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Trumpfusion? ‘Record Low Approval Ratings But Record High Consumer Confidence’ Explained

October 16, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Dilbert Creator Scott Adams via his blog,
How did we get to a place where The President of the United States has historically low approval at the same time we have recent highs for consumer confidence?

Almost everything Pres…

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With Just Hours Until Spain’s Ultimatum Runs Out, Catalonia Proposes Its Own Central Bank

October 16, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

It’s D-Day for Catalan President Carles Puigdemont who has just a few hours left until 10 am on Monday (4am ET) to respond to the Spanish government’s ultimatum delivered last week by the prime minister, demanding to know whether Puigdemont did, indeed, declare independence last week. If Puigdemont says yes, fails to respond, or provides another meandering answer, Rajoy will start the process under Article 155 to seize control of the breakaway administration in the coming weeks.

While Catalan television station TV3, which is controlled by the regional government, said Puigdemont will not give Rajoy a clear ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ according to Bloomberg, shortly after Jordi Sanchez, leader of separatist group Catalan National Assembly, denied the report and said that, after speaking to Puigdemont on Sunday, the Catalan reply to Rajoy “will be clear.” Speaking to Spanish broadcaster La Sexta, Sanchez said he agrees 100% with Puigdemont’s reply to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and that the response will be dignified and clear with no surprises, adding that a will for dialogue exists but the Catalan government will not renounce mandate given by the Oct. 1 independence referendum.

Meanwhile, El Mundo reported that Spain’s central government in Madrid is weighing two options it may impose on Catalonia if the region’s government unequivocally declares independence, El Mundo reported, without saying where it got the information. Madrid would either name a caretaker administration or a unity government made up of representatives of all parties, the newspaper said per Bloomberg. Regional elections would then be called in three to six months, according to the report. It adds that while Replacing the rebel government would require the state using special powers under Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. that action is not imminent, and may not be taken if the Catalan government demonstrates it hasn’t broken away from Spain and instead will abide by Spanish law.

Earlier on Sunday, Puigdemont appealed for calm ahead of Monday’s deadline: “The (Catalan) Government and I want to reiterate our commitment to peace, civility and serenity, and also to (…) democracy as inspiring the decisions we have to make,” Puigdemont said during at a memorial event at Barcelona’s Montjuic cemetery. “In these difficult hours of hope in Catalonia, let’s take a clear attitude against violence (…) in favour of civility, hope, serenity and respect.”

In any event, Rajoy will demand that Puigdemont clear up his “deliberate” confusion over Catalan independence.

“The pressure building on Puigdemont is absolutely enormous,” Angel Talavera, an analyst at Oxford Economics in London, told Bloomberg. “Anything that looks at all non-committal is going to make the government act” against his regional government.

As Bloomberg adds, “this week is shaping up to be a possible watershed for the region, a $250 billion economy that’s seen dozens of its largest companies announce they’ll move elsewhere in Spain rather than face the legal limbo of secession.”

Here are the three possible outcomes tomorrow:

  • The best case for Spain is that Puigdemont, 54, renegs on his referendum promise and states clearly he didn’t actually declare independence for Spain’s largest regional economy. At that point his separatist alliance might start to unravel. That sets Catalonia on track toward early regional elections with an uncertain outcome to the balance of power, which currently runs in favor of separatism.
  • Alternatively, the worst case is – obviously – the opposite: should the Catalan leader and fomer journalist assert he did declare independence, Rajoy will use Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to take direct control of the Catalan administration and sideline Puigdemont and his team. In that scenario, Rajoy eventually would have to call regional elections himself in order to return to normality.
  • A third option would be for Puigdemont to call regional elections himself. That would bring the Catalan political process back in line within the Spanish rule of law, allow a more measured debate on the rebel region’s future and may buy the president a couple more months in office at least.

To summarize Puigdemont’s deilmma, if he says he does proclaim independence, the central government will step in. If he says he did not, the far-left Catalan party CUP would probably withdraw its support for his minority government.

“The end-game looks the same whatever Puigdemont does, Catalonia is probably headed for regional elections,” said Talavera.

And as the world, and traders, await with bated breath to hear Puigdemont’ answer, at least 531 companies have already made their decision and transferred their legal bases out of Catalonia to other parts of Spain since the Oct. 1 referendum, according to El Mundo citing data from Spain’s College of Registrars. Furthermore, Spain’s largest banks have agreed not to recognize the government of Catalonia if it declares independence this week.

However, in a sign that Puigdemont may just force Rajoy to activate the “nuclear option”, late on Sunday Spain’s Efe news agency reported that the Catalan government believes the region would continue within the European Union and euro zone if it declared independence,  which would require the creation of a Central Bank of Catalonia (BCC) “as a monetary authority of the new country”, with a staff of 500 employees.

While it is unclear if the proposition is a bluff, EFE cited a document that was prepared by the department of the Vice Presidency and Economy and Finance, directed by Oriol Junqueras, which was obtained by EFE, and which detailed what the Catalan economy would look like in a hypothetical republic. It was also unlear if there is any particular role for bitcoin or some other altcurrency in Catalonia’s immedia future, if for some reason, the ECB decided that the breakaway territory would no longer be part of the eurozone, leaving a major question mark over what its future currency would be.

