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Source: Zero Hedge

The 2020 Trump campaign has sued the New York Times for libel over a March 2019 opinion piece by former executive editor Max Frankel which peddled “as fact a conspiracy with Russia.”

The lawsuit asserts that the article, “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo,” describes how there didn’t need to be direct evidence of collusion between Trump and the Kremlin – as benefits to Russia from Trump’s election would be an obvious shift in foreign policy from a potential Hillary Clinton presidency.

“Today the President’s re-election campaign filed suit against the New York Times for falsely stating the campaign had an ‘overarching deal’ with ‘Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy’ to ‘help the campaign against Hillary Clinton’ in exchange for ‘a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from … economic sanctions,'” said Jenna Ellis, Senior Legal Adviser to Donald J. Trump for President.

The statements were and are 100 percent false and defamatory,” said Ellis, adding “The complaint alleges The Times was aware of the falsity at the time it published them, but did so for the intentional purpose of hurting the campaign, while misleading its own readers in the process.”

Read the complaint below:

Source: Zero Hedge

Authored by Michael Lebowitz and Jack Scott via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

“I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand

Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand

Life is good today, life is good today” 

– Toes, Zac Brown Band

The economic and social instabilities in the U.S. are numerous and growing despite the fact that many of these factors have been in place and observable for years.   

Overvaluation of equity markets

Weak GDP Growth

High Debt to GDP levels

BBB Corporate Debt at Record Levels

High Leverage and Margin Debt

Weak Productivity

Growing Fiscal Deficits

Geopolitical uncertainty

Acute Domestic Political Divisiveness

Rising Populism

Trade Wars

Coronavirus

As we know, this list could be extended for pages, however, the one thing that will never show up on this list is…? 

Inflation.

Inflation

As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), inflation has been running above 2% for the better part of the last few years. Despite CPI being greater than

Source: Zero Hedge

Russia says the United States and other UN members are floating the idea of establishing a “truce” with anti-Assad jihadist groups now battling Syrian and Russian forces in Idlib. 

The problem is, as Moscow pointed out, these groups which are also bolstered by thousands of foreign fighters, include internationally designated terrorist organizations especially the main group occupying the northwest province, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (or HTS, formerly Nusra Front).

Addressing a press conference at the start of this week alongside Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov said he was “concerned about the attitude of some Western states” toward al-Qaeda groups operating in Syria. He noted these groups “are officially on terrorist organizations’ lists compiled by the U.N. Security Council, they are also on the U.S.’ national list of terrorist organizations.”

US Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey, US State Department.

But then he lambasted top US envoy for the region James Jeffrey, who was recently in Turkey, for appearing to suggest that al-Qaeda faction HTS should not be recognized as a terrorist organization. 

Newsweek reported of special envoy to Syria Jeffrey’s remarks:

The remarks come after James Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative on Syria and special envoy to the U.S.-led

Source: Zero Hedge

After trading up over 500 points, the Dow is back in the red as BTFDers have failed once again.

All the majors are in the red!

It’s been a dip-buying-famine…

Traders are unsure of the immediate catalyst (just as many scratched their heads at the rebound), but some are pointing to headlines that 83 people in Nassau County being monitored for possible coronavirus exposure.

This all fits with comments from the infamous Dennis Gartman, who last year ended his daily newsletter after three decades, who appears to be right in his retirement.

Equities are “egregiously” over-valued relative to measures such as sales, profits and the size of the economy. The spread of the coronavirus is threatening global growth, and investors should buy safety assets such as gold and government bonds, he said.

“I’m afraid rallies are to be sold into, not weakness to be bought,” Gartman said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio with John Tucker.

 “I’m amused or dismayed at how many people are still willing to buy the dip, and this dip is far more serious than people want to anticipate at this point.”

Gartman’s view echoes that of Mohamed El-Erian, who wrote on Tuesday that the virus-induced sell-off “isn’t a buy-the-dip opportunity” because there’s little evidence right now supporting the notion of a V-shaped recovery.

Dr.Doom, Nouriel Roubini, is also a skeptic, calling hopes for a quick rebound in China’s economy “delusional.”

It would appear that bond yields agree…

Source: Zero Hedge

The Iranian regime is not having a good year.

In January, the IRGC and military tried to cover up the accidental ‘shoot-down’ of a Ukrainian passenger plane packed with young Iranian students. In February, it tried to cover up an outbreak of the coronavirus, and inadvertently allowed several senior health officials to become infected, including a deputy health official who appeared on Iranian TV looking like he was about to drop dead.

He was later confirmed to have the virus. We covered this extensively yesterday.

On a scale from 1 to Your Government Is Absolutely Not Up To The Task, the deputy health minister literally appearing at a coronavirus press conference in a fever sweat, because he has coronavirus, ranks right up there https://t.co/dlvO45LurJ

— Tom Gara (@tomgara) February 25, 2020

Following rumors that the Ayatollah himself may have been exposed to the virus, President Rouhani appeared on TV to accuse the US on Wednesday of inciting “fear” in Iran over the deadly outbreak.

