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‘Bannon Bounce’ Fails To Correct ‘Cohn Crash’ As Nasdaq Drops For 4th Straight Week

August 18, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Well that was a week…

 

Roller-coaster day for stocks – 2 overnight pump efforts failed; stocks sank into and beyond the US cash open, then went bid as Bannon headlines hit… only to slide as reality struck that with Bannon gone, the probability of war is considerably higher…and an ugly close into OPEX

 

All major cash indices close lower today… as it appears no one wants to hold risk into the weekend…

 

VIX across all major indices rose on the week…

 

Small Cap stocks actually dipped into the red year-to-date in this morning’s initial flush, before bouncing on Bannon headlines…

 

But Gold’s gains this week pushed it ahead of The Dow for 2017…

 

The last time Nasdaq fell for 4 straight weeks was May 2016

 

The S&P 500 remains below its 50DMA finding support at its 100DMA (2418)…NOTE – S&P has not been this close to its 100-day moving-average since the election

 

Financials were unable to hold on to gains after Bannon, Tech eked out a small gain on the week. Energy and retailers were hit hard…

 

Energy stocks pretty much ignore crude’s idiocy today…

 

And this is interesting…

 

Mixed day today for bonds but the long-end closed the week modestly lower and the rest of the curve very slightly higher in yield…

 

At the short end, the bill curve is notably inverted…

 

with the panic line in the sand around 9/28…

 

The 30Y Treasury Yield test 2.75%, near 2-month lows…

 

The Dollar Index ended the week very marginally higher but the trend was very clear into the close…

 

For those who ‘believe’ – Trump favorability has actually improved this week, implying dollar strength to come…

 

Copper outperformed on the week with gold, silver, and WTI all modestly lower… (NOTE – WTI exploded higher today, ‘triggered’ at the same time as Banon headlines hit)

 

Gold topped $1300 once again – the 3rd time this year

 

This chart made us laugh… USDJPY vs Gold…

 

Bitcoin had another big week – rising 16.5% to new record highs at around $4400. This is the 5th weekly rise in a row (and BTC is up 86% since the fork)…

 

But Bitcoin did tumble today amid increasing talk of another fork….

 

Finally, a reminder that ‘stuff’ is hitting fans – even if stocks don’t really show it… USA default/devaluation risk is now twice that of Germany…

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Google Diversity Director Admits “Change Takes Time” After Female Employees Blast “Repressive Culture”

August 18, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

James Damore’s anti-diversity screed has surprisingly triggered an outpouring of commentary from former and current female employees who are speaking out about the company’s purportedly repressive culture, despite the mega tech company’s ‘holier-than-thou’ view of its work environment.

Enter Guardian reporter Sam Levin, who last night published a story recounting several Googlers’ encounters with sex and race-based discrimination.

Google’s director of global diversity and inclusion was ready when Levin called for comment, saying all the right things to try and mitigate the outrage of her virtue-signaling Silicon Valley peers.

Yolanda Mangolini

 “Asked about the slow pace of progress, Yolanda Mangolini, Google’s director of global diversity and inclusion, said in an interview that “change takes time”, adding: “We know that it’s not just about recruiting a diverse workforce. It’s about creating an environment where they want to stay.”

 

After reviewing the Guardian’s summary of the women’s claims, Mangolini said: “I’m always disappointed when I hear these stories.” She pointed to Google’s “employee resource groups”, such as the “black Googler network”, which she said can go a long way in helping minorities who feel isolated find support and make connections.

 

“It saddened me personally when I read it, because I knew the impact of those words on the technical women … [whose] skills are always questioned,” Mangolini said. ‘My heart sort of broke for them.’”

Former female employees have continued to speak out despite the company’s notoriously stringent policy of forcing incoming employees to sign NDAs about their time inside the Googleplex.  According to Google data, which the company supplied to the Guardian, men occupy 80% of tech jobs and 75% of leadership roles at the company. Overall, only 2% of employees are black, 4% are Hispanic, 35% Asian and 56% white. The company has touted its recent 1% increases in a number of underrepresented groups.

But as Damore argued in his memo, enforcing mandatory diversity policies could weaken the company by forcing it to choose inferior engineers over more-qualified peers because of gender or skin color. As Damore explains, differences in the distribution of certain characteristics across male and female population accounts for the bulk of the discrepancy, not some monolithic patriarchy, which is a myth propagated by academics with a focus on gender studies.

One former employee, an Asian woman named Quichen Zhang, said she nearly “shut down” after being teased about her race by a male colleague.

“Qichen Zhang couldn’t believe what she was hearing. The technical specialist was in the middle of the office at Google when a white male colleague began joking with her about her hiring.

 

He said, ‘It must’ve been really easy for you to get your job because you’re an Asian woman and people assume you’re good at math,’” Zhang recalled in a recent interview. “It was absolutely stunning. I remember me just emotionally shutting down.”

 

“Zhang, who quit in 2014, said she felt that raising concerns to human resources about the racist joke she faced would be pointless, especially since the colleague was an engineer and she was not. (Reached for comment, the former co-worker said he did not recall making the remark).

 

‘I don’t want to be labeled as the girl who cries ‘race card’ or plays the ‘woman card,’’ she added. ‘I was just trying to get over it.’”

