Trump Announces He Will “Dissolve” The Trump Foundation

Confirming an earlier report by the NYT, President-elect Donald Trump announced on Saturday afternoon that he plans to dissolve his charitable foundation and distribute its assets, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

“The Foundation has done enormous good works over the years in contributing millions of dollars to countless worthy groups, including supporting veterans, law enforcement officers and children,” Trump said in a statement. “However, to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as President I have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways,” he added.

Trump, whose recent tweets have moved the stocks of such names as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, is under pressure to contain his various potential conflicts of interest related to his business and charitable dealings ahead of his inauguration Jan. 20. Recently, Trump announced he had sold all his stock holdings to prevent “market-moving” conflicts of interest

The foundation, which has been the subject of several controversies and investigations, was originally set up to give away the proceeds from Trump’s bestselling book, “The Art of the Deal.” As The Hill writes, the book’s co-writer, Tony Schwartz, told CBS News he has received $1.6 million in royalties, per a 50-50 split agreement with Trump. A Washington Post investigation in June found that Trump had personally given his foundation $2.8 million of the book’s proceeds over the past 15 years, and nothing since 2009. The foundation itself has given more than $13 million to charity since it was founded, but only $4.9 million has come from Trump himself, according to the CBS report.

“I am very proud of the money that has been raised for many organizations in need, and I am also very proud of the fact that the Foundation has operated at essentially no cost for decades, with 100% of the money going to charity,” Trump said Saturday. “But because I will be devoting so much time and energy to the Presidency and solving the many problems facing our country and the world, I don’t want to allow good work to be associated with a possible conflict of interest,” he added.

Despite widespread calls for Trump to release his tax returns both during the campaign and after the election, Trump has refused to do so, making it all but impossible to calculate the exact amount of his charitable donations.

Previously on Friday, Trump tweeted that his son Eric would also close his own charitable foundation, dedicated to raising money for children with cancer, to avoid potential conflicts of interest. 

Trump’s sons have distanced themselves from a fundraising scheme by the Opening Day Foundation, which offered $500,000 to $1 million packages to go on hunting and fishing trips with them. An auction offering a 45-minute coffee meeting with Trump’s daughter Ivanka was similarly canceled last week due to potential conflicts of interest.

The Times also reported Saturday that Trump has examined a plan to hire an outside monitor to oversee the Trump Organization as his team works to resolve potential conflicts of interest.

In retrospect, considering the massive damage the Podesta leaks inflicted upon the Clinton campaign as a result of the unexpected insights into the “pay-to-play” nature of the organization, and the funds flow between outside “donors” and the Clintons, shuttering any such potential conflicts of interest, not to mention latent scandals, certainly seems like the prudent thing to do with the Trump inauguration less than a month away.

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2 Charts That Debunk The Bullish Case For Stocks

Submitted by John Mauldin via MauldinEconomics.com,

There’s compelling evidence that US stocks are overvalued. Yet just in the last month, we saw investors react to the US election by bidding the benchmarks up to new all-time highs.

This implies they expect even higher prices next year. Can it happen?

Louis Gave of Gavekal took on that question in a lengthy and masterful presentation last week titled “Something’s Gotta Give” (article is behind paywall).

The prime question, says Louis, is whether the US economy is a “coiled spring” ready to bounce higher based on the new political environment. We know changes are coming.

Are they the kinds of changes that will help the economy, and so corporate earnings will grow enough to justify sharply increased stock prices in an already overvalued stock market?

Louis doesn’t have a firm answer, but I think it’s fair to say he is dubious. I’ll share with you just two of his 63 slides.

Government spending effect on stocks is overblown

The first one concerns government spending. Part of the present rally comes from expectations that Trump and the Republican Congress will launch an infrastructure stimulus program and also raise defense spending.

That’s not a sure thing. Even if it were, Louis points out that higher government spending historically correlates with lower P/E ratios.

Stocks

Some people will dispute this. You can argue that the higher spending is a response to the lower growth that caused the low P/E ratio.

