36% of Bitcoin Investors Plan to Commit Tax Fraud This Year
MeWe: A trip report
Among the more frequently mentioned G+ alternatives at the Google+ Mass Migration community, and others, is MeWe with over 250 mentions. The site bills itself as "The Next-Gen Social Network" and the "anti-Facebook": "No Ads, No Political Bias, No Spyware. NO BS. It is headed by professed Libertarian CEO Mark Weinstein. As the site reveals no public user-generated content to non-members, it's necessary to create an account in order to get a full impression. I thought I'd provide an overview based on recent explorations. This report leads of with background on the company, though readers may find the report and analysis of specific groups on the site of interest.
Founder & CEO Mark Weinstein. Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, Jonathan Wolfe (no longer with company). Weinstein previously founded SuperFamily and SuperFriends, "at the turn of the millennium". Weinstein's MeWe biography lists articles published by The Mirror (UK), Huffington Post, USA Today, InfoSecurity Magazine, Dark Reading, and the Nation. His media appearances include MarketWatch, PBS, Fox News, and CNN. He's also the author of several personal-success books. His Crunchbase bio is a repeat of the MeWe content.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Inventor of the World Wide Web.
Jack Canfield: Legendary Founder, Chicken Soup For The Soul.
John Friedman: Founding Partner, Easton Capital.
Cullen Hoback: Director, Terms and Conditions May Apply.
Dianne Morrison: Partner, MorrisonMcNabb, LLC.
Colin Sebastian: Director, Equity Research/Internet, RW Baird.
Brett Shevack: CEO, Brand Initiatives; Former Vice Chair, BBDO.
Marci Shimoff: author, Happy for No Reason.
Sherry Turkle: Professor, MIT; author Alone Together.
Ownership & Investment
MeWe is the dba of Sgrouples, a private for-profit early-stage venture company based in Los Angeles, though with a Mountain View HQ and mailing address, 11-50 employees, with $10m in funding over five rounds, and a $20m valuation as of 2016. Sgrouples, Inc., dba MeWe Trust & Safety - Legal Policy c/o Fenwick West 801 California Street Mountain View, CA 94041 Crunchbase Profile. Founded: 2012 (source) Secured $1.2M in seed funding in 2014. 2016 valuation: $20m (source] Backers:
John Friedman, venture capitalist, founder & MD, Easton Capital, New York, NY.
Do you have friends still on Facebook? Share this link with them about Facebook wanting their banking information - tell them to move to MeWe now! No Ads. No Spyware. No Political Agenda. No Bias Algorithms. No Shadow Banning. No Facial Recognition.
MeWe provide several policy-related links on the site:
California Disclosures -- Do Not Track, 3rd-party cookies, and California Privacy Rights.
Your Identity: We protect it to the extent the law allows
Linking to Third-Party Sites: These are your decisions and responsibilities
Security: HTTPS and Encryption
Terms of Service
The ToS addresses:
Allowable Content and Acceptable Use
Who Our Services are For
User Content Ownership
Misuse of Usernames, Page names, Group names
Fake Accounts (pseudonyms allowed, misleading is not)
More on Spam
Our Commitment to Data Security
MeWe Content Data
MeWe Log Data
Your Data Portability
Deleting Your Account -- Right to Erasure
MeWe Secret Chat
MeWe Invitations and "Add Automatically"
Additional Policies for Pages, Groups, and Events Notifications of Requests for Account Information
Guidelines for Law Enforcement Seeking Customer Data (Worldwide)
Ownership In and To the Site and Services
Effective: November 6, 2018.
The FAQ addresses:
What is MeWe (emphasises privacy)
The Politics of MeWe ("absolutely no political agenda")
How can MeWe be free and make money? (additional services/freemium)
Which devices is MeWe available on? (Android, iOS)
What content can I share on MeWe (photos, videos, documents, voice messages, privacy mail, chats, gifs, memes, doodles)
What are some unique features of MeWe?
Who can see the posts I share?
Can I delete my MeWe account and is it easy to do this?
This emphasises that people are social cratures and private people by right. The service offers the power of self expression under an umbrella of safety. It notes that our innermost thoughts require privacy. Under "We aspire...":
MeWe is here to empower and enrich your world. We challenge the status quo by making privacy, respect, and safety the foundations of an innovatively designed, easy-to-use social experience.
Totalling 182 words.
Privacy Bill of Rights
A ten-item statement of principles (possibly inspired by another document, it might appear):
You own your personal information & content. It is explicitly not ours.
You will never receive a targeted advertisement or 3rd party content based on what you do or say online. We think that's creepy.
You see every post in timeline order from your friends, family & groups. We do not manipulate, filter, or change the order of your content or what you see.
Permissions & privacy are your rights. You control them.
You control who can access your content.
You control what, if anything, others can see in member searches.
Your privacy means we do not share your personal information with anyone.
Your emojis are for you and your friends. We do not monitor or mine your data.
Your face is your business. We do not use facial recognition technology.
You have the right to delete your account and take your content with you at any time.
There are a few mentions of MeWe in the press, some listed on the company's website, others via web search.
The following articles are linked directly from MeWe's Press page:
The page also lists a "Privacy Revolution Required Reading" list of 20 articles all addressing Facebook privacy gaffes in the mainstream press (Wired, TechCrunch, Fortune, Gizmodo, The Guardian, etc.). There are further self-reported mentions in several of the company's PR releases over the years.
Facebook Alternative MeWe Raises $5.2M, Los Angeles Business Journal (July 7, 2018) "The latest round, as well as MeWe’s total $10 million in fundraising, was predominantly backed by celebrity investors, such as author Marci Shimoff, Rachel Roy, and Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com, which sold to Linkedin in 2015 for $1.5 billion. Jack Canfield, creator of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series, also invested in MeWe."
Is building a Facebook alternative worth the effort? MeWe thinks soVentureBeat (July 5, 2018) "[T]here are still companies hoping to make their mark in the social networking realm with “Facebook alternatives.” One of those is MeWe, a “next-generation” social network that positions itself as the anti-Facebook: “Your private life is not for sale. No ads. No Spyware. No BS,” its website proclaims." Continues to mention "modest $5.2 million" funding round. Also a "sister product", MeWePRO, a Slack competitor.
Startup MeWe Launches Free, 'No Ads' Social NetworkeWeek (March 16, 2016) "MeWe, a new network engineered with its users' data privacy built in, is betting that a lot of people will say yes to both of those questions. The Mountain View, Calif.-based startup, whose parent company is Sgrouples.com, launched its freely available social network out of beta March 9 with more than 200,000 members already using it.... Sir Tim Berners-Lee, co-architect of the World Wide Web, found out about MeWe on his own and approached the company about getting involved."
Facebook Alternative MeWe closes $5.2M Series A Yahoo/PR Newswire (July 5, 2018). "The investment brings MeWe's total funding to $10 million, to support the engineering of MeWe and the enterprise version MeWePRO.... The company has relied on high net worth individuals for all of its funding including Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com ...; Marci Shimoff, a #1 New York Times bestselling author ...; Rachel Roy...; and Jack Canfield."
Exactis Data Leak 2018: 340 Million Records ExposedInvestorPlace (June 29, 2018) "'Today's cookies can link your mobile phone to your laptop, to your home monitoring devices, and much, much more. Creepy? Scary? Orwellian? Yes, yes, yes,' Mark Weinstein, the privacy expert and founder of social media company MeWe, told MarketWatch. 'So imagine that Exactis, like Facebook, knows everything about you — really.'"
MeWe Raises $3M in FundingFinSMEs (March 9, 2016) "Sgrouples, Inc., the Mountain View, CA-based developer of MeWe, a social network with neither ads nor tracking, raised $3m in funding."
This section is a basic rundown of the user-visible site technology.
The site is not natively accessible from a mobile Web browser as it is overlayed with a promotion for the mobile application instead. Selecting "Desktop View" in most mobile browsers should allow browser-based access.
There are both Android and iOS apps for MeWe. I've used neither of these, though the App store entries note:
MeWe Android 4.4 rating (13.1k ratings). Permissions: Contacts (read), Location (approximate/precise), SMS (receive), Phone (read status & identity), Photos/Media/Files (read, modify, & delete contents), Storage (read, modify, or delete), Camera (take pictures/videos), Microphone (record audio), Device ID & Call Info (read status & identity), and numerous elements under Other.
Crunchbase cites 209,220 mobile downloads over the past 30 days (via Apptopia), an 80.78% monthly growth rate, from Google Play.
Either selecting "View Desktop" or navigating with a Desktop browser to https://www.mewe.com your are presented with a registration screen, with the "About", "Privacy Bill of Rights", "MeWe Challenge", and a language selector across the top of the page. Information requested are first and last name, phone or email, and a password. Pseudonymous identities are permitted, though this isn't noted on the login screen. Returning members can use the "Member Log In" button. The uMatrix Firefox extension reveals no third-party content: all page elements are served from mewe.com, img.mewe.com, cdn.mewe.com, or ws.mewe.com. (In subsequent browsing, you may find third-party plugins from, for example, YouTube, for videos, or Giphy, for animated GIFs.) The web front-end is nginx. The site uses SSL v3, issued by DigiCert Inc. to Sgrouples, Inc.
The onboarding experience is stark. There is no default content presented. A set of unidentified icons spans the top of the screen, these turn out to be Home, Chats, Groups, Pages, and Events. New users have to, somehow, find groups or people to connect with, and there's little guidance as to how to do this.
Generally there is a three panel view, with left- and right-hand sidebars of largely navigational or status information, and a central panel with main content. There are also pop-up elements for chats, an omnipresent feature of the site. Controls display labels on some devices and/or resolutions. Controls do not provide tooltips for navigational aid.
My Cloud - Seamlessly organize all your content in My Cloud; it's your personal cloud. My Cloud offers an interactive dashboard for you to control everything you’ve posted or shared - making it simple to delete or reshare.
Unique profiles - Be yourself, free from any tracking and spying. Customize your profile for every group you create or join.
Voice integration (on any or all content) - Post pictures, videos, or documents and include a voice message. Respond to a shared post or just chat. MeWe’s voice integration works for you and your contacts throughout the entire platform.
Universal tagging - This is a new, convenient way to sort and organize all the content you receive and share, making it easy to find everything, anytime.
Enhanced permission control (patent issued) - Manage permissions on a granular level and decide exactly who sees what. You can also remove yourself from the search directory, make yourself invisible to other members online, and much more.
Much More – join MeWe today and take a look inside! MeWe is the next-gen social networking experience designed for you to have fun, stay in touch, collaborate, organize, and simplify.
A key aspect of any social network is its community. Some of the available or ascertained information on this follows.
Weinstein claims a "million+ following inside MeWe.com" on Twitter. The largest visible groups appear to have a maximum of around 15,000 members , for "Awesome gifs". "Clean Comedy" rates 13,350, and the largest open political groups, 11,000+ members. This compares to Google+ which has a staggering, though Android-registrations-inflated 3.3 billion profiles, and 7.9 million communities, though the largest of these come in at under 10 million members. It's likely that MeWe's membership is on the whole more more active than Google+'s, where generally-visible posting activity was limited to just over 9% of all profiles, and the active user base was well under 1% of the total nominal population.
MeWe do not publish active users (e.g., MUA / monthly active users) statistics.
MeWe is principally a group-oriented discussion site -- interactions take place either between individuals or within group contexts. Virtually all discovery is group-oriented. The selection and dynamics of groups on the site will likely strongly affect user experience, so exploring the available groups and their characteristics is of interest. "MeWe has over 60,000 open groups" according to its FAQ. The Open groups -- visible to any registered MeWe user, though not to the general public Web -- are browsable, though sections and topics must be expanded to view the contents: an overview isn't immediately accessible. We provide a taste here. A selection of ten featured topics spans the top of the browser. As I view these, they are:
Health & Fitness
Cars & Motorcycles
Fashion and Beauty
Specific groups may appear in multiple categories. The top Groups within these topics have, variously, 15,482, 7,738, 15,482 (dupe), 7,745, 8,223, 8,220, 1,713, 9,527, 2,716, and 1,516 members. Listings scroll at length -- the Music topic has 234 Groups, ranging in size from 5 to 5,738 members, with a median of 59, mean of 311.4, and a 90%ile of 743.5. Below this is a grid of topics, 122 in all, ranging from Activism to Wellness, and including among them. A selected sample of these topics, with top groups listed members in (parens), follows:
Activism: QAnon+++ (2,572), PATRIOT PREPPERS USA (2,430), Deplorables Republic (2,48), The War Drummer (1,898), Patriots for a United America. (1894), Anonymous (1,700).
