No. 974: September Consumer and Producer Price Indices, Liquidity and Markets

(SGS Subscription required) • As Some Acorns Begin to Fall, Beware the Dollar; Risks of Major Financial-Market Upheaval Are High
• Ongoing Federal Reserve Rate Hikes and Related Policies Have Continued to Tighten Systemic and Consumer Liquidity, Pummeling Retail Sales, and Near-Term Economic Prospects, and Threatening Financial-System Stability
• Hurricane-Triggered Boosts to Energy Prices in September 2017 Depressed Relative Year-to-Year Inflation Rates in September 2018; Annual Consumer Inflation Should be Pushing Three-Percent by December
• CPI-U Unadjusted Annual Inflation, Depressed by 2017 Hurricane Distortions, Softened to 2.28% in September 2018 versus 2.70% in August 2018
• CPI-W Unadjusted Annual Inflation, Depressed by 2017 Hurricane Distortions, Softened to 2.33% in September 2018 versus 2.87% in August 2018
• September Real Average Weekly Earnings Growth Remained Impaired
• 2019 Social Security COLA of 2.8% (Based on the CPI-W), Would Have Been 2.4% Using the C-CPI-U, Which Has Been Designed for That Purpose, But Not Yet Implemented
• FOMC-Targeted Core CPI Inflation, Little Affected by Year-Ago Hurricane Disruptions, Held at 2.17% Year-to-Year in September 2018 versus 2.20% in August 2018
• Aggregate PPI Unadjusted Annual Inflation, Depressed by 2017 Hurricane Distortions, Softened to 2.64% in September 2018 versus 2.83% in August 2018

Tether Tumbles Below Critical $1 Threshold As Dollar-Pegged Crypto Doubts Soar

Update: Careful to quickly assuage any potential loss of the narrative and ‘full faith and credit’ of the ‘stablecoin’, Tether released a statement on USDT drop:

“We would like to reiterate that although markets have shown temporary fluctuations in price, all USDT in circulation are sufficiently backed by U.S. dollars (USD) and that assets have always exceeded liabilities.”

See, nothing to panic about.

*  *  *

The only cryptocurrency not rallying right now is the one pegged to the U.S. dollar.

The week started off green for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum. Collectively, the three of them rose by about 7% according to a CNBC article out early Monday morning. Bitcoin came close to topping $7,000 again, but digital currencies remain in the midst of a longer-term downtrend that has continued over the last year.

This downtrend among all cryptos was exacerbated by the sharp moves lower in equity markets last week, which prompted billions of dollars of digital currency market cap to be wiped away. But Monday kicked off a new week and cryptos are all trying to bounce or pare their losses from last week (for now, at least).

Interestingly enough, the only crypto not participating in the early week rally is Tether, a digital currency that is pegged to the US dollar. Tether was trading 2.5% lower, down to $0.965, after falling much lower earlier in the morning. 

This chart of the carnage, as it happened on the Kraken exchange, was posted at about 2AM EST on Monday morning by Twitter user @Bitfinexed. It shows Tether printing as low as $0.85:

The firm that runs the digital currency, Tether, Ltd., has recently been questioned about whether or not it holds enough “reserves” to match the amount of tokens in circulation. The company claims that it does.

Charles Hayter, the chief executive of comparison site CryptoCompare, told CNBC: “There is concern about Tether and whether it is truly backed by dollars and rumors about USDT (tether) being delisted from various exchanges.”

These delisting rumors probably aren’t helping quell volatility, either. This comes after one industry publication claims that Bitfinex, a cryptocurrency exchange connected to Tether, has suspended deposits in US Dollars, Euros, Sterling and Yen.

Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro, told CNBC: “If the perception that tether can hold a stable value is called into question, traders who are holding USDT are most likely to shift their funds into other cryptos in order to hold their value.”

The point of Tether isn’t necessarily to appreciate in value, but rather it is known as a “stablecoin” because it is supposed to, in theory, always trade around one dollar. The digital currency is seen as a way for those worried about the volatility of fiat-to-crypto exchange rates to ensure that they can reliably convert US dollars into digital currencies.

