iBankCoin
18 years in Wall Street, left after finding out it was all horseshit. Founder/ Master and Commander: iBankCoin, finance news and commentary from the future.
Joined Nov 10, 2007
16,537 Blog Posts

Markets in Free Fall, As the Trump Presidency Shatters Apart Government-Corporate Council

Trump had said he ended the economic council, chaired by the the CEO of Blackstone, Steve Schwarzman. Apparently, that was a lie, at least according to the NY Times report out now, regarding the dissolution of the council.

Post Charlottesville remarks, the President’s economic council was in full rebellion mode and it was agreed upon to disband it. After the President learned about this, he preempted their statement and tweeted out he has ended it.

On Wednesday morning, a dozen of the country’s most influential C.E.O.s joined a conference call, and, after some debate, a consensus emerged: The policy forum would be disbanded, delivering a blow to a president who came into office boasting of his close ties with business leaders.

With the collapse of the councils, the president has all but lost his most natural constituency — the corporate leaders who stood to benefit from his agenda of lower taxes and lighter regulation.

Before they could make a statement announcing their decision, however, Mr. Trump spoke. He had caught wind of their planned defection and wanted to have the last word. Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!”

This account is based on interviews with more than a dozen people at the companies represented on the council or advising them.

There is an important point to make in all of this noise. If business leaders, right or wrong, are afraid to be associated with the President, due to his perceived unpopularity, then all of his economic plans that helped the market roar to record highs are doomed.

“There is continuing pressure on C.E.O.s from customers, employees, shareholders and board members to take a position against what’s going on and separate themselves from president Trump’s councils,” said Bill George, the former chief executive of the medical device maker Medtronic and a board member of Goldman Sachs. “These executives cannot live with customers thinking they are in cahoots with someone who supports white supremacists or neo-Nazis.”

Important distinction.

“In American history, we’ve never had business leaders decline national service when requested by the president,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management. “They’ve now turned their backs on him.”

According to the NY Times, here’s what really happened.

As the group disintegrated, Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of the Blackstone Group, was kept in the loop. Mr. Schwarzman was one of Mr. Trump’s closest business confidants and the chairman of the policy forum, but he was also outraged by the president’s remarks.

On Tuesday evening, he called Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a White House adviser, to inform him that the policy forum was falling apart. At the same time, Mr. Schwarzman began drafting a statement about disbanding the group. A White House spokesman declined to comment.

Efforts to schedule a conference call for the chief executives on Tuesday night were unsuccessful, so a call was set for 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, Laurence D. Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, called Ms. Nooyi, Ms. Rometty, Ms. Barra and Douglas McMillon, the chief executive of Walmart.

Mr. Fink decided to step down after seeing the president’s remarks on Tuesday, and now encouraged other executives to join him. Mr. McMillon, who earlier in the week made public a stinging critique of the president, but had not stepped down from the advisory group, had changed his stance after Mr. Trump’s news conference on Tuesday, deciding to step down.

As the call began, more than a dozen of the nation’s top business leaders dialed in from around the country — Mr. Fink was in Aspen, Colo., while Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan, was home in New York.

Leading the discussion, Mr. Schwarzman, gave each participant time to speak.

Two in the group — Jim McNerney, the former chief executive of Boeing and Jack Welch, the former leader of General Electric — proposed issuing a statement condemning the president, but keeping the group together.

Mr. McNerney and Mr. Welch did not respond to requests for comment.

But most others, including Mr. Fink of BlackRock and Ms. Nooyi of Pepsi, leaned toward disbanding.

Mr. Dimon was also furious and wanted off the council, but felt conflicted because of his role as chairman of the Business Roundtable, an industry group.

Ms. Rometty of IBM, who had faced criticism from employees for her role in the group, advocated that the executives “condemn and disband.” That phrase soon drew broad backing.

During the 40-minute phone call, Mr. Schwarzman did not press for continued allegiance to the president. He said that although he had had high hopes for the forum, something had to change in light of the president’s reaction to the violence in Charlottesville. The question, he added, was how to reach a consensus.