Alternative Energy: Reiki, Crystals, and alternative healing (2,114), 💜Starseeds & Empaths💜 (345), Living in Colour (365).
Alternative Lifestyle: Natural Healing and Home Remedies (3,045), Backyard Farming of All Things (2,696), WeTheSheeple (2,251).
Alumni Connections: Google Plus Refugees (271), Google+ Refugees (186), Frog Pond (156), Carlsbad NM High School alumni (57).
Animals: I Love My Dog (4,421), Pussy Shots (4,619).
Astronomy: Spherical Earth Truth, Flat Earth is Wrong (278), Nibiru, Nemesis, Hercolobus, The Destroyer (187).
Biology: Trees (344), Field of Birds (104), Patriots of Australia (51).
Personal Improvement: For Introverts. (1,214), Anarchy, Philosophy, Psychology, and Spirituality (679), Positive Affirmations (447).
Philosophy: In5d Esoteric Metaphysical and Spiritual Database (1,764), Thought Bouncing (1,137), Obtectivists - Galts Gulch - Ayn Rand fans (561).
Poetry: Dead Poest (1,407), Palacio de Poetry (451), Poets Corner (412).
Politics: Donald J. Trump 2016 - Present (11,486), The Conservative's Hangout (8,345), Qanon Follow The White Rabbit (5,600), Drain The Swamp (4,978), Libertarians (4,528), United We Stand Trump2020 (4,216).
Pop Culture: The Loftus Party (116), The Walking Dead: The Stalking Dead (100), Tyler, Texas (71).
Privacy: Join the Open/Privacy Movement (3974), Kingsport tn gun trader (1,157), Safer Computing (555).
To be clear: whilst I've not included every topic, I've sampled a majority of them above, and listed not an arbitrary selection, but the top few Groups under each topic.
Google Plus expats (1,862)
Google+ Refugees (186)
G+ Refugees (101)
my Google+ expatriates
The Google Plus expats group seems the most active of these by far.
It's curious that MeWe make a specific point in their FAQ that:
At MeWe we have absolutely no political agenda and we have a very straightforward Terms of Service. MeWe is for all law-abiding people everywhere in the world, regardless of political, ethnic, religious, sexual, and other preferences.
There are 403 political groups on MeWe. I won't list them all here, but the first 100 or so give a pretty clear idea of flavour. Again, membership is in (parentheses). Note that half the total political Groups memberships are in the first 21 groups listed here, the first 6 are 25% of the total.
Donald J. Trump 2016 - Present (11486)
The Conservative's Hangout (8345)
Qanon Follow The White Rabbit (5600)
Drain The Swamp (4978)
United We Stand Trump2020 (4216)
The Right To Self Defense (3757)
Alternative Media (3711)
Hardcore Conservative Patriots for Trump (3192)
Bastket Of Deplorables4Trump! (3032)
Return of the Republic (2509)
Infowars Chat Room Unofficial (2159)
Donald Trump Our President 2017-2025 (2033)
Berners for Progress (1963)
Sean Hannity Fans (1901)
The American Conservative (1839)
I Am The NRA (1704)
Tucker Carlson Fox News (1645)
We Love Donald Trump (1611)
MAGA - Make America Great Again (1512)
news from the front (1337)
Basket of Deplorables (1317)
Payton's Park Bench (1283)
Convention of States (1282)
Britons For Brexit (1186)
MoJo 5.0 Radio (1180)
MeWe Free Press (1119)
The Constitutionally Elite (1110)
WOMEN FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP (1032)
AMERICANS AGAINST ISIS and OTHER ENEMIES (943)
#WalkAway Campaign (894)
ALEX JONES (877)
The Lion Is Awake ! (854)
We Support Donald Trump! (810)
The Stratosphere Lounge (789)
TRUMP-USA-HANDS OFF OUR PRESIDENT (767)
Official Tea Party USA (749)
Mojo50 Jackholes (739)
Yes Scotland (697)
"WE THE DEPLORABLE" - MOVE ON SNOWFLAKE! (688)
Judge Jeanine Pirro Fans (671)
Ted Cruz for President (650)
No Lapdog Media (647)
Q Chatter (647)
Daily Brexit (636)
Tucker Carlson Fox News (601)
The Trumps Storm Group (600)
QAnon-Patriots WWG1WGA (598)
100% American (569)
Ladies For Donald Trump (566)
Deep State (560)
In the Name of Liberty (557)
Material Planet (555)
Trump NRA Free Speech Patriots on MeWe Gab.ai etc (546)
Magna Carta Group (520)
Constitutional Conservatives (506)
Question Everything (503)
Conspiracy Research (500)
Bill O'Reilly Fans (481)
Conservative Misfit's (479)
Canadian politics (478)
HARDCORE DEPLORABLES (454)
Tampa Bay Trump Club (445)
UK Politics (430)
Bongino Fan Page (429)
Radical Conservatives (429)
RESIST THE RESISTANCE (419)
The Deplorables (409)
America's Freedom Fighters (401)
Politically Incorrect & Proud (399)
CONSERVATIVES FOR AMERICA ! (385)
Political satire (383)
RISE OF THE RIGHT (371)
UK Sovereignty,Independence,Democracy -Everlasting (366)
The Patriots Voting Coalition (359)
End The Insanity (349)
Coming American Civil War! (345)
Constitutional Conservatives (343)
United Nations Watch (342)
A Revival Of The Critical Thinking Union (337)
The New Libertarian (335)
Libertarian Party (official ) (333)
DDS United (Duterte Die-hard Supporters) (332)
American Conservative Veterans (331)
America Needs Donald Trump (326)
The UKIP Debating Society (321)
Coalition For Trump (310)
FRIENDS THAT LIKE JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY (292)
2nd Amendment (287)
Never Forget #SethRich (286)
Green Party Supporters 2020 (283)
It seems there is relatively little representation from the left wing, or even the centre, of the political spectrum. A case-insensitive match for "liberal" turns up:
104: Conservatives Against Liberal Beliefs C.A.L.I.B (273)
184: Progressive and Liberal Politics (119)
301: Liberalism is a Mental Disorder (33)
302: Resistance Against Liberal Socialism (33)
358: NOT For Liberals (17)
367: Drinking Liberally Houston (14)
400: Stephanie Miller's Sexy Liberal Army (6)
Mainstream political parties are little represented, though again, the balance seems skewed searching on "(democrat|republic|gop)":
391: Saving The Republic: Video News & Opinion (8)
The terms "left" and "right" provide a few matches, not all strictly political-axis aligned:
7: The Right To Self Defense (3757)
80: RISE OF THE RIGHT (371)
150: POLITICS ON THE LEFT (156)
157: 1st Amendment Rights Protected By The 2nd Amendmen (141)
209: On The Left With Jeremy Corbyn (84)
262: Eyes-Left Labour & PP - Social Media (49)
300: Gather Left (33)
385: Defend Washington State Gun Rights (9)
390: Left Coast Conservatives (8)
Socialism and Communism also warrant a few mentions:
121: Revolutionary Socialists United (204)
216: Socialist Thought (79)
220: Stories Of Communism (76)
262: Eyes-Left Labour & PP - Social Media (49)
288: Snuggly Wuggly Socialists (38)
302: Resistance Against Liberal Socialism (33)
And there are some references to green, laboulabor parties:
97: FRIENDS THAT LIKE JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY (292)
100: Green Party Supporters 2020 (283)
262: Eyes-Left Labour & PP - Social Media (49)
320: Green Party of Ohio Issues & Discussion Group (29)
Whilst there may not be a political agenda, there does appear to be at least a slight political bias to the site. And a distinctive skew on many other topical subjects. Those seeking new homes online may wish to take this into account.
Various typos and tagging corrections. 2018-11-29 - 30
Added G+MM references count for MeWe to lede paragraph. 2018-12-2
USD (DXY) up 0.08%, EUR down 0.04%, GBP down 0.50%, JPY down 0.12%, CNY Onshore up 0.12%, CNH Offshore up 0.02%, AUD down 0.23%
VIX up 0.65% to 9.25
Gold up 0.13% to $1,269.01
Silver down 0.11% to $16.62
Copper up 0.25% to $305.40
WTI Crude down 0.79% to $50.39
Brent Crude down 0.18% to $56.90
Natural Gas down 0.44% to $2.91
Corn down 0.07% to $3.49/bu
Wheat up 0.06% to $4.41/bu
Bitcoin up 1.55% to $4,414.56
Treasuries 2yr yields are up ~1.3bps at 1.500%, 10yr yields are up ~1.6bps at 2.364% and 30yr yields are up ~0.9bps at 2.899%
Japan 10yr yields 0.045%, up ~1.0bps on the day
France 10yr yields 0.750%, up ~1.9bps on the day
Italy 10yr yields 2.156%, up ~1.8bps on the day
Spain 10yr yields 1.704%, up ~1.8bps on the day
Germany 10yr yields 0.474%, up ~2.2bps on the day
What’s happening this morning? It was another slow evening of news other than the German Aug factory order numbers (which were very strong although the euro and Eurozone stocks are both in the red), a few US earnings reports (COST and YUMC), andsome M&A (GIMO, HON, JWN, PENN/PNK, SNCR, and more). The overall macro narrativeremains the same as it was at the Thurs close (see below for an update on the macro narrative as well as potential upcoming risks). The major Asian indices generally saw gains – TPX +0.28%, NKY +0.3%, Hang Seng +0.28%, HSCEI +0.54%, Taiwan +0.14%, Australia +1.04%, and India +0.5-7% (mainland China and Korea were both closed). There weren’t any huge themes in Asia although Macau casino stocks were weak in HK on back of underwhelming Golden Week visitor numbers (autos and financials led HK on the upside). Australia’s 1% rally was led by banks, miners, and telecoms. The major Eurozone indices are trading off small (~10-20bp); autos are outperforming while banks, retail, energy, and utilities lag. The GBP is extending its losses from Thurs amid more uncertainty around UK PM May (the DXY spiked ~50bp Thurs and is up small so far Fri morning). US S&P futures are trading down 1-2 points.
Calendar for Fri 10/6 – the focus will be on the US jobs report for Sept (8:30amET), US wholesale inventories/trade sales for Aug (10amET), US consumer credit for Aug (3pmET), and Fed speakers (Kaplan 8:30amET on CNBC, Bostic 9:15amET, Dudley 12:15pmET, Kaplan 12:45pmET, and Bullard 1pmET). o US jobs preview – there is very little anticipation or focus on the Sept jobs report (Fri morning 8/6 8:30amET) as 1) most are anticipating large storm-related distortions and 2) at this point in the cycle it only requires ~75K monthly adds to keep the UR steady (as was discussed in this JPMorgan report http://bit.ly/2fbT6cE). The St is in print at +80K for adds (vs. ADP for Sept at +135K and Aug BLS +156K) w/a 4.4% UR (unchanged w/Aug) and wages +0.3% M/M and +2.5% Y/Y (vs. Aug +0.1% M/M and +2.5% Y/Y). It’s very difficult to see the Sept BLS report changing the near-term US monetary policy trajectory (w/ongoing normalization and a FF hike on 12/13). The potential for a hike on 11/1 is very low and if anything the Sept CPI on Fri 10/13 may be a more important data point than jobs on Fri 10/6. Instead, the bigger Fed uncertainty has nothing to do w/data or policy but instead concerns staffing (i.e. who will be the next chair? A Trump announcement could come as soon as next week – Powell and Warsh are the frontrunners according to media reports w/the former appearing to have a slight edge).
