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King Salman Center to host meet to enhance humanitarian aid to Yemen

October 28, 2017 rbksa 0
Sun, 2017-10-29 03:25

RIYADH: In a major move to boost the humanitarian response in war-torn Yemen, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) will hold a high-level meeting of major stakeholders including ministers and UN officials in Riyadh on Sunday.
A KSRelief statement said that “the focus will be mainly on how to enhance humanitarian response in Yemen.” About 300 delegates including ministers, planners, politicians, heads of UN agencies besides top Saudi and Yemeni officials will attend the Riyadh meeting.
“The meeting will be addressed by top Saudi, Yemeni and UN officials including Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of KSRelief and adviser at the royal court; Dr. Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi, Yemen’s deputy premier and minister of foreign affairs; Sir Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary for humanitarian affairs,” said the statement.
A few other prominent speakers at the KSRelief meeting are Abdul Raqeeb Fatah, Yemeni minister of local administration and the chairman of the Supreme Committee for Relief in Yemen; Kelly T. Clements, UNHCR deputy commissioner; and Elisabeth Rasmusson, WFP assistant deputy director. The KSRelief, which is organizing this meeting, has spent $8.2 billion on aid for Yemen since its opening in 2015.

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What Bubble? Sacramento Housing Development Selling $425,000 Pads With No Money Down

October 28, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

There were plenty of bad actors that contributed to the housing crisis in 2009…the banks that underwrote mortgages for people that they knew couldn’t afford the home they were buying and then turned around and sold those loans to unsuspecting insurance companies via RMBS structures…the high school janitor making $50,000 a year who suddenly figured he could afford a $750,000 home…the 22-year-old Las Vegas stripper who took out millions in mortgages so she could make “easy money” flipping homes…there was plenty of blame to go around. 

But, given that those mistakes were made just 8 short years ago, you can imagine our surprise to learn today that a developer in Sacramento seems intent upon making all the same mistakes all over again.  As the Sacramento Bee points out, The Mill at Broadway is a brand new housing development where recent college graduates, with no savings and minimal credit history, can easily pick up a $300,000 – $400,000 home with no money down…

The Mill at Broadway, central Sacramento’s largest infill housing development, has begun offering mortgage loans with no down payments, hoping to entice more young first-time buyers who don’t want to pay high rents, but don’t have cash for upfront payments on a house, its developer said.


The new housing will be priced from the high $200,000s to the low $600,000s, he said.


While the prices are billed as affordable by Sacramento’s recently escalating real estate standards, the typical down payment requirements and closing costs make homebuying impossible for many, especially members of the millennial generation, Smith said.


“There are a number of qualified people who may have just graduated and gotten their first state job, and have some student debt, so they don’t have a big nest egg to put down, and they are not from a family where Grandma and Grandpa can write a check for down payment,” Smith said.


Smith said his goal is to sell to people who have “reasonable financial circumstances” which will enable them to make monthly mortgage payments, even if they don’t have money to put down.


Of course, there is a small catch for millennials looking to escape mom’s basement without the hassle of actually saving a little cash first…any home purchased with no money down must fall below FHA limits of $424,100.  Just in case something goes wrong, the developer and financing company would like to make sure the American taxpayer is explicitly on the hook for their bad decisions as they have absolutely no interest in getting Lehman’d.

The no down payment loan, part of a Federal Housing Administration program, is available only for loan amounts of $424,100 or less, said Nick Peters, of the Mill project developers lending partner, Finance of America. The program involves a first and second mortgage. The second mortgage is forgiven for most buyers if the owner stays in the home for at least three years.


Peters said the program allows more people to buy homes, but he said his company prefers to get buyers to put at least 3.5 percent cash down, and get into a more conventional loan that has lower rates, below 5 percent, than the no-down payment loan, where the blended rate is slightly above 6 percent.

So, who’s behind this latest, taxpayer-backstopped scam?  Well, if you guessed another wall street private equity firm seeking further self-enrichment courtesy of the American taxpayer, then you’re absolutely right.

Ranch Capital is a private equity firm founded in October 2002 that specializes in unique investments that represent significant growth opportunities or are undervalued, out of favor, or in need of financial or operational restructuring. Ranch has developed a specialized expertise in residential real estate land opportunities in California and Colorado.


Founders Lawrence Hershfield and Randall Jenson, possess more than 30 years of relevant senior management experience in leading, managing, operating, improving and investing in companies and projects.


Since its inception, Ranch and its partners have committed approximately $2 billion, including significant investments in companies or assets in Real Estate, Financial Services, Energy, Mining, Transportation, and Gaming. Investments to date have ranged in size from $1 million to over $500 million.

