing through mainstream news feeds on economic recession refer directly to Trump, his supporters and the trade war as the primary villains behind the downturn. The warnings from the Fed, the BIS and the IMF insinuate the same accusation.

Anyone who has read my work for the past few years knows I have been warning about Trump as a false prophet for the liberty movement and conservatives in general. And everyone knows my primary concern has been that the globalists will crash the Everything Bubble on Trump’s watch, and then blame all conservatives for the consequences.

To be clear, Trump is not the cause of the Everything Bubble, nor is he the cause of its current implosion. No president has the power to trigger a collapse of this magnitude, only central banks have that power. When Trump argues that the Fed is causing a downturn, he is telling the truth, but when he claims that recession fears are exaggerated, or “inappropriate”, he is lying.   What he is not telling the public is that his job is to HELP the Fed in this process of controlled economic demolition.

Admissions of crisis in the media are coinciding directly with Trump’s policy actions. In other words, Trump is providing perfect cover for the central banks to crash the economy without receiving any of the blame. Trump’s insistence on taking full credit for the bubble in stock markets as well as fraudulent GDP and employment numbers, after specifically warning about all of these things during his election campaign, has now tied the economy like a noose around the necks of conservatives. The tone of warning in the media indicates to me that the banking elites are about to tighten that noose.

Another factor on our timeline beyond Trump’s helpful geopolitical distractions is the possibility of a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit in October.  I continue to believe this outcome (or something very similar) has been pushed into inevitability by former Prime Minister Theresa May and EU globalists, and that it will be used as yet another scapegoat for the now accelerating crash in the EU.  With Germany on the verge of admitting recession, Deutsche Bank on the edge of insolvency, Italy nearing political and financial crisis, etc., it is only a matter of months before Europe sees its own “Lehman moment”.  The Brexit is, in my view, a marker for a timeline on when the crash will hit its stride.

To summarize, the mainstream media and global banking institutions have two goals in informing the public about recession right now – They are seeking to cover their own asses when the next shoe drops so they can say they “tried to warn us”, and, they are conditioning a majority of the public to automatically blame conservatives and sovereignty proponents when the consequences hit them without mercy.

As the truth of a recession smacks the public in the face, the media will likely pull back slightly, just as they did in 2008, and suggest that the downturn is “temporary”.  They will claim it’s “not a repeat of the credit crisis”, or that it will “subside after Trump is out of office”.  These will all be lies designed to keep the public complacent even as the house of cards collapses around them.  The fact is, the hard data shows that economic conditions in the US and in most of the world are far more unstable than they were in 2008.  We are not looking at the crash of a credit bubble, we are looking at the crash of the ‘Everything Bubble’.

The pace of the narrative is quickening, and I would suggest that a collapse of the bubble will move rather quickly, perhaps in the next four to six months. If it does, then it is likely that Trump is not slated for a second term as president in 2020. Trump’s highly divisive support for “Red Flag” gun laws, a move that will lose him considerable support among pro-gun conservatives, also indicates to me that it is likely he is not meant to be president in 2020.  This is another sign that a massive downturn is closing in.

As events are unfolding right now, it appears that Trump has served his purpose for the globalists and is slated to be replaced next year; probably by an extreme far-left Democrat.  There are only a couple of scenarios I can imagine in which Trump remains in office, one of them being a major war which might require him to retain the presidency so the globalists can finish out a regime change agenda in nations like Iran or Venezuela.  This could, however, be pursued under a Democrat president almost as easily as long as Trump and his elitist cabinet lay the groundwork beforehand.

As in 2007/2008, it is unlikely that the mainstream would admit to a downturn that is not coming soon. Using the behavior of the media and of banking institutions as a guide, we can predict with some measure of certainty a crisis within the economy in the near term. Clearly, a major breakdown is slated to take place before the election of 2020, if not much sooner.

Source: by Brandon Smith | Alt-Market.com

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The Man Who Accurately Predicted The Collapse In Bond Yields Reveals “There Is A Lot More To Come”

Earlier this week ZeroHedge wrote that after decades of waiting, for Albert Edwards vindication was finally here – if only outside the US for now – because as per BofA calculations, average non-USD sovereign yields on $19 trillion in global debt had, as of Monday, turned negative for the first time ever at -3bps.