Top Headlines for Friday
Eco data recap for Fri morning 10/6 – the big data came out of Germany where factory orders for Aug beat expectations by a wide margin (orders +3.6% M/M vs. the St +0.7% and +7.8% Y/Y vs. the St +4.7%). See JPMorgan’s comments on the German data (http://bit.ly/2y42sh4). Japan’s wage inflation figures for Aug were soft, as expected (http://bit.ly/2kuygr0). o Fed chair – markets would be comfortable w/any of the main candidates (including Powell, Warsh, Cohn, Yellen, etc.) w/the exception of one person: John Taylor. Bloomberg. o Fed update – Kansas City Fed President George spoke Thurs night and said the US economy needed further rates hikes (http://cnb.cx/2kqTiqj). JPMorgan’s Mike Feroli published an updated FOMC hawk/dove chart following the confirmation of Quarles (http://bit.ly/2z1jSti). o Japan’s “Party of Hope” unveils an economic agenda that pledges to rely less on aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus – Reuters http://reut.rs/2ghahXu o AUD hit as RBA’s Harper doesn’t rule out a rate cut in a WSJ article. http://on.wsj.com/2xW3nkD
UK PM May the subject of more speculation amid disclosure of plot to topple her; former party chairman, Grant Shapps, said May’s leadership should now be challenged. Reuters http://reut.rs/2yMrmzB
Spain/Catalonia – Spain’s Constitutional Court ordered the suspension of the Catalan parliament’s regional session scheduled for Mon; Catalonia had planned on declaring independence at the session. Reuters http://reut.rs/2xlDfjC o Spain’s gov’t will change rules and make it easier for firms to move their legal base out of Catalonia – Reuters http://reut.rs/2z1WQCF
Tax update - there is a lot of focus on taxes in the US as the Senate Budget Committee (right at the Thurs close) and the full House (at ~1pmET Thurs afternoon) advance budget resolutions (the full Senate will presumably vote within the next two weeks). This is a necessary step in the tax process (as these resolutions contain the reconciliation instructions allowing tax to pass via a simple majority in the Senate) but also a relatively minor one. Far more complicated will be agreeing on rates, deduction schedules, deficits, etc., and if anything all the press in the last few days and weeks point to divisions within the GOP on these matters being larger than anticipated. o Schumer warns that the proposal to eliminate the SALT deduction will kill the GOP tax plan – Bloomberg. https://bloom.bg/2xXX8KL o GOP desire to repeal the estate tax runs into resistance - from Republicans. As a result this piece of the 9/27 tax blueprint (among others) may wind up being scrapped - WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2gf9G8E o Fed officials express concern over tax plans – Fed officials warned the tax plan may only provide a temporary boost to growth while fueling inflation and driving debt to unsustainable levels – Reuters http://reut.rs/2xWMrdG
Republican headaches keep growing as donors withhold money, a tax consensus fails to materialize, and “establishment” figures depart the scene (Strange losing to Moore, Corker retiring, etc.). Republican leaders are increasingly concerned about the party’s grip on the House and Senate should it fail to pass a tax bill. Leaders “fear that the inchoate populism that Mr. Trump personifies, and which Mr. Bannon is attempting to weaponize against incumbents, is on the march” – NYT http://nyti.ms/2y3lUKT
Trump looks to jolt NAFTA – the White House is considering a proposal that would represent a radical shift to the principles underlying NAFTA. According to rule changes being considered, automobiles would need to have a specific level of US-made content in order to qualify for tariff breaks (right now autos only need to have a specific level of content from within the NAFTA region). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2y4LXlo
Trump makes cryptic comment ahead of a dinner with US military leaders. Trump said the dinner might represent “the calm before the storm”. Asked repeatedly by reporters to clarify his comments, Trump said, “You’ll find out” – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2xXI2r6
Trump was “furious” over NBC’s Tillerson “moron” article; John Kelly was forced to rearrange his schedule and stayed in Washington in order to try and calm tensions – NBC. http://nbcnews.to/2fOGx3B
Iran/Trump – Trump will “decertify” the Iran nuclear accord next week (speech on 10/12) and declare the agreement as not being in the US national interest according to the Washington Post (article out at ~2:40pmET Thurs afternoon). This is consistent w/what the AP and Politico reported earlier in the week. Note that Trump’s 10/12 declarations won’t end the Iranian nuclear pact as it will be up to Congress whether re-impose sanctions on Tehran (and Trump will hold off on recommending such a step). Washington Post http://wapo.st/2z1zeOw o Decertifying the Iran Deal Wouldn’t Have to Kill It – WSJ http://on.wsj.com/2y40dKY
North Korea – US lawmakers are pressuring the Trump White House to toughen sanctions against North Korea – WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xlKdVQ
The Economist's lead article this week speaks to sentiment at the moment and this is one of the big reasons why stocks are proving to be so resilient. "Asset prices are high across the board. Is it time to worry?" (http://econ.st/2xVXOjv). o The WSJ notes that a key European junk-bond index is now yielding less than 10yr US TSYs although it offers a reasonable explanation for this ostensibly irrational price level – WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xkwYVb
Company-specific news update from Thurs night. There were a few earnings reports out Thurs AMC but for the most part it was another slow evening. COST EPS beats thanks to better SG&A and favorable tax while GMs were light; Sept same-store-sales beat w/upside in the US (the stock ended down 3% during the Thurs after-hours trading session). YUMC’s results came in ahead of expectations (EPS/same-store-sales) and it increased capital return. SNCR reentered M&A talks w/Siris Capital (Siris is looking to buy SNCR’s Intralinks and may take a ~20% equity stake in SNCR); SNCR ended up ~27% during the Thurs after-hours trading session. According to the WSJ, HON is pursuing an acquisition of Evoqua Water Tech in a deal that could be worth $3B (http://on.wsj.com/2yseCSp). The WSJ reported (during trading on Thurs http://on.wsj.com/2xjE24p) on merger talks between PENN and PNK (the firms have been unable to agree to terms but PENN is still interested in buying PNK).
JWN buyout not completely dead – the Nordstrom family is exploring a new deal structure w/Leonard Green that would involve less debt. The family is trying to raise more equity (although it isn’t clear where the money will come from). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2ggTvbh
GIMO – Elliot’s takeover talks w/the company have ground to a halt according to Reuters over price disagreements – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fNCepo
SUM, ASHG – SUM has made a rival bid for ASHG as it looks to scuttle the existing Ash Grove-CRH PLC transaction. Ash Grove’s board said the offer could result in a superior proposal and that it would engage in talks with the third party. Bloomberg.
AMZN: the one market where Amazon is failing to dominate: Hollywood. The WSJ discusses AMZN’s failure to become a force in content. WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xZcJtr
Macau casino stocks slump during Fri trading as Golden Week visitor numbers disappoint expectations – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2fOuGmd
Identifying risks – what could go wrong?
Reflation enthusiasm is undercut by less aggressive CB normalization, dramatic curve flattening, and/or a softening in nominal growth. Of all the reflation pieces (monetary policy normalization, expansionary fiscal policy, firming inflation, and ongoing real growth strength), the last piece (real growth) is increasingly being taken for granted.
Bank investors wind up focusing too much on reflation/yields (which are tailwinds) but miss weakening credit (higher provisions) and tepid loan growth.
The first speech by the next Fed chair unsettles sentiment (assuming the chair isn’t Yellen).
The tax process slows in Washington as Republicans prove incapable of reaching a consensus on rates, deductions, and deficits.
Paul Ryan decides to “pull a Boehner”, stepping down as Speaker out of frustration with his inability to pass legislation.
The final tax bill results in materially higher rates for upper-income Americans.
May winds up stepping down as UK PM, sowing ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
Abe does much worse than anticipated during the upcoming Japan election (10/22).
North Korea conducts an above-ground nuclear bomb test (or even worse, an atmospheric test).
Iran decides to resume its nuclear weapons program, sparking an immediate escalation of Middle East geopolitical tensions (Trump’s Iran speech is coming up on 10/12).
Washington introduces (or threatens to introduce) tough new regulations aimed at internet/social media companies following the Russia election investigations (note that US internet giants will be testifying before Congress on 11/1).
Prominent members of the Trump team decide to leave the gov’t (the market would be particularly sensitive to Tillerson, Mattis, Kelly, and/or Cohn departing; recent media reports suggest the Tillerson-Trump relationship is particularly strained).
The pro-reflation bias commenced back on 9/11 and has been propelled ever since by ongoing real growth strength, firming inflation, normalizing monetary policy/rhetoric, and expansionary fiscal policy (in particular in the US w/the 9/27 tax blueprint but also in Germany following that country’s election outcome and fin min change).
This enthusiasm can extend for a few more weeks but the ECB/BOE decisions (on 10/26 and 11/2, respectively) will mark the culmination of a series of pro-reflation catalysts/developments and thus the trade may enter a period of extended consolidation around those central bank events.
Meanwhile the nuances of this present reflation process aren’t being appreciated – growth and corporate earnings are late-cycle (not early), multiples are already rich (although not necessarily ridiculous), inflation is only very gradually firming to target, the economy faces enormous structural headwinds in the form of labor supply and productivity growth, and while central banks are normalizing policy will stay extremely accommodative for years to come (the structural headwinds and slow tightening pace will prevent yields from materially rising and curves from significantly steepening).
The tenor of sentiment is beginning to evolve and there is definitely greater frustration w/people being forced to participate in a tape many don’t particularly love at present levels – this helps fuel runs such has occurred over the last few weeks (the SPX hasn’t closed in the red since Mon 9/25) but it also makes for a precarious setup w/a lot of weak “renters” who will be quick to sell the minute momentum pauses.
Bottom Line: the lack of major catalysts is helping the rally propagate and the calendar is relatively clear until earnings (which kick off w/banks on Thurs 10/12). The reflation impetus will likely stay in place into the ECB/BOE (10/26 and 11/2, respectively) after which a consolidation (at least) is likely (note that a lot of the “easy” tax steps are occurring now – the blueprint on 9/27, the budget resolutions, etc. However, reaching a consensus on rates, deductions, and deficits will be extremely difficult and this will become more apparent later in Oct and into Nov, around the same time as the ECB/BOE decisions).
Calendar of events to watch for the week of Mon Oct 9
Calendar for the week of 10/9 – overall it should be a relatively slow week although a few items are in focus. The current reflation emphasis makes the US CPI on Fri 10/13 prob. the single most important eco data point of the week but there are other numbers in focus (German trade/IP for Aug and China imports/exports for Sept). The CQ3 earnings season kicks off in earnest with the banks on Thurs and Friday. Away from scheduled events, media reports suggest Catalonia could formally declare independence on Mon (although this could easily be delayed following court challenges and as the region’s leaders seek a settlement w/Madrid) while the White House may unveil its infrastructure spending blueprint during the week of 10/9 (http://bit.ly/2wwiop9). South Korean security officials have warned that North Korea may fire additional missiles between 10/10 and 10/18 while Trump’s Fed chair selection could come soon (media reports suggest Powell and Warsh are the two frontrunners). Trump is expected to deliver an Iranian policy speech on/around Thurs 10/12 during which he will declare the nuclear deal as no longer being in the US national interest. HON has said it will announce its formal portfolio review decision prior to earnings (media reports, including on CNBC, suggest it will retain its aerospace unit).
Calendar for Mon 10/9 – the day should be pretty quiet owing to the US Columbus Day holiday (equities will be open but fixed income is closed). The focus will be on the China FX reserve numbers for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning 10/7), the China Caixin services PMI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning), Germany’s industrial production for Aug (2amET), and earnings (LVMH reports results after the European close).
Calendar for Tues 10/10 – the focus will be on the German trade figures for Aug (2amET), a bunch of analyst meetings (including TECD, Santander, WDAY, and WMT), the PG shareholder meeting (at which the Trian/Peltz board seat request will be voted on), and earnings (CUDA after the close).
Calendar for Wed 10/11 – the focus will be on the US JOLTs report for Aug (10amET), Fed minutes from the 9/20 meeting (2pmET), analyst meetings (KR), and earnings (DAL, BLK, FAST, and OZRK before the open).