Sorry, Mr. President, but we suspect your government’s botched response is really to blame.

According to i24 News, Coronavirus has killed 19 Iranians among 139 confirmed to be infected, as

Source: Zero Hedge

Submitted by Market Crumbs,

Well, CNBC’s Markets in Turmoil failed to spark its typical boost to equities as stocks continued their selloff yesterday as fears over coronavirus continue to rattle investors’ confidence.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has now lost 6.59% over the last two days, its worst two-day loss since February 2018. The S&P 500 has lost 6.28% over the last two days, wiping out $1.737 trillion in market value, marking the worst two-day stretch since August 2015. Lastly, the Nasdaq has lost 6.38% over the last two days, marking the worst two-day stretch since June 2016.

One of the more obscure stats to take note of is the S&P 500 closed down more than 2.5% for consecutive sessions while above its 200-day moving average for the first time since 1938.

More than 64% of S&P 500 companies have entered a correction, meaning they’re down at least 10% from their 52-week highs, while 25% of S&P 500 companies have entered a bear market, meaning they’re down at least 20% from their 52-week highs.

Interestingly, U.S. President Donald Trump—who doesn’t watch

Source: Zero Hedge

Following a disappointing drop in Existing Home Sales, New Home Sales were expected to buck their recent trend and rebound in January. And rebound they did, jumping a shocking 7.9% MoM (vs +3.5% MoM and a major revision for December from -0.4% to +2.3%)…

The monthly jump is the biggest since June 2019 and the highest SAAR for New Home Sales since July 2007…

Source: Bloomberg

The median sales price jumped 14% from a year earlier to a record $348,200 as more expensive properties made up a larger share of purchases.

Purchases of new homes, which account for about 10% of the market, increased in three of four U.S. regions, led by the Midwest and West.

Of course, with mortgage rates crashing to 8 year lows…

Source: Bloomberg

The supply of homes at the current sales rate declined to 5.1 months, the lowest since November 2017, from 5.5 months in the prior month.

Source: Zero Hedge

ABC News suspended senior correspondent David Wright after he was caught on undercover film by Project Veritas admitting that the network bosses spike news that is important to voters, and that ABC is unable to provide relevant news to Americans due to their bias.

Wright, who joined ABC nearly 20 years ago, reports for “Wold News Tonight,” “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.”

As a national political reporter at a legacy broadcaster, Wright said he feels left behind by the new digital media.

“We live in a moment where people live in echo chambers and the truth suffers and, in an effort, to compete, we’ve become an echo chamber ourselves. We’ve been in the mainstream media we have an effort to match the zippy news cycle with responding to the latest tweet and trying to keep pace with the desperate pace of it all.”

The desperate pace means reporters like him lose focus, he said.

“As a result, we’re easily distracted and that means that we don’t bring focused attention to something that could make a difference,” he said. “I think, some of that at least in the place that I work [ABC News], and

Source: Zero Hedge

A massive explosion ripped through the largest oil refinery plant on the West Coast in the overnight hours, sending giant fireballs into the sky, visible from 20 miles away.

Fire crews on Tuesday night were dispatched to the Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s refinery in Carson, California, around 10:50 pm PST for reports of an explosion in a cooling tower.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department (LAFD) said the fire was contained hours later in the early hours on Wednesday morning.

#MarathonIC *UPDATE* Firefighters continue to make progress reducing the size of this fire, while providing protection to exposures. Residual pressure from remaining flammable gas is still contributing to limited fire activity. Engineers continue work to isolate fuel sources. pic.twitter.com/qVmZiA0sQW

— L.A. County Fire Department (@LACoFDPIO) February 26, 2020

Pricilla Reyes, a resident of Carson, told NBC Los Angeles that she heard multiple explosions at the plant before the fire broke out.

NBC Los Angeles’ photographer Kenny Holmes said the fire was visible from 22 miles away in Santa Monica.

LAFD said fire crews worked with refinery personnel to keep the flames in check via “fixed ground monitors” while working to depressurize the system.

LAFD said there was

Source: Zero Hedge

Authored by Mike Whitney via The Unz Review,

Monday’s 1,000 point bloodbath was followed by Tuesday’s 879 point rout, lobbing 8% off total market value in less than 48 hours. The two-day drubbing has left traders and fund managers in a state of shock. Growing pessimism and uncertainty are pushing markets to the brink of a vicious downward spiral which will lead to heftier margin calls, more liquidations and fire sales, more knock-on pain among blindsided counterparties, and mounting defaults in the oil sector. So far, the Fed has waved off demands that it implement further easing by dramatically slashing rates, but its resistance will not last for long.

As institutional investors pile into risk-free assets and equities continue to swoon, the Fed will be forced to intervene once again this time buying up ETFs and individual shares to prop up inflated values and stop the hemorrhaging. While this latest iteration of QE could slow the selloff, it will forever undermine confidence in free market capitalism. Even so, the scheming miscreants at the Federal Reserve would rather save their own constituents than preserve the system that created the biggest and most prosperous economy on earth.