As the policy forum was holding its call, other members of the manufacturing council, including Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup and Inge Thulin of 3M, announced they would step down.

By the time the call was over, the group had agreed to disband. After the decision was final, Mr. Schwarzman called the White House to let Mr. Trump know. He was asked to include language that the president had agreed to disband it.

Shortly thereafter, the president claimed on Twitter that he was disbanding the advisory groups.

Companies swiftly disputed that notion. Johnson & Johnson said its chief executive, Alex Gorsky, was leaving the panel before the president’s tweet.

The perception for Trump is that of a President isolated, without any real power. He is all but a ceremonial figure now, rejected by people inside his administration, business community, intelligence community, and in Congress. The fact that the Nasdaq is only down 50 is a testament to how well controlled the markets are. As the executive branch of government faces a daily barrage of controversy, coupled with a very active investigation into Trump’s dealings with Russians, I’d be amazed if the market could make it past Labor Day in one piece.

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Cloudflare CEO Terminates Neo-Nazi Site After ‘Waking Up in a Bad Mood’

The CEO of Cloudfare, Mathew Prince had enough of the Daily Stormer, a neo-nazi site dedicated to fomenting strife amongst races. In an email sent to employees, Prince described his actions as ‘arbitrary’, saying ‘literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet. No one should have that power.’

Here is the full email.

Earlier today Cloudflare terminated the account of the Daily Stormer. We’ve stopped proxying their traffic and stopped answering DNS requests for their sites. We’ve taken measures to ensure that they cannot sign up for Cloudflare’s services again.

This was my decision. Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion. My rationale for making this decision was simple: the people behind the Daily Stormer are assholes and I’d had enough.

Let me be clear: this was an arbitrary decision. It was different than what I’d talked talked with our senior team about yesterday. I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet. I called our legal team and told them what we were going to do. I called our Trust & Safety team and had them stop the service. It was a decision I could make because I’m the CEO of a major Internet infrastructure company.

Having made that decision we now need to talk about why it is so dangerous. I’ll be posting something on our blog later today. Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet. No one should have that power.

(Cloudflare employee’s name redacted) asked after I told him what we were going to do: “Is this the day the Internet dies?” He was half joking, but I actually think it’s an important question. It’s important that what we did today not set a precedent. The right answer is for us to be consistently content neutral. But we need to have a conversation about who and how the content online is controlled. We couldn’t have that conversation while the Daily Stormer site was using us. Now, hopefully, we can.

I’ll be publishing a blog post with all our thoughts on this issue in a few hours. Until then, I’d ask that you not talk about this externally.

Matthew Prince

Co-founder & CEO

In a blog post describing his decision, Prince openly admits that being judge and jury of what is acceptable content is almost an impossible task, saying that without his companies protection, hackers could easily take down sites they disagree with.

The size and scale of the attacks that can now easily be launched online make it such that if you don’t have a network like Cloudflare in front of your content, and you upset anyone, you will be knocked offline. In fact, in the case of the Daily Stormer, the initial requests we received to terminate their service came from hackers who literally said: “Get out of the way so we can DDoS this site off the Internet.”

You, like me, may believe that the Daily Stormer’s site is vile. You may believe it should be restricted. You may think the authors of the site should be prosecuted. Reasonable people can and do believe all those things. But having the mechanism of content control be vigilante hackers launching DDoS attacks subverts any rational concept of justice.

And here’s the rub. The CEO is obviously conflicted about his actions, taking down a website that he disagrees with. His screed is practically a cry for help, yet he’s doing it in spite of all that. I am shocked that his attorneys permitted him to post this rant, since it opens him up to all sorts of legal issues. Here he is admitting what he’s doing is wrong, wielding the power to arbitrarily take down a site because he woke up in a bad mood — then expecting the world to see it his way and respect his decision.