But if you believe that government is by nature less efficient than the private sector, then higher government spending will mean more capital misallocation, which is not good for stock valuations.

 

Higher inflation isn’t positive for stocks

A second justification for the current rally is that new policies and perhaps delayed Federal Reserve tightening will mean higher inflation. People say this will be positive for stocks. With this chart Louis again says, “Not so fast.”

Stocks

The vertical shaded areas are periods of rising inflation. Other than 1979–1981, we see stocks falling in those periods, not rising. Louis says this is because inflation misallocates resources. Companies must hold more inventory, spend more on payroll and benefits, and otherwise take their eyes off more important goals.

Time will tell

Of course, the Trump administration will do more than just raise spending. Trump intends to reduce taxes, roll back excessive regulation, and otherwise make the US more business-friendly.

He will go about it differently than other Republicans would. His intervention in the Carrier outsourcing indicates that this is not going to be a conventional GOP White House.

We’ll see how well his approach works, and whether other changes can outweigh the drag caused by higher spending and inflation.

*  *  *

John Mauldin’s wildly popular newsletter, is a must-read for informed investors who want to go beyond the mainstream media hype and find out about the trends and traps to watch out for. Join hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide, as John uncovers macroeconomic truths in Thoughts from the Frontline. Get it free in your inbox every Monday.

The post 2 Charts That Debunk The Bullish Case For Stocks appeared first on crude-oil.top.

2 Charts That Debunk The Bullish Case For Stocks

Submitted by John Mauldin via MauldinEconomics.com,

There’s compelling evidence that US stocks are overvalued. Yet just in the last month, we saw investors react to the US election by bidding the benchmarks up to new all-time highs.

This implies they expect even higher prices next year. Can it happen?

Louis Gave of Gavekal took on that question in a lengthy and masterful presentation last week titled “Something’s Gotta Give” (article is behind paywall).

The prime question, says Louis, is whether the US economy is a “coiled spring” ready to bounce higher based on the new political environment. We know changes are coming.

Are they the kinds of changes that will help the economy, and so corporate earnings will grow enough to justify sharply increased stock prices in an already overvalued stock market?

Louis doesn’t have a firm answer, but I think it’s fair to say he is dubious. I’ll share with you just two of his 63 slides.

Government spending effect on stocks is overblown

The first one concerns government spending. Part of the present rally comes from expectations that Trump and the Republican Congress will launch an infrastructure stimulus program and also raise defense spending.

That’s not a sure thing. Even if it were, Louis points out that higher government spending historically correlates with lower P/E ratios.

Stocks

Some people will dispute this. You can argue that the higher spending is a response to the lower growth that caused the low P/E ratio.

But if you believe that government is by nature less efficient than the private sector, then higher government spending will mean more capital misallocation, which is not good for stock valuations.

 

Higher inflation isn’t positive for stocks

A second justification for the current rally is that new policies and perhaps delayed Federal Reserve tightening will mean higher inflation. People say this will be positive for stocks. With this chart Louis again says, “Not so fast.”

Stocks

The vertical shaded areas are periods of rising inflation. Other than 1979–1981, we see stocks falling in those periods, not rising. Louis says this is because inflation misallocates resources. Companies must hold more inventory, spend more on payroll and benefits, and otherwise take their eyes off more important goals.

Time will tell

Of course, the Trump administration will do more than just raise spending. Trump intends to reduce taxes, roll back excessive regulation, and otherwise make the US more business-friendly.

He will go about it differently than other Republicans would. His intervention in the Carrier outsourcing indicates that this is not going to be a conventional GOP White House.

We’ll see how well his approach works, and whether other changes can outweigh the drag caused by higher spending and inflation.

*  *  *

John Mauldin’s wildly popular newsletter, is a must-read for informed investors who want to go beyond the mainstream media hype and find out about the trends and traps to watch out for. Join hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide, as John uncovers macroeconomic truths in Thoughts from the Frontline. Get it free in your inbox every Monday.

The post 2 Charts That Debunk The Bullish Case For Stocks appeared first on crude-oil.top.

