Amit's Planet

November 30, 2015

Brad DeLong - Grasping Reality with Both Hands


Sanzio 01 The School of Athens Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Worth Reading

by J. Bradford DeLong at November 30, 2015 07:59 AM

November 27, 2015

Zero Hedge

The FDIC Itereates and Corroborates My "F@ck the Fundamentals" Message fron the Fed

Banks are headed towards rough waters and it's not just me who believes so. You may be getting the rose-colored glasses edition from the media and Wall Streeet (ahem, banks!) but all you have to do is read past the soundbyte laden 1st paragraph or so. Take this recent article from Bloomberg quoting the FDIC: FDIC Says Bank Profits Rose in Third Quarter, Warns of Credit Risk. We're going to ignore the credit risks potion (which is an entire article on its own) and focus on a singe sentence where the FDIC agrees with Reggie in that the Fed's monetary policy is B@llsh1t!:

"In the environment of low rates, interest-rate risk and credit risk have increased..."

Let's parse this statement. "In the environment of low rates, intereste -rate risks and credit risks have increase..." So, the premium on the interest that you are charged for being (or operating in a) high risk is not being charged, despite the fact said risks "have increased"?!?!?! Basically, teh safety cushion that modern markets price into higher risks has been removed and rates are low despite the fact that the risks about dicate rates should be high? Tell me, what's wrong with this picture?

Here's another snippet causing me to reminisce on a blast from the past:

"Revenue growth for the industry as a whole has been modest since 2009,” he said. “This is partly a reflection of the challenging interest-rate environment.” 

Uh huh! Listen these clips from 2011 below...

You've heard me pontificate on these topics before...

Mark-to-Fantasy Becomes an Ugly Reality with the Impact of (S&P) 500 Enrons
... le in most mark to model contraptions is the prevailing risk free interest rate - the same (not so) risk free rate that the world's central banks (including the Fed) are trying to so hard to synthetically su ...
Created on 01 November 2015
The Global Currency War - USA Edition
CNBC ran a very interesting article this morning, basically laying out the groundwork for the Fed to push interest rates lower - that's right, lower! This video puts it into perspective. Th ...
Created on 15 October 2015
Reggie Middleton's Prognosticated Market Crash and False Positives in Interest Rate Raise Promises
... forbid the Fed actually follows up on one of its many bluffs and does inch interest rates up. The real estate markets will collapse. Those who visit NYC and Miami know there's rampant construction ala 2007 ...
Created on 24 August 2015
As I Promised, the Nordic States' Central Bank QE Program Slides Backwards and Starts To Collapse
... xed exchange rate Free capital movement (absence of capital controls) An independent monetary policy It is both a hypothesis based on the uncovered interest rate parity condit ...
Created on 26 June 2015
How to Blow a Trillion Dollars and Look Like You (Don't) Know What You're Doing While Blowing It
...  Let's see how much tens of billions euros and a trillion dollar promise is worth in terms of buying time from an interest rate and currency storm... The Trillion Dollar Promise worked for 4 month ...
Created on 06 May 2015
2010 Contrarian Prediction of the Disastrous Consequences of ZIRP & Free Money Policy In the Banking System, Year 5
... ing affected by low interest rates— they are killing its spread income. Now, go to the 0:55 marker in this video and listen for a minute or two, then continue reading. Chairman and Chief Executive  ...
Created on 17 April 2015
"Fu$k the Fundamentals!": Negative Rates In EU Will Absolutely Wreck the Very System the ECB Sought to Save

by Reggie Middleton at November 27, 2015 01:44 PM

The Videos Are In: US Shoppers Go Wild, Beat Each Other Up To Celebrate Black Friday Sales

It's Black Friday which means the US is flooded with videos of its favorite pastime: mauls in the malls, as vicious brawls and fights break out among total strangers across across America's countless retail outlets.

The first videos trickle in:


And yet, this year there may be a shift.

Moments ago IBM Watson Trend released the latest Thanksgiving online sales which rose 26% from 2014, with mobile traffic reaching nearly 60% of all online traffic, an increase of 14.8% over 2014. According to IBM, consumers spent $123.45/order with 40% of all online sales came from mobile devices, an increase of 24% over Thanksgiving 2014.

Some other notable findings:

  • Smartphones accounted for 47% of all Thanksgiving online traffic vs tablets at 13.7%; smartphones also surpassed tablets in sales, driving 24% of online sales vs tablets at 16%
  • IBM Watson predicts Black Friday online sales up more than 14.5% y/y
  • Consumers indicate top products incl. Apple Watch, Samsung, Sony, LG TVs, Microsoft Surface Pro 4

And while this is good news for the Amazons of the world as consumers continue to migrate to online shopping platforms, this is bad news for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers for whom today was supposed to be the one day when sales are solidly in the "black."

As Bloomberg summarizes, the online rush comes as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Macy’s Inc. and other chains roll out their Black Friday specials, aiming to get more shoppers into stores. About 135.8 million Americans are expected to shop in stores or online over the four-day weekend, according to the National Retail Federation, the largest U.S. retail trade organization. The amount they’ve spent has declined over the past two years, dropping 11 percent to $50.9 billion in 2014.

Though consumers are benefiting from lower fuel prices and unemployment rates, retailers have their challenges. Mall traffic is in the midst of a long-term slowdown, and shoppers are spending more on experiences and less on stuff. More recently, a warm autumn has curtailed sales of seasonal merchandise, leaving stores with excess inventory. All those factors point to a need for heavy discounting -- good for consumers, but not so great for retailers’ profits.


From the perspective of the amount of discounting that’s going on, the over-inventory situation, it seems like there are going to be a lot of great deals in the next 45 days,” said Bob Drbul, a retail analyst at Nomura Securities International.

The NRF’s traffic forecast represents a 1.6 percent increase from last year although in a zero-sum market, "there’s a risk that fewer shoppers than expected may show up." Last year, the NRF had forecast 140.1 million consumers would hit stores and e-commerce sites, 4.8 percent more than actually turned out, according to its post-weekend shopping survey. Expect more of the same as the transition to online shopping accelerates.

Furthermore increasingly more stores are pulling back on their Thanksgiving weekend hours this year and electing to spread more of their specials throughout the month. Wal-Mart said it expects record crowds on Friday, even though it’s putting most of its discounts online first.

So videos of the occasional brawl the best evidence of the demise of traditional retailer comes from in person "channel checks" such as what  TheStreet's correspondent Brian Sozzi has been doing all night. Here are some of his "ghost town" findings.

by Tyler Durden at November 27, 2015 01:43 PM

Gold Plunges Below "Crucial Level", Lowest Since Oct 2009 On $2 Billion Notional Flush

With the world closest to World War 3 since the cold war era and Russia about to unleash escalating sanctions of Turkey, it makes perfect sense that 'investors' would want to purge themselves of precious metals. Someone decided that Friday after Thanksgiving would be the perfect time to dump over 18,000 contracts (around $1.9 billion notional) sending the price of gold futures to their lowest since Oct 2009, below what Goldman called a "crucial level."

Over 18000 contracts dumped...


Sending gold futures prices to Oct 2009 lows...


As Goldman notes, in Gold, the critical level is 1,068-1,066. In Silver, support spans 13.98-13.83.
Gold Daily/Weekly – The level to watch in Gold is 1,068-1,066. This includes an ABC equality target off the January high and the trend across the lows since Dec. ’13.

The fact that oscillators are diverging positively suggests that price may be attempting to stabilize. Failure to break this support area confirms that the setup is still corrective; that a 5-wave sequence from ’11 highs ended in July. Alternatively, a break lower would warn that the market hasn’t yet completed its impulsive decline.

This would open potential to extend towards 966 (a 1.618 extension target from the January high).


Silver Daily/Monthly – The level to watch here is 13.98-13.83. This includes the previous low from Aug. 26th and the trend across the lows since Jun. ’03.

Although the wave count on Silver is a lot less evident than the one for Gold, it is apparent that rallies have all met ABC targets insinuating that rallies lack impulse. On a more positive note, daily oscillators are crossing higher from the bottom of its range.

Put another way, the balance of signals seems mixed; 13.98-13.83 does however look significant.

by Tyler Durden at November 27, 2015 01:28 PM

Greg Mankiw's Blog

datameet Google Group

Re: [datameet] Re: Census of India seems to have maps of everything!

MRC has a new Joint Director who is supposed to be good, maybe write to him directly. Also, suggest you try to contact the commissioner of Ramanagara. We had no trouble getting the files for Hubli-Dharwad, thanks to a pro-active commissioner. S On Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 5:14 PM, "Sharad Lele

by Sudheendra Hangal at November 27, 2015 01:19 PM

Zero Hedge

KaleBios 'Black Friday' Begins As Shrekli Forces 65% Short-Squeeze Surge In Pre-Market

Having announced in two brief tweets on Thanksgiving - just as we warned was very possible - that he would pull his shares from being available-to-lend, Martin Shrekli has sent the meteoric Volkswagen-like trajectory of KaleBios vertical once again. With short-interest having surged to 49% (from 5.6%), the yanking of his loanable shares has sent KBIO up 65% in the pre-market, back above $45 (from just 45c 10 days ago).



As we noted previously, and now the squeeze really begins, as all those 49% who are short KBIO, according to Markit, rush for the nearest exit, while those who are currently long the stock refuse to sell at any price knowing they have all the leverage.

Whether this will translate into a Volkswagen circa 2008-type scenario, which incidentally looked as follows...

... and where a company which is for all intents and purposes bankrupt suddenly trades with a market cap in the hundreds of millions or even billions as desperate shorts pay any price just to get out.... tune in tomorrow to find out during tomorrow's abbreviated session, because the KaloBios comedy is nowhere near concluded.

As for Shkreli... well he is already the "most hated man in America" - might as well double down.

by Tyler Durden at November 27, 2015 01:16 PM

Planet Android

Google Granted Patent For Wearable That Rests on Single Ear

Image 005

Google has been granted a patent which shows a design for a wearable that sits on a single ear and wraps around the head. The patent also describes the wearable of being capable of retaining its shape configuration, along with doubling up as a touch-based input surface. There is a good chance that we may see this as a basis for the next-gen Google Glass wearable.

by Aamir Siddiqui at November 27, 2015 01:14 PM

My Site My Way Support | Recent Topics

colinschwebke on "post category"


on the blog start page are shown all posts by date of publishing. now i want to hide all posts in category "gallery". all other post shall be shown.

All post in category "gallery" shall be shown only if the visitor is in http://mypage/category/gallery

Is this possible?


by colinschwebke at November 27, 2015 01:10 PM Business Technology

Sony Plans to Expand PlayStation 4 Remote Play

Sony Corp. said Friday it plans to expand its PlayStation 4 remote-play function to Windows and Mac computers as a part of the company's efforts to spread its videogame network beyond its own gaming devices.

by Takashi Mochizuki at November 27, 2015 01:06 PM

Low End Box

ChicagoVPS – $40/year 4GB 4IPv4 OpenVZ in 5 USA locations and more

chicagovps net 2015-06-25 21-05-00ChicagoVPS would also like to celebrate Black Friday with you, and therefore Ernie has sent us an exclusive offer for a very cheap OpenVZ VPS. This offer is available in five locations across the USA:

Black Friday OpenVZ VPS

  • 4GB RAM
  • 40GB HDD space
  • 4TB transfer
  • 1Gbps uplink
  • 4x IPv4
  • NO! IPv6!
  • OpenVZ/Custom
  • $40/year
  • Order here

There’s another offer inside!

If you select ‘New York’ as a location during ordering you server will be based in Buffalo, NY, USA and not in NYC!

ChicagoVPS… Where to start! They are owned by ColoCrossing, which also happens to own this website (technically all part of VSNX, the actual registered company), and now hold offices in Buffalo, NY with ColoCrossing. They are investing heavily in their infrastructure and support department, so if you have ever been dissatisfied with either of those changes should be coming soon!

ChicagoVPS has received a plethora of mixed reviews over the years, with one user blaming them for global warming. The reviews on their last offer were more to-the-point though, with quite a majority saying their support had room for improvement and some other saying there were quite happy with ChicagoVPS. I’m still a customer there and have personally never had issues, but crossing that line into production usage is one step too far for me (but that may also be because they offer no freaking IPv6 yet!). So, as a conclusion, this is a great offer and if they have really fixed their support this time and you don’t need IPv6, this could very well be a nice production box for you that’ll last you years!

ChicagoVPS has been around for years and they are still in business. And while they still have room for improvement, I dare to say they’re a resident host here now. They’re part of a registered business with actual staff and an actual office and the business owns the datacenter in Buffalo. I wasn’t sent any server specification, so hopefully someone from VSNX will add them in the comments. Payments can be made using PayPal and credit cards. Before ordering it’s wise to read their Terms of Service, Privacy Policy [pdf], and Acceptable Use Policy [pdf]! Now, on to the other offer…

If you fancy a Windows VPS and need one cheap and with a discount, check this out. The coupon turkeykvm15 gives you 15% off of all ChicagoVPS’ Windows VPS offering. Using this coupon, you could get the following server (Windows included) for just $4.21!

Windows VPS – Starter

  • 768MB RAM
  • 25GB SSD space
  • 2TB transfer
  • 1x IPv4
  • NO! IPv6!
  • KVM/Custom
  • Coupon: turkeykvm15
  • $4.21/month
  • Order here

Network information

Chicago, IL, USA – ColoCrossing
Test IP:
Test file:

Buffalo, NY, USA – ColoCrossing
Test IP:
Test file:

Los Angeles, CA, USA – ColoCrossing
Test IP:
Test file:

Dallas, TX, USA – ColoCrossing
Test IP:
Test file:

Atlanta, GA, USA – ColoCrossing
Test IPv4:
Test file:

by Maarten Kossen at November 27, 2015 01:00 PM

Boy Genius Report

Google’s Black Friday online sale now live: Cheap Nexus 5X, Nexus 9, Chromecast deals and more

Google Black Friday Nexus 5X

We’ve seen a bunch of interesting tech deals this Black Friday season, with retailers trying to outdo one another when it comes to price cuts and promotions. Google has now joined the fun and it's ready to offer some great discounts on its own hardware, including new Nexus 5X smartphone and the second-generation Chromecast. This new sale is in addition to its Google Play Cyber Weekend sale that lets users buy apps, movies, and music for significant discounts.

Continue reading...

by Chris Smith at November 27, 2015 01:00 PM

Zero Hedge

China Unleashes Perfect Storm Of Bad News Prompting Stock Market Plunge

Earlier this week, we documented the curious case of Guotai Junan International Holdings’ CEO Yim Fung who went “missing” on November 18.

After five days of trying to reach Yim via his cell phone, the brokerage issued a statement saying they simply could not find him. Guotai's shares took a nosedive, falling 12%, the steepest decline in three months. 

You needn't have been a sleuth to make an educated guess as to what might have happened. Beginning in July, China embarked on a comically absurd witch hunt to identify and punish those "responsible" for the dramatic bursting of the country's leverage-fueled equity bubble. The crackdown (known as "kill the chicken to scare the monkey") ensnared everyone from brokers to journalists. By September, Beijing had even begun arresting employees of the regulatory body tasked with overseeing the plunge protection "national team." In effect, the CSRC was investigating itself. 

Sure enough, it turned out that Yim Fung was "taken away" in connection with a new graft probe into CSRC vice chairman Yao Gang, who earlier this month became at least the second official from the capital markets regulator to come under scrutiny since September. 

Now, it appears that after a period of relative calm, the Politburo is set to once again crackdown on any type of "malicious" behavior that Beijing thinks contributed to declining stock prices (remember, China isn't a big fan of the whole "stocks can go down as well as up" thing, which means arresting anyone suspected of selling or, in extreme cases, halting the entire market). On Friday, the SHCOMP plunged nearly 6% after Citic Securities and Guosen Securities disclosed regulatory probes. Shares in both brokerages traded limit down on the news. Haitong Securities', which is also facing an investigation, had its shares suspended. 

Both Citic and Guosen said the new probes centered on alleged "rule violations." "The finance crackdown has intensified in recent weeks and ensnared a prominent hedge-fund manager and a CSRC vice chairman," Bloomberg notes, adding that "Citic Securities President Cheng Boming is among seven of the company’s executives named by Xinhua News Agency as being under investigation."

The hedge fund manager Bloomberg references is  Xu Xiang, who runs Shanghai-based Zexi Investment (profiled here). After his arrest for insider trading and "stock price manipulation," Beijing froze some $1 billion in accounts belonging to his parents. Xu's predicament sent shockwaves through an industry already on edge after the crackdown in August. "I don't want to get arrested," one Shanghai-based money manager told WSJ. 