Calendar for Thurs 10/12 – the focus will be on Eurozone IP for Aug (5amET), the US PPI for Sept (8:30amET), Trump’s Iran speech, analyst meetings (BOX, HPQ, LSCC, and WDC), and earnings (C, DPZ, JPM, LNN, Sky PLC, and Tata Consultancy pre-open).
Calendar for Fri 10/13 – the focus will be on China’s imports/exports for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning), the US CPI for Sept (8:30amET), US retail sales for Sept (8:30amET), the Michigan Confidence numbers for Oct (10amET), US business inventories for Aug (10amET), analyst meetings (SAFM), and earnings (BAC, DRFG, FHN, FRC, JBHT, Man Group, PNC, and WFC pre-open).
Catalysts – big events to watch over the coming months
China mainland markets closed Mon 10/2-Fri 10/6 for the National Day holiday.
US jobs report for Sept – Fri 10/6.
US infrastructure spending - the Trump White House may unveil its long-anticipated infrastructure plan during the week of 10/9 according to House Transport chairman Rep. Bill Shuster.
North Korea - South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said he expected Pyongyang to act around Oct. 10 and 18 (Reuters).
WMT analyst meeting – Tues 10/10 (note that KR has an analyst meeting the next day, Wed 10/11).
PG shareholder meeting – Tues 10/10 (decision to be made on Peltz’s board seat request).
Fed minutes – minutes from the 9/20 meeting will be released Wed 10/11. 2pmET.
HON – the co will announce its portfolio review decision before earnings in Oct.
Iran - Trump is planning to deliver an Iran policy speech on 10/12 and he is expected to say that the landmark 2015 nuclear deal is no longer in the U.S. national security interest (AP)
Bank earnings – the CQ3 earnings season kicks off w/Citigroup and JPM Thurs morning 10/12 while BAC, PNC, and WFC all report Fri 10/13.
US inflation – the Sept CPI will hit Fri 10/13.
IMF/World Bank - 2017 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund. Oct 13-15 in Washington.
CQ3 earnings – the week of Mon 10/16 is the first busy week of the CQ3 reporting season.
Fed chair decision during the week of 10/16? Based on Trump’s “two to three” weeks comment (on Fri 9/29), his decision on a Fed chair could come as soon as the week of 10/16 (this week is also the first busy period of the CQ3 earnings season, the deadline for Trump to rule on the Iran nuclear deal, and the beginning of the China National Congress on 10/18). Media reports suggest the Fed chair frontrunners are Warsh and Powell followed by Yellen and Cohn.
China - the National Congress of the Communist Party of China starts Oct 18.
China Q3 GDP and Sept retail sales, IP, and FAI (Wed night/Thurs morning) – Thurs morning 10/19.
EU leaders hold summit in Brussels. Oct 19-20. Brussels.
Japan – the country will hold snap elections on Sun 10/22.
Flash PMIs for Oct – Tues 10/24
ECB meeting/press conf. Thurs Oct 26. The ECB is expected to provide guidance on LSAP tapering at this meeting (St assumes LSAP drops from EU60B now to EU40B w/6 month extension).
1949: The Year That Set the Course of Chinese-American Relations – NYT http://nyti.ms/2z2hGSv M&A/Strategic Actions
Brooklyn Nets – multiple suitors are in talks to buy a 49% stake in the NBA deal. Mikhail Prokhorov is seeking a valuation of >$2B for the entire team. NY Post. http://nyp.st/2y3KFY0 o Brooklyn Nets – BABA denied that its vice chairman, Joseph Tsai, was in talks to buy a stake in the Nets – Reuters http://reut.rs/2yuCBRa
GIMO – Elliot’s takeover talks w/the company have ground to a halt according to Reuters over price disagreements – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fNCepo
HON - according to the WSJ, HON is pursuing an acquisition of Evoqua Water Tech in a deal that could be worth $3B (http://on.wsj.com/2yseCSp).
HPQ, Samsung – China said it will approve HPQ’s purchase of Samsung’s printer business – Reuters http://reut.rs/2y06khP
JWN buyout not completely dead – the Nordstrom family is exploring a new deal structure w/Leonard Green that would involve less debt. The family is trying to raise more equity (although it isn’t clear where the money will come from). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2ggTvbh
PENN, PNK - the WSJ reported (during trading on Thurs http://on.wsj.com/2xjE24p) on merger talks between PENN and PNK (the firms have been unable to agree to terms but PENN is still interested in buying PNK).
Retailers helped through bankruptcy process – Reuters notes that many retailers are obtaining help during the bankruptcy process w/many being allowed to stay in business w/their store bases largely intact – Reuters http://reut.rs/2y3NcAN
SNCR - On October 4, 2017, SNCR and Siris determined to restart discussions regarding a potential transaction. Specifically, Siris is offering to buy Intralinks for $915MM cash, invest $185MM for a convert worth ~20% of SNCR’s common shares, and cancel the ~6MM SNCR common shares it now owns.
SUM, ASHG – SUM has made a rival bid for ASHG as it looks to scuttle the existing Ash Grove-CRH PLC transaction. Ash Grove’s board said the offer could result in a superior proposal and that it would engage in talks with the third party. Bloomberg.
Unilever – the co is seeking PE bids for its spreads business by 10/19; a sale could be worth $8B – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fNDYPe
Full catalyst list
Fri Oct 6 – German factory orders for Aug. 2amET.
Fri Oct 6 – US jobs report for Sept. 8:30amET.
Fri Oct 6 – US wholesale inventories/trade sales for Aug. 10amET.
Fri Oct 6 – US consumer credit for Aug. 3pmET.
Fri Oct 6 – Fed speakers: Bostic, Kaplan, Bullard
Sat Oct 7 – China FX reserves for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning)
Mon Oct 9 – China Caixin services PMI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning)
Mon Oct 9 – German industrial production for Aug. 2amET.
Mon Oct 9 – earnings after the European close: LVMH.
Mon Oct 9 – Columbus Day holiday in the US (equities will be open while fixed income is closed).
Tues Oct 10 – German trade balance for Aug. 2amET.
Tues Oct 10 – analyst meetings: TECD, Santander, WDAY, WMT
Tues Oct 10 – PG shareholder meeting
Tues Oct 10 – earnings after the close: CUDA
Wed Oct 11 – US JOLTs report for Aug. 10amET.
Wed Oct 11 – Fed minutes from the Sept 20 meeting (2pmET).
Wed Oct 11 – analyst meetings: KR
Wed Oct 11 – earnings before the open: BLK, DAL, FAST, OZRK.
Thurs Oct 12 – Eurozone industrial production for Aug. 5amET.
Thurs Oct 12 – US PPI for Sept. 8:30amET.
Thurs Oct 12 – analyst meetings: BOX, HPQ, LSCC, WDC.
Thurs Oct 12 – earnings before the open: C, DPZ, JPM, LNN, Sky PLC, Tata Consultancy.
Thurs Oct 12 – earnings after the close: EXFO
Fri Oct 13 – China imports/exports for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning)
Fri Oct 13 – US CPI for Sept. 8:30amET.
Fri Oct 13 – US retail sales for Sept. 8:30amET.
Fri Oct 13 – US Michigan Sentiment for Oct. 10amET.
Fri Oct 13 – US business inventories for Aug. 10amET.
Fri Oct 13 – analyst meetings: SAFM
Fri Oct 13 – earnings before the open: BAC, DRFG, FHN, FRC, JBHT, Man Group, PNC, WFC.
Mon Oct 16 – China CPI/PPI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning)
Mon Oct 16 – Eurozone trade balance for Aug. 5amET.
Mon Oct 16 – earnings before the open: SCHW
Mon Oct 16 – earnings after the close: BRO, IEX, NFLX, Rio Tinto
Tues Oct 17 – Eurozone Sept auto registrations. 2amET.
Tues Oct 17 – German ZEW survey results for Oct. 5amET.
Tues Oct 17 – US import prices for Sept. 8:30amET.
Tues Oct 17 – US industrial production for Sept. 9:15amET.
Tues Oct 17 – US NAHB housing index for Oct. 10amET.
Tues Oct 17 – earnings before the open: BMI, CMA, CSX, GS, GWW, HOG, JNJ, MS, Pearson, PLD, Remy Cointreau, UNH
Tues Oct 17 – earnings after the close: ADTN, BHP, CP, CREE, IBM, LRCX, NAVI.
Wed Oct 18 – US housing starts for Sept. 8:30amET.
Wed Oct 18 – US building permits fro Sept. 8:30amET.
Wed Oct 18 – US Beige Book. 2pmET.
Wed Oct 18 – earnings before the open: ABT, Akzo Nobel, MTB, NTRS, USB
Wed Oct 18 – earnings after the close: AA, AXP, BHE, CCI, CCK, EBAY, LLNW, SLG, TCBI
Thurs Oct 19 – China Q3 GDP and Sept retail sales, IP, and FAI (Wed night/Thurs morning)
Tues Oct 24 – earnings after the close: AKAM, AMP, CMG, COF, DFS, ESRX, IRBT, T, TSS, TXN.
Wed Oct 25 – US durable goods for Sept. 8:30amET.
Wed Oct 25 – US FHFA home price index for Aug. 9amET.
Wed Oct 25 – US new home sales for Sept. 10amET.
Wed Oct 25 – earnings before the open: ALK, ALLY, ANTM, Antofagasta, AOS, BA, BAX, Dassault Systemes, DPS, FCX, FLIR, Fresnillo, HBAN, Heineken, IP, IR, KO, LEA, LH, Lloyds Banking Group, NDAQ, NSC, NYCB, Peugeot, TMO, TUP, V, WBA, WEC.
Wed Oct 25 – earnings after the close: ABX, ACGL, AFL, AMGN, CLGX, DLR, FFIV, FTI, KIM, LSTR, NOW, ORLY, PKG, PLXS, RJF, TSCO, UNM, VAR, XLNX.
Thurs Oct 26 – US wholesale inventories for Sept. 8:30amET.
Thurs Oct 26 – US advance goods trade balance for Sept. 8:30amET.
Thurs Oct 26 – US pending home sales for Sept. 10amET.
Thurs Oct 26 – earnings before the open: Aixtron, ALLE, ALV, Anheuser Busch, APD, Bayer, BMY, BSX, BWA, CCMP, CELG, CHTR, CMCSA, CME, Deutsche Bank, ENTG, EQT, F, HLT, MMC, NEM, Nokia, ODFL, Santander, Schneider Electric, UNP, UPS, WM, XEL.
Thurs Oct 26 – earnings after the close: AIV, ATEN, CB, CDNS, EXPE, FLEX, FTNT, GILD, GOOG, HIG, INTC, LPLA, MSFT, NATI, PFG, SYK, VDSI, VRSN.
Fri Oct 27 – China Sept industrial profits (Thurs night/Fri morning).
Fri Oct 27 – US Q3 GDP, personal consumption, and core PCE for Q3. 8:30amET.
Fri Oct 27 – US Michigan Confidence numbers for Oct. 10amET.
Fri Oct 27 – earnings before the open: B, MRK, PSX, SC, TRU, Volkswagen, WY, XOM.
Mon Oct 30 – US personal income/spending and PCE for Sept. 8:30amET.
Mon Oct 30 – US Dallas Fed index for Oct. 10:30amET.
Mon Oct 30 – analyst meetings: CSX
Mon Oct 30 – earnings before the open: HSBC
Mon Oct 30 – earnings after the close: AVB, CGNX, RE, RTEC, VNO
Tues Oct 31 – US Employment Cost Index for Q3. 8:30amET.
Tues Oct 31 – US Case-Shiller home price index for Aug. 9amET.
Tues Oct 31 – US Chicago PMI for Oct. 9:45amET.
Tues Oct 31 – US Conference Board Sentiment readings for Oct. 10amET.
Tues Oct 31 – earnings before the open: ADM, AET, Airbus, AMT, Barclays, BNP, CMI, ECL, GGP, K, MA, OSK, PFE, XYL.
Tues Oct 31 – earnings after the close: APC, CHRW, CXO, WFT, X
Wed Nov 1 – US ADP jobs report for Oct. 8:15amET.