So now that virtually every rates strategist is rushing to out-“Ice Age” the SocGen strategist (who called the current move in rates years if not decades ago) by forecasting even lower yields (forgetting conveniently that just a year ago consensus called for the 10Y to rise well above 3% by… well, some time now), what does the man who correctly called the unprecedented move in global yields – which has sent $17 trillion in sovereign debt negative – think?

In a word: “There is a lot more to come.

Although the tsunami of negative yields sweeping the eurozone has attracted most attention, yields have also plunged in the US with 30y yields falling to an all-time low just below 2%. For many this represents a bubble of epic proportions, driven by QE and ripe for bursting.

Here Edwards makes it clear that he disagrees , and cautions “that there is a lot more to come.”

What does he mean?

As Albert explains, “when you see the creeping advance of negative bond yields throughout the investment universe, you really start to doubt your sanity. For me it is not so much that 10Y+ government bond yields are increasingly negative, but when European junk bonds go negative I really start to scratch my head.” And as we wrote in “Redefining “High” Yield: There Are Now 14 Junk Bonds With Negative Yields“, there certainly is a lot of scratching to do.

One thing Edwards isn’t scratching his head over is whether this is a bond bubble: as he explains, his “own view is that this government bond rally is not a bubble but an appropriate reaction to the market discounting the next recession hitting the global economy from all over leveraged corners of the world (including China), with close to zero core inflation and precious few working tools left at policymakers’ disposal.”

This means that “the bubbles are not in the government bond market in my view. They are in corporate equities and corporate bonds.

If Edwards is correct about the focus of the next mega-bubble, it is very bad news for risk assets as the “global deflationary bust will wreak havoc with financial markets”, prompting Edwards to ask a rhetorical question:

Does anyone seriously believe that in the next global recession equity markets will not collapse? Do market participants really believe fiscal stimulus and helicopter money will save us from a gut wrenching global bust that will make 2008 look like a picnic? Has the longest US economic cycle in history beguiled investors into soporific complacency? I hope not.

He may hope not, but that’s precisely what has happened in a world where for over a decade, even a modest market correction has lead to central banks immediately jawboning stocks higher and/or cutting rates and launching QE.

So to validate his point that the rates market is not a bubble, Edwards goes on to show that “US and even euro zone government bond yields are not in fact overextended – certainly not on a technical level – but also that fundamentals should carry government bond yields still lower.”

In his note, Edwards launches into an extended analysis of the declining workweek for both manufacturing and total workers, and explains why sharply higher recession odds (which we recently discussed here), are far higher than consensus expected.

But what we found most notable was his technical analysis of the ongoing collapse in 10Y Bund yields. As Edwards writes, “looking at the chart for German 10Y yields (monthly plot) their decline to close to minus 0.7% does not seem so extraordinary – merely the continuation of a downtrend within very clearly defined upper and lower bounds (see chart below).”

As Edwards explains referring to the chart above, “the bund yield has remained in the lower half of that band since 2011, but there is good reason for that as the ECB has struggled with a moribund euro zone economy and core inflation consistently undershooting its 2% target.”

Still, even Edwards admits that the pace of the recent decline in bund 10Y yields is indeed unusually rapid (with a 14-month RSI of 26, middle panel).

And although this suggests a pause in the decline in yields is technically warranted, the MACD (bottom panel) doesn’t look at all stretched. After a pause (data allowing), 10Y bunds could easily fall to the bottom of the lower trend line (ie below -1.5%) without any great technical excess being incurred.

His conclusion: “This market certainly doesn’t look like a bubble to me.”

Shifting attention from Germany to the US, Edwards writes that unlike the 10Y German bund yield, “the US 10Y has mostly occupied the top half of its wide downtrend band since 2013.”

That is fairly unsurprising given the stronger US economy together with Fed rate hikes. Technically the RSI is much less extended to the downside than the bund, but like Germany the MACD could still have a long way to fall. The bottom of the lower downtrend is around minus 0.5% by the end of 2020.