This isn't the first time Citic executives have come under scrutiny. The brokerage - which one journalist described over the summer as "like Goldman in China" - said in August that Managing Director Xu Gang had been detained for alleged "illegal trading."

As we put it at the time, "it's certainly possible that Beijing is simply out to send a message by arresting a high profile investment banker for no reason at all." In short: 

Amusingly, this comes just days after Beijing removed prop trading restrictions that required brokers to buy more shares than they sell in a given day. So now, you can technically be a net seller, it's just that you might end up being arrested for it if the Party thinks your selling was particularly malicious or otherwise ill-timed. 

But the renewal of the greatest witch hunt in the history of modern capital markets wasn't the only thing weighing on Chinese shares Friday. We also got the latest indication that the country's highly leveraged corporate sector has reached its dreaded Minsky Moment. As we detailed a week ago, Chinese borrowers are set to take out some CNY7.6 trillion in new loans this year just to pay interest on their existing borrowings. This comes as over half of commodities companies can't service their debt with existing cash flow. 

What that means is that the defaults are coming and indeed, 2015 has seen at least a half dozen onshore implosions including, most recently, Shanshui Cement Group. On Friday, Jiangsu Lvling Runfa Chemical (a fertilizer company) and Sichuan Shengda Group (a pig iron producer) both indicated that they would be unable to repay debt coming due next week. As Bloomberg reports, "Sichuan Shengda’s subsidiary’s pig iron production is in halt because of falling prices and the cash shortage, the lender said in a separate statement." 

And of course no story about China's increasingly hard landing would be complete without a bit of disheartening economic data. In a further testament to how difficult it is to transition from smokestack economy to a consumption and services-led growth model in the midst of a global commodities downturn, industrial profits sank 4.6% Y/Y in October. As Goldman notes, "the deterioration in industrial profits is directionally consistent with the slowdown of month-on-month sequential industrial production growth reported for October (October industrial production growth: +2.9% mom ann sa, vs +8.0% mom ann. s.a. in September." Bear in mind that this is data from the NBS so it's exceedingly possible that the situation is actually far worse. 

Finally, it appears that the plunge protection team may finally be out of dry powder (as we suggested weeks ago). "On Friday, there was little sign that government-run funds had stepped in to ease the selloff," Bloomberg said, in the wake of the selloff. "While government intervention has typically showed up in the last hour of trading, the Shanghai Composite extended losses in the final 60 minutes to close near its lows of the day."

“I don’t think any government can support the stock market forever," said Paul Chan, the Hong Kong-based chief investment officer for Asia excluding Japan at Invesco. 

Indeed, and the same goes for the bond market. 

Then again, there may be another explanation for the lack of CSRC plunge protection: it's possible everyone on the regulator's "national team" has been thrown in jail.

by Tyler Durden at November 27, 2015 12:49 PM

A Fresh Cup

Double Shot #1594

by Mike Gunderloy at November 27, 2015 12:47 PM

Planet Android

ZUK Z2 Leaked Render Shows Off Rotating Camera


ZUK Z2, the successor of the ZUK Z1, will reportedly pack a few trick up its sleeve. Along with the Snapdragon 820, the Z2 will also boast of a rotating camera, much like the OPPO N3 albeit with a different swivel direction. The phone is scheduled for Q1 2016, so we can expect more information as the dates draw closer.

by Aamir Siddiqui at November 27, 2015 12:45 PM

Schneier on Security

Defending against Actual IT Threats

Roger Grimes has written an interesting paper: "Implementing a Data-Driven Computer Security Defense." His thesis is that most organizations don't match their defenses to the actual risks. His paper explains how it got to be this way, and how to fix it.

by schneier at November 27, 2015 12:45 PM

Abnormal Returns

Podcast links: the future of food

by abnormalreturns at November 27, 2015 12:39 PM

elephant journal

The Future of Mindful Shopping: Ethical Fashion in the Palm of Your Hand.

There is something really satisfying about coming away from a sale with a solid bargain don't you think? Yet for me, there is something less than satisfying in the discovery that the bargain I just landed

by Sarah Kolkka at November 27, 2015 12:38 PM


Thangamagan (Music review), Tamil – Anirudh

Anirudh channels his inner Yuvan Shankar Raja in Jodi nilave, even as Dhanush sings as off-key as Yuvan, though it is Shweta Mohan who owns the song with her vocals, as much as lyricist Dhanush for his lines that shimmer with hope, amidst melancholy. Dhanush does a Yuvan again, along with Nikita, in Oh oh, a frothy melody, though, for the many Adiye’s, he sounds awkwardly different. Tak bak sparkles with Broadway’ish jazz goodness and is an addictively fun package. Enna solla‘s highlights are Shweta Mohan’s vocals and the lilting kanjira-based rhythm. Thangamagan’s soundtrack is Anirudh in minimum guarantee mode.

Keywords: Thangamagan, Thanga Magan, Anirudh

Listen to the songs on Saavn.

by Karthik at November 27, 2015 12:36 PM

Miss Malini

J.K. Rowling Tweeted Her Musings On Severus Snape’s Character & It Made Us So Happy :’)



It all started when a girl on Twitter who goes by the handle – @FrazzyJazzy7 asked J.K Rowling why she picked Severus Snape for naming Harry Potter‘s child. According to the girl, Snape was nothing but abusive towards everyone. Queen Rowling then decided to clarify why this was the case.

Which obviously led to a lot of arguments.

But then someone took the opposite stance and said that Snape had no malice. But obviously, J.K corrected him too.

And then she began to tweet out loud about this extremely intriguing character.

Of course, someone else brought up Dumbledore! And Rowling admitted that everyone’s favourite headmaster cannot be written about in an essay.

Can’t wait for this week-long residential course on Dumby!

Dumbledore and Snape


The post J.K. Rowling Tweeted Her Musings On Severus Snape’s Character & It Made Us So Happy :’) appeared first on MissMalini.

by Shreemi Verma at November 27, 2015 12:36 PM

Zero Hedge

Frontrunning: November 27

  • Russia Takes Aim at Turkish Economy Amid Fighter-Jet Spat (WSJ)
  • ‘Commercial scale’ oil smuggling into Turkey becomes priority target of anti-ISIS strikes (RT)
  • Russia-Turkey Ties Are Headed Into a Deep Freeze (WSJ)
  • France signals softer stance on Assad after Russia talks (FT)
  • China Calm Shattered as Brokerage Probe Sparks Selloff in Stocks (BBG)
  • China Stock Bulls Hit Breaking Point as State Dials Back Support (BBG)
  • China's Bond Stresses Mount as Two More Companies Flag Concerns (BBG)
  • Paris Attacks Plot Was Hatched in Plain Sight (WSJ)
  • German Police Arrest Suspected Arms Dealer as Paris Link Probed (BBG)
  • Online Sales Surge Ahead of Brick-and-Mortar Retailers' Big Day (BBG)
  • How Google Inspired Raspberry Pi’s $5 Computer (WSJ)
  • China’s ‘national team’ owns 6% of stock market (FT)
  • Euro-Area Confidence at Four-Year High as ECB Mulls Stimulus (BBG)
  • Paris attacks: Sarkozy shifts right with swipe at multiculturalism (FT)
  • HSBC Said to Close Down Private Banking Operations in India (BBG)
  • Fattest-Ever U.S. Cattle Herd Signals End to Record Beef Prices (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


- China plans to build its first overseas naval installation in the East African nation of Djibouti, expanding the geographical reach of its armed forces as Beijing seeks to protect its growing economic and security interests around the globe. (

- Russia announced plans to impose sanctions on an array of Turkish economic interests in response to Turkey's shoot down of a Russian warplane, as Ankara called for calm. (

- The biggest banks in the United States are making far fewer loans to small businesses than they did a decade ago, ceding market share to alternative lenders that charge significantly higher rates, according to an analysis of the banks' federal regulatory filings. (

- China's SZ DJI Technology Co, the world's top consumer-drone maker, is setting its sights on the agriculture industry with the launch of a crop sprayer that will test whether farming is fertile ground for drone technology. (

- The Raspberry Pi Foundation, a U.K.-based nonprofit that makes cheap, bare-necessities computer processors, on Thursday released its cheapest product yet - a $5 computer called Pi Zero. (



According to figures from the labour ministry, the number of jobless in France rose to a new record of 3.59 million in October, with 42,000 more people out of work last month.

South Korea on Thursday became the first country outside the United States to punish Volkswagen AG on the basis of its own emissions tests, slapping the German automaker with a record fine and ordering a recall of 125,000 vehicles.

Barclays Plc on Thursday was fined about 72 million stg by the Financial Conduct Authority for an attempt to bag an "elephant-deal". The regulator put out details of the bank's careless financial-crime controls and willingness to ignore its own procedures.



- The once-booming gambling industry in Macau now confronts an array of obstacles, ranging from restrictive local policies to China's economic slowdown and crackdown on corruption. (

- Luis Stuhlberger, whose fund has had a remarkable run in Brazil, has grown increasingly bearish about his country's economic outlook. (

- Canada's new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has moved climate change policy to the top of the country's political agenda after it spent nearly a decade as an afterthought. (

- In April, Republicans newly in control of Congress celebrated their agreement on a plan to save $5 trillion. Yet as the year closes, Congress instead is planning to repeal one of the few spending cuts it has passed into law since approving that budget resolution - $3 billion over a decade from subsidies for crop insurers. (

- Amid a building boom, New York has seen an increase in fatalities and injuries which have mostly affected undocumented immigrant laborers and far exceeded the rate of new construction. (


Hong Kong


- One of the strongest El Ninos and the onslaught of global warming have put Hong Kong on course for its hottest year on record. The summer has already been the hottest since the Observatory began records in 1884 with mean temperatures for January-October at 24.7 Celsius degrees. Observatory director Shun Chi-ming said this year may very likely be the warmest since historical records began. (

- The arms race between China's big three Internet companies is heating up in financial services as online search giant Baidu , global insurer Allianz and Asian investor Hillhouse Capital Group form a digital insurance company on the mainland. This new venture, called Bai An, hopes to expand the domestic market for digital insurance products. (

- Dollar strength and high rents are killing the retail business in Hong Kong, the latest half-year result reports of two pillar businesses of the Hong Kong retail sector showed. Sincere Co Ltd, the operator of Hong Kong's oldest department store Sincere, posted a biggest first-half loss of HK$93 million ($12 million), while jeweller Luk Fook's profit dived 42.6 percent year on year. (


- Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief Norman Chan Tak-lam said the shrinking rate of the yuan capital pool in Hong Kong has slowed. He said recently there has been a decline in liquidity of offshore yuan, mainly due to the supply and demand imbalance, but the interbank interest rate remained largely stable. (

- Two residential buildings in North Point in Hong Kong were withdrawn from an auction for redevelopment on Thursday, as no developers have offered bids amid lacklustre sentiment in the local property market. The Urban Renewal Authority has assisted owners of the two 50-year-old buildings to launch a joint sale. (

- Lawmakers are demanding the government explain whether a shock one-year delay in the construction of the local portion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will further bloat the costs of the mega project. The Highways Department said the delay was due to unstable supply of materials, restrictions in airport height, shortage of labour, and constraints in environmental protection requirements. (


- Watch retailer Stelux Holdings International Ltd posted a loss of HK$33.08 million in the first half, compared with a profit a year earlier, on fewer shop visitors in Hong Kong and Macau in weak consumer sentiment. Chief executive Joseph Wong said he was not optimistic on the performance in Christmas while the company will focus on developing China market next year.


- Hong Kong Trade Development Council has revised down forecast for the city's exports to "negative growth" from "zero growth" as November and December exports may continue to decline amid the shaking consumer confidence in the United States and Europe, according to the Council's principal economist Daniel Poon Wing-choi.



The Times

Net migration has reached a record 336,000 as figures published yesterday showed that Romanians are now the third biggest group coming to the UK. (

George Osborne's decision to spend the bulk of the 27 billion stg windfall from changes to the borrowing forecast in the autumn statement may prove a reckless gamble, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned. (

The Guardian

An "elephant deal' executed three years ago has cost Barclays Plc 72 million stg in penalties after the FCA concluded that the bank ran the risk of being used to launder money or finance terrorism. (

Volkswagen AG's luxury flagship Audi has suspended two engineers after its larger diesel engines were found evading emissions limits in the U.S. (

The Telegraph

A wave of company failures is "inevitable" in Britain's oil and gas industry, with businesses supporting the wider energy sector the first to fail, according to advisory firm FRP. (

Tesco Plc has agreed to pay $12 million to settle a U.S. lawsuit over the accounting scandal last year which saw its shares crumble. (

Sky News

An early investor in Facebook Inc is poised to invest millions of pounds in CarWow, a UK-based online dealer which has been described as the Expedia for new vehicles. (

The rate of car tax avoidance has more than doubled, partly because some buyers of used cars do not realise new rules mean they have to pay tax on the vehicle immediately. Figures from the Department for Transport show that the rate of unlicensed vehicles in traffic increased to 1.4 percent in 2015 from 0.6 percent in 2013, the last time it carried out a survey. (

The Independent

The Chancellor's U-turn on tax credit cuts has only delayed, rather than avoided, a severe squeeze on the incomes of poor working families, according to two of the country's most respected think tanks, Resolution Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. (

by Tyler Durden at November 27, 2015 12:33 PM

The Big Picture

10 Black Friday AM Reads

My local not on a train morning reads, straight out of Chicago:

• The single biggest way shoppers are manipulated by retailers (Business Insider)
• Recognizing those who have improved our financial lives (Chicago Tribune)
• Preparing For Lower Returns (Irrelevant Investor) see also Welcome to the Flat Stock Society (Bloomberg)
• Google Will Help You Shop on Black Friday (And Help Advertisers See Where You Went) (Re/code)
• The secret stock market accounting trick (NY Post)
• Black Friday Sales Numbers Are Useless And Wrong (FiveThirtyEight)
• ‘NRA’s Sick Jihad’: N.Y. tabloid declares war on the NRA (Wonkblog)
• 2016 Design of the Year: Ford GT (Automobile)
• Even Ballet Dancers Are in Awe of Stephen Curry’s Moves (NYT)
• The Biblical Rheology of Deep-Dish Pizza: A visit to Illinois—home to snow, slaughterhouse romance, and a fraught geology masquerading as pizza (Longreads)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Ken Fisher of Fisher Investments, who manages $68 billion dollars.


China’s Trade Winds

Source: WSJ



by Barry Ritholtz at November 27, 2015 12:30 PM


aruba 0.11.1 released

We are pleased to announce “aruba” version 0.11.1. aruba is a gem to test command-line applications with Cucumber-Ruby, RSpec or Minitest

November 27, 2015 12:29 PM

It's Nice That

See the work of some of Nick Knight's most impressive new protégés


Earlier this year photographer and SHOWstudio founder Nick Knight decided to take his wealth of experience and pass it over to budding image makers. Where many in the fashion industry choose to keep their processes something of an enigma, Nick’s approach is now to uncover the world of fashion photography and share his wisdom on portfolios and building on a great creative network. The students will even get the chance to see the fruits of their labour on SHOWstudio itself.

Read more

by Sponsored Article at November 27, 2015 12:23 PM

Boy Genius Report

Black Friday store hours for Best Buy, Walmart, Target and many others

Black Friday 2015 Store Hours

It’s finally Black Friday which means you’re probably busy executing your fine-tuned plan for hunting some of the best bargains around. But not all doorbusters and special deals will be available online, so you’ll have to fight the crowds in actual retail stores to get your hands on some of the best deals out there.

Some stores have opened retail doors on Thanksgiving afternoon, but all of them will be open on Black Friday though some deals will likely expire soon after shoppers assault stores.

Continue reading...

by Chris Smith at November 27, 2015 12:15 PM

Miss Malini

Here’s Why Sridevi, Kajol, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor & Alia Bhatt Came Together To Shoot This Epic Cover

Take a minute to really take this all in. Take two if you like. Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor, Kajol and Sridevi came together to shoot the cover of Vogue India‘s December issue and it’s all kinds of amazing. Vogue is celebrating 25 years of Manish Malhotra and while we can’t wait to see what’s inside their new issue, they did put up a video to keep us going until December. So once you’re done looking at the cover, press play!

It’s a well known fact that Manish Malhotra is one of Bollywood’s favourite designers so when he completes 25 years, you know it’s going to be a big celebration. While these leading ladies wish him all the love in the world, we’d like to add that we love you too Manish, and of course, here’s a quick look at his Instagram bae, because why not?