Wed Nov 1 – US Markit Manufacturing PMI for Oct. 9:45amET.
Wed Nov 1 – US Manufacturing ISM for Oct. 10amET.
Wed Nov 1 – US construction spending report for Sept. 10amET.
Wed Nov 1 – US auto sales for Oct.
Wed Nov 1 – FOMC meeting decision. 2pmET.
Wed Nov 1 – earnings before the open: AGN, APO, CLX, EL, GRMN, HFC, Novo Nordisk, ORBK, Standard Chartered, TAP, TRI.
Wed Nov 1 – earnings after the close: ALL, BHF, BXP, CAVM, CSGS, FB, LNC, MANT, MET, MUSA, OXY, PRU, QCOM, ULTI, XPO.
Thurs Nov 2 – US nonfarm productivity and unit labor costs for Q3. 8:30amET.
Thurs Nov 2 – earnings before the open: ADP, AN, BCE, CI, Credit Suisse, DISCA, H, ICE, Royal Dutch Shell, Sanofi, Swiss Re, WRK.
Thurs Nov 2 – earnings after the close: AAPL, AIG, CBS, CRUS, FLR, HLF, RMAX, SBUX, UNIT.
Fri Nov 3 – US jobs report for Oct. 8:30amET.
Fri Nov 3 – US trade balance for Sept. 8:30amET.
Fri Nov 3 – US factory orders and durable goods orders for Sept. 10amET.
Fri Nov 3 – US non-manufacturing ISM for Oct. 10amET.
Tues Nov 7 – US JOLTs jobs report for Sept. 10amET.
Tues Nov 7 – US consumer credit for Sept. 3pmET.
Thurs Nov 9 – US wholesale trade sales/inventories for Sept. 10amET.
Fri Nov 10 – US Michigan Confidence preliminary numbers for Nov. 10amET.
Tues Nov 14 – US PPI for Oct. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 15 – US CPI for Oct. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 15 – US Empire Manufacturing for Nov. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 15 – US retail sales for Oct. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 15 – US business inventories for Sept. 10amET.
Thurs Nov 16 – US import prices for Oct. 8:30amET.
Thurs Nov 16 – US industrial production for Oct. 9:15amET.
Thurs Nov 16 – US NAHB housing index for Nov. 10amET.
Fri Nov 17 – US housing starts and building permits for Oct. 8:30amET.
Mon Nov 20 – US Leading Index for Oct. 10amET.
Tues Nov 21 – US existing home sales for Oct. 10amET.
Wed Nov 22 – US durable goods for Oct. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 22 – US final Michigan Confidence numbers for Nov. 10amET.
Wed Nov 22 – FOMC 11/1 meeting minutes. 2pmET.
Fri Nov 24 – US flash PMIs for Nov. 9:45amET.
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A Chairman at World Economic Forumhttps://www.weforum.org/people/glenn-h-hutchins/https://archive.is/kubAYGlenn Hutchins is chairman of North Island and a co-founder of Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing. He is a director of both AT&T and NASDAQ OMX; a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; vice chairman of both the Brookings Institution and the Economic Club of New York; and a member of the Executive Committee of the New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is an owner and member of the Executive Committee of the Boston Celtics basketball team. Mr. Hutchins is a director of the Harvard Management Company, which is responsible for the Harvard University endowment, and co-chairman of the University’s capital campaign. He is also a board member of the Center for American Progress as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Previously, Mr. Hutchins served President Clinton in both the transition and the White House as a special advisor on economic and health-care policy. He was also previously chairman of the board of SunGard Data Systems, Inc. and Instinet, Inc. Mr. Hutchins and his wife, Debbie, founded the Hutchins Family Foundation which, among other projects, has created the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research at Harvard University, which is chaired by Mr. Hutchins; the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at The Brookings Institution; and the Chronic Fatigue Initiative, which conducts basic research into the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Advisory Board Larry Summers
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Summers became a professor of economics at Harvard University in 1983. He left Harvard in 1991, working as the Chief Economist at the World Bank from 1991 to 1993. In 1993, Summers was appointed Undersecretary for International Affairs of the United States Department of the Treasury under the Clinton Administration. In 1995, he was promoted to Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under his long-time political mentor Robert Rubin. In 1999, he succeeded Rubin as Secretary of the Treasury. While working for the Clinton administration Summers played a leading role in the American response to the 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the Russian financial crisis. He was also influential in the American advised privatization of the economies of the post-Soviet states, and in the deregulation of the U.S financial system, including the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.
Following the end of Clinton's term, Summers served as the 27th President of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty, which resulted in large part from Summers's conflict with Cornel West, financial conflict of interest questions regarding his relationship with Andrei Shleifer, and a 2005 speech in which he suggested that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a "different availability of aptitude at the high end," and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization.
After his departure from Harvard, Summers worked as a managing partner at the hedge fund D. E. Shaw & Co., and as a freelance speaker at other financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. Summers rejoined public service during the Obama administration, serving as the Director of the White House United States National Economic Council for President Barack Obama from January 2009 until November 2010, where he emerged as a key economic decision-maker in the Obama administration's response to the Great Recession. After his departure from the NEC in December 2010, Summers has worked in the private sector and as a columnist in major newspapers. In mid-2013, his name was widely floated as the potential successor to Ben Bernanke as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, though after pushback from the left, Obama eventually nominated Federal Reserve Vice-Chairwoman Janet Yellen for the position.
DCG of course is an investor in both Blockstream and BTCC. DCG's money comes from:
Bain Capital Group
New York Life
Novel TMT Ventures
Solon Mack Capital
The Whittemore Collection
HCM International Co
DCG also owns Coindesk. BTCC and Bitfury are the only two large mining pools who are outspoken in their support of Bitcoin Core. The Bitfury Group Leadership to Present at Clinton Global Initiative (https://archive.is/MWKee) Full Video (Begins at 32:00) “The Bitfury Group is proud to be the world’s leading full service Blockchain technology company, we are deeply honored to represent this innovation to an audience of extremely dedicated game-changers, and we look forward to highlighting our company’s groundbreaking ‘Blockchain for global good’ work at such an important event, said Smith. “From the White House to the Blockchain, I know this technology has the power to deliver inclusion and opportunity to millions, if not billions, of people around the world and I am so grateful to work for a company focused on such a principled vision.” Bitfury Lightning Implementation
ACINQ’s US Headquarters is in Vienna, Virginia, a small town of only 16,000. Why would a global financial firm choose to locate here? -- Feeder community into Washington, D.C. Has an orange line metro stop. -- Located in Fairfax County, VA. -- The US Federal Government is the #2 largest employer -- Booz Allen Hamilton (NSA front company) is #6 largest employer -- In fact, most of the top employers in Fairfax County are either US Federal Gov’t or companies that provide services to Federal Government -- The county is home to the headquarters of intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office, as well as the National Counterterrorism Center and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Chairman: Avinash Vashistha
Former Chairman and CEO of Accenture in India
He has worked with numerous clients in Banking, Investment and Financial services - General Atlantic, Goldman Sachs, Warbug Pincus, JP Morgan Chase, Visa, Citi Ventures, Baird Capital, Norges Bank, UBS, AXA and has advised World Bank, IDB, ADB, USAID and other multi-lateral agencies over the last 20 years on country strategy and investments across Asia and Latin America.
From 1986-1993 he worked for Information Management Consultants (imc) Ltd as a Technical Consultant with various federal government agencies. McLean, Virginia
1993-2000 Technical Consultant for Freddie Mac, in McLean Virginia
From 2000-2007, President of InterPro Global in Maryland
From 2011-2012, Director of VibbleTV in Columbia, Maryland
From 2008-Present has been Executive Director at ACINQ and Managing Partner at Vine Management, both in Vienna, Virginia.
BitFury Enhances Its Advisory Board by Adding Former CFTC Chairman Dr. James Newsome and Renowned Global Thought Leader and President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy Hernando de Soto (Businesswire) Bitfury Board of Directors Robert R Dykes
Former CFO at Juniper Networks from 2005-2007, which had an NSA backdoor added to router software.
Greg Maxwell spent “several years at Mozilla”, leaving in August 2014
The other board members include two Bitfury founders, and an investor. Bitfury Advisory Board James Newsome
Ex-chairman of CFTC
Dr. Newsome was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to be at first a Commissioner and later a Chairman of CFTC. As Chairman, Newsome guided the regulation of the nation’s futures markets. Additionally, Newsome led the CFTC’s regulatory implementation of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA). He also served as one of four members of the President’s Working Group for Financial Markets, along with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and the SEC. In 2004, Newsome assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) where he managed daily operations of the largest physical derivatives exchange in the world. Dr. Newsome is presently a founding partner of Delta Strategy Group, a full-service government affairs firm based in Washington, DC.
Hernando de Soto
Hernando de Soto heads the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, named by The Economist one of the two most important think tanks in the world. In the last 30 years, he and his colleagues at the ILD have been involved in designing and implementing legal reform programs to empower the poor in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and former Soviet nations by granting them access to the same property and business rights that the majority of people in developed countries have through the institutions and tools needed to exercise those rights and freedoms. Mr. de Soto also co-chaired with former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, and currently serves as honorary co-chair on various boards and organizations, including the World Justice Project. He is the author of “The Other Path: the Economic Answer to Terrorism”, and his seminal work “The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else.”
Criticisms: -- In his 'Planet of Slums' Mike Davis argues that de Soto, who Davis calls 'the global guru of neo-liberal populism', is essentially promoting what the statist left in South America and India has always promoted—individual land titling. Davis argues that titling is the incorporation into the formal economy of cities, which benefits more wealthy squatters but is disastrous for poorer squatters, and especially tenants who simply cannot afford incorporation into the fully commodified formal economy. -- An article by Madeleine Bunting for The Guardian (UK) claimed that de Soto's suggestions would in some circumstances cause more harm than benefit, and referred to The Mystery of Capital as "an elaborate smokescreen" used to obscure the issue of the power of the globalized elite. She cited de Soto's employment history as evidence of his bias in favor of the powerful. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2000/sep/11/imf.commenthttp://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hey_wait_a_minute/2005/01/the_de_soto_delusion.html
Dr. Tomicah Tillemann is Director of the Bretton Woods II initiative. The initiative brings together a variety of long-term investors, with the goal of committing 1% of their assets to social impact investment and using investments as leverage to encourage global good governance. Tillemann served at the U.S. State Department in 2010 as the Senior Advisor on Civil Society and Emerging Democracies to Secretary Hillary Clinton and Secretary John Kerry. Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Tillemann received his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University. He holds a Ph.D. with distinction from the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) where he also served as a graduate level instructor in American foreign policy.http://live.worldbank.org/node/8468https://archive.is/raDHA
Secretary Clinton appointed Tomicah Tillemann, Ph.D. as the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies in October 2010. He continues his service under Secretary Kerry.
Mr. Tillemann and his team operate like venture capitalists, identifying ideas that can strengthen new democracies and civil society, and then bring together the talent, technology and resources needed to translate promising concepts into successful diplomacy. He and his team have developed over 20 major initiatives on behalf of the President and Secretary of State.