Of course, if you’re still not convinced you can afford one of Ranch Capital’s homes, and prefer to rent until you can afford a down payment, then you should promptly watch the following video.  To summarize our understanding of the video, if you buy a home from Ranch Capital you’ll end up making hundreds of thousands of dollars and taking luxury European vacations but if you rent then you’ll end up dying alone and broke in a tiny apartment.  The choice is clear…

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Daily Market Report for October 28 2017

October 28, 2017 krakenfx 0

October 28 2017 KRAKEN DIGITAL ASSET EXCHANGE $58M traded across all markets today Crypto, EUR, USD, JPY, CAD, GBP  BTC $5,781 ↑0.30% $29.8M BCH $390.18 ↑8.79% $9.33M ETH $295.4 ↓0.25% $8.39M ZEC $237.2 ↓2.65% $2.41M XRP $0.1994 ↓0.74% $2.12M ETC $10.29 ↑0.49% $1.64M LTC $54.63 ↓0.87% $1.36M USDT $1.00 →0.00% $970,638 DASH $272.6 ↓3.07% $724,485 XMR $86.39 ↓0.54% $443,727 XLM $0.0319 ↓8.21% $317,174 ICN $1.175 ↓2.91% $147,301 EOS $.54 ↑3.85% $137,683 REP $17.31 ↑0.23% $87,955 MLN $60.40 ↑1.00% $74,899 GNO $70.9 ↑0.47% $31,102 Visit the About section on our blog for more information about the Kraken Daily Market Report here.

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Wall Street Hedge Funds Rush to Cryptocurrencies, 90 Bitcoin-Like This Year Alone

October 28, 2017 C. Edward Kelso 0

Wall Street Hedge Funds Rush to Cryptocurrencies, 90 Bitcoin-Like This Year AloneAutonomous Next, a leading financial technology (fintech) research provider, disclosed to CNBC how 124 hedge funds are invested in crypto assets such as bitcoin. With over 2 billion USD under management, it appears, despite some well-documented Wall Street naysayers, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency is convincing money managers the time is right to invest. Also […]

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Federal Reserve Hesitates on QE Unwind / Balance Sheet Reduction

October 28, 2017 Knave Dave 0

 The following article by David Haggith was published on The Great Recession Blog:

Federal Reserve balance sheet reduction not happening yet even as the Fed applauds its own success

Is the Federal Reserve’s Great Unwind already coming unwound? I thought it would be good to check up on Federal Reserve balance sheet reduction since the Fed is supposed to be up and running on the move out of quantitative easing this month. It should be fascinating to see what progress the Fed is making as it happily applauds its own successful recovery. 



The Federal Reserve balance sheet reduction that didn’t happen



By Kikuyu3 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Is balance sheet reduction the Fed’s Gordian knot?

After all, the Federal Reserve’s End of Quantitative Easing Didn’t Happen last time they said it would. It turned out the Fed actually planned to continue QE at a gradual level by reinvesting matured assets. Nevertheless, the mere announcement in 2013 that it would terminate QE in 2014 created the infamous “Taper Tantrum.” The Fed hadn’t said anything back then that I was able to find about reinvesting the funds in its balance sheet until after they supposedly stopped QE in the fall of 2014. It turned out the stop was not a quite a full stop.


Unwinding its balance sheet is likely to prove to be the Fed’s Gordian knot.


Federal Reserve balance sheet reduction that didn’t happen … again … so far


So, here we are, and so far there is no reduction. It is now three years since the Fed “ended quantitative easing,” and its balance sheet is still holding around the $4.5 trillion mark where QE was supposed to end. Now that’s gradual! It’s taken three years just for the Fed to say it is going to start reducing the balance; so, let’s see how that balance sheet reduction is going for them now that it has supposedly started:

The Federal Reserve claimed it was going to start balance-sheet reduction in October at a rate of $10 billion per month and then start increasing that reduction in January by $10 billion per month until eventually it is unwinding at a rate of $50 billion a month, which will be the rate at which it plans to continue unwinding.

Here is how the Fed was doing in the first three weeks of its planned unwind:


Federal Reserve Balance Sheet Unwinding


Oops. Instead of reducing its balance sheet (unwinding quantitative easing) by $10 billion this month, The Federal Reserve actually increased it by $10 billion! Yikes! Did they find they needed to start QE back up as soon as they unwound $o.001 trillion?

After reading the above summary, I dug a little deeper to find the Fed’s latest October 26th release. It shows the balance back down to $4.460 trillion. Still oops. That’s right back to exactly where they started the month, and that is the final balance sheet release for October!

Now, it could just be that the Feds are moving accounts around and plan a $10 billion reduction on the last day of the month now that they know pretty well where the month stands. That would actually be the smart way to go about it. If that’s the case, that won’t show up until their next balance sheet release on November 2nd.

It could also be that the Feds have discovered they just can’t quite get started … again. Just like they haven’t been able to get started over the past three years! After all, there have been hurricanes that the federal government needs to fund. (There’s always something. Next time it may be new wars or catastrophic snow storms or an unprecedented bad holiday shopping season…. who knows? It’s a big country with endless big problems to fund.)

The final proof of the Fed’s ability to start unwinding will be in next week’s release when the last few days of October are all in. But if you wonder why the economy and the markets haven’t experienced any jog from the unwind so far, it’s because there hasn’t been any unwind so far; and the reduction that is planned (if it even happens) is a minuscule dose — a mere trial run — in order to test the waters.