From there, Tether can be used to purchase other digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The question of whether or not Tether’s parent company holds enough in reserves is hardly the first controversy for the coin. We released a report days ago highlighting finance professor John Griffin, who, along with his doctoral student companion, Amin Shams, was one of the two academics that drew market-moving conclusions about bitcoin last year, while the digital currency was trading around $20,000. After sifting through 2 terabytes of trading data, they alleged that bitcoin was being manipulated by someone using Tether to purchase it.

To us, Tether seems like a counterintuitive idea in the sense that it is backed by Fiat, which is the main problem that Bitcoin initially seeked to solve. Forgive us if we are not surprised when the only digital currency that tries to be more like the dollar instead of less like it, winds up being one of the firsts to collapse. 

Veritas Undercover Exposes MO Sen. McCaskill Hiding Liberal Agenda From Moderate Voters: “People Just Can’t Know That”

In the third undercover video filmed by Project Veritas  during the ongoing 2018 election season, Missouri Senator McCaskill’s considerably more liberal views – “essentially the same as [Obama’s]” – are exposed as she and her campaign staff conceals them in order to court moderate voters… and she needs them as her and her opponent are essentially tied:

Via ProjectVeritasAction.com,

Said James O’Keefe, founder and president of Project Veritas Action:

“This undercover report shows just how broken our political system has become. Senator McCaskill hides her true views from voters because she knows they won’t like them.” 

Senator McCaskill Talks Gun Bans on Tape

Senator McCaskill revealed her intention to vote on various gun control measures in undercover footage:

MCCASKILL: “Well if we elect enough Democrats we’ll get some gun safety stuff done. They won’t let us vote on it, we’ve got 60 votes for a number of measures that would help with gun safety, but McConnell won’t let ’em come to the floor.”

JOURNALIST: “Like bump stocks, ARs and high capacity mags…?”

MCCASKILL: “Universal background checks, all of that… But if we have the kind of year I think we might have I think we could actually be in a position to get votes on this stuff on the floor and we’d get 60 [votes]…”

JOURNALIST: “So you would be on board with the bump stocks and… high capacity mags.”

MCCASKILL: “Of course! Of course!”

Despite her strong views on gun control, Senator McCaskill does not tend to promote them on the campaign trail or on her website. Rob Mills, who works on Senator McCaskill’s campaign, says that is “…because she has a bunch of Republican voters.”

Another individual who works on Senator McCaskill campaign, Carson Pope, adds that “…a semi-automatic rifle ban is more so what she would support.”

“People just can’t know that.”

According to Mills, Senator McCaskill conceals her support of Moms Demand Action, a gun control group, and other similar organizations because they would “…hurt her ability to get elected.”

MILLS: “But she doesn’t openly go out and support groups like ‘Mom’s Demand Action’ or just like other groups that are related to that. Because that could hurt, her ability to get elected. Because people like see that and they’re like well I don’t want to support her even though they stand for the same policies…”

MILLS: “She’s worked out stuff with Mom’s Demand Action to make sure that she can support their goals without supporting the organization openly. And you know, Mom’s Demand Action does the exact same thing. Like a lot of our volunteers are actually from there. She’s really good about strategy and making sure she has a goal and can get there.”

Nicolas Starost, another individual who works on Senator McCaskill’s campaign, explains how President Obama won’t campaign for Senator McCaskill in Missouri despite their similar views on politics. Starost says this is because Senator McCaskill needs to distance herself from the Democratic party to appeal to more voters:

STAROST: “Because of how like, cause he’s a very liberal candidate. And like… Claire distancing herself from the party is gonna help her win more votes than it will saying like: “Oh here’s Obama, the former President of the United States, to now speak on my behalf.” Which is unfortunate because I love Obama to pieces, and I’d love to see him come here.”

JOURNALIST: “And they essentially have the same views on everything?”

STAROST: “Yeah. People just can’t know that.”

Impeachment

Another individual who works on Senator McCaskill’s campaign, Glen Winfrey, explains plans for the impeachment of President Trump:

JOURNALIST: “So, here’s the real question, Claire holds off on impeachment to get the moderate. What do we tell the moderates when we drop the impeachment hammer afterward?”