To read their full post online, head on over here.

The post Here’s Why Sridevi, Kajol, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor & Alia Bhatt Came Together To Shoot This Epic Cover appeared first on MissMalini.

by Anushka Mulchandani at November 27, 2015 12:11 PM

Kareena Kapoor Khan Also Has Something To Say About “Intolerance” In India

Kareena Kapoor Khan in Payal Khandwala

Kareena Kapoor Khan in Payal Khandwala

I don’t really need to remind you of what happened when Aamir Khan chose to share his views about intolerance on a public platform. Kareena Kapoor Khan was also asked about her thoughts on the intolerance issue recently and this is how she chose to respond.

She said,

We should learn to address the issue (of intolerance) rather than getting it upon ourselves. Intolerance is not a personal issue, it is the issue of an entire nation.

Well said!

The post Kareena Kapoor Khan Also Has Something To Say About “Intolerance” In India appeared first on MissMalini.

by Aayushi Bhargava at November 27, 2015 12:06 PM

Eww! Priya Malik Threw Her Pee On Kishwer Merchant To Become The Captain On Bigg Boss 9!

Priya Malik

Priya Malik

This is getting out of control!

So yesterday Priya Malik peed in her pants on Bigg Boss 9. Why? For a captaincy task! I mean, how badly do you want to be captain that you think this is okay to do on national television? Speaking of “national television”, remember how Karishma Tanna and Gautam Gulati had to pee in all sorts of random jars and bags in Bigg Boss 8? Sigh.

Anyway, Priya has taken this to another level.

From the looks of it, Prince Narula, Rochelle Rao and Priya Malik were the last three people in the car. Basically whoever was the last one inside was going to win immunity, which is why Priya.. erm… relieved herself in a bottle because everyone was inside the car for many hours.

After sometime Bigg Boss announced that the contestants who weren’t inside the car could try and get the others outside it and make their favouties win.

I’m not sure who started it, but Kishwer Merchant sprayed an insect spray on Priya and Priya…

Priyam from Team MissMalini

Priyam from Team MissMalini

… threw her pee at Kishwer!

I can’t even!

Also, before Priya entered the house didn’t she go on about spitting on people’s food is not her style? Well, I guess this is.

The post Eww! Priya Malik Threw Her Pee On Kishwer Merchant To Become The Captain On Bigg Boss 9! appeared first on MissMalini.

by Priyam Saha at November 27, 2015 12:01 PM

Wired Top Stories

Audi Will Unleash Self-Parking Cars in a Bid to Fix Urban Gridlock

Audi Will Unleash Self-Parking Cars in a Bid to Fix Urban Gridlock

A new partnership between a city and a the German automaker could be a vital move in how we built cities around cars in the future.

The post Audi Will Unleash Self-Parking Cars in a Bid to Fix Urban Gridlock appeared first on WIRED.

by Jordan Crucchiola at November 27, 2015 12:00 PM

Hunting for DNA in Doggerland, an Ancient Land Beneath the North Sea

Hunting for DNA in Doggerland, an Ancient Land Beneath the North Sea

Eight thousand years ago climate change and rising sea levels inundated the country of Doggerland. Now archaeologists are mapping its terrain—and its DNA.

The post Hunting for DNA in Doggerland, an Ancient Land Beneath the North Sea appeared first on WIRED.

by Elizabeth Preston at November 27, 2015 12:00 PM

This Face-Melding Art Project Is Made to Teach You Empathy

This Face-Melding Art Project Is Made to Teach You Empathy

Instead of “walk a mile in another man’s shoes,” how about “see your face in someone else’s face"?

The post This Face-Melding Art Project Is Made to Teach You Empathy appeared first on WIRED.

by Margaret Rhodes at November 27, 2015 12:00 PM

The Simple Dollar

We Couldn’t Find an Affordable Bed, So We Built Our Own

Beds are expensive. The average spring mattress sells for $1,500, according to the slumber gurus at Once you add in a box spring, a bed frame, and a headboard, that number can easily creep up to or beyond $2,000.

We know that mattresses are something we shouldn’t buy used and shouldn’t skimp on, so I racked my brain to figure out a frugal way to get the bed I wanted. I figured that with a little bit of resourcefulness and the willingness to challenge societal norms, you can create a nice, king-size bed for a fraction of what it would cost going the traditional route.

Because if you thought I was going to pay over two grand for a bed, then you must not know that I am currently wearing generic rain pants that I got for 3 bucks at Goodwill. Do I give a crap that they are technically women’s pants? I do not. If they look good, they feel good, they keep me dry, and they’re affordable, then that’s all I need.

I began my search for a bed using those same parameters, and I found you can create your own DIY bed, including frame and mattress padding, for way less than $2,000. Here’s how we did it.

Question the Dogma

A year ago, when my girlfriend and I first moved in together, we knew that we didn’t want to keep sharing a queen-sized bed. I know we could have, but I’m 6’0″ and she’s 5’6″, and it never felt like we had quite enough room.

As we considered our options, we decided to try sleeping right on the floor. We had nice, new carpet, and once we threw a couple blankets down, it was plenty comfortable. We lovingly called it “The Super Bed” because it was huge and awesome and free. My friends called it “The Gorillas Nest,” which they meant as an insult but I took as a compliment.

But, we weren’t just trying this out because we are weirdos (which we are), but also because I had become obsessed with the idea that mattresses might not be providing me with optimal sleep.

I started doing a lot of research about the sleep habits of our ancestors, and I was particularly struck by a research paper from the British Medical Journal that detailed various ways humans sleep when they are still living in pre-industrial societies. They often sleep on hard surfaces, and they rarely use pillows. The author suggests that these different sleeping postures contribute to the lack of musculoskeletal issues in those societies.

I went from there to the goddess of alignment herself, Katy Bowman, a biomechanist who advocates transitioning out of a mattress to help alleviate chronic pain and facilitate a more natural sleep. Those two sources were enough to convince me to at least give the no-mattress life a try. I’d long had back issues that were exacerbated by sleeping on mattresses. Giving up the mattress made sense to me evolutionarily, orthopedically — and financially. What was the worst that could happen?

Find Cheap Materials

While the Gorillas Nest™ will always have a special place in my heart, when we decided to make the move from Los Angeles to Madison, Wis., my girlfriend and I agreed that we’d like to see what it was like to sleep on something slightly more classy than a 10-year-old blanket laid down on a carpet. Plus, our new place had hardwood floors throughout, so we would have had to use a lot more blankets.

So, we started talking about a solution. We knew we didn’t want to spend a lot of money and that we liked the extra firmness and room to flop around that the floor provided. The logical solution was to try to build our own bed so that we would could customize it exactly how we wanted.

We figured that pallets would be good for giving our new bed a little bit of elevation. Before we went out and bought some, we discovered my girlfriend’s parents had some lying around in their garage. Even better, my girlfriend’s sister had a couple we could use as well. (If your relatives aren’t sitting on piles of pallets, you can still often find them for free or cheap by inquiring at local small businesses and construction sites or searching on Craigslist.)

We had now acquired four wood pallets for free. Their dimensions when put together were almost exactly those of a traditional king-sized bed.

DIY bed frame from wood pallets

Besides some two-by-fours ($6.50) to act as connective tissue in the middle, the only missing piece was a smooth covering layer that would provide us with an even sleeping surface.

peg board as bed platform

Sheets of peg board make a ventilated bed platform.

The tricky part was that we needed this layer to be breathable, because we had read that the pad you sleep on could get moldy if there was no air circulation. A quick trip to Home Depot and we found these sheets of perforated wood — sometimes called peg board, which you can use to hang tools in a garage or basement — for $25.


Put on Your Hard Hat and Build That Sucker

Okay, you in no way need a hard hat for this work, but it wouldn’t have been a bad idea for me to wear one.

I am not comfortable around building materials, tools, and machinery. My greatest asset as a handyman is my willingness to admit that I can barely screw in a light bulb, and thus not overstep my boundaries.

This was going to require some work with a power saw, which meant I bit off a little more than I could chew when I confidently announced I would put the bed together.

I pretty much just looked at the plans (that my girlfriend had laid out), looked at the materials, and then said to my girlfriend, “Let’s ask if your dad will help.”

And then her dad came to the rescue. He measured, sawed, and drilled in 90-degree heat for about two hours while I helped where I could.

This meant that I mostly looked on and provided encouragement.

drew  holding diy bed frame

When I asked him how he knew how to do all that so well, he just shrugged and said, “You pick up this kind of stuff when you grow up on a farm.”


I thought farmers planted crops and milked cows. I didn’t know they were also jacks of all trades who could create amazing bed frames in less time than it takes to watch a movie. I always thought I was humble, but I’m clearly not Midwestern-farmer humble.


Think Outside the Mattress

I covered how we wanted to avoid mattresses because of price and for orthopedic reasons, but another big issue was the flame retardant. Every single commercially sold mattress is required to be pumped full of flame retardant to meet state and federal laws.

While this certainly has saved lives at some point, I’m confident we won’t light our bed on fire, so I’m happy to avoid the nasty litany of potential health effects that come along with breathing in flame retardant every night.

Because of these concerns, I’ll admit that we weren’t as frugal as possible when it came to our padding. Plus, we were really looking forward to an upgrade from using 10-year-old blankets as our sole source of cushion. We settled on a down mattress topper ($180 after discounts) on top of a latex pad ($270).


They are both very high quality, free of hazardous chemicals, and should last us a very long time. While those items are pricey, it still cost us far less than the average mattress ($450 vs $1,500).

Total cost for our DIY bed, between “mattress” and frame: $481.

Final Thoughts

Now, $481 is still a lot of money. But if you’re looking for a high-quality, long lasting, king-sized bed, you’re not going to do much better than that. Even the new, “low-cost” mattress startups like Casper and Tuft & Needle will run you between $750 and $950 for a king-sized mattress.

If we start feeling too opulent we can always go back to the floor, as we proved for a year that we are capable of that.

It might not look hip, and it might shock you with it’s stiffness if you’re not used to it, but we personally love the firmer feel. And while it will never make the pages of a Pottery Barn catalog, you’d have to be a pretty fancy gorilla to be sleeping in that thing. For me and my girlfriend, it’s perfect.

The post We Couldn’t Find an Affordable Bed, So We Built Our Own appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

by Drew Housman at November 27, 2015 12:00 PM

Wired Top Stories

Elliptical Pool: An Even Nerdier Sport Than Quidditch

Elliptical Pool: An Even Nerdier Sport Than Quidditch

"Loop" is a twist on billiards that requires a cue ball, three colored balls, and an elliptical table with one uncharitably small pocket.

The post Elliptical Pool: An Even Nerdier Sport Than Quidditch appeared first on WIRED.

by Chris Baker at November 27, 2015 12:00 PM

The Big Picture

Wired Top Stories

Did You Overdo It This Thanksgiving? You Got Nothin’ on These Critters

Did You Overdo It This Thanksgiving? You Got Nothin’ on These Critters

Whatever your epicurean exploits were yesterday, you ain’t got nothin’ on the gluttony going on in the animal kingdom.

The post Did You Overdo It This Thanksgiving? You Got Nothin’ on These Critters appeared first on WIRED.

by Matt Simon at November 27, 2015 12:00 PM

It's Nice That

Designer Chloe Pannatier looks at fakes and risk in art and money


Graphic designer Chloe Pannatier specialises in work on the theme of fakes, luck and risk, both artistic and monetary. She graduated from Switzerland’s ECAL earlier this year with projects on simulation in art and culture, performance and the lottery and has since been commissioned to design the identity for a museum for counterfeit money. Chloe’s design for the Musée de la Fausse Monnaie includes a layered poster of gradients, text, image and security designs that allow for multiple combinations that behave in a similar way to a currency’s bills. The posters were screen printed, which adds to the narrative of the counterfeits process and gives the series an evocative tactility.

Read more

by Billie Muraben at November 27, 2015 11:54 AM

Zero Hedge

China Plunges Most In Three Months, Pushing "Black Friday" Into The Red For Global Stocks

After several months of artificial, centrally-planned calm in Chinese markets, where "malicious sellers" found out the hard way the Politburo means business, overnight the relative quiet in Chinese stocks since August broke with a bang when the Shanghai Composite tumbled as much 6.1% before closing down 5.5%, the biggest drop in three months and the largest weekly loss since the depth of the Chinese rout in mid-August while a gauge of Chinese volatility surged from the lowest level since March. 

China's market weakness pushed markets around the globe lower, and as a result all the levitation gains in yesterday's holiday market have been wiped out:

  • S&P 500 futures down up 0.1% to 2089
  • Stoxx 600 down 0.2% to 384
  • FTSE 100 down 0.3% to 6375
  • DAX down less than 0.1% to 11320
  • German 10Yr yield down less than 1bp to 0.46%
  • Italian 10Yr yield down 3bps to 1.4%
  • MSCI Asia Pacific down 0.9% to 133
  • US 10-yr yield down 2bps to 2.21%
  • Dollar Index up 0.11% to 99.91
  • WTI Crude futures down 2% to $42.20
  • Brent Futures down 1.1% to $44.98
  • Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,068
  • Silver spot down 1.1% to $14.12

The Chinese selloff was driven by a trifecta of catalysts: some of China's largest brokerages (Citic, Guosen) disclosed regulatory probes and quickly plunged limit down while Guotai Junan and Haitong said they are facing anti-graft checks; additionally two companies announced bond payment difficulties and finally, overnight China reported that industrial profits fell 4.6% y/y in October, far worse than the -0.1% decline the month before.

Citic Securities said it received a notice from the China Securities Regulatory Commission on Thursday saying it will be investigated because it allegedly violated regulations on the supervision and administration of securities firms. The brokerage said it will cooperate with the probe and its operations are normal. Guosen Securities also said it was being investigated by the CSRC for similar alleged rule violations. Haitong Securities said after the market close it was being probed without providing details.

And so "China is back again on the table with a huge loss this morning as lots of investors were trying to use the recent lows to invest and the latest data and talk of how difficult it is for brokers to work there scared them off,” said John Plassard, a senior equity-sales trader at Mirabaud Securities LLP in Geneva, cited by Bloomberg.

AS Bloomberg reports, the probe into the finance industry comes as the government widens an anti-corruption campaign and seeks to assign blame for the selloff earlier this year. In doing so, ironically it is setting the stage for the next big selloff.

Authorities are testing the strength of a nascent bull market by lifting a freeze on initial public offerings and scrapping a rule requiring brokerages to hold net-long positions, just as the earliest indicators for November signal a deterioration in economic growth. A Chinese fertilizer maker and a pig iron producer became the latest companies to flag debt troubles after at least six defaults this year.

“The sharp decline will raise questions whether the authorities’ confidence that we are seeing stability in the Chinese markets may be a tad premature,” said Bernard Aw, a strategist at IG Asia Pte. in Singapore. “The rally since the August collapse was not fundamentally supported. The removal of restrictions for large brokers to sell and the IPO resumptions may not have been announced at an opportune time.”

As a result of the broker-led swoon the Shanghai Composite’s pared gains since its Aug. 26 low to 17 percent, while commodities were also impacted which had benefited in the previous session from a report China's metals association had requested a government bailout as well as a crackdown on "malicious sellers" of metals.

The other top Asian news:

  • China to Ban Derivatives Funding for Stock Trading, CSRC Says: Securities Association of China will ban brokerages from offering financing for stock market trading using derivatives
  • China Calm Shattered as Brokerage Probe Sparks Selloff in Stocks: CSI 300 index closes down 5.4%, most in 3 mos.
  • China’s Bond Stresses Mount as Two More Companies Flag Concerns: Jiangsu Lvling Runfa says it’s unable to repay bonds Dec.
  • Rich Asians Mostly Stick With Dollar Rally UBS Says Near End: Bank starts trade of selling euro against Norway’s krone
  • Aussie’s Slide Spurs Weakest Inflation Response Since Float: Australia importing low inflation keeps RBA easing talk alive
  • Japan’s Government Gets Paid to Borrow at Two-Year Note Auction: Sale of 2.5t yen of the debt had record-low yield of minus 0.004%
  • China Unveils Biggest Army Overhaul in Decades to Project Power: President seeks to tighten political control over military
  • Japan Oct. Core Consumer Prices Fall 0.1% Y/y; Est. -0.1%
  • Japan Oct. Unemployment Rate at 3.1%; Est. 3.4%

In European markets equities kicked off the final session of the week in negative territory before paring losses throughout the European morning to head into the North American crossover in modest positive territory (Euro Stoxx: +0.2%). The most notable underperformers in Europe were material and energy names amid softness in the commodity complex following the aforementioned downbeat sentiment in Asia and USD strength.