He concludes:

Someone on our team asked after I announced we were going to terminate the Daily Stormer: “Is this the day the Internet dies?” He was half joking, but only half. He’s no fan of the Daily Stormer or sites like it. But he does realize the risks of a company like Cloudflare getting into content policing.

There’s a saying in legal circles that hard cases make bad law. We need to be careful of that here. What I do hope is it will allow us all to discuss what the framework for all of the organizations listed above should be when it comes to content restrictions. I don’t know the right answer, but I do know that as we work it out it’s critical we be clear, transparent, consistent and respectful of Due Process.

Corporations like Cloudflare and the big web hosting companies literally control the flow of traffic and can do the job that a fascist government wishes it could impose on its people. The political environment is so aggressive now, the leftist tech community are now emboldened to intermingle their views with their business practices. Who in their right mind can make the claim that America is accepting of dissent and permissive of free speech anymore?

By definition, freedom of speech is allowing hate speech to exist. Now that we’ve crossed the rubicon of freedom of expression, all for the good of the public, expect the environment online to get increasingly toxic.

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$LB Sinks to 5 Year Lows After Reporting Weak Guidance

Who remembers when retail meant something in America? Year to date, the maker of Victoria’s Secret is down 38% and will sink even lower when it opens for trading today — with the stock set for another 7% drubbing.

Here was their guidance and rationale.

Given co’s below-expectation second quarter sales result, the comp forecast for the third quarter is a more conservative flat to low-single digit decline, versus previous view of up low-single digits. While store traffic, particularly at Victoria’s Secret, has been challenging, co believes a large part of the decline is related to the exit of swim and a pullback in promotional activity versus last year. The online businesses continue to be strong, with 11% growth in go-forward categories at Victoria’s Secret and 16% growth at Bath & Body Works. Stores have high sales productivity and 99% of stores are cash-flow positive. Expect the third quarter gross margin rate to be down to last year, driven by buying and occupancy expense deleverage that will more than offset an increase in the merchandise margin rate.

Analyst take.

TAG notes that While mgmt moderated its EPS guidance for the year, third quarter and full year comp guidance is in line with current market expectations. They believe the co took a more conservative view of the topline potential relative to its original plan due to the comp miss in the second quarter rather (in part due to traffic challenges) rather than as a result of anything it is seeing in the business currently, and the company did not update its August comp guidance (down low- to-mid single digits). In addition, the updated guidance still leaves room for a turn to positive comps in the fourth quarter as compares ease and the headwind of the exit of swim and apparel roll down.

While the process has required investor patience, they continue to see potential for sequential improvement in trends and a turn in the stock as the VS restructuring progresses and new product is introduced at the brand through the back half of the year.

FBR & Co notes the more conservative guide was due to lighter sales in 2Q that could potentially continue into 2H if traffic continues to be weaker (though could improve beyond swim season), but sales should still continue to sequentially improve. While the lowered guide is disappointing, they believe their thesis is playing out as they are seeing improved VS merch margins (better than expected), successful product launches, continued Pink outperformance, and improving VS SSS trends (though a bit slower than expected). They believe LB’s solid brands continue to resonate well with consumers based on our survey work and expect results to continue to improve in 2H; $60 tgt.
LB -6% at five-year low premarket.

I get how Amazon is hurting traditional retailers — but what about this? No one is buying lingerie online, or are they? It amazes me to see how well the market is comporting itself, in spite of all this retail dislocation.

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Tucker Carlson Obliterates Bill Kristol, Says He’s ‘Glued to Social Media Like a Slot Machine Junkie in Reno.’

Last night Bill Kristol called out Tucker Carlson for discussing the very real issue of removing monuments of all American forefathers who once owned slaves, saying that Tucker was attempting to rationalize slavery and then later suggested he’d rationalize anti-semitism.

If you watched the segment, all Tucker did was pose a very serious question, which I duplicated here that drew the ire of several residents.

Should we remove the monuments of anyone who once owned slaves?