Duterte: “I Will Burn Down The United Nations”

The United Nations is making a lot of enemies.

Yesterday, when the Obama administration refused to veto a UN vote over Isreal settlements, one which provoked Israel to lash out at the Obama administration saying “friends don’t act that way”, but more importantly defied Trump who in a previous tweet urged Obama to veto the resolution, the President-elect had one message, or rather tweet, to the UN:

As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016

However, Trump is not the only one to hold a prominent grudge against the international organization, which many have accused of being nothing but an ineffective, if material, waste of taxpayer funds: taking Obama’s threat several steps further, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to “burn down” the United Nations headquarters in New York, in response to mounting international criticism over his bloody crackdown on suspected drug dealers.

“You go and file a complaint in the United Nations, I will burn down the United Nations if you want,” Duterte said, quoted by the New York Times. “I will burn it down if I go to America,” he added during a speech at an army base in the country’s southern city of Zamboanga.

Earlier in the week, Duterte called Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a top UN official, an “idiot” and “son of a bitch” after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights suggested launching an investigation into Duterte’s own accounts of killings when he was mayor of Davao City, and the “shocking” number of deaths during the ongoing anti-drug war.

“This guy [Zeid] is ever the joker or crazy,” Duterte said during a televised speech, repeatedly calling him stupid. “You UN officials, sitting there on your asses, we pay you your salaries. You idiot, do not tell me what to do… Who gave you the right?” he said quoted by Reuters

Needless to say, the UN does not appear to be very popular among the Philippines ruling elite.

In September, the outspoken Philippines leader refused to meet UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and even threatened to leave the UN after it criticized his ‘War on Drugs.’ A UN official told Reuters it was “basically unheard of” for a leader to be too busy to meet the secretary-general.

More than 6,000 people have been killed as part of Duterte’s crackdown, a third by police and the rest still officially under investigation. Duterte says the shootings by police were in self-defence.

Duterte’s “controversial” methods of cracking down on illegal drugs stem from his 22 years as mayor of Davao City. Last week, Duterte admitted he personally killed suspected criminals during his time as mayor of Davao City (the third most populous metropolitan area in the Philippines with more than 1.6 million inhabitants), patrolling the streets on a motorcycle.

“In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys [the police] that if I can do it, why can’t you,” Duterte said, as quoted by AFP.

He added that he would “go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill.”

As for his parting shot at the UN’s employee and the overall organization, Duterte lashed out: “please shut up because your brain is lacking there,” he told Zeid.

“Go back to school. You United Nations, you do not know diplomacy. You do not know how to behave to be an employee of the United Nations” adding “You do not talk to me like that, you son of a bitch.”

And now, Trump seems to agree.

The post Duterte: “I Will Burn Down The United Nations” appeared first on crude-oil.top.

Duterte: “I Will Burn Down The United Nations”

The United Nations is making a lot of enemies.

Yesterday, when the Obama administration refused to veto a UN vote over Isreal settlements, one which provoked Israel to lash out at the Obama administration saying “friends don’t act that way”, but more importantly defied Trump who in a previous tweet urged Obama to veto the resolution, the President-elect had one message, or rather tweet, to the UN:

As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016

However, Trump is not the only one to hold a prominent grudge against the international organization, which many have accused of being nothing but an ineffective, if material, waste of taxpayer funds: taking Obama’s threat several steps further, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to “burn down” the United Nations headquarters in New York, in response to mounting international criticism over his bloody crackdown on suspected drug dealers.

“You go and file a complaint in the United Nations, I will burn down the United Nations if you want,” Duterte said, quoted by the New York Times. “I will burn it down if I go to America,” he added during a speech at an army base in the country’s southern city of Zamboanga.

Earlier in the week, Duterte called Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a top UN official, an “idiot” and “son of a bitch” after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights suggested launching an investigation into Duterte’s own accounts of killings when he was mayor of Davao City, and the “shocking” number of deaths during the ongoing anti-drug war.