Despite the losses seen in Chinese equities, news flow in European hours has been fairly light and as such, Bunds trade modestly higher in tandem with the weakness seen in equities.

European top news:

  • Infineon Soars to 13-Year High After Earnings Beat Estimates: Post growing sales from power management and security products
  • Abengoa’s Bondholders Jumping Ship as Insolvency Concerns Mount: Creditors faced with choice of dumping holdings or taking their chances on eventual settlement
  • Novartis Said to Consider Selling Contact Lens Care Division: Seeks to improve growth at its eye-care unit, Alcon
  • Merck KGaA Said to Weigh Allergy Therapy Unit Sale to Trim Debt: Seeks to cut debt after $17b takeover of Sigma- Aldrich
  • Standard Chartered Facing Highest Hurdles in BOE Stress Tests: Investors to find out Dec. 1 if lender has done enough to weather latest round of stress tests
  • Glencore Says Disputed Libyan Oil Deal Has Global Support: Oil chief Beard defended co.’s crude-export contract with Libya’s National Oil Corp. in west of divided country after competing administration in east threatened to block its tankers
  • U.K. Home-Price Growth Slows to Five-Month Low, Nationwide Says: Notes a shortage of properties for sale
  • Euro-Area Confidence at Highest in 4 Years as ECB Mulls Stimulus: Figures are the strongest since May 2011

In FX, amid the light news flow the most significant FX move came in the form of broad based CHF weakness , with USD/CHF reaching its highest level since 2010 and EUR/CHF breaking above the 1.0900 handle and November highs. Given the expected upcoming ECB stimulus, this could potentially spur suggestions of pre¬emptive SNB intervention at some stage, ahead of the ECB rate decision and press conference next Thursday. The European morning saw a bout of strength in the USD index (+0.2%), to move back above the 100.00 level, with Wednesday's 100.17 the next level of resistance.
In Commodities, oil continues its decline after yesterday's announcement by the Libyan NOC that it has seen good progress in restarting production from its largest oil field. Furthermore, WITI and Brent have been weighed upon by a firmer USD. In the metals complex, gold has seen downward pressure since European participants came to their desks, in tandem with underperformance in silver, with prices of the yellow metal on course for its 6th consecutive weekly decline, now trading at the lowest levels since February 2010.

Top Global News:

  • Black Friday Retailers Pile on Discounts to Lure Frugal Shoppers: The shaky condition of U.S. retail will be put to the test this weekend, when Wal-Mart Stores, Macy’s and other chains roll out their Black Friday specials
    • EBay Early Thanksgiving Comps Up 11.1% Y/y: ChannelAdvisor
    • Online Sales Surge Ahead of Brick-and-Mortar Retailers’ Big Day
  • Naspers Said to Plan Showmax Expansion to Take on Netflix: Plans to expand video-streaming competitor to Netflix into 3 new continents next year, Samsung to include service on TVs
  • U.S. FDA Warning Poses Threat to Dr. Reddy’s Revenue Outlook: India’s 2nd-largest drugmaker could see sales come under pressure as it faces scrutiny from FDA over manufacturing practices at its factories
  • Oil Pares Weekly Advance as Libya Seeks to Boost Crude Supply: Oil pared first weekly gain in a month
  • Brazil Surprises Analysts With Worst Primary Budget Gap of Year: Underscores administration’s challenges in shoring up fiscal accounts
  • U.K. Domestic Demand Lifts Economy as Net Trade Has Record Drag: Consumer spending up for 17th straight quarter

Bulletin Headline Summary From Bloomberg and RanSquawk

  • Amid the light news flow, the most significant FX move came in the form of broad based CHF weakness, with USD/CHF reaching its highest level since 2010
  • European equities kicked off the final session of the week in negative territory before paring losses throughout the European morning to head into the North American crossover in modest positive territory (Euro Stoxx: +0.20%)
  • Looking ahead, highlights include ECB's Linde and Knot, although yesterday's Thanksgiving holiday could lead to another quiet session
  • Treasuries gain amid rout in China shares as some of the nation’s largest brokerages disclosed regulatory probes; volumes light as UST futures trading close at 1pm, cash at 2pm.
  • Citic Securities and Guosen Securities late Thursday announced probes by the securities regulator and Haitong Securities confirmed Friday it was under investigation
  • The Securities Association of China will ban brokerages from offering financing for stock market trading using derivatives, the country’s securities regulator said
  • A Chinese fertilizer maker and a pig iron producer have flagged bond payment difficulties, adding to signs of stress in the nation’s corporate note market after at least six defaults this year
  • Russia’s Vladimir Putin gave a tentative nod toward cooperation with an anti-terror alliance sought by France’s Hollande after the two met for almost three hours in Moscow on Thursday
  • President Xi Jinping announced a major overhaul of China’s military to make the world’s largest army more combat ready and better equipped to project force beyond the country’s borders
  • Portugal’s new Prime Minister Antonio Costa will need to keep a group of anti-austerity radicals onside to sustain his minority Socialist government after his maneuver to seize power tore up a four-decade political convention
  • Euro-area economic confidence matched its highest level in more than four years as the European Central Bank prepares to make a decision on whether to increase stimulus
  • No IG or HY deals Wednesday. BofAML Corporate Master Index OAS widens 1bp to +163, YTD range 180/129. High Yield Master II OAS widens 2bp to +637, YTD range 683/438
  • Sovereign 10Y bond yields lower. Asian stocks plunge, European stocks gain, U.S. equity-index futures higher. Crude oil and gold lower, copper little changed

US Economic Calendar

  • No data

by Tyler Durden at November 27, 2015 11:46 AM

Wired Top Stories

Star Wars Marketing Tie-Ins Have Jumped the Gundark

Star Wars Marketing Tie-Ins Have Jumped the Gundark

No matter how hard you try, the Force Awakens will be with you. Always.

The post Star Wars Marketing Tie-Ins Have Jumped the Gundark appeared first on WIRED.

by Julia Greenberg at November 27, 2015 11:45 AM

Across the Curve


Via Marc Chandler at Brown Brothers Harriman:

Dollar Rides High into Month End

– China is very much at center stage after the Shanghai Composite slumped nearly 5.5% today
– The dollar rose to two-month highs against the yuan, while the gap between the offshore (CNH) and onshore (CNY) yuan widened to about 0.9%
– Japanese data was mixed, and those thinking the BOJ will be forced to expand its asset purchases next year are unlikely to be discouraged
– The political tension from the Iberian Peninsula may be easing
– The downward surprise in consumer confidence was the highlight among the many data points of the UK
– Retail sales for Norway and Sweden came in on the strong side, but the implications for policy are different
– Colombia’s central bank is expected to hike rates 50 bp to 5.75%

Price action:  The dollar is mostly firmer against the majors, with the Swedish krona the lone exception and up 0.2% on the day.  The Swiss franc and the Kiwi are underperforming.  The former is the weakest of the majors and the dollar is trading at new five-year highs against the franc.  The euro is down slightly, trading just below $1.06, while sterling is trading softer near $1.5030.  Dollar/yen is trading near 122.60.  EM currencies are mostly softer.  PHP and CNY are outperforming, while MYR and RUB are outperforming.  MSCI Asia Pacific fell 1%, with the Nikkei down 0.3%.  MSCI EM is down 1.2%, with the Shanghai Composite down 5.5% and the Shenzen Composite down 6.1% on negative news regarding three mainland brokers.  Euro Stoxx 600 is flat near midday, while US futures are pointing to a small positive open.  The 10-year UST yield is down 2 bp at 2.21%, while European bond markets are mostly firmer.  Commodity prices are mostly lower, though copper is up 1.5% even as oil is down 1-2%.

  • The US dollar is firmer but within its recent ranges against the major currencies.  Participants are clearly focused on next week’s events, and in particular, the prospect for additional easing measures by the ECB.  In addition, next week’s speeches by Yellen and the monthly jobs report is expected to underpin expectations for the Fed’s lift-off in the middle of December.
  • China is very much at center stage after the Shanghai Composite slumped nearly 5.5% and the Shenzhen Composite lost 6.1%, the largest losses since August’s rout.  The proximate cause appears to be news that the three top brokers are under investigation in part of the larger anti-corruption campaign.  News that corporate profits fell 4.6% in October after a 0.1% decline in September also weighed on investor sentiment.
  • The dollar rose to two-month highs against the yuan, while the gap between the offshore (CNH) and onshore (CNY) yuan widened to about 0.9%.  This is the widest since early September.  Although the PBOC is thought to have tried to minimize the gap before it reached this magnitude in the past, its agents have not been seen.  Perhaps some of the tolerance is linked to speculation ahead of Monday’s IMF decision.  That the yuan is included seems to be a forgone conclusion.  The issue now is the weight it is given in the basket.
  • In a report over the summer, the IMF staff suggested that if just exports are used for the calculation, as the yuan’s share of global reserves is very low (~1.1%), the weighting would be 14-16%.  However, the use of the yuan is well below the other members of the SDR basket (dollar, euro, sterling and yen).  The market consensus, according to one newswire is for about a 10% weighting.  We suspect that it may be a bit lower.  For Chinese officials, getting in is the important thing.  The weighting is less significant.  It can be confident that as the yuan’s role in the global economy increases, so will its weight in the SDR.
  • Some observers are linking the weakness of the yuan to anticipation of a smaller weighting.  But as we have noted, there is also speculation that after the formal SDR decision is made, Chinese officials will allow the yuan to depreciate.  However, we note that the yuan has been steadily falling since the start of November.  Officials do not appear to be waiting.  We also note that this month, the US dollar has risen against all the major currencies but the Australian dollar, and against all the emerging market currencies save Brazil and Malaysia.  The same macro-considerations that lift the dollar against other currencies are also operative against the yuan.
  • Japanese data was mixed, and those thinking the BOJ will be forced to expand its asset purchases next year are unlikely to be discouraged.  For the third consecutive month, Japan’s core inflation (excludes fresh food) was -0.1% on a year-over-year basis.  It has not been above zero since June.  Despite this being the formal target measure, the BOJ has looked past the decline in oil prices, and finds some comfort in its measure of inflation that excludes food and energy, which it says was steady at 1.2%, though the MOF calculations differ (lower).
  • The BOJ may also find solace in the continued tightening of the labor market.  The unemployment unexpectedly fell to 3.1% from 3.4%.  This is the lowest rate in two decades.  The job/applicant ratio remained at 1.24, the highest since mid-1992.   However, it was disconcerting to learn then that household consumption fell 2.4% in October (year-over-year) after a 0.4% decline in September.  It was the poorest report since March.  Since the beginning of last year, household consumption on a year-over-year basis has only been positive for four months.
  • This is where Abe’s supplemental budget comes in.  Reports today suggest a JPY3.5 trillion package, which is a little more than had been suggested previously.  The supplemental budget may include support for poor pensioners and a hike in the government’s minimum wage.  Extra budgets around this size are relatively common in Japan.
  • Turning to Europe, the political tension from the Iberian Peninsula may be easing.  This may be helping Spanish and Portuguese bonds outperform today.  In Spain, the Finance Minister from Catalonia encouraged negotiations with Madrid rather than pushing the secessionist route.  In Portugal, the new government promised to comply with EU rules, but remains committed to modifying some of the previous government’s austerity measures.
  • Separately, Spain reported that its harmonized inflation measure improved to -0.4% from -0.9% in October.  The Bloomberg consensus had expected somewhat less improvement (-0.7%).  Deflationary forces are easing quicker than the year-over-year figures suggest.  In the last three months, the harmonized measure of Spanish inflation has risen at a 3.6% annualized rate.
  • This does not impact the outlook for the ECB next week.  The ECB is focused what it sees as too slow of an improvement on inflation.  The market expects a deeper push into negative territory with the deposit rate (perhaps a two-tier system, which seems to us to punish German and French banks which among the largest depositors at the ECB), increased asset purchases, and a six-month extension of the purchase program.  Although it has been suggested that the ECB could buy sub-sovereign debt or even distressed loans, we are not convinced that an agreement on these can be hammered out.  However, the ECB could increase the agencies that qualify.
  • The downward surprise in consumer confidence was the highlight among the many data points of the UK.  The consumer confidence index fell to 1, a six-month low and down from 7 just two months ago.  This compares with expectation for the index to remain at 2.  The Nationwide house price also came in worse than expected at 3.7% y/y growth, compared with 4.2% expected.  The housing sector will be in focus after the tax increases in buy-to-let and second properties announced in the Autumn Statement yesterday.  Lastly, GDP 3Q preview came in as expected at 2.3% y/y, the same as in the last quarter.  In contrast to the consumer confidence number reported today, the GDP breakdown showed that domestic demand continues to drive UK growth, with consumer spending rising for a 17th consecutive quarter.  This helped outweigh the negative contribution of net trade at 1.5 percentage points.
  • Retail sales in Sweden came in on the strong side.  The October print came in at 5.0% y/y, compared with expectations for an increase of only 3.8%.  In addition, the September number was revised considerably higher to 5.7% from 3.7%.  The Riksbank’s concern is not the real economy but deflation.  Falling prices have not deterred consumption.  Norway’s retail sales gains are more important, surprising on the upside at 0.9% m/m, compared with -0.8% in the previous month.  In Norway, growth is more of a concern for policymakers than inflation, which is highest among the majors. Norway’s unemployment rate came in as expected at 2.9% for November.
  • Colombia’s central bank is expected to hike rates 50 bp to 5.75%.  This would follow a larger than expected 50 bp hike last month.  However, the market is somewhat split.  Of the 40 analysts polled by Bloomberg, 23 see a 50 bp hike, 15 see a 25 bp hike, and 2 see no hike.  Inflation continues to move higher.  At 5.9% y/y in October, it’s the highest since March 2009 and above the 2-4% range for the ninth straight month.  As such, further tightening seems likely as we move into 2016.  Lower oil prices will weigh on the economy, but the bank seems focused on anchoring inflation expectations.

by John Jansen at November 27, 2015 11:43 AM

S Rajesh - Cricinfo magazine

A 19-year low and Siddle's 200

Stats highlights from the first day of a historic Test in Adelaide

November 27, 2015 11:33 AM

Miss Malini

Shah Rukh Khan & Kajol Are Such Cutie Patooties In This New Video!

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in Gerua from Dilwale

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in Gerua from Dilwale

Dilwale is only 21 days away and I suppose to ease the pain of waiting, Ponds has released this awwwdorable video of Shah Rukh Khan & Kajol. Obviously, like everything else they’ve done, this video will make your heart happy!

Can’t wait for SRK and Kajol to create magic again!

The post Shah Rukh Khan & Kajol Are Such Cutie Patooties In This New Video! appeared first on MissMalini.

by Shreemi Verma at November 27, 2015 11:17 AM

10 Celebrity Outfits That Work For Every Kind Of Party!

Athiya Shetty in a relaxed Brenton striped dress and sneakers

Athiya Shetty in a relaxed Brenton striped dress and sneakers.

It’s the start of party season, and that means that you’ll need a bunch of party dressing options for the next few months. We give you 10 super cool looks (courtesy some of our favorite celebs) to try at 10 different party places this season.  Check it out!

1. Good old denim-on-denim for bar hopping

With a ton of new bars opening during the season, you may just get a call from your drinking buddies to hit the town, one bar at a time. Denim is a go-to choice to look good and be comfortable for that long night ahead.  You can throw on a denim shirt with a skirt, like Shveta Salve below, or stick to your favorite jeans and a denim shirt.

Shveta Salve

Shveta Salve owns the denim-on-denim look.

2. Call on the crew for a boys’ night out

This is for the boys. A pair of black army-style pants and a dark hoodie is your best bet to be party ready on a boys’ night out. It is comfortable, easy to match, and slimming.  It’s stylish and masculine while not looking like you tried too hard.

Hrithik Roshan

Hrithik Roshan’s hipster army-mode look.

3. Sneak in some snuggle time in a statement tee

Be your cheeky best in a statement tee to go catch a drink or few, with your guy.  It’s fun, flirty, and will definitely get you noticed. (Love statement tees? Stay tuned to BandraRoad for some fun quirky ones coming soon!)

Esha Gupta's statement tee and checked pants.

Esha Gupta’s statement tee and checked pants.

3. Comfort swag for a drum-n-bass night

Grab a pair of cool ripped jeans and your trusty sneakers. You are now set to dance the work stress away.  If you’re having a bad hair day, grab your favorite baseball cap like Sonakshi Sinha did in the picture below.