It is Edwards’ opinion that “we are on autopilot until we get” to 0.5%.

But wait, there’s more, because in referring to the charting of Pictet’s Julien Bittle (shown below), Edwards points out the right-hand panel which demonstrates how far US 10Y yields might fall over various time periods after hitting a cyclical peak. “He shows that on average we should expect a decline of 1-1½ pp from the trend line, which takes us pretty much to zero (see slide).” Personally, Edwards says, he is even “more bullish than that!”

Edwards then points us to the work of Gaurav Saroliya, Director of Macro Strategy at Oxford Economics who “certainly doesn’t think that QE is depressing bond yields.” In this particular case, Saroliya uses a simple model which fits US 10Y bond yields with trend growth and inflation reasonably accurately (see left hand chart below). As Edwards notes, “given the demographic situation, inflation is likely to remain subdued.”

In conclusion Edwards presents one final and classic Ice Age chart to finish off.

As the bearish – or is that bullish… for bonds – strategist notes, “the last few cycles have seen a sequence of lower lows and highs for nominal quantities (along with bond yield and Fed Funds). I have used a 4-year moving average and have added where I think we may be heading in the next downturn and rebound – and more importantly where I think the market is now thinking where we are heading.”

Referring to the implied upcoming plunge in nominal GDP, Edwards explains that “that is why this is not a bond bubble. It is the next phase of The Ice Age. And it is here.”

One last note: is it possible that Edwards’ apocalyptic view is wrong? As he admits, “of course” he could be wrong: “And given my dystopian vision for the global economy, equity and corporate bond investors, I sincerely hope I am.”

Source: ZeroHedge

Recession Alarm: US Manufacturing PMI Unexpectedly Crashes Into Contraction With Lowest Print In 10 Years

With all eyes focused squarely on Germany’s dismal PMI prints, which have been in contraction for over half a year, the investing public forgot that the US economy is similarly slowing down. And moments ago it got a jarring reminder when Markit reported that the US manufacturing PMI unexpectedly tumbled into contraction territory, down from 50.4 last month, and badly missing expectations of a 50.5 rebound. This was the first print below the 50.0 expansion threshold for the first time since September 2009.

But wait, there’s more, because whereas until now the US services segment appeared immune to the slowdown in US manufacturing, in August the service PMI tumbled to 50.9, down from 53.0 in July, matching the lowest print in at least 3 years, and well below the 52.8 consensus expectation.  According to Markit, subdued demand conditions continued to act as a brake on growth, with the latest rise in new work the slowest since March 2016. This contributed to a decline in backlogs of work for the first time in 2019 to date.

Meanwhile, business expectations among service providers for the next 12 months eased in August and were the lowest since this index began nearly a decade ago.

As the report further notes, the decline in the headline PMI mainly reflected a much weaker contribution from new orders, which offset a stabilization in employment and fractionally faster output growth.

This however was offset by new business received by manufacturing companies, which fell for the second time in the past four months during August. Although only marginal, the latest downturn in order books was the sharpest for exactly 10 years. The data also signaled the fastest reduction in export sales since August 2009.

Survey respondents indicated that a drop in sales often cited a soft patch across the automotive sector, alongside a headwind to manufacturing exports from weaker global economic conditions. Meanwhile, manufacturing companies continued to trim their inventory levels in August, which was mainly linked to concerns about the demand outlook. Pre-production inventories fell for the fourth month running, while stocks of finished goods decreased to the greatest extent since June 2014 fastest reduction in export sales since August 2009.

Survey respondents indicated that a drop in sales often cited a soft patch across the automotive sector, alongside a headwind to manufacturing exports from weaker global economic conditions.

Commenting on the flash PMI data, Tim Moore, Economics Associate Director at IHS Markit said:

“August’s survey data provides a clear signal that economic growth has continued to soften in the third quarter. The PMIs for manufacturing and services remain much weaker than at the beginning of 2019 and collectively point to annualized GDP growth of around 1.5%.