“This guy [Zeid] is ever the joker or crazy,” Duterte said during a televised speech, repeatedly calling him stupid. “You UN officials, sitting there on your asses, we pay you your salaries. You idiot, do not tell me what to do… Who gave you the right?” he said quoted by Reuters

Needless to say, the UN does not appear to be very popular among the Philippines ruling elite.

In September, the outspoken Philippines leader refused to meet UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and even threatened to leave the UN after it criticized his ‘War on Drugs.’ A UN official told Reuters it was “basically unheard of” for a leader to be too busy to meet the secretary-general.

More than 6,000 people have been killed as part of Duterte’s crackdown, a third by police and the rest still officially under investigation. Duterte says the shootings by police were in self-defence.

Duterte’s “controversial” methods of cracking down on illegal drugs stem from his 22 years as mayor of Davao City. Last week, Duterte admitted he personally killed suspected criminals during his time as mayor of Davao City (the third most populous metropolitan area in the Philippines with more than 1.6 million inhabitants), patrolling the streets on a motorcycle.

“In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys [the police] that if I can do it, why can’t you,” Duterte said, as quoted by AFP.

He added that he would “go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill.”

As for his parting shot at the UN’s employee and the overall organization, Duterte lashed out: “please shut up because your brain is lacking there,” he told Zeid.

“Go back to school. You United Nations, you do not know diplomacy. You do not know how to behave to be an employee of the United Nations” adding “You do not talk to me like that, you son of a bitch.”

And now, Trump seems to agree.

The post Duterte: “I Will Burn Down The United Nations” appeared first on crude-oil.top.

CIA Troll Food – 10 ways to spot a Russian Spy

The CIA is using an army of internet Trolls as a form of PsyOps in the information war that’s raging since the loss of their establishment candidate.  Here’s a pocket guide how to spot a *real* Russian spy (not the CIA trained ‘fake spies’ pretending to be Russian Spies’)

Now that Putin has officially communicated with Trump in typical elegant communique fashion (contrary to popular belief, Putin’s role in Russia is more of international statesman than domestic dictator), the anti-Russian propaganda machine is in overdrive, re-tasking all available resources for this one purpose: drive a wedge as deep as possible in the new power paradigm coming to DC by maxing out on the existing percentage of controlled zombie consumers that can be remotely manipulated via TV & internet media.  The coup failed, which should be a shame for the CIA considering the amount of successful coups that have been engineered in foreign countries, but now it’s time to maximize the ground taken, even if small, in the war for minds that has been established as a base foothold (they read Sun Tzu, too).  It’s time for the establishment to retreat into their bunkers and behind their defense lines; for soon they will lose their power in the richest most powerful country in the world.

Although Russia and America are 2 superpowers with much in common, 80 years of Soviet rule changed Russian culture and the gene pool more than any other part of the Caucasian world.  By the way, the ‘Caucasian’ race is named for the ‘Caucus’ mountains from which they came, which are in Russia.  The Russians made the only real successful social revolution against their Elite aristocratic overlords; the Romanovs.  Although it’s a lot less publicized than similar revolutions in France and other places, it was in fact the only such revolution in a major country that resulted in 80 years of real social change – for better or worse.  In France, the outcome of the French Revolution was the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte; in America – after a period of relative independence and freedom, America would once again be dominated by the oppressor class from which it fought to be free from.  And Russia seems to have the same fate now; after 80 years of something different, the rise of Capitalism and the oligarch class is leading Russia down a path not much different from America’s, just a few decades behind.

If you’re not aware of how the CIA is controlling the internet to manipulate the population, checkout a few reference articles:

Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media | Technology | The Guardian

CIA Agents To Troll Alternative Media Sites In Huge Propaganda Program – Your News Wire

Yes, There Are Paid Government Trolls On Social Media, Blogs, Forums And Websites » Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!

Government Trolls Are Using “Psychology-Based Influence Techniques” On YouTube, Facebook And Twitter | Zero Hedge * BEST RECOMMENDED

For a pocket guide to make you a global political Genius, checkout Splitting Pennies for only $6.11 on Amazon Kindle.  If you just want to profit from people’s lack of understanding of how the world works, checkout Alpha Z Advisors Managed Accounts Program and Alternative Investment fund for QEPs.