WINFREY: “Get over it. It was a national security question. That information was confidential, and she did her duty by not revealing the information until afterward.”

Obese Millennials Are “Threatening National Security,” New Study Finds

Once again, millennials are making a mess of things, and this time it could “threaten national security,” according to a new report which found that approximately 71% of millennials aged 17 to 24 – the prime age to enlist in America’s armed forces and fight a foreign war in the Middle East – are non-recruitable, with obesity disqualifying about 31% of them. 

The Council for a Strong America, a nonprofit team of law enforcement leaders, retired admirals and generals, business executives, pastors, and prominent coaches and athletes who promote solutions that ensure America’s next-generation is “citizen-ready,” published the study on Wednesday, called “Unhealthy and Unprepared,” warns that America’s rising number of overweight millennials are going to have a significant impact on the military’s ability to win a future war. 

“Out of all the reasons that we have future soldiers disqualify, the largest – 31% – is obesity,” Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, head of Army Recruiting Command, said Wednesday at AUSA’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. 

This year, the Army missed its recruiting goals for the first time since 2005, and the study warned: as the obesity epidemic grows, these recruiting challenges will continue unless immediate countermeasures are enacted to promote healthy lifestyles for youth. 

The report offered several ideas on how to suppress the out of control obesity epidemic ravaging millennials. One solution is to focus on nutrition and physical activity from a young age, which can condition children to live healthier lifestyles to prepare for any career.

Proper nutrition and physical activity are the building blocks of a stronger and healthier generation that will ultimately increase the military’s future recruiting goals before the next conflict with Russia and or China. The report said it starts with parents and educators that teach children about healthy eating and exercise habits, while state and federal officials must adopt public school programs that promote nutrition and encourage physical activity from an early age.

Meanwhile, American exceptionalism is waning, and it’s not only due to fast food. The Army missed recruiting goals this year, which should serve as a warning: the US is ill-prepared to engage in a military conflict.

The study concluded and said: “trends in obesity must be reversed before our national security is further comprised.” And while the report did offer some token solutions how to fix the obesity problem, the damage has already been done, and to reverse such a dramatic trend will take decades; the question is whether America’s next armed conflict will wait that long?

Elizabeth Warren Savaged On Social Media As DNA Gambit Backfires; Cherokee Nation Furious

Update: The Cherokee Nation has issued a statement slamming Warren for her “continued claims of tribal heritage.” 

“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America. Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, who ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is prove. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.

– Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr.

Elizabeth Warren just owned herself after releasing a DNA test confirming that she’s as little as 1/1024th Native American – about half the percentage of the average white person.

So Elizabeth Warren is *possibly* 1/1024 (0.09%) Native American.

Scientists say the average European-American is 0.18% Native American. (https://t.co/XU0l1JQO1L)

That’d make Warren even less Native American than the average European-American.

— Michael Ahrens (@michael_ahrens) October 15, 2018

What’s more, the DNA expert she used, Stanford University professor Carlos Bustamente, “used samples from Mexico, Peru, and Colombia to stand in for Native American” as opposed to, say, DNA from a Cherokee Indian which Warren has claimed to be throughout her career. 

Adding to the absurdity are two major corrections by the Boston Globe (which has become the media mouthpiece of Warren’s 2020 damage control efforts of late), letting readers know that “Due to a math error, a story about Elizabeth Warren misstated the ancestry percentage of a potential 10th generation relative. It should be 1/1,024,” and later updating it to “between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American.”

The reactions to Warren’s botched “reveal” have ranged from tenderfoot to savage

Elizabeth Warren has to go back 10 generations to find a non-white person in her family lineage. Warren is extremely, extraordinarily, almost completely white. Way whiter than the average whitey. That’s the real headline here.

— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) October 15, 2018

Who self-identifies with a group making up 1/64th or less of their genetic ancestry?@elizabethforma, that’s who.