The most concerning aspect of the latest data is a slowdown in new business growth to its weakest in a decade, driven by a sharp loss of momentum across the service sector. Survey respondents commented on a headwind from subdued corporate spending as softer growth expectations at home and internationally encouraged tighter budget setting.

“Manufacturing companies continued to feel the impact of slowing global economic conditions, with new export sales falling at the fastest pace since August 2009.

“Business expectations for the year ahead became more gloomy in August and remain the lowest since comparable data were first available in 2012. The continued slide in corporate growth projections suggests that firms may exert greater caution in relation to spending, investment and staff hiring during the coming months.”

An interesting nuance as noted by Viraj Patel of Arkera, is that while German economic sentiment may be troughing (granting in very contractionary territory), it is now America’s turn to slump into recession:

 

A few days ago ZeroHedge reported that the easiest way for Trump to get the Fed to launch QE was to i) start a global economic war or ii) send the US economy into recession. Based on today’s data, Trump is making great progress on the latter, and we are confident the former can’t be far behind.

Source: ZeroHedge

Large Swaths Of California Now Too Wildfire Prone To Insure

AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez, File

(Nathanael Johnson) California is facing yet another real estate-related crisis, but we’re not talking about its sky-high home prices. According to newly released data, it’s simply become too risky to insure houses in big swaths of the wildfire-prone state.

Last winter when we wrote about home insurance rates possibly going up in the wake of California’s massive, deadly fires, the insurance industry representatives we interviewed were skeptical. They noted that the stories circulating in the media about people in forested areas losing their homeowners’ insurance was based on anecdotes, not data. But now, the data is in and it’s really happening: Insurance companies aren’t renewing policies areas climate scientists say are likely to burn in giant wildfires in coming years.

If governments don’t step in, that kills mortgages, so what comes next? Only all cash buys? Seller financing? And if property values in these areas decline, as they ought to, bye bye local government budgets.

Insurance companies dropped more than 340,000 homeowners from wildfire areas in just four years. Between 2015 and 2018, the 10 California counties with the most homes in flammable forests saw a 177 percent increase in homeowners turning to an expensive state-backed insurance program because they could not find private insurance.

In some ways, this news is not surprising. According to a recent survey of insurance actuaries (the people who calculate insurance risks and premiums based on available data), the industry ranked climate change as the top risk for 2019, beating out concerns over cyber damages, financial instability, and terrorism. While having insurance companies on board with climate science is a good thing for, say, requiring cities to invest in more sustainable infrastructure, it’s bad news for homeowners who can’t simply pick up their lodgings and move elsewhere.

“We are seeing an increasing trend across California where people at risk of wildfires are being non-renewed by their insurer,” said California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara in a statement. “This data should be a wake-up call for state and local policymakers that without action to reduce the risk from extreme wildfires and preserve the insurance market we could see communities unraveling.”

A similar dynamic is likely unfolding across many other Western states, according to reporting from the New York Times.

To understand the data coming out of California we can use my own family as an example: A few months after Grist published a story about how my parent’s neighborhood is trying to fortify itself against future forest fires, my mom’s insurer informed her and my stepfather that they’d need to get home insurance elsewhere. For two months they called one insurer after another, but no company would take their premiums. So they turned to the state program as the insurer of last resort — which costs about three times more than they’d been spending under their previous, private insurer.

My folks have spent a lot of money clearing trees and brush from around their house. They’ve covered the walls in hard-to-burn cement panels, and the roof with metal. But insurance risk maps don’t adjust for these improvements. Instead, insurance companies seem to have made the call that the changing climate, along with years of fire suppression, have made houses in the midst of California’s dry forests a bad bet, and therefore uninsurable.

“For us, because we’ve done good financial planning and our house is paid off, it’s just an extra expense,” said my mom, Gail Johnson Vaughan. “But we have friends who have no choice but to leave.”