A black female former employee told The Guardian that she overheard racist jokes in the office, and felt like the company’s HR department didn’t take her complaints about being singled out because of her race seriously.

“She said she also overheard racist jokes on multiple occasions and that she immediately felt left out at the workplace – excluded from emails and social events and working alongside colleagues who didn’t bother to learn her name.

The woman said that her efforts to advocate for diversity further took a toll on her. The company seemed primarily interested in PR and positive branding when it came to diversity initiatives, which made it difficult to push for more substantive reforms.

 

She felt she was negatively judged for her advocacy for people of color: ‘They didn’t like the way you’re prioritizing diversity, because that’s not your role.’”

In a Wall Street Journal editorial published last week, Damore said he was fired from Google because the discussion of differences between men and women in tech couldn’t be tolerated by the company’s “ideological echo chamber.” But as more current and former employees come forward, Google might be forced to take dramatic action to signal that it is taking these complaints seriously. That could include firing a top executive. After all, scandals are easier for shareholders to swallow if there’s a scapegoat ready and waiting.
 

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Goldman Sees 50% Chance Of A Government Shutdown

August 18, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

As we pointed out earlier, the chances of government agreeing any kind of debt ceiling deal (and avoiding a government shutdown) is dropping fast as USA default risk spikes and the Treasury Bill curve inverts. Goldman Sachs is now concerned also…
Unc…

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Trump Jr. Follows Julian Assange, Sparks Media Panic That A Presidential Pardon Is In The Works

August 18, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Earlier this week we noted that Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) had a three hour meeting with Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to discuss ‘helpful’ information which Assange purported would prove that Russia was not his source for the DNC / Podesta leaks last year.

Not surprisingly, the mainstream media chose not to focus on that angle and decided instead to focus all of their efforts on branding Rohrabacher as a Russian spy.  That said, here is how Rohrabacher recounted the details of the meeting with Assange to The Hill:

“Our three-hour meeting covered a wide array of issues, including the WikiLeaks exposure of the DNC emails during last year’s presidential election,” Rohrabacher said,  “Julian emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved in the hacking or disclosure of those emails.”

 

Pressed for more detail on the source of the documents, Rohrabacher said he had information to share privately with President Donald Trump.

 

“Julian also indicated that he is open to further discussions regarding specific information about the DNC email incident that is currently unknown to the public,” he added.

Now, the following tweet from an account that tracks the every move of the Trump family has sparked new speculation that a Presidential pardon of Julian Assange may be in the works…something that is undoubtedly not all that palatable to our friends at CNN and MSNBC.

DonaldJTrumpJr has just followed @JulianAssange.

— Trump Alert (@TrumpsAlert) August 18, 2017

 

Meanwhile, we would note that Jr. is also a long-time follower of @wikileaks so that must necessarily mean that he coordinated the DNC / Podesta hacks directly with them.  Combine that with the fact that we’re almost certain that parsing through the nearly 1,200 accounts that Jr. follows would also reveal at least a couple of Russian sounding names and we’re pretty sure that Mueller’s grand jury has all they need for an indictment.

Of course, if Assange really has concrete evidence that his source is anyone other than a Kremlin-connected official then you would think that information might be deemed useful to Special Counsel Mueller since it’s basically the only reason his investigation exists in the first place. 

Moreover, one would think that an immunity deal for Assange in return for such information would also be reasonable…rendering a presidential pardon moot. Certainly, the majority of Hillary’s staff was granted immunity deals for far less useful information…

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Stocks Jump On Rumors That Bannon Firing Is Imminent

August 18, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

A decision is reportedly imminent from White House chief of staff John Kelly on whether Steve Bannon will keep his job, according to administration officials with knowledge of the situation. Axios reports that man West Wing officials are now asking “when,” not “if,” Bannon goes.

Axios points out that Bannon, who has run afoul of Trump in the past, is now suspected by the president of leaking about his West Wing colleagues.

Trump resents the publicity Bannon has been getting as mastermind of the campaign.

 

Many West Wing officials are now asking “when,” not “if,” Bannon goes.

 

Chief of Staff General John Kelly has been reviewing Bannon’s position.

 

A recent deluge of media coverage of Bannon – including Bannon’s explosive conversation with the American Prospect – have not escaped either the president’s or Kelly’s attention.

One White House source twists the knife:

“His departure may seem turbulent in the media, but inside it will be very smooth. He has no projects or responsibilities to hand off.”

Interestingly, the market is bouncing on these headlines (presumably this would be a win for Cohn).

Which is odd because the actual report contains absolutely no additional information at all that Bannon may or many not fired.

However, Axios does note that there are a number of reasons why Bannon may survive…

Trump often sends mixed signals about his personnel plans, and makes decisions — both to keep and dismiss people — on whim.

 

Bannon, with his close connection to the president’s base, is the one West Wing official who could do authentic damage to Trump on the outside.

 

We’re told that Bannon’s friendship with the billionaire Mercer family, who has been an important Trump ally, is a factor in the president’s decision and could be part of the strategist’s survival package.

One Bannon friend warned: “Get ready for Bannon the barbarian.”

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