Tucker responded last night, calling out Kristol for being ‘glued to social media like a slot machine junkie in Reno. He added that he had once worked for Kristol for 5 years and ‘a generally smart guy’ and a good boss, who was humane and intelligent.

Tucker then asked, ‘what happened?’

‘Hysteria has supplanted rational debate, where the purpose of political argument is to no longer explain your beliefs, but to highlight what a morally upstanding person you are, what a virtuous guy you are, usually by contrast of your opponent, who is by definition, evil. It’s childish, obviously — but for many people it’s pretty tempting. Even 64 year old men with Harvard degrees fall for it, apparently.

Tucker believes, ‘part of the problem is also the medium.’ He criticized the fact that Bill no longer thinks things through like he used to, when he was the editor at The Weekly Standard.

‘Now he just goes on Twitter and he stays on Twitter, all day, every day — dashing off little thoughts and impressions, scoring tiny little points against strangers in cyberspace — keeping obsessive track of his likes and retweets. At an age where he could be spending his time with his grandchildren, Kristol is glued to social media like a slot machine junkie in Reno.’

Watch.

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Back From “Vacation”, Let the Games Begin

Don’t think that I didn’t see some of you people talking extra greasy in the comments section while I was away — talking about things that don’t apply to barely functional illiterates, such as yourselves.

I haven’t checked the futures yet, but will be catching up to date with all of the great happenings soon. I just got back from my vacation to Maine, which ended up in Newport, RI, hob knobbing with fellow white racists who procure massive amounts of wealth for themselves, without ever thinking about letting some transgender men get some.

Back in la, la land, all of you massive faggots are getting bent out of shape over confederates, as if Robert E. Lee was back from the dead, fixing to sack DC. In the real world, none of this matters, you’re simply being controlled by government and the media — because your brains are small and your emotions are fragile.

I don’t give a shit about confederates, white supremacists, black supremacists, ANTIFA or anyone else in between. Fuck all of you people, twice over, I have business and monies to take from the free stock markets gains being doled out daily.

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Tucker Carlson Asks the Question: Will the Left Refute America’s Forefathers Because They Owned Slaves?

I cannot see how the left cannot call for George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others to be removed from the public square, libraries, museums, universities and our currency.

Since the left is out to get all racists, feverishly on the lookout for nazis and alt-right retards, ripping down statues of confederates, why not go to the source of all this racism, eh? America’s forefathers.

41 out of 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves. Therefore, and using the same logic we’re applying to the white supremacists in the streets demanding, err, nothing, we must reject the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and America, basically.

The country is over.

Tucker Carlson lays it out perfectly. I’d like to hear from any left wingers who disagree with my train of thought and explain to me why we should revere Thomas Jefferson.

Naturally, Bill Kristol attacked Tucker for his cogent analysis. Brit Hume came to his defense.

NOTE: Earlier today, the President had it out with the media over this very topic. Here is the full showdown.

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Mitt Romney Endorses Radical Leftist Group ANTIFA

The math on these neocon faggots whole heartedly supporting ANTIFA is simple. First of all, white people are old hat. Your days are numbered. All politicians who aspire for public office will pander to minorities from here forth, and then summarily ignore their governance requests once in office. Ergo, showing support for a radical leftists group of self loathing white faggots is easy — because the media and the left love them.

What is a neocon?

In short, a parasite. They feed off stronger entities to further their agenda. Originally, these people were communists, got booted out of Stalin’s Russia, and then managed to infiltrate America and coopt the GOP. Their high water mark was under The Idiot Bush — utter and extreme disaster. These people are devils.

Due to the Trump ascendancy, more or less, they’ve been ejected from power. These people have established themselves as ‘Never Trumpers’ with a goal to unseat the President, which is the same as the left. Because they now share a common goal, the left have grown to like these people, like Mitt Romney, Max Boot, Bill Kristol, Joe Scarborough, Rick Wilson, Sen. Graham, Sen. McCain and a sundry of others. Their Twitter feeds are indistinguishable from leftists and career democrats, for a reason.