Source: by  Nathanael Johnson | Grist

Walmart Sues Tesla Over Solar Panel Fires, Claims SolarCity Purchase Was A Bailout

Until now, the general public was only aware of the remarkable ability of Tesla cars to spontaneously combust, that is at least when they are not smashing into random things while on autopilot. It now appears that Tesla’s solar panels (some may be unaware that several years ago, Elon Musk tried to unsuccessfully pivot Tesla into a solar power company as well as that’s where a few billion in government subsidies were to be found) are just as combustible.

On Tuesday, Walmart sued Tesla, after its solar panels atop seven of the retailer’s stores allegedly caught fire, alleging breach of contract, gross negligence and failure to live up to industry standards. Walmart is asking Tesla to remove solar panels from more than 240 Walmart locations where they have been installed, and to pay damages related to all the fires Walmart says that Tesla caused.

Walmart said it had leased or licensed roof space on top of more than 240 stores to Tesla’s energy operations unit, formerly known as SolarCity (which was basically a bailout by Elon Musk for Elon Musk who was also the largest SolarCity shareholder), for the installation and operation of solar systems. But as of November, fires had broken out at no fewer than seven of the stores, forcing the disconnection of all the solar panel systems for the safety of the public.

The breach-of-contract suit by Walmart, which was filed in the state of New York, alleges that: “As of November 2018, no fewer than seven Walmart stores had experienced fires due to Tesla’s solar systems-including the four fires described above and three others that had occurred earlier.” The fires resulted in evacuations, damaged property and inventory.

Walmart’s inspectors additionally found that Tesla “had engaged in widespread, systemic negligence and had failed to abide by prudent industry practices in installing, operating and maintaining its solar systems.’

Walmart also claimed that “Tesla routinely deployed individuals to inspect the solar systems who lacked basic solar training and knowledge and also alleged that Tesla failed to ground its solar and electrical systems properly, and that Tesla-installed solar panels on-site at Walmart stores contained a high number of defects that were visible to the naked eye, including loose and hanging wires at several locations, and which Tesla should have found and repaired before they led to fires.

It gets better: according to the suit, Tesla’s own inspection reports revealed “improper wire management, including abraded and hanging wires,” as well as “poor grounding” and “solar panel modules that were broken or contained dangerous hot spots.”

To state the obvious, properly designed, installed, inspected and maintained solar systems do not spontaneously combust, and the occurrence of multiple fires involving Tesla’s solar systems is but one unmistakable sign of negligence by Tesla,” Walmart said in the suit. “To this day, Tesla has not provided Walmart with the complete set of final ‘root cause’ analyses needed to identify the precise defects in its systems that caused all of the fires described above.”

Walmart said the first fire broke out at a store in Beavercreek, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton, in March 2018, and two more fires occurred at stores in California and Maryland in May of that year. While Tesla disconnected the panels at Walmart’s request that same month, it wasn’t enough to stop fires from occurring, and another blaze broke out in November at a store in Yuba City, California.

Ironically, the lawsuit comes at a time when Tesla has been trying to salvage its collapsing solar business; on Sunday, Elon Musk announced in a string of tweets which reeked of desperation that customers in some states can now rent Tesla’s residential, solar rooftop systems without a contract. The offer is available in six states, and will cost customers at least $50 a month (or $65 a month in California). And although Musk touted the ease of cancelling a rented roof at anytime, CNBC noted that the fine print on Tesla’s website mentions a $1,500 fee to take out the solar panels and restore the customer’s roof.

There is a reason why Tesla is basically giving the spontaneously combustible solar panels away: In the second quarter, Tesla installed a mere 29 megawatts of solar, a record low for the company in a single quarter. In its heyday, Tesla’s solar division (formerly SolarCity) installed over 200 megawatts in a single quarter.

But wait there is more.

As if allegations of shoddy quality control, dismal workmanship and overall blatant lack of professionalism weren’t enough, Walmart also “went there” and in the “explosive”, pun not intended 114-page lawsuit, piled onto a long-running controversy according to which Tesla bailed out a failing SolarCity in 2016 when it purchased the company for $2.6 billion (Elon Musk was also the biggest shareholder of SolarCity at the time, while Tesla’s Elon Musk bought out SolarCity in a gross conflict of interest), with WalMart highlighting the familial ties between Tesla and SolarCity as the underpinnings of a flawed merger that allegedly produced shoddy craftsmanship and led to fires at seven Walmart stores.