Mr. Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009 and collaborated with her on over 200 speeches. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Mr. Tillemann’s other professional experience includes work with the White House Office of Media Affairs and five U.S. Senate and Congressional campaigns. He was a reporter with Reuters New Media and hosted a commercial radio program in Denver, Colorado.http://m.state.gov/md160354.htmhttps://www.newamerica.org/our-people/tomicah-tillemann/https://archive.is/u2yF0
Director of “Bretton Woods II” initiative at New America Foundation Bretton Woods was an international summit that led to the creation of the IMF and the IBRD, one of five members of The World Bank
Speaking to Clinton Global IntiativePrior to working at Edelman, my career has included serving as Deputy White House Press Secretary and Special Assistant to President Obama, Director of Public Affairs for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Director of Communications for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and its then Chairman Senator Rockefeller, Traveling Press Director for Secretary Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign, and Director of Communications for Secretary Madeleine K. Albright and her consulting firm, The Albright Group, LLC.https://medium.com/@jamieelizabethsmith/why-i-believe-in-the-blockchain-b19bf2014fab
Don Tapscott, co-author of the book “Blockchain Revolution,” hosted the meeting with his son and co-author Alex Tapscott at his family’s summer compound in Lake of Bays, Ontario. The group included some of blockchain’s biggest backers, including people with ties to IBM and JPMorgan. They considered ways to improve the governance and oversight of the technology behind the digital currency bitcoin as a way to fuel the industry’s growth. They included Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation; Brian Behlendorf, executive director of the Hyperledger Project, a blockchain supporter group that includes International Business Machines Corp., Airbus Group SE and JPMorgan Chase & Co.; and Ana Lopes, board member of the World Wide Web Foundation. Participants with blockchain industry ties include former deputy White House press secretary Jamie Smith, now chief global communications officer of BitFury Group Ltd., and Joseph Lubin, founder of startup Consensus Systems.
Was the founding director of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative -Left his 4 year post as White House Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation to go directly to the MIT DCI
Brian Forde has spent more than a decade at the nexus of technology, entrepreneurship, and public policy. He is currently the Director of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab where he leads efforts to mainstream digital currencies like Bitcoin through research, and incubation of high-impact applications of the emerging technology. Most recently he was the Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation at the White House where he spearheaded efforts to leverage emerging technologies to address the President’s most critical national priorities. Prior to his work at the White House, Brian founded one of the largest phone companies in Nicaragua after serving as a business and technology volunteer in the Peace Corps. In recognition of his work, Brian was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and one of the ten most influential people in bitcoin and blockchain.https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianfordehttps://archive.is/WjEGU
Includes Accenture (See Avinash Vashistha), Allianz, Deloitte (Scaling Bitcoin platinum sponsor, Blockstream Partner), Citigroup, Bain & Company (parent of Bain Capital, DCG investor), Dalian Wanda Group (working on blockchain technology), Ernst & Young (see Paul Brody), HSBC (Li-Ka Shing, Blockstream investor, used to be Deputy Chairman of HSBC), IBM, KPMG International, Mastercard (DCG Investor), PwC (Blockstream partner, also sponsor of Scaling Bitcoin)
Future of Financial Services Report [PDF] The word “blockchain” is mentioned once in this document, on page 23 (http://i.imgur.com/1SxyneJ.png):We have identified three major challenge areas related to innovation in financial servicesthat will require multi-stakeholder collaboration to be addressed effectively. We are launching a project stream related to each area, with the goal of enabling tangible impact.... Decentralised systems, such as the blockchain protocol, threaten to disintermediate almost every process in financial services
Excerpt: BitFury - www.bitfury.com - The Bitfury Group develops and delivers software and hardware solutions for businesses, governments, organisations and individuals who want to securely move an asset across the Blockchain.
My theory: There was collusion, but Trump ripped off Russia in the deal and has us in a more serious situation than we think. A timeline.
I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist, but it all fit together too well to ignore. Feel free to poke holes in this, I’d like to be proven wrong. The cold war never ended, it just moved online. 1991 - The cold war is declared over and the internet rises at a lightning pace. Much like the space program had before it. A cyberspace race. By nature of being the bulk of its inventors, the US is untouchable in cyber espionage. The NSA stockpiles all of the malicious code and secret vulnerabilities they can gather and rather than alert the world to them and help create fixes, they leave them active and turn them into tools for their agents to use against foreign powers. Eventually they also turn their attention inward and start using that software against their own people in a surveillance and manipulation program that dwarfs what the KGB had just been destroyed for doing. 2009 - Edward Snowden discovers the NSA running these programs and is outraged by the violation of rights and hypocrisy. He begins complaining in an attempt to get the system shut down and have our dirty little secret ended without national embarrassment. “I had raised these complaints not just officially in writing through email, but to my supervisors, to my colleagues, in more than one office. I did it in Fort Meade. I did it in Hawaii. And many, many of these individuals were shocked by these programs. They had never seen them themselves. And the ones who had, went, "You know, you're right. ... But if you say something about this, they're going to destroy you". March 2011 – It’s discovered that the US military is developing software to create, spread and control social media sock puppet armies. They promise it’s to use against foreign enemies, we’re told that it’s illegal for them to use against US citizens. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/ma17/us-spy-operation-social-networks March 2013 - James Clapper blatantly lies to congress and denies the existence of the domestic surveillance program entirely. Snowden says this moment is when he realizes his hope is futile and May 2013 he begins releasing evidence of the collected data to expose the program and force it to stop, then waits out the storm in Hong Kong. I believe Snowden had an insurance policy. Along with the surveillance data that he had planned to release, he stole an NSA toolkit that would not be released. A drive full of the nastiest bugs and backdoors the NSA could invent that would be released to the public in the event of his death. The US government wouldn’t dare risk it. July 2013 – The public outrage over what’s been exposed should be astounding…but it’s not. It seems like no one cares. And at this point the NSA knows the toolkit has been stolen, it could destroy us. Desperate times call for desperate measures. The anti-propaganda law is repealed, freeing the US government to use propaganda against its own people. Those sock puppet armies are turned against us and it’s made to look like the majority of the US public doesn’t care about surveillance. Even South Park runs an episode in September mocking people’s indifference to the NSA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Authorization_Act_for_Fiscal_Year_2013#Smith-Mundt_Modernization_Act_of_2012 https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130715/11210223804/anti-propaganda-ban-repealed-freeing-state-dept-to-direct-its-broadcasting-arm-american-citizens.shtml http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/07/14/u-s-repeals-propaganda-ban-spreads-government-made-news-to-americans/ A massive domestic spy program is uncovered and they get away with it. Snowden isn’t a national hero, no one cares and in mid June 2013 the US files charges against him. He took a shot at the king and missed. The US rescinds his passport and demands Hong Kong extradite him. He’ll use his stolen toolkit to avoid a death penalty. Russia would have suspected Snowden had this insurance policy. They tell him to spite America, they’ll arrange a flight for him from Hong Kong to Ecuador despite his lack of passport, with just a short layover in Russia. The layover becomes permanent when they refuse to finish the flight due to that lack of passport. Russia tells him he now has a choice, hand over the toolkit or you’ll be killed here and your country won’t care. Russia doesn’t care if his death triggers the release, it’s their intention to do that anyway. He holds out for 39 days in the airport but on August 1st 2013 he caves, is given asylum in Russia and Russia is discretely given the master keys to the internet. The NSA is in an impossible position. They should alert the world that their monster has escaped its cage and help us secure our systems from it. But to do that would be to admit an indefensible extent of surveillance and now manipulation they themselves had carried out for years. The people would overthrow them immediately. In addition, every vulnerability they fix removes it from Russia’s arsenal but also from their own. I suspect they were using some of those vulnerabilities to sabotage the North Korean missile and Iranian nuclear programs. To fix them now would be to let those programs progress unhindered. I suspect this sort of catch-22 is how the Obama administration originally justified the surveillance to itself. And so the US does nothing. Russia now has almost unfettered access on the internet, a backdoor on every computer manufactured before that date. I believe their Kompromat program became limitless. I believe they gathered every secret that existed to be found, on every member of our government and corporate world and what couldn’t be found could be planted. I’ll reference this again on *April 8 2016. * February 2014 - Emboldened by our silence Russia moves to take Crimea 6 months later. We do not stay silent. March 2014 - Obama uses Crimea as a cover to impose crippling sanctions on Russia. It cuts their currency and GDP in half. November 2014 - Sony suffers a massive hack. Supposedly, by North Korea in retaliation over a Seth Rogan movie. It’s embarrassing but mostly inconsequential. North Korea denies involvement, no one believes them. I believe it’s a message from Russia. “We have the weapon and we know how to use it.” February 2015 – Kaspersky Labs, a Russian company, exposes to the world how deeply the NSA’s infiltration has gone. All hard drives have been shipped with an NSA backdoor preinstalled. http://www.businessinsider.com/r-russian-researchers-expose-breakthrough-us-spying-program-2015-2 Through 2015 Microsoft makes an oddly strong push to get us all to update to Windows 10. Even bootleggers can get a free upgrade. A disguised evacuation from the badly compromised XP, 7 and 8? Or pushing a new OS into the world to give the NSA a new playing field to regain an advantage on? I suspect Putin now reaches out to Robert Mercer, financier of data mining company Cambridge Analytica. He offers to make Mercer an American oligarch. Putin will provide the most advanced data gathering tools the NSA could create, Mercer will use them to collect data that lets his candidates target voters with uncanny accuracy and win elections. Kushner later raves about the complexity of their marketing system. https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2017/05/26/jared-kushner-in-his-own-words-on-the-trump-data-operation-the-fbi-is-reportedly-probing/#619dd401a90f At the same time, Mercer will share that data with Putin who then uses botnets and other illegitimate means to influence the same voters, in the same direction, but without being visibly connected to the candidate. Later there will be controversy over a server in Trump Tower communicating with a Russian bank. I believe this is that sharing. http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/09/politics/fbi-investigation-continues-into-odd-computer-link-between-russian-bank-and-trump-organization/index.html In 2015 Cambridge Analytica first backs Ted Cruz. The most hated man in DC and a proven track record of bringing the system to a grinding halt. The obvious choice. But Trumps bombastic personality and Cruz’s lack of one threatens the plan. In December 2015 when a Quinnipiac poll shows Cruz in second place behind Trump, Cambridge Analytica promptly dumps Cruz and picks up Trump. Sometime later Trump paranoidly projects that the only way Hillary can win is by rigging the election. July 2016 - Trump wins the Republican nomination. August 2016 - A hacker group called The Shadow Brokers makes the news. I believe this is Putin finally flaunting to the world what he’s done. They tell us they’ve stolen a toolkit from The Equation Group, who have been suspected to be the NSA. The files in the toolkit are NSA but only as recent as 2013, a few months after Snowden’s departure. I suspect the file dates were altered just enough to give Snowden deniability. They release half of them to the public as proof. It’s bad, we’re warned that a lot of horrible malware will come from this for years to come. And now that the code is public, those attacks could plausibly come from anyone. The other half is kept encrypted, promised to be worse, and they comically struggle and fail to sell it on the black market. No one seems willing to touch it. November 2016 - Our election is hit by an unprecedented number of attacks. 