Sonakshi Sinha

Sonakshi Sinha in a lazy cold-shoulder tee and ripped dark denims.

4. It’s EDM night and your favourite DJ is playing

Besides, you absolutely have to take your new joggers out for a spin. Joggers are your best friend and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Boys, see how you can style them here. Girls, this way!

Ayan Mukerji in a basic black tee and a pair of fuss-free joggers.

Ayan Mukerji in a basic black tee and a pair of fuss-free joggers.

5. Finally, a chance to take mummy dearest for that fancy dinner

It’s always nice to show-off your ‘Look Ma! I’m all grown up!‘ side. First… dress to impress Mom. Take your favourite pair of jeans and add a sleek blazer on top. Second, take her to dinner and impress her. We got your back for the first part. *wink*

Deepika Padukone's dinner time look in a bright blazer and art-patched jeans.

Deepika Padukone’s dinner time look in a bright blazer and art-patched jeans.

6. Go rocker-chic to catch your favorite band play live

Live gigs are awesome and dressing up for one can be super exciting. Have fun with your concert look. Like Shraddha Kapoor, you too can opt for a fun printed pair of legging teamed with combat boots, a basic bright tee and a cut-off denim jacket. It’s definitely a playful look with a touch of edge for the rebel child in you!

Shraddha Kapoor, Varun Dhawan

Shraddha Kapoor’s rock chic style

7. The impromptu session with the gang

You’re hanging at home, wondering what to order for dinner while you watch Bigg Boss. The phone rings. The gang is getting together for a spur of the moment session at your favourite bar. Malaika Arora Khan, below, gives you a chic look that will only take ten minutes to put together.

White blouse. Black ripped jeans. Sneakers. Perhaps a bindi and done!

Malaika Arora Khan's effortless ease in monochrome!

Malaika Arora Khan’s effortless ease in monochrome!

8. It’s potluck time

Having friends over for dinner and a movie? Deepika Padukone shows you how to look hot without looking like you spent time to dress. Add the season’s favourite, the cape cover-up to round off your look.

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone in a pair of ripped jeans, a white tee and striped cape cover-up.

9. Calling all angels, it’s Gossip Girl time

The girl gang is going out on the town.  This is the perfect time to show off the latest additions to your closet.  You’re thinking Sex and the City with an East Village casual vibe –  easy, fun, comfortable, and sexy. You never know what shenanigans you girls will get yourselves into! Did someone say ‘shots’?

Athiya Shetty in a relaxed Brenton striped dress and sneakers

Athiya Shetty in a relaxed Brenton striped dress and sneakers

10. It’s okay. I’m here. Let’s party

Because you’re a badass and that’s the only excuse you need to turn a night around. Think fierce and go get them!

Taylor Swift in a jazzy version of houndstooth twin jogger set.

Taylor Swift in a jazzy version of houndstooth twin jogger set.

So what are you waiting for? Head to your closet, pick your gear, call the gang and go tailor yourself a night to remember!

And while you’re nailing that, send us your pictures by tagging #BandraRoad on any social media platform and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The post 10 Celebrity Outfits That Work For Every Kind Of Party! appeared first on MissMalini.

by Marv D'Souza at November 27, 2015 11:15 AM


Black Friday

As the holiday shopping season kicks off, we’d like to leave you with a 15 second message from our sponsor about where to do your holiday shopping this year.

by Fred Wilson at November 27, 2015 11:15 AM


All the more reason to isolate Isis

Listening to several experts of what is going on in Syria on BBC Newsnight last night, I am more than ever convinced that isolating Isis in Syria and Iraq is the only solution.  Besides Isis and Assad’s own troops there are at least three other mutually antagonistic forces involved.  It is probably the most complex […]

by Keith Hudson at November 27, 2015 11:11 AM

Information Is Beautiful

Global Warming Solutions Currently On the Table

The latest climate talks start in Paris on 30th Nov. Here’s a little visual primer interpreting the feasibility of the various geo-engineering “solutions” to “mitigate” or “ease” global warming over the next century.

» See the data (includes bonus data on alternative energy sources)
» See the Royal Society study
» This is an updated image from my book, Knowledge is Beautiful.
» See all our climate-related visualizatons & graphics

by David McCandless at November 27, 2015 11:08 AM

It's Nice That

Give thanks, and join us in the weekly feast that is the Best of the Web


While our friends in the US of A are recovering from a full on turkey, candied yams and gratitude binge, over here at It’s Nice That HQ we’ve been stuffing ourselves with not food, but superb online content. Come feast with us, and help yourselves to this veritable buffet of digital delicacies.

Read more

by It's Nice That at November 27, 2015 11:05 AM

Miss Malini

Bigg Boss 9: So Rimi Sen Didn’t Choose To Leave The House? Big Shocker! *Rolls Eyes*

Rimi Sen

Rimi Sen

The world is divided into two people – those who believe Rimi Sen really wants to leave Bigg Boss 9 and those who can easily see through that lie. I mean, drop the act already! I’ll admit though – I really liked her in the beginning. The whole “poor me!” vibe was quite endearing, but now I’ve had enough. She needs to stop being so annoying on the show.

So as you might have seen in the promos, Bigg Boss is going to give all contestants the chance to leave the house if they so wish. Bigg Boss opened the main door and told all the contestants that a calamity is going to hit the house soon, so if anyone wants to leave they’re free to exit. Rishabh Singh (obviously) looked at Rimi and told her to go pack her bags and when she didn’t reply he actually went himself to pack her stuff!

Long story short, Rimi did not leave the house. I’m laughing as I type this because is this not the only thing she has wanted since Day 1? WTF, man?!

When all the contestants confronted her about it, she said she doesn’t trust Bigg Boss and thinks it’s a trap!

Well played, Rimi!

The post Bigg Boss 9: So Rimi Sen Didn’t Choose To Leave The House? Big Shocker! *Rolls Eyes* appeared first on MissMalini.

by Priyam Saha at November 27, 2015 11:03 AM

It's Nice That

Discos and design explored in gorgeous new Bedford Press book Nightswimming


“Nowadays discotheques are hardly ever spaces designed by architects; they are rather temporary occupations of spaces dedicated to other functions,” laments Bedford Press in the introduction to its beautiful new publication dedicated to design and discos.

Read more

by Emily Gosling at November 27, 2015 11:02 AM

Zero Hedge

Winning, but Losing, at the Penny-Pitch: A Look at the Coming Collapse of the European Union



Hold your real assets outside of the banking system in a private international facility  --> 



Winning, but Losing, at the Penny-Pitch: A Look at the Coming Collapse of the European Union

Written by Jeff Thomas (CLICK FOR ORIGINAL)



Winning, but Losing, at the Penny-Pitch: A Look at the Coming Collapse of the European Union - Jeff Thomas


When I was a boy, a carnival would come through town annually, with a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round and, of course, a midway: rows of makeshift stalls where fair-goers might win a prize by throwing a ball at weighted milk bottles, shooting a rifle at metal ducks, or pitching pennies at small glass bowls.

If you were to succeed in any of the above, the standard prize was a small stuffed bear (Although many large bears were displayed, generally, the few actual penny-pitch winners only succeeded in winning one of the smaller bears). Still, to a child’s mind, even this was cause for celebration, as you went home a winner.

I was one of the lucky ones. I actually did take home a prize on one occasion. I had been going to the fair faithfully every year and would save up my pennies for weeks in advance, so I’d have plenty to invest in bear futures on the midway.

It was only a day or two after I brought home my prize that I realised that I had spent several dollars in pennies winning a stuffed bear that probably (back then, in the 1950’s) only cost fifty cents to produce and, after I possessed it, actually had zero value to me…I had no use for a cheap stuffed bear.

So, here’s the penny-pitch progression:

1. Promise of significant benefits for what seems a minimal initial investment.

2. Excitement builds with continued investment.

3. Elation when a prize is actually won.

4. Realisation that the prize is of less actual value than anticipated.

5. Realisation that the aggregate cost of the prize was so high that the money would have been better spent on something else.

In 1993, Europeans were invited to the new EU Carnival. In addition to the rides, there would be a midway: a variety of benefits such as open borders, a common currency and the opportunity to work in other countries more easily than before. Most European countries joined, even though, in most cases, only a minority of registered voters actually declared their desire for membership. The midway organisers (the political leaders) were all in favour and virtually everyone joined.

Like any midway game, all those who signed on were required to pony up, but the amount of money being invested seemed relatively small at the time. But like any midway game, it’s not the first pitch of the penny that gets you…it’s the subsequent, seemingly unending ones. It adds up.

Still, there have been those who have actually benefitted: those who actually moved to another EU country and got a good job; those who conduct multi-national business, etc., but, in the main, the conveniences have not been that great and the negatives, more and more, are eclipsing the benefits.

The non-elected oligarchy of the EU passes new laws at will. Moreover, at this point, so much money has been thrown at non-productive members that entire countries are, in effect, welfare states, living off the teat of the more productive countries. And feeding them has required unending and massive borrowing, which those who are pitching the pennies will, presumably, eventually have to pay. And each time it seems as though the situation couldn’t get any worse, Brussels creates a new diktat, such as the demand that all EU countries take in millions of refugees, whom they claim to be Syrians fleeing the civil war, but who are more likely to be from Afghanistan or North Africa and are people who demand benefits, but clearly have no desire to assimilate.

The people of Europe have been the patsies in this grand scheme and are, at this point, experiencing decided buyer’s remorse.

So, here’s the EU progression:

1. Promise of significant benefits for what seems a minimal initial investment.

2. Excitement builds with continued investment.

3. Elation when a benefit is actually received.

4. Realisation that the benefit is less actual value than anticipated.

 5. Realisation that the aggregate cost of the benefit was so high that the money would have been better spent on something else.

Returning to the penny-pitch, I recall that, by my early teens, I had realised that this was far from being a worthwhile investment. Once I realised that the prizes were of so little actual value to me and that I would have been better off spending my pennies in some other way, I ceased to enjoy the excitement of the midway and learned to invest money in a better way. I later prospered.

However, many, many people never lose the thrill of the promise of easily-won prizes. As they mature, the prizes that they seek may be more sophisticated than a stuffed bear, but the lure of easy benefits remains difficult to refuse and, in the case of governments, voters return to the polls periodically, each time believing the empty promises of politicians, saying to themselves, “This time it will be different.”

For so many people, the promise of a quick, easy solution to complex problems is impossible to resist and, more to the point, the more exaggerated the claim, the more likely that voters seem to buy into it. As Adolf Hitler said, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually, they will believe it.”

And so we witness in virtually every “democracy” that conservatives such as David Cameron and Donald Trump offer outrageously simplified and impossible promises and otherwise-intelligent voters march off to the voting booth to vote for them. Similarly, Hillary Clinton and Justin Trudeau leave liberal voters starry-eyed with equally outrageously simplified and impossible promises. The only difference between liberal and conservative is that the rhetoric takes a slightly different slant. The method of deception is the same, and the effect on voters is the same.

And, of course, the outcome is the same. Trouble is, if we’re wise enough to figure out that the penny-pitch is a mistaken pursuit, we can simply walk away and never come back. However, if an entire country gets suckered into a construct as implausible as the EU, it’s not so easy to walk away. Brussels has no intention of folding its tent. Nor are the political leaders of Europe going to back off on the EU idea.

So, will the EU simply carry on? It’s doubtful. At some point, the debt will cripple even the net-payer countries to the degree that the people will rebel. In addition, the social dictates, such as the acceptance of refugees, have been so dramatically damaging on the street level that the people of many countries are reaching the boiling point. Eventually this will travel upward, as we see in Poland where, in an election year, the government itself is saying no to Brussels, no matter how Brussels threatens to penalise them for not doing as they are told.

The EU was never intended to serve the people of Europe, it was meant to empower the rulers of the countries of Europe and to subjugate the European people. Its days are numbered, but the cost of its demise will be borne by the people of Europe. Certainly, increasing numbers of them might wish that it could be as easy as throwing the stuffed bear in the dustbin, but it will not be so simple or so painless.


Please email with any questions about this article or precious metals HERE


Winning, but Losing, at the Penny-Pitch: A Look at the Coming Collapse of the European Union

Written by Jeff Thomas (CLICK FOR ORIGINAL)


by Sprott Money at November 27, 2015 10:59 AM

Smashing Magazine Feed

Web Development Reading List #114: Black Friday, UI Stack, Accessible Web Apps


“Black Friday” has many explanations and various historical reasons. Besides that, every year it leads to people buying things just because retailers give huge discounts. But do you really need more? If you wouldn't have bought something at its full price, you probably don’t need it at all.

The User Interface Stack

In a world where most of us have many things in their home untouched for months or years, we should focus on what is important. It’s not having the newest products, using the latest tools, using the latest cool startup service. It’s about helping other people, sharing real experiences and stories with your friends. Thank them and yourself this year without a bought gift.

The post Web Development Reading List #114: Black Friday, UI Stack, Accessible Web Apps appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

by Anselm Hannemann at November 27, 2015 10:50 AM

Miss Malini

This New Hate Story 3 Song Is Set Out Of The Bedroom – We Promise!

Hate Story

Hate Story 3

Another song titles Neendein Khul Jaati Hain from the very sensuous Hate Story 3 is out. Well, this time the song is not shot in any bedroom but on a dancefloor and also has Karan Singh Grover showing us some sexy moves without Daisy Shah and Zarine Khan.

Check it out!

This is something different now. Are you liking the songs of this movie?

The post This New Hate Story 3 Song Is Set Out Of The Bedroom – We Promise! appeared first on MissMalini.

by Aayushi Bhargava at November 27, 2015 10:48 AM

Kajol & Kriti Sanon’s Outfits Will Help You Decide What To Wear This Weekend

Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Kajol, Shah Rukh Khan

Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Kajol, Shah Rukh Khan

It’s Fridaayyyy! Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to decide what to wear. The end of November means two things – Holidays and parties. People are leaving the city for their yearly trips abroad or even just to places for the weekend. The rest of the lot is finding fun ways to party it up on the home turf. Yesterday, Kriti Sanon and Kajol give us outfit inspirations for both.

Here’s what Kriti wore

She’s wearing a Zara jumper dress with an H&M tee and shoes from Vans. The great part about the look is that it’s laid back and perfect for a road trip and even as you walk through the by-lanes of a new town.

Kriti Sanon

Kriti Sanon

Meanwhile Kajol wore this

First of all, we’re loving the curves that dress is giving Kajol! She’s wearing a powder blue Gauri & Nainika dress and isn’t this the perfect brunch look? Her top knot, white nails and nude pumps are all on point.



The boys didn’t do too bad either! Take a look…

Varun Dhawan & Kriti Sanon
Kajol & Shah Rukh Khan

You’ve got to admit, Shah Rukh Khan, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon and Kajol make quite a good looking team.

The post Kajol & Kriti Sanon’s Outfits Will Help You Decide What To Wear This Weekend appeared first on MissMalini.

by Anushka Mulchandani at November 27, 2015 10:32 AM


Governments as the only funders of scientific research

In any advanced country there is a constant rumbling argument going on between those — generally on the left — who believe that government funding of science should increase and those — generally on the right — who  believe it should be left to the universities, private foundations and themselves on the basis that only […]

by Keith Hudson at November 27, 2015 10:20 AM

Seth's Blog

Unconscious consumption

Black Friday, of course, is a con.

But it's also a symptom of a terrible trap we've set for ourselves.

Consider the joy a little kid has the first time he spends his own money to buy an ice cream cone. This isn't something he does every day, it's not something he has to do, it's not something he's trying to get over with. Instead, the entire process unrolls in slow motion. It's consumption, no doubt about it, the last step in a long industrial/agricultural/marketing system. But at least this last step is special beyond words.

Now, consider the mall. The mall, today.

For the three billion people on Earth who have never experienced air conditioning, window displays and the extraordinary safety and wealth that the mall represents, a trip to the mall is mindblowing. For the typical consumer, egged on by a media frenzy and harried by a completely invented agenda, today is nothing but a hassle.

All that time, all that money, all those emotions spent for not one good reason.

It's more about what you didn't get on sale, or how many more people you need to "cross off" or just how much shiny but useless stuff you can grab faster than the next person. A reversal of 100,000 years of not enough to a brief few decades of more, more, more.

Every person reading this today has access to more wealth than the last King of France did. An astounding array of choices, a bounty of available connections and emotions.

Don't let someone else scam you into being unhappy.


by Seth Godin at November 27, 2015 10:19 AM

Miss Malini

Esha Gupta Looks Like She Stepped Right Out Of A ’70s Movie!