Clearly, the Fed is moving with extreme caution … if at all. That tells you with certainty that even the Fed knows its balance sheet reduction is perilous. After all, the entire national economy has been “rebuilt” upon that balance sheet inflation.

Stay tuned. If the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is not down by next Thursday’s balance sheet release, something has gone wrong with the plan. The time to watch is now.

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Trump To Release “All JFK Files” After Latest Clash With Spy Agencies

October 28, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

The Deep States’ ‘war’ with President Trump may sink from the headlines every so often, but there is little doubt that it continues to bubble away, battle after battle. This week’s delayed, reduced… and now soon-to-be-complete release of the rest of the previously classified JKF files is yet another clash with the spy agencies… and this time President Trump may have won…

As AP’s Zeke Miller writes, it was a showdown 25 years in the making: With the world itching to finally get a look at classified Kennedy assassination files, and the deadline for their release just hours away, intelligence officials were still angling for a way to keep their secrets. President Donald Trump, the one man able to block the release, did not appreciate their persistence. He did not intend to make this easy.

Like much else surrounding investigations of the 1963 killing of President John F. Kennedy, this week’s release of 2,800 records from the JFK files was anything but smooth. It came together only at the last minute, with White House lawyers still fielding late-arriving requests for additional redactions in the morning and an irritated Trump continuing to resist signing off on the request, according to an account by two White House officials. They spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss internal discussions.

The tale of the final hours before the congressionally mandated 25-year release deadline on Thursday adds a new chapter to the story of Trump’s troubled relationship with his spy agencies. He again flashed his skepticism and unpredictability in dealing with agencies long accustomed to a level of deference. Intelligence officials, meanwhile, were again left scratching their heads about a president whose impulses they cannot predict.

And those officials had their own story tell, some rejecting the notion they were slow to act on Trump’s expectations for the documents. The CIA began work months ago to get its remaining assassination-related documents ready for release on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the process. The person, who was not authorized to publicly to discuss the process and spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the goal was to have all the agency’s documents ready to be released in full or with national security redactions before the deadline.

Since taking office, Trump has challenged the integrity of intelligence leaders, moved to exert more control over U.S. spying agencies and accused his predecessor of using government spycraft to monitor his campaign. In the JFK files matter, one White House official said, Trump wanted to make clear he wouldn’t be bullied by the agencies.

Whatever occurred in the lead-up to deadline day, Trump was irritated Thursday that agencies still were arguing for more redactions. The president earlier in the week had tweeted to tease the release of the documents, heightening the sense of drama on a subject that has sparked the imaginations of conspiracy theorists for decades. Under a 1992 law, all of the records related to the assassination were to be made public unless explicitly withheld by the president.

Just before the release Thursday, Trump wrote in a memorandum that he had “no choice” but to agree to requests from the CIA and FBI to keep thousands of documents secret because of the possibility that releasing the information could still harm national security. Two aides said Trump was upset by what he perceived to be overly broad secrecy requests, adding that the agencies had been explicitly warned about his expectation that redactions be kept to a minimum.

“The president and White House have been very clear with all agencies for weeks: They must be transparent and disclose all information possible,” White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said Friday.

Late last week, Trump received his first official briefing on the release in an Oval Office meeting that included Chief of Staff John Kelly, White House Counsel Don McGahn and National Security Council legal adviser John Eisenberg. Trump made it clear he was unsatisfied with the pace of declassification.

Trump’s tweets, an official said, were meant as a signal to the intelligence community to take seriously his threats to release the documents in their entirety.

According to White House officials, Trump accepted that some of the records contained references to sensitive sources and methods used by the intelligence community and law enforcement and that declassification could harm American foreign policy interests. But after having the scope of the redactions presented to him, Trump told aides he did not believe them to be in the spirit of the law.

On Thursday, Trump’s top aides presented him with an alternative to simply acquiescing to the agency requests: He could temporarily allow the redactions while ordering the agencies to launch a new comprehensive examination of the records still withheld or redacted in part.

Trump accepted the suggestion, ordering that agencies be “extremely circumspect” about keeping the remaining documents secret at the end of the 180-day assessment.

“After strict consultation with General Kelly, the CIA and other agencies, I will be releasing ALL JFK files other than the names and addresses of any mentioned person who is still living,” Trump wrote in a Friday tweet.


“I am doing this for reasons of full disclosure, transparency and in order to put any and all conspiracy theories to rest.”


— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2017

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Craig Wright Claims Ethereum’s Mutable Blockchain is Perfect for the CryptoRuble Project

October 28, 2017 JP Buntinx 0

Craig Wright is desperately trying to remain relevant these days. His latest comment on Twitter creates a lot of bad blood, to say the least. At the same time, there may very well be a hidden truth in the message. No one can deny Ethereum isn’t an immutable blockchain any longer. They lost that claim … Continue reading Craig Wright Claims Ethereum’s Mutable Blockchain is Perfect for the CryptoRuble Project

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