“On information and belief, when Tesla purchased SolarCity to bail out the flailing company (whose executives included two of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s first cousins), Tesla failed to correct SolarCity’s chaotic installation practices or to adopt adequate maintenance protocols, which would have been particularly important in light of the improper installation practices,” Walmart claimed in a suit that is sure to draw regulators attention to the 2016 deal that should never have been allowed. As shown in the diagram above, SolarCity co-founders Lyndon Rive and Peter Rive are Musk’s cousins, while Musk was the largest shareholder of both companies.

So already facing a slumping stock price from dozens of lawsuits and investigations, store closings, delayed loan repayments and the departure of key executives, CNBC notes that the Walmart suit lands at a particularly difficult time for Tesla and Musk. Specifically in regards to SolarCity, Musk was slated to be deposed earlier this month in a complaint brought by shareholders over the deal.

The name “SolarCity” shows up 46 times in the lawsuit, which alleges the company had a failed business model, stemming from a goal to speed up revenue growth at all costs.

“Walmart’s experience bears out Tesla, Inc.’s and Tesla’s inability to turn around and bail out the solar panel operations acquired from SolarCity,” the suit says.

* * *

Walmart is asking a judge to declare Tesla in breach of contract, order the company to remove the solar panels from all of its stores and award damages equal to its costs and consulting fees in connection with the fires.

Tesla shares fell as much as 1.7% to $222.70 as of 6:45 p.m. in after hours trading. The stock is down 32% this year.

The case is Walmart Inc. v. Tesla Energy Operations, New York State Supreme Court, New York County; Index No.  654765/2019.

The full lawsuit is below

Source: ZeroHedge

Battle Of The ‘Flations’ Has Begun

Inflation? Deflation? Stagflation? Consecutively? Concurrently?… or from a great height.

We’ve reached a pivotal moment where all of the narratives of what is actually happening have come together. And it feels confusing. But it really isn’t.

How can we stuff fake money onto more fake balance sheets to maintain the illusion of price stability?

The consequences of this coordinated policy to save the banking system from itself has resulted in massive populist uprisings around the world thanks to a hollowing out of the middle class to pay for it all.

The central banks’ only move here is to inflate to the high heavens, because the civil unrest from a massive deflation would sweep them from power quicker.

For all of their faults leaders like Donald Trump, Matteo Salvini and even Boris Johnson understand that to regain the confidence of the people they will have to wrest control of their governments from the central banks and the technocratic institutions that back them.

That fear will keep the central banks from deflating the global money supply because politicians like Trump and Salvini understand that their central banks are enemies of the people. As populists this would feed their domestic reform agendas.

So, the central banks will do what they’ve always done — protect the banks and that means inflation, bailouts and the rest.

At the same time the powers that be, whom I like to call The Davos Crowd, are dead set on completing their journey to the Dark Side and create their transnational superstructure of treaties and corporate informational hegemony which they ironically call The Open Society.

This means continuing to use whatever powers are at their disposal to marginalize, silence and outright kill anyone who gets in their way, c.f. Jeffrey Epstein.

But all of this is a consequence of the faulty foundation of the global financial system built on fraud, Ponzi schemes and debt leverage… but I repeat myself.

And once the Ponzi scheme reaches its terminal state, once there are no more containers to stuff more fake money into the virtual mattresses nominally known as banks, confidence in the entire system collapses.

It’s staring us in the face every day. The markets keep telling us this. Oil can’t rally on war threats. Equity markets tread water violently as currencies break down technically. Gold is in a bull market. Billions flow through Bitcoin to avoid insane capital controls.

Any existential threat to the current order is to be squashed. It’s reflexive behavior at this point. But, as the Epstein murder spotlights so brilliantly, this reflexive behavior is now a Hobson’s Choice.

They either kill Epstein or he cuts a deal or stands trial and hundreds of very powerful people are exposed along with the honeypot programs that are the source of so much of the bad policy we all live with every day.

