Free Expression Activist and Poet Birgitta Jónsdóttir Joins EFF’s Advisory Board

EFF is thrilled to welcome Birgitta Jónsdóttir as a Technical Advisor on our Advisory Board. The founder of Iceland’s Pirate Party and a former member of Iceland’s Parliament, Birgitta is a poet, artist, and free expression and digital rights activist who is one of the world’s most inspiring voices for the possibility of the Internet as force for freedom.

Birgitta’s activism has been an inspiration to many, including EFF. In 2010, she worked with WikiLeaks to release a video of a U.S. helicopter gunning down a group of civilians and journalists in Baghdad. That put her on the radar screen of U.S. Justice Department, which sought to obtain her Twitter account records in an investigation of Wikileaks. read more

Rosenberg: “Is The Stock Market Flashing An Anti-Growth Signal?”

August has been an ugly month. Look around the world and most assets are suffering as the lagged reality of shrinking central bank balance sheets and a Fed-enabled dollar-shortage has sparked a renewed anxiety the likes of which we have not seen for a decade. There’s just one thing – despite all this turmoil, US stocks remain the cleanest dirty shirt as investor ignorance or faith continues to beggar belief.

David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates, feels the same way – questioning market participants’ cognitive dissonance: “The ‘Shining City on the Hill’ so far this month has seen eight economic data releases miss, three beat and one come in as expected. Nice start to Q3. read more

Jim Kunstler Exposes The Democratic Party’s “Three-Headed Monster”

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The faction that used to be the Democratic party can be described with some precision these days as a three-headed monster driving the nation toward danger, darkness, and incoherence.

Anyone interested in defending what remains of the sane center of American politics take heed:

The first head is the one infected with the toxic shock of losing the 2016 election. The illness took hold during the campaign that year when the bureaucracy under President Obama sent its lymphocytes and microphages in the “intel community” — especially the leadership of the FBI — to attack the perceived disease that the election of Donald Trump represented. The “doctors” of this Deep State diagnosed the condition as “Russian collusion.” An overdue second opinion by doctors outside the Deep State adduced later that the malady was actually an auto-immune disease. read more

Stocks, Yuan Jump On Reports Of US-China “Roadmap” For Trade-Talks

US equity markets are jumping to the highs of the day after the Wall Street Journal reports  that Chinese and U.S. negotiators are drawing a road map for talks to end trade deadlock, culminating with meetings between U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at multilateral summits in November, citing officials in both nations. As part of preparation for the November summit, the two nations have scheduled the previously disclosed midlevel talks in Washington next week, the news of which led to a sharp rebound in risk assets in recent days. read more

“Code Yellow”: Google Employees Revolt Over Clandestine China Project

Google employees have issued a “code yellow” alert to company executives over brewing opposition to a planned censored search engine in China, citing “urgent moral and ethical issues” in a letter circulated internally, reports The Intercept

Staff inside the internet giant’s offices have agreed that the censorship project raises “urgent moral and ethical issues” and have circulated a letter saying so, and calling on bosses to disclose more about the company’s work in China, which they say is shrouded in too much secrecy, according to three sources with knowledge of the matter. –The Intercept read more

“Unless Erdogan Changes Course,” El-Erian Warns Of “Much Wider Damage… Not Just In Turkey”

Authored by Mohamed El-Erian via Project Syndicate,

Rather than sticking with the approach taken by numerous other countries – including Argentina earlier this year – by raising interest rates and seeking some form of IMF support, Turkey has shunned both in a very public manner. Unless it changes course, the government risks much wider damage – and not just in Turkey.

Whether by accident or design, Turkey is trying to rewrite the chapter on crisis management in the emerging-market playbook. Rather than opting for interest-rate hikes and an external funding anchor to support domestic policy adjustments, the government has adopted a mix of less direct and more partial measures – and this at a time when Turkey is in the midst of an escalating tariff tit-for-tat with the United States, as well as operating in a more fluid global economy. How all this plays out is important not only for Turkey, but also for other emerging economies that already have had to cope with waves of financial contagion. read more

Just 4 Trading Days Until The Longest Bull Market Of All Time: What Happens Then

We’re almost there: in just 4 trading days, the S&P 500 “bull market” which has purchased by central banks with trillions in liquidity and by companies with even more trillions in buybacks, will become longest of all-time.

And yet away from the S&P, BofA’s Michael Hartnett notes that “there have been so many grizzly bond, commodity & equity market returns this year”: for example, global bonds are annualizing their worst price return (-3.5% local currency) since 1999; 11 of 21 commodity markets have experienced “bear” markets; 1254 ACWI constituents out of a universe of 2273 are in bear markets (i.e. down >20%). read more

Fitch: Turkey’s Actions Are Insufficient To Restore Policy Credibility

To contain the historic plunge of its currency, this week Turkey unleashed an unprecedented barrage of interventions in its market, if not the economy, mostly focusing on crushing short sellers and making shorting the Lira by speculators prohibitively expensive.  In fact just moments ago, the Turkish banking regulator launched yet another intervention:

  • *TURKEY EXPANDS LIMITS ON FX SWAPS TO SOME LIRA FORWARDS

The one thing Turkey did not do, is despite vague promises of fiscal reform and monetary stabilization, it continues to refuse to do the one thing investors across the globe demand: raise rates and tighten financial conditions. read more

Tech Flows Are Finally Rolling Over

While one wouldn’t see it by looking at the S&P 500 which in fits and starts continues to push toward its January all time highs, the latest weekly flows saw a broad “risk off” shift in investor mood, with $3.6BN out of equities ($0.7bn ETF outflows, $2.9bn mutual fund outflows), $2.3BN out of bonds, and $0.5BN out of gold.

Curiously, despite the so-called decoupling between the US and the rest of the world, investors weren’t convinced, and pulled $2.6BN out of US equity funds, despite the recent BofA survey showing the biggest equity overweight by fund managers in US stocks since Jan ’15. read more

US Doubles The Number Of Marines In Norway: No Big Deal Or Serious Threat To Russia?

The United States has confirmed plans to more double the number of troops based in Norway, a move Russia has already criticised as “clearly unfriendly”.

As The Local reports, the Norwegian Defence Ministry on Wednesday said that the US had recently informed them that they would push forward with a plan to increase the number of US marines stationed in Norway from 300 to “up to 700”.

“US authorities have recently confirmed that they are happy to continue and increase the rotation-based training and practice in Norway for units from the US Navy Corps,” Norwegian Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen said in a press release. read more