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This $1.1 Million Silicon Valley Shack Is A Steal, But There’s A Bizarre Catch

October 15, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

The owner of one tiny, unassuming cottage in Mountain View, California just sold his house for well below the asking price of $1.6 million – but asked the new buyers to agree to one highly unusual condition: They must allow him to continue living there, rent free, for seven years, NBC News reported.

The Silicon Valley property went for $1.1 million after being on the market for only a few weeks, which is surprising, considering the house – little more than a shotgun shack – hardly has room for multiple tenants.

The property’s realtor said the home’s elderly former owner will continue living in the home for seven more years ‘rent back at no charge.’

Realtor Joban Brown said that while the price is not unusual for the hot spot location, the former owner’s request to continue living at the property is ‘not a typical situation.’

Erika Enos, another realtor, said she’d never heard of this type of a deal during her multidecade career as a realtor.

‘In almost 40 years as a realtor, I have never seen terms of sale that included seven years free rent back, not even seven months free rent back,’ Enos said.


‘What if the property does not close or the seller is unhappy with the results or work men don’t get paid and put a lien the property?’


‘The asking price reflects market value, which is essentially lot value, for this area … I empathize with the seller, but the terms and conditions for this sale I feel are unrealistic and may have negative legal ramifications.’

The listing for the 976 square-foot cottage also included a requirement for the buyer to pay for the expensive repairs needed.

However, Mountain View’s status as a well-heeled tech hub – Google’s headquarters is located in the town, and companies including Microsoft and Samsung have offices there – has caused real-estate prices to explode over the past two decades, reflecting similar gains throughout the tech-focused Bay Area.

The realtor in charge of selling the location described it as having “all the conveniences of urban living” but in a secluded setting.

‘This is a location that’s hard to beat, tucked away in a quiet corner at the end of a small street,’ listing agent Daniel Berman said.

‘You’ve got all the conveniences of urban living, nestled in a secluded country-like enclave.’

We wonder: With Silicon Valley home prices soaring well beyond the means of most middle-class families, will we start to see more deals like this one? Already, a startup called Loftium has hit upon a similar concept. The commpany will front you the entire down payment if you just agree to rent out one of the rooms in your new house over Airbnb for a specified period of time.  But there’s a catch…for now Loftium is only available in Seattle.

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A Good Name is More Desirable Than Great Riches

October 15, 2017 jack 0

“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Proverbs 22:1 Bunty Agarwal and Denis Grodetskiy, MicroMoney Advisors, ICO Strategists, and Business Model Analysts at Group 5 Advisory We, at Group 5 Advisory, share MicroMoney’s vision of how technical solutions such as “digital DNA” can help the unbanked people in emerging economies benefit from accepting technology as it has been designed by MicroMoney. Ultimately, it is<br />Read More<br />The post A Good Name is More Desirable Than Great Riches appeared first on

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Qatar emir starts Asia tour amid Gulf rift

October 15, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, arrived today in Malaysia in a two-day visit as part of an official tour to a number of Asian countries, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported. The visit came following an invitation from Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia Agong, Sultan Muhammad V. QNA added that Al-Thani is accompanied by a business delegation and cabinet members. The visit is the first to be made by the Qatari emir since the last state visit which was made by his father, Sheikh Hamad Khalifa Al-Thani, in May 2009. Al-Thani’s tour, which commenced today, will include a visit to Singapore and Indonesia. During the tour, the Qatari emir will hold talks with the Asian countries’ leaders and […]

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Fiancee Of ‘Suspended’ Amazon Studios Head Calls Off Wedding

October 15, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Former Amazon Studios head Roy Price’s terrible, awful no-good week just got even worse…

Earlier in the week, Price was unceremoniously suspended by Amazon this past week for reportedly sexually harassing female colleagues.

Price allegedly lewdly propositioned Isa Hackett, a producer on ‘The Man in the High Castle,’ back in 2015, promising during a late-night cab ride that she’d “love his dick.” On the evening of July 10, 2015, after a long day of promoting Man in the High Castle at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hackett attended a dinner with the show’s cast and Amazon staff at the US Grant Hotel. At the dinner, Price asked Hackett to attend an Amazon staff party later that night at the former W Hotel. She ended up in a taxi with Price and Michael Paull, then another top Amazon executive and now CEO of the digital media company BAMTech.

During the ride, Price repeatedly propositioned her, Hackett said. Though she immediately reported the incident to Amazon, little was done until this week when Price, the executive in charge of Amazon studios, was suspended “indefinitely”.

Hackett is the daughter of the late Philip K. Dick, who wrote the acclaimed novel on which “The Man in the High Castle” is based.

Amazon said in a statement this past week,

“Roy Price is on leave of absence effective immediately. We are reviewing our options for the projects we have with The Weinstein Company.”

And now, Price’s fiancée, writer Lila Feinberg, has called off their wedding, which was set to take place in four weeks.

A source close to the couple confirmed the news of the cancellation to Page Six:

“Lila is currently in New York and she has called off the wedding.”

Feinberg was due to wear a Marchesa dress at the nuptials that had been custom-designed by Harvey Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, who this week announced she was leaving the movie mogul after more than 30 women came forward to accuse Weinstein of harassment, groping and – in more than a handful of instances – rape.

Price was said to be close friends with Weinstein.

Feinberg was awarded Araca Group’s National Graduate Playwriting Award for her play “Vertebrae,” and is also the creator and executive producer of “12 Parties,” an original series that was acquired by The Weinstein Company.

She has also sold projects to Legendary Television and MTV.

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