These operations are the lifeblood of the power structure, without it glitches in the Matrix occur. People get elected to power who can’t be easily controlled.

The central banks are faced with the same problem. To deflate is worse than inflating therefore there is no real choice. So, inflation it is. Inflation extends their control another day, another week.

Whenever I analyze situations like this I think of a man falling out of a building. In that state he will do anything to find a solution to his problem, grasp onto any hope and use that as a means to prolong his life and avoid hitting the ground for as long as possible.

Desperate people do desperate and stupid things. So as the mother of all Battles of the ‘Flations unfolds over the next two years, remember it’s not your job to take sides because they will take you with them.

This is not a battle you win, but rather survive. Like Godzilla and Mothra destroying the city. If Epstein’s murder tells you anything, there’s a war going on for control of what’s left of the crumbling power structure.

And since inflation is the only choice that choice will undermine what little faith there is in the current crop of institutions we’ve charged with maintaining societal order.

As those crumble that feeds the inflation to be unleashed.

For the smart investor, the best choice is not to play. Wealth preservation is the key to survival. That means holding assets whose value may fluctuate but which cannot be taken from you during a crisis.

It means having productive assets and being efficient with your time.

It means minimizing your counter-party risk. Getting out of debt. Buying gold and cryptos on program or on pullbacks. Most importantly, it means keeping your skills up to date and your value to your employer(s) high.

And if you’re really smart, diversifying your income streams to keep your options open.

Deflation and inflation are two sides of the same coin (or the same side of two coins). Both are just as destructive.

Source: by Tom Luongo, | ZeroHedge

The Global Mansion Bust Has Begun

Global real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank LLP has warned that the global synchronized decline in growth coupled with an escalating trade war has heavily weighed on luxury home prices in London, New York, and Hong Kong.

According to Knight Frank’s quarterly index of luxury homes across 46 major cities, prices expanded at an anemic 1.4% in 2Q19 YoY, could see further stagnation through 2H19.

Wealthy buyers pulled back on home buying in the quarter thanks to a global slowdown, trade war anxieties, higher taxes by governments, and restrictions on foreign purchases.

Mansion Global said Vancouver was the hottest real estate market on Knight Frank’s list when luxury home prices surged 30% in 2016, has since crashed to the bottom of the list amid increased taxes on foreign buyers. Vancouver luxury home prices plunged 13.6% in 2Q19 YoY.

Financial hubs like Manhattan and London fell last quarter to the bottom of the list as luxury home prices slid 3.7% and 4.9%, respectively.

Hong Kong recorded zero growth in the quarter thanks to a manufacturing slowdown in China, an escalating trade war, and protests across the city since late March.

However, European cities bucked the trend, recorded solid price growth in 2Q19 YoY, though the growth was muted when compared to 2017-18.

Berlin and Frankfurt were the only two cities out of the 46 to record double-digit price growth for luxury homes. Both cities benefited from a so-called catch-up trade because prices are lower compared to other European cities. Moscow is No. 3 on the list, saw luxury home prices jump 9.5% in 2Q19 YoY.

The downturn in luxury real estate worldwide comes as central banks are frantically dropping interest rates. The Federal Reserve cut rates 25bps for the first time since 2008 last month, along with Central banks in New Zealand, India and Thailand have all recently reduced rates.

The main takeaway from central banks easing points to a global downturn in growth, and resorting to sharp monetary policy action is the attempt to thwart a global recession that would ultimately correct luxury home prices.

“Sluggish economic growth explains the wave of interest rate cuts evident in the last three months as policymakers try to stimulate growth,” wrote Knight Frank in the report.

* * *

As for a composite of all global house prices, Refinitiv Datastream shows price trends started to weaken in 2018, and in some cases, completely reversed like in Australia.

House price growth for OECD countries shows the slowdown started in 2016, a similar move to the 2005 decline.

If it’s luxury real estate or less expensive homes, the trend in price has peaked and could reverse hard into the early 2020s.

Central banks are desperately lowering interest rates as the global economy turns down. Likely, the top is in, prepare for a bust cycle.

Source: ZeroHedge