Esha Gupta & Emraan Hashmi

Esha Gupta & Emraan Hashmi

Emraan Hashmi and Esha Gupta stepped out for the launch of the single Main Rahoon Ya Na Rahoon looking as fresh as ever. But we especially can’t take our eyes off Esha in this print-happy, ’70s getup.

Esha Gupta

Esha Gupta

She was styled by Aastha Sharma for the event in a Hemant & Nandita Summer 2016 dress. It may not be summer, but in Bombay… we really can’t tell the difference. The entire collection was styled and designed with a very quirky and retro aesthetic in mind. You can check it out here. Her stylist has paired the mini-dress with Jimmy Choo sandals and vintage Kenzo earrings from Viange Vintage. So really, this look is the ultimate throwback and we’re feeling it.

Any thoughts?

The post Esha Gupta Looks Like She Stepped Right Out Of A ’70s Movie! appeared first on MissMalini.

by Devanshi Kapadia at November 27, 2015 10:03 AM

Wired Top Stories

The Big Picture

India Real Time

How India’s Paris Pledge Would Change Its Carbon Footprint

India’s national plan doesn’t involve any firm limits on greenhouse gases, although it does commit to bringing a massive amount of solar power online.

by William Mauldin and William Horobin at November 27, 2015 09:54 AM

It's Nice That

New Adult Swim project from the bonkers people behind some sexy Craigslist animations


Earlier this year we found ourselves mesmerised by a series of floating dismembered boobs, gently bobbing about to the sound of rather NSFW Craigslist ads read aloud. This project – Love Letters from Craig – perhaps makes it crystal clear why its creators at Cartelle Interactive were approached by Adult Swim to create content for its new online platform Etctera. The agency’s cheeky, surreal concepts seem the perfect match for the channel; and the piece they worked on, Giraffaconda, took the form of a game based around a “floppy neck giraffe.”

Read more

by Emily Gosling at November 27, 2015 09:45 AM

O'Reilly Radar

Four short links: 27 November 2015

  1. 87% of Android Devices Insecure -- researchers find they're vulnerable to malicious apps because manufacturers have not provided regular security updates. (via Bruce Schneier)
  2. A Computational Approach for Obstruction-Free Photography (Google Research) -- take multiple photos from different angles through occlusions like a window with raindrops or reflections, and their software will assemble an unoccluded image. (via Greg Linden)
  3. Algorithms for Affective Sensing -- Results show that the system achieves a six-emotion decision-level correct classification rate of 80% for an acted dataset with clean speech. This PhD thesis is research into algorithm for determining emotion from speech samples, which does so more accurately than humans in a controlled test. (via New Scientist)
  4. Software Learns to Recognise Microexpressions (MIT Technology Review) -- Li and co’s machine matched human ability to spot and recognize microexpressions and significantly outperformed humans at the recognition task alone.

by Nat Torkington at November 27, 2015 09:39 AM

It's Nice That

Unusual nudes and strange, glittering fashion photography from Arnaud Lajeunie


There is something elusive about Arnaud Lajeunie’s work – an unpredictable style and quality that’s hard to pin down. The French photographer, who doubles up as co-founder and photo editor of alternative erotic journal L’imparfaite, and his eye for the beautiful and bizarre, continue to improve and impress. From flashes of skin and close crops to vivid bursts of colour, he favours chance in his work. Often images are layered in subtle ways that can be easily missed, and upon closer inspection, one photograph of a naked girl in the woods reveals her to be climbing over a man wearing camouflage and red shoes. Whether his shoots are based on ideas or instinct, as Arnaud’s photography matures, it manages to become more simple and more beguiling at the same time.

Read more

by Alex Hawkins at November 27, 2015 09:16 AM Business Technology

New Music Coming for Nintendo’s Classic Family Computer

Nintendo Co.'s Family Computer, a videogame console released in 1983, will get a new software cartridge next year--for the first time in more than two decades.

by Takashi Mochizuki at November 27, 2015 09:06 AM

naked capitalism

The Power of Nightmares 1: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (BBC-2004)

An Adam Curtis documentary on the similarities between the politics of neo-conservatives, and the politics of Islamist radicals.

by Lambert Strether at November 27, 2015 08:55 AM


zooLert Habitat Tracker


Is the Raspberry Pi Zero The First Computer Shipped As A Magazine Supplement?

When I was a teenager it took me two years to convince my parents to buy me a computer. I would have taken anything, big small, TV output, LCD display, whatever, just programmable please. I finally got one but it took too long, mostly because even home computers were expensive at the time. Well, times have really changed, haven't they!?

Yesterday, Eben Upton, one of the creators of the Raspberry Pi, announced the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero. It's much smaller than a "normal" Raspberry Pi, has fewer connectors but is more powerful than the first Raspbery Pi and can act as a fully functional as a desktop computer as it has an HDMI (mini) out and old fashioned TV interface (for which a connector has to be soldered onto the board). Even better, to get one, just go around the corner to a newsstand (at least in the UK) and pick up the latest edition of the Magpi magazine for 6 pounds in which the Raspberry Pi Zero is included as a supplement. Wow, I just imagine myself as a boy having done that instead of having had to preach to my parents for years about the need for having a computer.

I wasn't quite sure when I started writing this article but while writing it, I found this video in which Eben confirms that the Pi Zero is the first "real" computer ever shipped as a magazine supplement! True, an SD card is needed as a mass storage device in addition to an HDMI cable to connect it to a TV as well as a mouse and keyboard which easily exceed the price of the Pi itself, but hey, compared to two years preaching that's a hurdle that can be overcome easily as all of these things are available in abundance and can probably be gotten second hand for next to nothing.

A "real" computer as a supplement in a computer magazine that can be bought at a news stand! I'm sure the late Steve J. would agree, this is insanely great!

by mobilesociety at November 27, 2015 07:34 AM

Shoba Narayan

Paris and Luxury

Should brands take a stand is the question I try to analyze in this piece. Normally, no.  But now?  Thanks to Elisabeth Cadoche-Guez for setting me up with luxury brand executives in Paris.  Elisabeth is the author of a wonderful book on Arthur Rimbaud. 27 November 2015 | E-Paper Home » Leisure » The Good […]

by Shoba Narayan at November 27, 2015 07:11 AM

Low End Box

BeastNode – $4/month 512MB and $7/month 1GB OVZ in three US locations

BeastNodeMinecraft_Hosting_BeastNode_Performance_Server_Hosting_&_VPS_Hosting!_-_2014-07-14_06.32.53Elliot, from BeastNode, has sent in these offers to celebrate Black Friday with the LowEndBox audience. These offers are available in Buffalo, Dallas, and Los Angeles, all in the USA!


You can find another offer inside!

BeastNode is a registered company in California, USA. They have been in business since 2011 starting out as a minecraft host. This is the second time we are featuring them. Last time they got some positive responses but also a fairly negative one. It’s up to you do decide that’s true or not. Given the mixed reviews and the fact that we’re featuring these guys for the second time, I’m putting them in the Vauxhall Vectra category. Host nodes have an Intel E3-1240 with 4 hard drives in RAID10, most likely with 32GB of RAM in them. As always, if you give these guys a shot or if you are a current customer we’d love to hear from you.


Payments can be made using PayPal only. Before ordering, please read their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

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by Maarten Kossen at November 27, 2015 07:00 AM

naked capitalism

Michael Hoexter: Road to COP21 and Beyond: The Missing Analysis of the Kyoto Protocol and its Failure

By Michael Hoexter, a policy analyst and marketing consultant on green issues, climate change, clean and renewable energy, and energy efficiency. Originally published at New Economic Perspectives. In this series, I will attempt to outline key issues facing policymakers as they meet in Paris at the UN’s Conference of the Parties-21 starting on November 30th […]

by Lambert Strether at November 27, 2015 06:55 AM

Planet Android

Motorola DROID Turbo Bootloader Finally Unlockable with SunShine 3.2 Beta


SunShine is a bootloader unlock tool that works on many different Motorola and HTC devices. The tool is continuously updated to support the unlocking of a wider range of devices as they discover new exploits to take advantage of. Today, XDA Senior Recognized Developer jcase has announced that SunShine has been updated to version 3.2 Beta with support for the Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo.

by Mishaal Rahman at November 27, 2015 06:49 AM

Mozilla Says It Doesn’t Rely on Google for Revenue Anymore


Mozilla is seemingly trying really hard to cut ties with Google. One of the most popular browsers doesn’t use Google as its search engines, and according to Mozilla, the company doesn’t rely on Google to get revenue anymore. Firefox uses Yahoo and some local search providers to get revenue. Find out how much they earned!

by Tomek Kondrat at November 27, 2015 06:48 AM

Atanu Dey on India's Development

Constitution, Government, Economy – Part 1


In the extended social order we call society, individual persons are the basic interacting units who attempt to realize their individual objectives, individually and collectively. Some of these objectives or goals can be realized by organizing privately, and others only through collective actions. Organized private activity is called “the market” which meets the private needs of the people. For those goals which require collective action, collective decisions have to be made.

That is what “government” is about. In James Buchanan’s view, government is “that complex of institutions through which individuals make collective decisions, and through which they carry out collective as opposed to private activities.” And “politics” according to him “is the activity of persons in the context of such institutions.”

In this view, government is not some supra-individual agency that is separate from individuals which makes decisions for them. Government is “by the people” in the sense that people constitute a government for their own collective purposes.


Buchanan views the economy in a similar vein. “It is that complex of institutions that emerges as a result of the behavior of individual persons who organize themselves to satisfy their various objectives privately, as opposed to collectively. Thus, the economy and the government are parallel set of institutions, similar in many respects, and, of course, intersecting at many separate points.”

We need to underline the fact that the economy is about individual persons, their individual preferences, their individual goals and objectives. The operative word is “individual” and not some abstract collective.

The salient point in this view of individuals, the economy and government is that people choose to organize collectively to create institutions that help them achieve the goals that they set for themselves. The government is an agent of the people, who are the principals, created by the people to meet their collective goals. As the people’s agent, government is charged with a certain set of duties — and only those duties — that it must perform to the satisfaction of the people. If government fails to discharge that duty, then the people as the principals have the right to replace the government. One can think of the people as the owners of a firm, and the government as managers of the firm hired by the people.


The “contract” between the people and government is a set of rules which specifies what the government must do, what resources are available to it to carry out those mandatory duties, and the restrictions on what the government is prohibited from doing. This contract is the “constitution.” This institution is an instrument that defines the relationship between the government and the people, and places the people as the ultimate decision makers who have effective, though indirect, control over the government.

The extended social order we call society is extended in two different senses. First of course it includes not some but all members of society. Second, it is temporally extensive. Overlapping generations of people exist in the social order. Rules that persist over time provide continuity and stability to the social order. The constitution is that set of “top-level rules of the game” that are relatively few, relatively inflexible, general and persist across generations, or periods.

The “constitutional stage” is when the top-level rules are chosen. Once the constitution is chosen, it sets the stage for many consecutive in-period games. In the post-constitutional stage, in-period rules are made which are more flexible for meeting contingencies, more particularized in their operation and less permanent than the constitutional rules. The in-period rules may change from period to period but they have to be consistent with the constitutional level rules.

Unanimity Requirement

Thus the constitutional rules define a large space (or state-space) of possibilities, and the in-period rules generate some specific outcome which identifies which of the many possibilities is actualized. As long as the constitution is based on enduring principles, the constitution does not need to be amended frequently. A constitution is also short since it lays out the foundational rules only. These are inflexible by design. Within that structure of rules, flexible in-period rules can be made as required that are designed to expire in a few years. Only the in-period rules need to be changed to meet the needs of a dynamic world.

For allocative efficiency in any collective venture, the primary condition is unanimity in agreement. If any party to an agreement does not give voluntary consent, it leads to loss of efficiency. This directly implies that the constitution — as the foundational rules — must be unanimously agreed on. To serve the “public purpose”, we first need to define what it means. For it to have any content, the purpose has to be publicly agreed upon. That is, private interests must not dictate the purpose for it to be public.

Only those rules can be included in the constitution that are agreeable to all, and not just to some majority. That means majoritarian voting is inadequate for the purposes of defining the constitutional rule. However, in-period rules can be subject to majoritarian voting (or majoritarian democracy.) These in-period rules, resulting from majoritarian democracy where 50%+1 votes legitimize them, are expected to change as the majorities shift in successive periods.

This 2-stage process of determining rules of the game — the constitutional stage that requires unanimity, and the in-period rules that require only a majority — balances stability and allocative efficiency with flexibility.

Protection of Individual Rights

The constitutional level rules include rules that guarantee and protect (in the sense that they are put beyond the reach of any group, institution, coalition or government) certain rights to individuals. Note that the individual is at the center of these guarantees, not some collective. Next, the collective agrees that there should be a government, an agency whose primary function is to protect those rights of the individual, not some subgroup or coalition of groups.

The starting point of a constitution is therefore to enumerate the rights of citizens and then outline the duty of the government duly constituted to protect those rights. This leads to the details of the structure of the government. Given this motivation for the existence of government, obviously the government has a crucial but a limited role in the extended order of society. Most critically, the constitution has to enumerate the limited powers of the government. This is so because the government is not the sovereign — the supreme ruler or ultimate power.

Types of Government

In a monarchy, the king is the sovereign. His word is the law, and he himself is above the law. In an autocracy, the dictator is the sovereign. In communism, the communist party leaders are sovereign. In a majority-rule democracy, any majority is the sovereign.

In a republic individuals elected by citizens have the power to make laws. So in a sense, we may conclude that there is “rule of law” in republics. But if the elected representatives have the freedom to make any laws that they wish, then it is not a rule of law in any meaningful way. The lawmakers make the laws that suit them, and therefore they are above the law.

If those forms of organizing society are unacceptable to all (that is, unanimously unacceptable), then we consider a constitutional republic. In a constitutional republic, the people are not the sovereign unlike in a democracy; nor are the elected representatives of the people the sovereign, unlike in a republic. In a constitutional republic, the constitution is the sovereign, and the people have the freedom to choose their representatives who are constrained by the constitution to make only those laws that is consistent with the constitution.

By design, a constitutional republic does not admit a paternalistic government. The people are presumed to be mature enough to be capable of choosing their representatives in government. They cannot therefore simultaneously be considered to be incapable of managing their day to day affairs. Most importantly, the people are presumed to make their private choices without interference by the government, however well-meaning. That is, there is no cause for government intervention into the economy.

In this conception of the government, it is not the role of the government to manage or “develop” the economy. The development of the economy emerges out of the workings of that complex of institutions that the people voluntarily create to meet their private objectives, individually and collectively.

We should note that the government cannot develop an economy for a simple reason: it is not even theoretically possible. No institution or agency can manage or control a large, modern, complex economy. Attempting to manage an economy (centralized planning) is not just futile but as has been demonstrated wherever it has been tried, to fail disastrously.

What then is the role of the government with regards to the economy? First and foremost, it has to ensure that the conditions for the efficient working of the economy are obtained. These conditions include the protection of private property, freedom to trade, freedom of individuals to contract with others, to enforce those contracts, and create a dispute resolution mechanism.

What is the role of the government with regard to the society? The first thing is to ensure the freedom of the individual. The individual in a well-ordered society has to be free from coercion from others, including coercion from the government. Is coercion ever justified? Coercion is justified only to the extent that the individuals in society freely and unanimously agree to it. This agreement will be forthcoming in case the benefits to the individuals exceed the costs.

This implies that the government may not coerce anyone to achieve some goal defined as “the public good.” The problem with “the public good” lies with its definition. There are as many definitions of “the public good” as there are people, and all of them are potentially mutually incompatible.

For anything to be “the public good”, the minimal requirement is that every member of the public agree to it. In other words, only such a thing can be considered “the public good” that enjoys unanimous consent. For someone to agree on “the public good”, clearly the private benefit of that has to exceed the private costs because only then would that someone volunteer consent. This also means that where “the public good” is defined by some private interest, then it cannot be “the public good” by definition. When private interests dictate “the public good”, it amounts to coercion which is unethical and immoral.

The most important concern in the context of “the public good” is that the government must be prohibited from defining it. That’s because “the public good” is most often abused and becomes an instrument for the government to cater to narrowly defined private interests.

Erecting a barrier between the private interests of some and what is in the interests of every individual of society is a fundamental function of the constitution. That is, the constitution has to debar the government from passing any law that discriminates among individuals. This is “the generality principle”: that all laws must be equally applicable to all, and no laws should be allowed that apply differentially to people based on some identifiable characteristics such as caste, religion, etc.