5 per second 24 hours a day in Illinois. 150,000 total in South Carolina. 39 states altogether. Everyone who was anyone took Putin’s free gift and hit us with it. https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/17/south-carolina-150-000-election-day-hacking-attempts/ Trump wins the election. His first, maybe only job, is to lift the sanctions. Russia needs it done yesterday. Instead, Trump immediately gets into a fight with the media over the size of his inauguration crowd and makes a wild claim of 3 million illegal votes. I believe Cambridge Analytica using NSA tools, had the ability to analyze every American voter’s online habits and predict their vote. I believe they promised Trump a win over Hillary and gave him a very specific vote count. When Hillary wins the popular vote with 3 million more votes, Trump is paranoid that she must have added her own fake votes which threw his prophesized number. And maybe she did. But with no evidence that he can admit to the rest of us, Trump blames it on illegal immigrants and starts demanding voter information so that he can compare the numbers. This eats Trumps fragile ego alive. For eternity his legitimacy will be questioned in history books. Trumps attitude toward Russia sours. “You promised me a win and cost me the popular vote, our deal is void.” Trump does what he’s done to so many of the people he’s worked with before and decides he’s not going to pay his end of the deal. He busies himself putting Gorsuch on the SCOTUS, the beginnings of his wall and an immigration ban, ignoring Russia publicly and privately. The cold war warms up. January 23 – Trump appoints Ajit Pai to head the FCC. He is hell bent on reversing net neutrality laws, making it legal to throttle or block websites to citizens. Later, congress claims this was a direct order from Trump. Along with being able to predict how people will vote based on their browsing habits, they’ll now be able to directly influence those browsing habits. https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/06/10-members-of-congress-rake-fcc-over-the-coals-in-official-net-neutrality-comment/ February 9 – Jeff Sessions is made Attorney General to defend Trump from both an angry Russia and angry Congress. He’ll later recuse himself and Trump will state that if he had known that he wouldn’t have hired him in the first place. February 10 – Russia considers giving Snowden to US as a gift. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/10/russia-eyes-sending-snowden-to-us-as-gift-to-trump-official-tells-nbc-news.html February 13 – Trump seemingly is not interested. Michael Flynn’s Russian connections are “discovered” by the White House and he resigns. February 14 – Russia violates a cold war arms treaty and shows that it has been developing cruise missiles. “I can reach you.” It says to Trump. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/world/europe/russia-cruise-missile-arms-control-treaty.html February 14 – Congress starts to question their too-good-to-be-true win and a republican senator calls for an investigation into ties between Trump and Russia. Most squabble over healthcare. http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/14/politics/kfile-roy-blunt-flynn-investigation/index.html February 27 – Trump makes major cuts to agencies and dumps all $54 billion of it into defense spending. They’re going to need it. https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/trump-to-propose-10-percent-spike-in-defense-spending-massive-cuts-to-other-agencies/2017/02/27/867f9690-fcf2-11e6-99b4-9e613afeb09f_story.html?utm_term=.ed55293971c8 February 28 – Amazon has a major failure and the East coast US suffers an internet outage. http://bgr.com/2017/02/28/internet-outage-amazon-web-services/ March 7 – North Korea finally gets its missiles to survive launch and sends 4 towards a US base in Japan. I suspect Russia has made them aware of the vulnerabilities that had been plaguing their program. The US deploys its own missiles in South Korea. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/world/asia/thaad-missile-defense-us-south-korea-china.html March 16 – Dan Coats, an anti-Russia senator is appointed by Trump as Director of National Intelligence, James Clappers old position. Kind of poetic really. A concept stolen from Russia, turned into a monster by Clapper, stolen back by Russia and used to remove Clapper, whose successor is now sent to kill it. March 23 – Senate Republicans vote to allow the sale of citizen’s private browser history. Making the kind of data collection and manipulation I suspect Cambridge Analytica of doing, now legal for future use. https://www.buzzfeed.com/hamzashaban/the-republican-controlled-senate-votes-to-strip-internet?utm_term=.duwxxZYeY5#.sygwwvZkZj March 30 – Michael Flynn offers to testify on Russia. April 4 – 4 days after Tillerson had told Assad he could stay in power, Assad appears to drop chemical weapons on his own people. Assad denies it. The receiving hospital is also hit with conventional weapons in an effort to kill surviving witnesses. I believe it was Russia embarrassing the US. April 7 – In response Trump hits a nearly empty airfield with 59 Tomahawk missiles. We’re told that it was retaliation against Syria and that Russia was warned beforehand and evacuated. I don’t believe they were. I believe Trump picked the most empty airfield shared by both Syria and Russia where damage would be minimal and bombed it without warning to either of them in an attempt to scare Russia. Russia condemns the strike and suspends air cooperation with the US. The airfield returns to operations the same day. April 8 - The Shadow Brokers post an open letter to Trump that begins *“Respectfully, what the fuck are you doing?” * and telling him to remember his base, remember who got him elected. Again, I believe this is Putin speaking directly to Trump. He hints at the dirt he either has or can plant on McCain and Lindsay Graham, if only Trump will ask. The things he hints at are extreme. It is at this point that I now suspect Putin has gained this kind of information on a vast majority of our government and business world. Even if the blackmail victims are willing to face the shame to alert us to what’s happening, they’re warned that if the operations is exposed, everyone’s secrets will be released. The country would suddenly need a special election for half of its government and half of its corporations would crumble. It would be chaos. Mutually assured destruction. All anyone caught by Putin can do, is furrow their brow and be deeply disturbed. In this same letter the Shadow Brokers ask Trump why he hasn’t yet filed charges against all powerful entities in the US. “Doing so, you could be seizing all their IT systems, freeze their financial assets, arrest key leadership.” This was a key step in Putin’s rise to power. I believe that even if Trump and Putin are having a couples squabble, Putin still needs Trump to remember this step. They release more of the NSA code as punishment. https://medium.com/@shadowbrokerss/dont-forget-your-base-867d304a94b1 The emergency siren system in Dallas is set off. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/04/08/hacker-triggers-all-156-emergency-sirens-dallas/100212412/ April 12 – Tillerson is sent to Moscow to meet with Putin to discuss tensions “over the Syria strike”. They are unable to come to agreements. April 13 –Trump drops the Mother of All Bombs on Afghanistan for Russia to see. April 14 - The Shadow Brokers dump more NSA exploits. Included in this batch is EternalBlue, one of the most destructive exploits that’s been seen in years. April 14 – North Korea, whose missiles can now fly in a more or less straight line, threatens a preemptive strike on the US. The US threatens a strike back. Trump gets out of town and heads to Mar-a-Lago just in case. http://thehill.com/policy/international/328796-north-korean-official-warns-of-preemptive-strike-of-its-own http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-s-may-launch-strike-if-north-korea-reaches-nuclear-n746366 http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/14/politics/donald-trump-north-korea-mar-a-lago/ April 15 – North Korea unveils an ICBM that can theoretically hit all of the United States. I believe that in exchange for stopping America’s sabotage of their nuclear program, NK is acting as Russia’s nuclear attack dog. He’s long wanted to be the one to do it. Now he’ll have Russian defense if he does. April 21 - The power grids in New York, LA and San Francisco fail, it’s blamed on mechanical failure. https://www.inverse.com/article/30635-everything-we-know-la-nyc-sf-power-outages May 9 – Comey is fired by Trump as he works on the Russian investigation. Trump justifies it by quoting and mocking Chuck Schumer with a tweet… *“Cryin' Chuck Schumer stated recently, "I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer." Then acts so indignant.” * May 12 – The Wanna Cry ransomware scares the world. Built from the previously released EternalBlue exploit, it begins in Russia and races across the globe, locking computers and demanding a bitcoin ransom. It looks to be a catastrophic infection. Our hospitals are particularly crippled by it. The name mocks Trumps own words days before. May 13 – By dumb luck a kill switch is left in the Wanna Cry code and British security researcher Marcus Hutchins disables it by registering a $10 website domain. What should have been a ransom in the billions of dollars tops out at $130,000. https://www.malwaretech.com/2017/05/how-to-accidentally-stop-a-global-cyber-attacks.html After the attack, Kaspersky Labs will identify North Korea as being the attacker. North Korea will deny it. Later, Kaspersky will be cut out of the defense budget and banned from US government computers. Later still, Kaspersky will file an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming that Windows 10 removes Kaspersky software from users computers when they upgrade. https://www.cyberscoop.com/kaspersky-banned-us-dod-ndaa-russian-influence/ https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/6/15745164/kaspersky-antitrust-complaint-microsoft-european-commission May 27 – British airways has a massive system failure which they blame on outsource employee ineptitude. I suspect this is a warning to Theresa May in response to England preventing Wanna Cry. “Stay out of this.” http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/british-airways-caused-bank-holiday-10520182 June 7 – Amazon goes down. https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/7/15759046/amazon-product-pages-down-outage-offline-503 June 19 – A cyber analyst finds an unsecured Amazon server owned by GOP voter targeting firm Deep Root Analytics with almost all American voters records and analytics that predict who they will vote for and why. This confirms my suspicions that Cambridge Analytica used the same method to influence the presidential election. I believe that since the March 23 legalization of the selling of citizens browser histories, the GOP has been building its own voter prediction software in order to win the 2018 elections without help from Russia’s stolen data. http://www.zdnet.com/article/security-lapse-exposes-198-million-united-states-voter-records/ June 19 – All major cellular carriers go down. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cell-phone-internet-outages-reported-across-the-u-s/ June 19 – Microsoft Skype goes down. https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/20/skype-outage-causing-connectivity-issues-company-says-its-a-global-incident/ June 27 – The Petya ransomware, built on EternalBlue, the second iteration of Wanna Cry, hits the world but seems targeted at Ukraine. Paying the ransom in this case does not unlock the data, Petya is tailored for maximum damage. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_cyberattacks_on_Ukraine June 30 – Microsoft Office 365 goes down. https://www.exoprise.com/2016/07/01/office-365-email-outage-june-2016/ July 3 – Chase bank goes down. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2017/07/03/chase-bank-website-down-ahead-of-independence-day/?utm_term=.2135e79c6c8b July 3 – NASDAQ suffers an attack. http://www.wired.co.uk/article/nasdaq-hack-july July 4 – USS Hornet and much of Alameda California are hit by a power failure, 4th of July events are canceled. http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/07/04/alameda-power-outage-knocks-out-july-4-celebration-at-uss-hornet/ July 27 – HBO suffers the largest Hollywood hack in history. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/02/largest-hollywood-hack-in-history-may-have-compromised-hbo.html July 30 – East coast power grid goes down. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/30/us/outer-banks-evacuation-power.html Putin is livid. August 3 - Marcus Hutchins, the man who saved us from Wanna Cry, is arrested by Trumps new CIA director on unrelated charges while he is in the US for a conference. He now faces 40 years in prison. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/aug/03/researcher-who-stopped-wannacry-ransomware-detained-in-us August 3 – Trump is finally forced to sign the Russian sanctions bill, making his position official. Putin will not be paid for services rendered. August 5 – Trump schedules a vacation to be out of Washington DC for much of the next month. http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/04/politics/donald-trump-vacation-obama/index.html I am nervous about August.