They’ve now begun to coopt the Democratic Party. They’re the democrats now, who will attempt to seize power and continue their schemes to place America into a never-ending quagmire of war and Middle East expansionism, which in turn will create new enemies for America and cause them to attack us where we live.

We’ll get pissed off, like after 9/11, and the cycle of SHEER FUCKERY will continue.

Here’s Mitt Romney endorsing ANTIFA.

And here is the all inclusive ANTIFA who hold the moral high ground above racists (hint: ANTIFA is an overtly racist organization).

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Leftists in N. Carolina Scream, Kick, and Spit on Inanimate Metal Object

Serious question for you good folks out there: are these people retarded?

These people gathered together to rip down a confederate monument, which I suppose is great if you’re into that sort of thing. But then after they tore it down, they started to scream at it, spit on it, and then kick it.

Do these people think their tiny feet can hurt an inanimate object made from metal? I sat here, gazed at this video for a good 2 minutes, and came away utterly baffled by the actions of these psychopaths. This is a pool of genetically inferior people gathering together for the explicit purposes of demonstrating their ineptitude as civilians in this country — an utter embarrassment of extreme proportions.

On the issue of confederate statues being torn down: I’ve never been a big fan of the confederates, but this has a feeling of malice, northern people instigating trouble with southerners, poking them in their chests, making them relive their loss over and over again. Nothing good will come from this antagonistic behavior.

As for me, I’m still on vacation and depart from Main today, en route to Rhode Island. I’ll be back at the turret on Thursday.

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Savage Asks, ‘When Did Nationalism Become Nazism?’

I’m not big on jingoism, but nationalism is just fine. It’s actually necessary when competing versus any foreign government — because they themselves are likely very nationalistic. In other words, if the people of America do not possess an overt love of country, then it cannot exist. If its own citizens cannot openly express love for their country, then who the hell will?

Think about what I just said, because I know many of you do not love America and I will not judge you for it. The problem with not loving America is that you’re likely confusing two totally separate entities, one being the people, the culture and the lifestyle, the other being the greedy government devils.

Often times I find myself lamenting over the many things representative in America, but most of that is the fault of government, not its people. Sure, some of you leftards piss me off when we discuss politics. But who really talks politics in real life? I mean, really?

Conservative talk show host, Michael Savage, makes some very sober assessments regarding racism in this country, and how it cuts both ways. He drives home the point that being a white conservative doesn’t mean you’re a nazi or a racist. Moreover, he reminds people of the hatred and the whirlwind sowed by Obama and Holder, which was rampant for 8 years, are coming home to roost now.

Remember, there are two very different schools of thought in America. By catering to just one side for 8 years, with the help of a very biased media, Obama created so much pent up anger and discord amongst the right wing, you’re now seeing that manifest in very ugly ways today.

Sure, Hollywood and NYers loved Obama, but, geographically, he was loathed just about everywhere else.

“Are all those who fought and died for America, because they put America first, are they all Nazis now? Are all those crosses at military cemeteries, are they now symbols of racism?”

Watch.

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Tucker Carlson Concludes: Google Cannot Be Trusted, Regulate Them Immediately

What do you good folks think about that idea? Just because Google is an information monopoly with an ultra-leftist bias that openly discriminates against alternative viewpoints, should we call for the government to regulate them?

This is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario and the only reason why anyone would want to regulate Google would be to overtly hurt and diminish them. Although I’m not a fan, whatsoever, of government, something needs to be done with Google. Just based off the firing of James Damore, you see how fucked Google is with their Orwellian way of thinking.

Tucker Carlson discusses that and how right wing personalities on Youtube are being censored. Just last week, YT nuked ten years worth of vids from Lee Stranahan and Paul Joseph Watson has been complaining about his demonization and censorship on YT for months.

Watch.

Thoughts?

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