A government which has the power to make discriminatory laws is, paradoxically, a weak government. Special interests would then have the motivation to bend the government to its will. For instance, if the government could make special provisions for people of caste A, then that would mobilize caste A people to bring down the government in case their caste-related provisions are not made. But if the government is prevented by the constitution from giving special treatment to any caste, then it would be pointless to engage in the zero-sum game of seeking special treatment by anyone.

But what about “disadvantaged people?” As certain as death, the fact is that not all individuals in society are equally capable of helping themselves. Some need help in the form of charity from their fellow beings. The operative phrase is “from their fellow beings.” That does not, and should not, imply that the government has any business in making transfers to some individuals in society at the expense of other individuals. Taking from one to give to another under the threat of violence (violence is promised on those who don’t pay taxes) is not charity but coercion.

Charity, both in the case of the giver and the receiver, is a personal matter. It is a private matter because its effects are private and there are no spillovers (externalities, in other words) to uninvolved third parties. How much charity to give and to whom is as private a matter for an individual as is his choice in all his other bilateral trades. The government has no role in dictating to an individual what to trade with whom, and similarly has no role in dictating how much to give and to whom.

The constitution must prohibit the government from engaging in any form of foreign or domestic “charity”. (“Charity” because the word is rendered meaningless when violence and coercion is involved in the act, as it necessarily does when the government gets in on the act.) Certainly, privately the citizens should be free to collectively organize charitable institutions and help the needy. The government’s role is limited to, as in all other cases, the prevention of fraud and deception under the guise of charity.

The necessary corollary of this constitutional bar on government charity is that foreign “charitable organizations” should also be prohibited because no self-respecting, self-sufficient society should have to depend on the charity of foreigners.

The prohibition against the government engaging in charity derives from a general rule which applies to a range of specific cases. The rule is that third parties have no role in transactions that involve only two parties and which don’t have any spillover effects (negative or positive) on third parties. If A wants to trade with B, and the trade does not cause any harm to anyone else, then no one, especially the government, should interfere in the trade.

If it’s not the government’s role to “develop the economy”, or to “help the needy”, or to “morally improve the society”, what then is the role of the government?

That I shall take up in the part 2 of this post. Should the government run railways, airlines, hotels, hospitals, bakeries, schools, educational institutions, and produce a variety of goods and services that the economy can produce on its own? The short answer is no.

We will address those and other points in subsequent posts.

by Atanu Dey at November 27, 2015 05:08 AM

Andrew Tobias

What A Species We Are

If we can do this — look at all the things that had to go right! (thanks, Mel) — shouldn’t we be able to solve less technically complex problems, like educating our kids and depolarizing our politics?



by A.T. at November 27, 2015 05:02 AM

India Real Time

In London Exhibition, Britain Faces Its Imperial Past in India

“Artist and Empire: Facing Britain’s Imperial Past,” which opened Wednesday and runs through April 10, features 200 objects and artworks that explore the British Empire.

by Anna Russell at November 27, 2015 05:01 AM

My Site My Way Support | Recent Topics

keylinm on "Couple of questions about Youtube + Awake 3.7 & WordPress 4.3"


Here is the page in question:

1) How can I can an extra BLANK line of space between the top video and where the text for the next one starts (Felix Mendelssohn....) I have tried putting in <br> but it shows up as text, rather than an empty line.

2) Is there anything I can do to make these videos automaticall play in 720, rather than 360? I tried adding ?hd=1 or &hd=1 at the end of the each YouTube link, but it still defauls to low-res

3) Should I upgrade to Awake 3.9 and is it compatible with WordPress 4.3.0 or 4.3.1? If so, where do I find the update?

by keylinm at November 27, 2015 04:25 AM

India Real Time

India Struggles for a Solution to Its ‘Missing Women’ Problem

The dramatic transformation in South Korea offers important lessons for Asian giants China and India –one-third of humanity that continues to give birth to significantly more males.

by Geeta Anand and Jaeyeon Woo at November 27, 2015 04:20 AM

elephant journal

An Open Letter of Reply: Who Did We Change our Facebook Photo for?

To the author, It was with a sense of sadness that I read your article Why I’m Not Turning My Facebook Photo Blue, White & Red. At best I found the article patronising, at worst I felt you misjudged the sentiment of an authentic, compassionate movement which allowed thousands around the world the opportunity to […]

by elephant journal at November 27, 2015 04:10 AM

NYT > Economy

Black Friday Retail Workers Try to Make the Most of a Shopping Slump

Employees of companies like American Apparel will be putting in extra effort to turn around what is shaping up to be a dismal shopping season.

by HIROKO TABUCHI at November 27, 2015 03:54 AM

craigslist | computer gigs in san diego

App developer looking for other motivated developers

Hi, I am a beginning iOS developer looking to find a motivated team member for an application idea (developer preferred). There wouldn't be payment involved, I am looking for a business partner. Contact me by email if you are interested in meeting [...]

November 27, 2015 03:35 AM

Zero Hedge

They Sow The Cyclone - We Reap The Blowback

Submitted by Dan Sanchez via,

“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind”?—?Hosea 8:7

It may be surprising to hear, but it is a plain historical fact that modern international jihad originated as an instrument of US foreign policy. The “great menace of our era” was built up by the CIA to wage a proxy war against the Soviets.

A 1973 coup in Afghanistan installed a new secular government that, while not fully communist, was Soviet-leaning. That was a capital offense from the perspective of America’s Cold War national security state, at the time headed by Henry Kissinger.

Conveniently for Kissinger, the dirt poor country was sandwiched between two US client states: Pakistan to the east and Iran (then still ruled by the CIA-installed Shah) to the west. Immediately after the coup, the CIA and the clandestine security agencies of Pakistan (ISI) and Iran (SAVAK) began regime change operations in Afghanistan, orchestrating and sponsoring Islamic fundamentalist insurrections and coup attempts.

Due to these efforts, as well as the government’s own oppressiveness, a widespread rebellion broke out in Afghanistan in 1978. In July 1979, US President Jimmy Carter, on the advice of National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, officially authorized aid to the puritanical Mujahideen rebels, to be delivered through the CIA’s “Operation Cyclone.” This was on top of the unofficial aid that the CIA had already been funneling to Afghan Islamist insurgents for years through Pakistan and Iran.

In a 1998 interview, Brzezinski openly admitted that he and Carter thus “knowingly increased the probability” that the Soviets would militarily intervene. And indeed Russia did invade in December 1979, beginning the decade-long Soviet-Afghan War. In the same 1998 interview, Brzezinski boasted:

“The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.”

Shortly thereafter, the highest cleric of Saudi Arabia (another US client) endorsed a fatwa proclaiming jihad against the atheist Soviets in Afghanistan as an obligation for all Muslims throughout the world. It should be noted that the Saudis have a narrow definition of a true “Muslim,” as they follow Wahhabism, one of the most extreme and intolerant strands of Islam, highly similar to ISIS’s own. Throughout the 1980s, Saudi Arabia also provided the Afghan Jihad with hundreds of millions of petrodollars in aid and tens of thousands of madrassa-indoctrinated volunteer fighters.

The CIA also heavily participated in recruitment for the increasingly international jihad. And this is where Osama bin Laden enters the picture. As political scientist and terrorism expert Eqbal Ahmad said in a 1998 speech:

“Money started pouring in. CIA agents starting going all over the Muslim world recruiting people to fight in the great jihad. Bin Laden was one of the early prize recruits. He was not only an Arab. He was also a Saudi. He was not only a Saudi. He was also a multimillionaire, willing to put his own money into the matter. Bin Laden went around recruiting people for the jihad against communism.

I first met him in 1986. He was recommended to me by an American official of whom I do not know whether he was or was not an agent. I was talking to him and said, ‘Who are the Arabs here who would be very interesting?’ By here I meant in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said, ‘You must meet Osama.’ I went to see Osama. There he was, rich, bringing in recruits from Algeria, from Sudan, from Egypt, just like Sheikh Abdul Rahman.”

The US publicly lionized the anti-Soviet jihadis. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan, who continued Carter’s Afghan policy, met with Mujahideen leaders in the Oval Office for a photo op, and released a statement which said:

“To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom.”


The glorification even extended to popular culture. In the climactic battle scene of 1988’s Rambo III, the heroic John Rambo is about to be overrun by Soviet forces when he is saved by a Mujahideen cavalry charge. The movie closed with onscreen text that read, “THIS FILM IS DEDICATED TO THE BRAVE MUJAHIDEEN FIGHTERS OF AFGHANISTAN.” After the US went to war with the Mujahideen’s successors in 2001, the dedication was changed to, “THE GALLANT PEOPLE OF AFGHANISTAN.”



The film even has Rambo’s mentor echoing Brzezinski when he screams at his Russian captor, “We already had our Vietnam! Now you’re gonna have yours!”

After a decade of bloody war, the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in February 1989. Later that year, the Berlin Wall fell and Romania left the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The year after, Poland and East Germany followed. And in 1991, the Warsaw Pact and then the Soviet Union itself both dissolved completely.

Brzezinski arrogantly took credit for this, claiming that his strategy of giving the USSR “its own Vietnam” brought about the Soviet “collapse.”

But it was not really a collapse. The Soviet Empire did not descend into failed-state chaos, the way Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia recently have thanks to the American War on Terror. That is what a true “collapse” looks like.

In contrast, what happened throughout the Soviet Empire was not a violent collapse, but a relinquishing of power and a generally peaceful dissolution. Such an outcome rarely results from war. To the contrary, war is the health of the State, as Randolph Bourne taught. War tends not to loosen, but to tighten a regime’s grip on power. It is not war, but peace and detente that can lead to peaceful dissolution. It is when people no longer feel so besieged by enemies abroad that they feel secure enough to demand greater freedom (even to the extent of full secession) from their “protectors” and rulers.

It was the Reagan-Thatcher-Gorbachev thaw of Reagan’s second term that created the necessary climate for ending the proxy war in Afghanistan. And it was the subsequent combination of far-abroad detente and near-abroad peace that created the necessary climate for the Soviet dissolution.

Brzezinski’s jihad did not win the Cold War. It only sowed the seeds for the Terror War.



In 1990, the US seized the emerging post-Berlin “unipolar moment” of peerless preeminence by launching its first globocop “police action”: the Persian Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.

Desert Storm was preceded by Operation Desert Shield, in which the US built up a military presence in Saudi Arabia (troops, arms, and bases) for use in staging attacks on Iraq in the upcoming war.

F-15Es parked during Operation Desert Shield.

Contrary to US promises, the military occupation of Saudi Arabia persisted after the war, as the bases were used to enforce a blockade on Iraq throughout the 90s (which starved over a half a million children). This had a twofold impact on Islamic radicalization.

As Lawrence Wright wrote in The New Yorker :

“The presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia was a shattering event in the country’s history, calling into question the ancient bargain between the royal family and the Wahhabi clerics, whose blessing allows the Saud family to rule. In 1992, a group of the country’s most prominent religious leaders issued the Memorandum of Advice, which implicitly threatened a clerical coup. The royal family, shaken by the threat to its rule, accommodated most of the clerics’ demands, giving them more control over Saudi society. One of their directives called for the creation of a Ministry of Islamic Affairs, which would be given offices in Saudi embassies and consulates. As the journalist Philip Shenon writes, citing John Lehman, the former Secretary of the Navy and a 9/11 commissioner, “it was well-known in intelligence circles that the Islamic affairs office functioned as the Saudis’ ‘fifth column’ in support of Muslim extremists.”

The occupation of the Arabian Peninsula also began Bin Laden’s vendetta against his former patrons. As Eqbal Ahmad told it:

“He turns at a particular moment. In 1990, the U.S. goes into Saudi Arabia with forces. Saudi Arabia is the holy place of Muslims, Mecca, and Medina. There had never been foreign troops there. In 1990, during the Gulf War, they went in, in the name of helping Saudi Arabia defeat Saddam Hussein. Osama Bin Laden remained quiet.

“Saddam was defeated, but the American troops stayed on in the land of the Ka’aba [the most sacred site of Islam, in Mecca], foreign troops. He wrote letter after letter saying, ‘Why are you here? Get out! You came to help but you have stayed on.’ Finally he started a jihad against the other occupiers. His mission is to get American troops out of Saudi Arabia. His earlier mission was to get Russian troops out of Afghanistan.”


Even after this turn, the western lionization of the the Soviet-Afghan War’s Mujahideen veterans, and of Bin Laden in particular, continued into the 90s. As late as December 1993, The Independent (a major British newspaper) even published a puff piece on Bin Laden, plastered with a huge photo of the smiling sheik, titled “ Anti-Soviet warrior puts his army on the road to peace.” The article lauded Bin Laden as a humanitarian, gushing over how the “Saudi businessman who recruited mujahedin now uses them for large-scale building projects in Sudan.”



As it turned out, his largest-scale project was to build up the international militia that the CIA helped him recruit into Al Qaeda, which he would then lead in a terror jihad against the West throughout the 90s. With that wave of attacks in mind, Brzezinski’s 1998 interviewers asked if he had any regrets over blowback from Operation Cyclone. The statesman was totally dismissive.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

Brzezinski: Nonsense!

Later in 1998, mere months after Brzezinski’s interview, Eqbal Ahmad delivered the exact opposite assessment of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, warning his American audience:

“They’re going to go for you. They’re going to do a lot more. These are the chickens of the Afghanistan war coming home to roost.”


Three years later, Brzezinski was proven spectacularly wrong, and Ahmad tragically right, when the terror jihad of Bin Laden’s Mujahideen-descended band of “stirred-up Moslems” culminated in the attacks of September 11, 2001.

During the planning of those attacks, Bin Laden and his inner circle were hosted by the Taliban, yet another band of Mujahideen-descended “stirred-up Moslems,” then ruling Afghanistan.

As Ahmad foretold, the chickens of the CIA’s Afghan Jihad (and of the Gulf War) had indeed come home to roost.

True to their names, Operations Cyclone and Desert Storm sowed the wind. Years later, it was 3,000 American civilians who reaped the whirlwind.

Incredibly, that whirlwind harvest was then reseeded, ensuring that still more civilians would later reap an even bigger whirlwind. Apparently cultivating chaos is the only trade that empires know. The regime and its kept news media sowed the whirlwind by exploiting America’s post-9/11 fear and anger to garner acquiescence for even larger and more frequent foreign misadventures: for a globe-spanning Long War that continues to this day.

First came the Afghanistan War against the Taliban and in pursuit of Al Qaeda. Almost inexplicably, Bin Laden escaped into hiding in US-alliedPakistan after being pinned down in the caves of Tora Bora. It is somewhat less inexplicable in light of the fact that the neocon-led Bush administration was trying to fear-monger the public into countenancing another war in Iraq, and that this involved pushing bogus intelligence connecting Saddam Hussein with Al Qaeda. At least until the regime got its post-9/11 bonus war, it was convenient to still have Dread Pirate Osama at large to keep America’s war fever up. Better dread than dead.



Similarly, in 2002, the Bush administration denied the military’s request for permission to kill another figurehead terrorist: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who had in the 80s been yet another recruit for the CIA’s Afghan Jihad. That too was likely about the administration getting its war in Iraq. At the UN, Secretary of State Colin Powell falsely identified Zarqawi as a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda (he was allied with neither, and an enemy of the former), in order to paint the planned invasion of Iraq as a necessary front in the War on Terror.

As it turned out it was the Iraq War itself that unleashed Zarqawi in 2003, freeing him to emerge from autonomous Kurdistan, where he had been hiding from Saddam’s security forces under the protective aegis of an American no-fly zone. His formerly obscure terrorist gang rapidly ascended amid the chaos of the Iraq War, becoming Al Qaeda in Iraq or AQI (after Zarqawi swore allegiance to Bin Laden), and then the Islamic State in Iraq or ISI (after Zarqawi was finally killed).

After suffering severe setbacks in Iraq, in 2011 the Zarqawiites began infiltrating neighboring Syria to take part in the insurgency against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Thereafter renaming itself ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), the group, along with its offshoot the Al Nusra Front and other Mujahideen militias, came to dominate that insurgency.

The growth of ISIS and Nusra in Syria was fed by the United States (the State Department, the Pentagon, and the CIA) and its Western and regional allies (the UK, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, etc.). By at least 2012, these powers had launched a veritable Operation Cyclone 2.0: recruiting, training, financing, and arming Mujahideen fighters for the purpose of overthrowing the secular ruler Assad (who, like the post-1973 secular Afghan regime, is an ally of Russia).