Here’s 10 ways to spot a *real* Russian Spy in America:

1) Superior use of the English language, with a thick accent, failure to use articles such as ‘the’ and ‘a’ – such as ‘take shower’ instead of ‘going to take a shower.’  Russian Language is far more complex but more logical and efficient in use of letters, speech, and writing.  Russian natives who master English typically have a large vocabulary, and will use proper tenses and complex grammatical structures because they studied it, and will likely leave out slang such as ‘you know’ and ‘like.’  (Until of course, they live here for 10 years)

2) Never smiling.  Russians do not smile unless they are laughing at a joke, and maybe in some rare cases when something funny happens.  Even in this case, their dark sense of humor is something they enjoy on the inside.  It’s not polite to walk around Moscow smiling.  If you do, someone may call the police (as if you have gone mad).

3) Seems to be rude – never says ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ – Russians do not have a concept of why you should say ‘thank you’ to a stranger who just took $50 from you for your groceries.  How has this person really helped you or brightened your day?  Isn’t it their job?  Should you say ‘thank you for doing your job’ as if it’s a miracle?  

4) Does not wear shoes in his home, he has a foyer where when he enters his house takes off all coats, scarves, hats, shoes and other ‘outdoor’ wear and puts on fuzzy house slippers or just wears socks.  

5) Constantly pays with physical cash.  Although some Americans do this anyway who are not necessarily Russian – nearly ALL Russians use 100% physical Rubles for everything from paying rent, health insurance, doctors visits, buying a car, buying groceries, or investing.  The electronic economy hasn’t taken hold in Russia – and partly because they are ‘paranoid’ that if they put their money in a bank, the bank will seize it or bankrupt.  

6) Never will open a door for a stranger, or move out of the way if you are in his walking vector, in fact he may knock over any passersby like bowling pins if they are in the way; and certainly will never say ‘excuse me.’ 

7) Always well dressed, even to go grocery shopping – maybe keeps a pocket comb even if his hair is only 2 cm long.  Russians don’t have a concept of wearing sweat suits or pajamas to the grocery store.  When they go out even if just to run to the corner store for a milk.

8) Weary to use air conditioner.  In Russia very few buildings have A/C – in the summer months when it’s hot, it is still cool at night, when most open windows and enjoy a nice breeze.  Modern buildings of course have the conveniences of A/C but those who are older or who grew up in older buildings do not have A/C – only heat.  Therefore, they aren’t used to cranking up the A/C year round like the blue hairs in Sunny Florida.  If they are hot they are more likely to take a walk or open the windows.

9) Not likely to find Russians in paid public events unless they are formal.  Russia has a well-developed public system of parks and other free public use systems and they aren’t used to paying a few dollars to enter a public park, see Christmas lights, or $1 to view through binoculars along side the highway.  Paying $250 for theater tickets is different – they aren’t cheap people, they are just not used to being nickeled and dimed when outside their homes, because in Russia it’s all free.

10) Strange tippers.  In Russia they don’t use the ‘tipping’ system, if you eat in a café or bar you may leave your spare change for example, if the bill is $9.50 you may leave the additional $.50 – or if you have a few extra dollars you may leave it – or not.  The majority of cafes, restaurants, bars, and other establishments only expect tips from tourists.  And if a Russian does leave a tip, it’s likely to be very small (not 10%!!).

There you have it!  There are many cultural differences between USA and Russia, although there are too many similarities.  In this series of articles, we’re spreading the facts about Russia – the great unknown Bear.

Putin and Trump will certainly bring USA-Russia relations to a ‘qualitatively’ new level.


For a pocket guide to make you a global political Genius, checkout Splitting Pennies for only $6.11 on Amazon Kindle.  If you just want to profit from people’s lack of understanding of how the world works, checkout Alpha Z Advisors Managed Accounts Program and Alternative Investment fund for QEPs.

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