That’s weird.#ElizabethWarrensSoWhite #ElizabethWarren

Makes as much sense as me identifying as Viking or Latino (I’ve got more of those than she has Nat Am).

— Mañ-Made Material™ (@ManMadeMaterial) October 15, 2018

Elizabeth Warren edition of South Park. pic.twitter.com/fpjEkgffBZ

— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) October 15, 2018

You will now forever be 1/1024 Pocahontas pic.twitter.com/7DUOTtiroR

— Yellow Red Sparks (@yellowredsparks) October 15, 2018

MSNBC’s Craig Melvin on Elizabeth Warren being 1/1,024 Native American: “I think I might be as Native American as she is.” pic.twitter.com/uQCWuggQpL

— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 15, 2018

The funny thing is, Warren thought this was a good play for her.

White people can be so out of touch.

— Patrick Howley (@howleyreports) October 15, 2018

Hilariously, Warren’s only Native American ancestor may have actually lived at the time of Pocahontas.

— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) October 15, 2018

1/1024@elizabethforma’s percentage of Native American heritage is about the same as her chances of ever being POTUS.

— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) October 15, 2018

So for all you who are clearly idiots, 1/1,024th means you’re super dooper white. It means anyone with that % claiming to be Native American is a fraud. . . Reminds me of Da Nang Dick aka Senator Vietnevermind aka @SenBlumenthal. Cute stories that have nothing to do with facts.

— Ned Ryun (@nedryun) October 15, 2018

And a Benny Johnson superthread…

The Daily Caller‘s Benny Johnson laid out the Elizabeth Warren fraud in a 10-part tweetstorm which, in a rational world, would end the debate. 

Every Time Elizabeth Warren Has Lied About Her Native American Heritage:

(Thread)

1. Elizabeth Warren self-identified as a “Native American” in the The Association of American Law Schools Directory of law professors in every edition printed between 1986 -1995.

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 15, 2018

2. After becoming a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Warren demanded the University change her faculty listed ethnicity from “white” to “Native American.”

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 15, 2018

3. Warren was identified by Harvard Law as a “woman of color.” Harvard promoted Warren’s hire as expanding their campus diversity by hiring a woman with “minority background” onto their faculty.

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 15, 2018

4. Warren claimed that her mother and father had to elope due to her mom’s obvious Indian heritage and the white bigotry of her father’s family. Here is a photo of Warren’s mom: pic.twitter.com/B2zSHdNkXL

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 15, 2018

Here is video of Warren telling this story: “My mom and dad were very much in love and they wanted to get married. My father’s parents said ‘Absolutely not because she’s part Cherokee and Delaware.’ After fighting it they eloped.” pic.twitter.com/3lGCf9xGmY

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 15, 2018

5. Warren submitted multiple recipes for the Indian cookbook “Pow Wow Chow” and signed her name, “Elizabeth Warren – Cherokee” pic.twitter.com/Fr3ECGsUa2

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 15, 2018

6. Warren used offensive, racially charged language to defend her claims of Native American heritage, declaring that her family had “high cheekbones” like “all the Indians do.”

Here is video of that moment: pic.twitter.com/DzU60yowHe

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 15, 2018

7. Warren has now claimed that she *may* have 1/1024th Indian DNA. This is equally problematic since DNA science proves that the average white American has .18% Indian DNA, far more that Warren’s .098% (lowest estimate according to study) https://t.co/tNwZcdIDeS

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 15, 2018

8. Multiple members of Warren’s direct family have disputed her claims of a “proud Native American heritage.” They deny the Senator’s Indian heritage stories fervently:https://t.co/iF53pWxymP

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 15, 2018

9. Warren’s DNA report did not measure actual Native American DNA. The report actually measured Colombian, Mexican and Peruvian DNA. Of which Warren *may* have a tiny, tiny fraction – possibly. pic.twitter.com/SK7LExbawl

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 15, 2018

10. It is very difficult to argue that Warren did not commit racial fraud. She used the advantages in the system to advance her career with no evidence (to this day) that she is actually Native American. Democrats defending her behavior on this point is dubious – at best.

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 15, 2018

* end thread*

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 15, 2018

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