Just as in Afghanistan decades ago, young men, radicalized by the call to jihad and militarized by the promise of weapons and money, have poured in from countries throughout the Muslim world, and from Europe too. This has not only led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Syrians and the displacement of millions, but has turbo-boosted ISIS and Nusra in myriad ways.


US Senator John McCain with mujahideen from the Northern Storm Brigade.

The Syrian Jihad, like the Afghan Jihad, was preceded by less direct and lower grade subversion using militant Islamists. In the Afghan prelude, America’s dirty work was done by Pakistan and Iran. In the Syrian prelude, it was done by the Saudis and lesser Gulf Sheikdoms, who with US approval, began sponsoring anti-Assad Salafist militias in neighboring Lebanon as early as 2006.

There were voices even among the Saudis who, like Eqbal Ahmad, darkly forebode blowback from dealing with such devils. One former Saudi diplomat warned:

“Salafis are sick and hateful, and I’m very much against the idea of flirting with them. They hate the Shiites, but they hate Americans more. If you try to outsmart them, they will outsmart us. It will be ugly.”

Yet they were drowned out by voices who, like Brzezinski, shrugged off such concerns over “stirred-up Salafis.” A US government consultant related to the great journalist Seymour Hersh that:

This time… Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that ‘they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at…”

In other words: “Thanks for paying for our jihad in the 80s. And sorry about your towers. But this time around it’ll be totally different, trust us. Sincerely, the Wahhabis.”


Yet, regarding Syria, the American deep state has been just as much sinister as it has been gullible and hubristic, if not more. As a recently disclosed Pentagon intelligence report reveals, US planners knew full well that they were once again “sowing the cyclone,” and that others would soon “reap the blowback.” The report from 2012 predicted that supporting the Syrian insurgency would create “the ideal atmosphere” for ISIS “to return to its old pockets” in Sunni Iraq and also create “the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality” in the region.

And that is precisely what happened. In 2014, strengthened by the US-backed Syrian Jihad, ISIS burst back into “its old pockets” in Iraq, conquered the northwest of the country down to the gates of Baghdad, and declared a Caliphate (a Salafist Principality).


The wind sown by Operation Cyclone took two decades to fully germinate into the blowback that blew the Twin Towers down. Yet it only took two years for us to reap the whirlwind from the Syrian Jihad. Scott Horton proposes the term “backdraft” for blowback that is so prompt and predictable: like the firestorm that immediately erupts in your face upon opening the door of a burning hot room.

The US and its allies have opened the door to Hell in Syria. And the ensuing ISIS backdraft has lately spread far beyond Syria and Iraq, consuming 44 lives in the bombing of a Beirut marketplace, 224 lives with the bombing of a Russian airliner, and 130 lives with the recent attacks in Paris.



It took longer than it did in 1979, but America’s current proxy jihad has drawn in Russia once again. The chief difference is that this time, the US and its allies are not limiting themselves to covert ops, but are involving their air forces as well. This is ostensibly to “destroy” ISIS. However, the US-led coalition also wants the Assad regime gone, while the Russian-led coalition is trying to save it and to fight the US-supported non-ISIS Mujahideen as well (including Syrian Al Qaeda). So the countless warplanes buzzing over and bombing Syria are flying at cross purposes. This has turned the Levant into a nuclear powder keg.

And now, unthinkably, a US ally may have just lit a match. Just this week, Turkey shot down a Russian warplane. Two pilots were reportedly executed by anti-Assad insurgents in mid-air. A video has emerged on the internet of insurgents standing over one of the dead Russians saying “Allahu Akbar” and apparently calling themselves “Mujahideen.”

Remember, Turkey is a NATO member, who can drag the entire West into a thermonuclear war if it picks a big enough fight. The backdraft we reap from this latest American jihad may consume us all.

Even if we survive this near-term global existential crisis, our warlords have more in store for us. The Paris attacks especially have yielded yet another crop of fear and loathing in the West, which the tillers of terror are keen to plow right back into still more proxy warfare and mayhem.

But they cannot do so if we, their tax cattle, refuse to pull the plow or let them drive us like beasts of burden that are so easily spooked and prodded. We the people must convey that if they do not stop cultivating the storms of chaos, then we will cast off their yoke once and for all.


by Tyler Durden at November 27, 2015 03:10 AM

craigslist | computer gigs in san diego

Selecting immediately- csr representatives (San diego)

Plenty of chance for growth within the firm. Prefer previous working experience in this field to be considered for employment. We do have alternate positions for developers with little or no expertise. Our Research and Recruitment agency is looking [...]

November 27, 2015 02:38 AM

Zero Hedge

Government Historians Admit Statue Of Liberty Was Originally A Muslim Woman

This is likely to be a little tough to swallow for some Americans but The Statue of Liberty - symbolically welcoming the world's tired, poor, and huddled masses - was originally conceived as a Muslim peasant woman.



As The Hill reports, The Statue of Liberty was originally designed to be a Muslim woman, the Smithsonian Institution's magazine says.
An article on the government-administered museum’s blog, Smart News, claims one of the designers of Lady Liberty drew inspiration from monuments in Egypt and originally intended to construct a veiled female peasant on the Suez Canal.

The Statue of Liberty was originally conceived as a Muslim peasant woman and was to have stood at the approach to the Suez Canal, a lantern in her upraised hand serving as both lighthouse and a symbol of progress.


But the sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi of France, proved unable to sell the idea to the khedive of Egypt, Ishma’il Pasha. Bartholdi remained determined to erect a colossus on the scale of the one in ancient Rhodes. He sailed to America with drawings of the Muslim woman transformed to the personification of Liberty.


At first, Bartholdi considered the tip of Manhattan and Central Park as possible sites. He was on a ferry to Staten Island when he decided that Bedloe’s Island would be just the spot.

And there she now stands, the Muslim woman turned to Lady Liberty, the light in her upraised hand symbolizing so much more than simple progress, the inscription at the base words from the poet Emma Lazarus that are familiar to us all:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

As The Daily Beast concludes,

To truly be Lady Liberty, the figure built with kids’ coins and originally conceived as a Muslim must remain a Muslim as well as a Christian and a Jew and a Hindu and a Buddhist and every other faith, even no faith at all.

by Tyler Durden at November 27, 2015 02:35 AM

elephant journal

My Life Off Drugs.

Can I stay in it, no matter how badly I want to run from it?

by Rebecca Lammersen at November 27, 2015 01:58 AM

How Meditation Helps with Gummy Worms Up the Nose.

It matters less which practice we pick and more that we just pick a practice. And stick with it. Most importantly, give ourselves the time and space to let our meditation get real.

by elephant journal at November 27, 2015 01:07 AM

Low End Box

HostUS – $7/month 2GB OpenVZ LEB exclusive in Hong Kong and Sydney, and more

hostus us 2015-08-10 15-37-39Alexander, from HostUS, has sent us two LowEndBox exclusive offers to celebrate the start of the holiday season with you! One of these is located in the UK and USA, the other one in Hong Kong and Sydney! In most locations these offers some with free 20Gbps DDoS-protection, which is a very nice addition!

LEB Exclusive 1

  • 1GB RAM
  • 1GB vSwap
  • 2 vCPU cores
  • 45GB HDD space
  • 2TB transfer
  • 1Gbps uplink (USA)
  • 10Gbps uplink (UK)
  • 1x IPv4
  • 4x IPv6
  • OpenVZ/Breeze Panel
  • $7/quarter (USA)
  • $9/quarter (UK)
  • $20/year (USA)
  • $25/year (UK)
  • Order here
LEB Exclusive 2

  • 2GB RAM
  • 2GB vSwap
  • 4 vCPU cores
  • 70GB SSD space
  • 2TB transfer
  • 1Gbps uplink
  • 1x IPv4
  • 4x IPv6
  • OpenVZ/Breeze Panel
  • Sydney and Hong Kong
  • $7/month
  • Order here

More offers inside!

HostUS was founded in 2012 and has been featured on LowEndBox several times before. They are a registered business in the USA, though I believe Alexander himself is from the UK. They own their own IP ranges and hardware in the USA and the UK, whereas in Hong Kong and Sydney they have “partnered” with SoftLayer where they do announce their own IPs. It has been rumored that they have used a Softlayer Kickstarter fund for these locations, but Alexander assures me that is not the case.

Reviews are predominantly positive and a provider that has grown so consistently while investing heavily in their infrastructure makes me assign them the Resident Host tag. Three new locations are introduced in this offer: London, Sydney, and Washington DC (or well, close to that in any case)! That’s a nice expansion from their existing four locations and gives them a global footprint. IPv6 is available in all location, making them future-proof. If you are currently a customer or are becoming one as a result of this offer (and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t?) please leave your feedback in the comments!

We were also sent some regular offers besides the exclusive ones:


  • 768MB RAM
  • 768MB vSwap
  • 1 vCPU core
  • 20GB HDD space
  • 2TB transfer
  • 1Gbps uplink (USA)
  • 10Gbps uplink (UK)
  • 1x IPv4
  • 4x IPv6
  • OpenVZ/Breeze Panel
  • $10/year (USA)
  • $15/year (UK)
  • Order here

  • 6GB RAM
  • 6GB vSwap
  • 4 vCPU cores
  • 150GB HDD space
  • 5TB transfer
  • 1Gbps uplink (USA)
  • 10Gbps uplink (UK)
  • 1x IPv4
  • 4x IPv6
  • OpenVZ/Breeze Panel
  • $18/quarter (USA)
  • $21/quarter (UK)
  • Order here
HK/Sydney 256MB

  • 256MB RAM
  • 256MB vSwap
  • 1 vCPU core
  • 10GB SSD space
  • 500GB transfer
  • 1Gbps uplink
  • 1x IPv4
  • 4x IPv6
  • OpenVZ/Breeze Panel
  • Sydney and Hong Kong
  • $2.95/month
  • $25/year
  • Order here
HK/Sydney 768MB

  • 768MB RAM
  • 768MB vSwap
  • 2 vCPU cores
  • 20GB SSD space
  • 2TB transfer
  • 1Gbps uplink
  • 1x IPv4
  • 4x IPv6
  • OpenVZ/Breeze Panel
  • Sydney and Hong Kong
  • $15/quarter
  • $48/year
  • Order here

Host nodes have mostly dual Intel Xeon E5 CPUs, with some having single CPUs like a D-1540 or a single E5-1650. There’s a minimum of 64GB of RAM in each server, with most having more than 128GB. Like I’ve mentioned before, these high-RAM nodes are nice, but could be a performance risk when there’s a lot of smaller machines crammed onto one. That could not only affect CPU availability, but also IO. All host nodes have multiple hard drives in RAID10, with Hong Kong and Sydney having SSDs, Atlanta and London having SSD-cached drives, and the other locations having at least six normal drives.

Payments can be made using PayPal, Bitcoin, and Skrill (on request). All legal bits can be found here!

Network information

ATL01 – Atlanta, GA, USA
Test IPv4:
Test IPv6: 2602:ffc5::a4fe:d5f9
Looking glass:
DAL01 – Dallas, TX, USA
Test IPv4:
Test IPv6: 2602:ffc5:1f::14fd:d790
Looking glass:
DAL02 – Dallas, TX, USA
Test IPv4:
Test IPv6: 2602:ffc5:30::1:bc16
LAX01 – Los Angeles, CA, USA
Test IPv4:
Test IPv6: 2602:ffc5:20::1:e257
Looking glass:
WDC01 – Washington, D.C., USA (Herndon, VA)
Test IPv4:
Test IPv6: 2602:ffc5:40::1:ec35
Looking glass:
LON01 – London, United Kingdom (10Gbps)
Test IPv4:
Test IPv6: 2a06:8ec0:3::1:749f
Looking glass:
HKG01 – Hong Kong SAR, China
Test IPv4:
Test IPv6: 2402:9e80:0:1000::1:918b
Looking glass:
SYD01 – Sydney, NSW, Australia
Test IPv4:
Test IPv6: 2402:9e80:1::1:a4a4
Looking glass:
Also, check out their fancy Network Infrastructure page!

by Maarten Kossen at November 27, 2015 01:00 AM

Boy Genius Report

Google Play Cyber Weekend 2015 sale goes live with great deals on apps, movies, music

Google Play Cyber Weekend 2015 Sale

Android fans are getting an early gift from Google this year thanks to the Google Play Cyber Weekend 2015 sale that just went live. The sale gives Android users terrific deals on mobile apps, games, movies, music and more. We'll go over some of the highlights below.

Continue reading...

by Brad Reed at November 27, 2015 12:30 AM


Rails 5 Basics : Hello Rails

Read the second chapter from Rails 5 Quickly book online here Hello Rails

November 27, 2015 12:24 AM

November 26, 2015

elephant journal

Boy Genius Report

UFOlogist claims he’s spotted a gigantic Martian rodent in Curisotiy rover footage

Mars Rover Footage Giant Mouse

If there is one thing I cannot imagine doing, it's obsessively combing over footage beamed back to Earth from NASA's Curiosity rover to search for signs of Martian life, no matter how ridiculous they may seem. However there's an entire cult of people on the Internet that spend their days doing just that and one of them has spotted what he says might be a gigantic mouse on the surface of the Red Planet.

Continue reading...

by Brad Reed at November 26, 2015 11:25 PM

craigslist | computer gigs in san diego

Looking for partner for website/app project (Pacific Beach)

Looking to form a team with fun, motivated people to create an ambitious, and interesting project. Experience with websites and particular querying large databases would be great. Also, experience developing apps for both Android and iOS would be ve [...]

November 26, 2015 11:13 PM


Happy Thanksgiving!

Another year, another #Thanksgiving well done. — T-Mobile (@TMobile) November 26, 2015 The holiday season is officially in full swing, and today’s the day to enjoy time with your family, scarf down some food, and watch some football or prepare for Black Friday shopping. And maybe sneak in a little tech news, too. Thanks to all of you for continuing to read the site, ask questions and share answers, and ... [read full article]

by Alex Wagner at November 26, 2015 10:51 PM

elephant journal

Let Them in—it’s the Law.

Maybe we can't take them all---but to be upset about 10,000?

by elephant journal at November 26, 2015 10:35 PM


More Than 100 Detained Asylum-Seekers are Hunger Striking on Thanksgiving

A letter written by one of the detainees.

While families around the United States gather around their tables to overindulge on turkey and pie, 110 detained asylum-seekers at three different ICE centers in California and Alabama will be hunger striking to protest their two-year-long detainment.

The detainees, many of whom come from Bangladesh, are escaping persecution and violence in their home countries and fear being forcibly returned home. Many of them are targeted for their affiliations with the Bangladesh National Party (BNP), a political opponent to the current government. The BNP is currently classified by the Department of Homeland Security as a Tier III terrorist organization, a label immigrant advocacy groups adamantly reject.

“ICE is keeping these people in indefinite detention when they should be released,” said Fahd Ahmed, director of Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) in New York, in a press statement. “They came to this country seeking safety and instead have been placed behind bars to fill a detention bed quota for years at a time.”

The hunger strikers, who are currently jailed at the Theo Lacey, Otay, and Etowah Detention Centers, released an ambitious list of demands, including an end to all detentions and deportations, and improved conditions for detainees. Mahbubur, a detainee at the Etowah Detention Center in Alabama, wrote a letter describing their grim circumstances:

“If they are deported to Bangladesh the present government will persecute them accusing them of creating unrest or vandalism by bringing false charges against them. Many of us even attempted to commit suicide for fearing of the government retribution if deported. We appeal to the Department of Homeland Security and the government of the United Stated of America to consider our case on humanitarian ground and free us from this miserable detention. We want to live a honorable life and we would like to inform our families back home that we are in good condition in America.”

Earlier this month, more than a dozen advocacy groups sent the State Department a letter condemning the “disproportionately high” number of Bangladeshi asylum-seekers who are indefinitely detained at centers around the country. 

by Tasbeeh Herwees at November 26, 2015 10:25 PM

Boy Genius Report

Do this now: 3D Print your Star Wars BB-8 Christmas decorations

Star Wars BB-8 3D Printed Christmas

In a few weeks, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will premiere in cinemas across the world. Given this, we can expect the Star Wars universe to expand significantly as it adds many new characters, including a cute robot we’ve fallen in love ever since we saw him appear in the movie’s first trailers.

BB-8 is the robot in question and he has already became a hit toy with fans and has sold out in stores well before the movie’s launch.

And now, you can even 3D print your very own BB-8 Christmas decoration, using the following instructions.

Continue reading...

by Chris Smith at November 26, 2015 10:20 PM