Hey everyone. This is the second time I've ran into this bug and decided to share. On extremely large self-posts the app hangs for a second before it opens to the post -- whether you tap or 3D Touch it. On 2.8 beta, iOS 10.1.1, iPhone 6s+ Also, as I'm making this post another bug popped up. When a post (and maybe a comment too?) contains an extremely large amount of text, the input window eventually slows to a crawl making it impossible to continue writing. Copy pasted the Reddit Wikipedia page to make this post a living example. In June 2005, Reddit was founded in Medford, Massachusetts by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, both 22-year-old graduates of the University of Virginia. The team expanded to include Christopher Slowe in November 2005. Between November 2005 and January 2006 Reddit merged with Aaron Swartz's company Infogami, and Swartz became an equal owner of the resulting parent company, Not A Bug. Condé Nast Publications, owner of Wired, acquired Reddit on October 31, 2006, and the team moved to San Francisco. In January 2007, Swartz was fired. By the end of 2008, the team had grown to include Erik Martin, Jeremy Edberg, David King, and Mike Schiraldi. In 2009, Huffman and Ohanian moved on to form Hipmunk, recruiting Slowe and King shortly thereafter. In May 2010, Reddit was named in Lead411's "2010 Hottest San Francisco Companies" list. In July 2010, after explosive traffic growth, Reddit introduced Reddit Gold, offering new features for a price of $3.99/month or $29.99/year. Reddit Gold adds a number of features to the interface, including the ability to display more comments on a page, access to the private "lounge" subreddit, and notifications whenever one's username is mentioned in a comment. It's also possible to endow comments or submissions of other users and thereby give a gold membership to them as an anonymous present. On September 6, 2011, Reddit became operationally independent of Condé Nast, now operating as a separate subsidiary of its parent company, Advance Publications. On January 11, 2012, Reddit announced that it would be participating in a 12-hour sitewide blackout in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act. The blackout occurred on January 18 and coincided with the blackouts of Wikipedia and several other websites. In May 2012, Reddit joined the Internet Defense League, a group formed to organize future protests. On February 14, 2013, Reddit began accepting the digital currency bitcoin for its Reddit Gold subscription service through a partnership with bitcoin payment processor Coinbase. In October 2014, Reddit announced Redditmade, a service which allowed moderators to create merchandise for their subreddits. Redditmade closed in February 2015. In November 2014, Chief Executive Yishan Wong resigned and co-founder Ohanian returned as the full-time executive chairman. Ellen Pao, Reddit's business and partnerships strategist became the interim chief executive. On July 10, 2015, Pao resigned and was replaced by Steve Huffman as CEO. In October 2015, Reddit announced a news portal called Upvoted, designed to broaden the reach of Reddit as a standalone site featuring editorial content from Reddit users. In April 2016, Reddit launched a new blocking tool in an attempt to curb online harassment. The tool allows a user to hide posts and comments from selected redditors in addition to blocking private messages from those redditors. The option to block a redditor is done by clicking a button in the inbox. Technology Reddit was originally written in Common Lisp but was rewritten in Python in December 2005. The reasons given for the switch were wider access to code libraries and greater development flexibility. The Python web framework that former Reddit employee Swartz developed to run the site, web.py, is now available as an open-source project. On June 18, 2008, Reddit became an open source project. With the exception of the anti-spam/cheating portions, all of the code and libraries written for Reddit became freely available on GitHub. As of November 10, 2009, Reddit uses Pylons as its web framework. As of November 10, 2009, Reddit has decommissioned their physical servers and migrated to Amazon Web Services. Reddit uses PostgreSQL as their primary datastore and is slowly moving to Apache Cassandra, a column-oriented datastore. It uses RabbitMQ for offline processing, HAProxy for load balancing and memcached for caching. In early 2009, Reddit started using jQuery. On June 7, 2010, Reddit staff launched a revamped mobile interface featuring rewritten CSS, a new color scheme, and a multitude of improvements. On July 21, 2010, Reddit outsourced the Reddit search engine to Flaptor, who used its search product IndexTank. As of July 12, 2012, Reddit uses Amazon CloudSearch. There are several unofficial applications that use the Reddit API in the Google Play store, and F-Droid repository. Examples include: Reddit is Fun, Andreddit, F5, BaconReader, Reddit Sync and an Android tablet specific application called Reddita. There are also several Windows apps used to access Reddit, including unofficial Reddit apps such as ReddHub and Reddit To Go!. An unofficial desktop application Reditr exists that is compatible with Windows, OS X, Linux and ChromeOS. There are several Reddit applications for iOS. These include Karma, Upvote, iReddit, iPad-specific applications such as Reddzine and Biscuit, and, until April 2016, Alien Blue. In September 2014, an official mobile application for browsing AMA (Ask Me Anything) threads was released for the iOS and Android platforms under the name Ask me Anything. In October 2014, Alien Blue was acquired by Reddit and became the official iOS Reddit app. In April 2016, Reddit released an official application called Reddit: The Official App, which is available on Google Play and the iOS App Store, and Alien Blue was removed from the App Store in favor of the new app. The website is known for its open nature and diverse user community that generate its content. Its demographics allows for wide-ranging subject areas, or main subreddits, that receive much attention, as well as the ability for smaller subreddits to serve more niche purposes. For example, the University of Reddit, a subreddit that exists to communally teach, emerged from the ability to enter and leave the online forum, the "classroom", at will, and classes ranging from computer science to music, to fine art theory exist. The unique possibilities that subreddits provide create new opportunities for raising attention and fostering discussion across many areas. In gaining popularity in terms of unique users per day, Reddit has been a platform for many to raise publicity for a number of causes. And with that increased ability to garner attention and a large audience, users can use one of the largest communities on the Internet for new, revolutionary, and influential purposes. Its popularity has enabled users to take unprecedented advantage of such a large community. Its innovative socially ranked rating and sorting system drives a method that is useful for fulfilling certain goals of viewership or simply finding answers to interesting questions. User sentiments about the website's function and structure include feelings about the breadth and depth of the discussions on Reddit and how the site makes it easy to discover new and interesting items. Almost all of the user reviews on Alexa.com, which rates Reddit's monthly unique traffic rating 125th in the United States, mention Reddit's "good content" as a likable quality. However, others raise the negative aspects of the potential for Reddit's communities to possess a "hive mind" of sorts, embodying some negative aspects of group interaction theories like crowd psychology and collective consciousness. Philanthropic efforts Reddit has been known as the instigator of several charity projects, some short and others long-term, in order to benefit others. A selection of major events are outlined below: In early October 2010, a story was posted on Reddit about a seven-year-old girl, Kathleen Edward, who was in the advanced stages of Huntington's disease. The girl's neighbors were taunting her and her family. Redditors banded together and gave the girl a shopping spree at Tree Town Toys, a toy store local to the story owned by a Reddit user. In early December 2010, members of the Christianity subreddit decided to hold a fundraiser and later members of the atheism subreddit decided to give some friendly competition, cross-promoting fundraising drives for Doctors Without Borders and World Vision's Clean Water Fund, respectively. Later, the Islam subreddit joined in, raising money for Islamic Relief. In less than a week, the three communities (as well as the Reddit community at large) raised over $50,000. Most of this was raised by the atheism subreddit, though the smaller Christianity subreddit had a higher average donation amount per subscriber. A similar donation drive in 2011 saw the atheism subreddit raise over $200,000 for charity. Reddit started the largest Secret Santa program in the world, which is still in operation to date. For the 2010 Holiday season, 92 countries were involved in the Secret Santa program. There were 17,543 participants, and $662,907.60 was collectively spent on gift purchases and shipping costs. In 2014, about 200,000 users from 188 countries participated. Several Celebrities have participated in the program, including Bill Gates and Snoop Dogg. Eventually, the Secret Santa program expanded to various other occasions through Redditgifts. Members from Reddit donated over $600,000 to DonorsChoose in support of Stephen Colbert's March to Keep Fear Alive. The donation spree broke previous records for the most money donated to a single cause by the Reddit community and resulted in an interview with Colbert on Reddit. Reddit users donated $185,356 to Direct Relief for Haiti after an earthquake devastated the nation in January 2010. Reddit users donated over $70,000 to the Faraja Orphanage in the first 24 hours to help secure the orphanage after intruders robbed and attacked one of the volunteers, who survived a strike to the head from a machete. In October 2012, "Shitty Watercolour", a popular Redditor known for posting watercolor paintings on the website, streamed live a 12-hour painting session on YouTube to raise money for charity: water, a non-profit organization which aims to provide potable drinking water in developing countries. Redditors donated a minimum of $10 to have a photo of their choice painted in a 5 by 5 centimetres (2.0 by 2.0 in) square section of large sheets of paper. The paint-a-thon raised $2,700. In February 2014, Reddit announced it would be donating 10% of its annual ad revenue to non-profits voted upon by its users. Reddit continued this policy for 2015, donating $82,765 each to Electronic Frontier Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Doctors Without Borders, Erowid Center, Wikimedia Foundation, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, NPR, Free Software Foundation, Freedom From Religion Foundation, and Tor Project. In response to the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, redditors raised more than $145,000 for Direct Relief and more than $110,000 for MAP International. Commercial activity In February 2013, Betabeat published a post that recognized the influx of multi-national corporations like Costco, Taco Bell, Subaru, and McDonald's posting branded content on Reddit that was made to appear as if it was original content from legitimate Reddit users. Reddit's former Director of Communications noted that while a large number of Chief Marketing Officers want to "infiltrate the reddit community on behalf of their brand," she emphasized that "self-promotion is frowned upon" and the site is "100 percent organic." She recommended that advertisers design promotions that "spark conversations and feedback." She recommended that businesses use AMAs to get attention for public figures but cautioned "It is important to approach AMAs carefully and be aware that this may not be a fit for every project or client." Nissan ran a successful Branded content promotion offering users free gifts to publicize a new car, though the company was later ridiculed for suspected astroturfing when the CEO only answered puff piece questions on the site. Taylor described these situations as "high risk" noting "We try hard to educate people that they have to treat questions that may seem irreverent or out of left field the same as they would questions about the specific project they are promoting." Reddit's users are more privacy-conscious than on other websites, using tools like AdBlock and proxies, and they hate "feeling manipulated by brands" but respond well to "content that begs for intelligent viewers and participants." Lauren Orsini writes in ReadWrite that "Reddit's huge community is the perfect hype machine for promoting a new movie, a product release, or a lagging political campaign" but "very specific set of etiquette. Redditors don't want to advertise for you, they want to talk to you." Journalists have used the site as a basis for stories, though they are advised by the site's policies to respect that "reddit's communities belong to their members" and to seek proper attribution for people's contributions. Reddit announced that they would begin using VigLink to redirect affiliate links in June 2016 Reddit effect Main article: Slashdot effect Also known as the "Slashdot effect", the Reddit effect occurs when a smaller website has a high influx of traffic after being linked to on Reddit. It is also called the "Reddit Hug of Death" among the website's users. Because Reddit is such a large site, the traffic is immense and can easily crash smaller sites. In order for users to see crashed websites, several Reddit bots have been created that take a snapshot of the website before large amounts of traffic flood the affected website. "Restoring Truthiness" campaign As a response to Glenn Beck's August 28, 2010, Restoring Honor rally (heavily promoted by him in his Fox News broadcasts during the summer), in September 2010 Reddit users started a movement to persuade Stephen Colbert to have a counter-rally in Washington, D.C. The movement, which came to be called "Restoring Truthiness", was started by user mrsammercer, in a post where he described waking up from a dream in which Stephen Colbert was holding a satirical rally in D.C. He writes, "This would be the high water mark of American satire. Half a million people pretending to suspend all rational thought in unison. Perfect harmony. It'll feel like San Francisco in the late 60s, only we won't be able to get any acid." The idea resonated with the Reddit community, which launched a campaign to bring the event to life. Over $600,000 was raised for charity to gain the attention of Colbert. The campaign was mentioned on-air several times, and when the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was held in Washington, D.C. on October 30, 2010, thousands of redditors made the journey. During a post-rally press conference, Reddit co-founder Ohanian asked, "What role did the Internet campaign play in convincing you to hold this rally?" Jon Stewart responded by saying that, though it was a very nice gesture, the two had already thought of the idea prior and the deposit on using the National Mall was already paid during the summer, so it acted mostly as a "validation of what we were thinking about attempting". In a message to the Reddit community, Colbert later added, "I have no doubt that your efforts to organize and the joy you clearly brought to your part of the story contributed greatly to the turnout and success." The website generally lets moderators on individual subreddits make editorial decisions about what content to allow, and has a history of permitting some subreddits dedicated to controversial content. Many of the default pages are highly moderated, with the "science" subreddit banning climate change denialism, and the "news" subreddit banning opinion pieces and columns. Reddit has changed its site-wide editorial policies several times, sometimes in reaction to controversies. Reddit has had a history of giving a platform to objectionable but legal content, and in 2011, news media covered the way that jailbait was being shared on the site before the site changed their policies to explicitly ban "suggestive or sexual content featuring minors". Following some controversial incidents of Internet vigilantism, Reddit introduced a strict rule against the publication of non-public personally-identifying information via the site (colloquially known as doxxing). Those who break the rule are subject to a site-wide ban, and their posts and even entire communities may be removed for breaking the rule. 2010 On December 16, 2010, a redditor named Matt posted a link describing how he has donated a kidney, and included a JustGive link to encourage users to give donations to the American Cancer Society. After an initially positive reaction, Reddit users began to become suspicious of Matt's intentions, and suggested that he was keeping the donations for himself. Users telephoned his home and he received death threats. Matt eventually proved that he was genuine by uploading his doctor's records. 2011 On October 18, 2011, an IT manager submitted a post to the subreddit "gameswap" offering Redditors to trade one of 312 codes he had been given for the game Deus Ex: Human Revolution. A group of users obtained his personal details, and began to blackmail him for the codes. The Monday after uploading the post, he received 138 threatening phone calls both at home and at his job, and by the end of the day he had been fired. 2013 Following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, Reddit faced criticism after users wrongly identified a number of people as suspects. Notable among misidentified bombing suspects was Sunil Tripathi, a student reported missing before the bombings took place. A body reported to be Sunil's was found in Providence River in Rhode Island on April 25, 2013, according to Rhode Island Health Department. The cause of death was not immediately known, but authorities said they did not suspect foul play. The family later confirmed Tripathi's death was a result of suicide. Reddit general manager Martin later issued an apology for this behavior, criticizing the "online witch hunts and dangerous speculation" that took place on the website. The incident was later referenced in the season 5 episode of the CBS TV series The Good Wife titled "Whack-a-Mole," as well as The Newsroom. In late October 2013, the moderators of the "politics" subreddit banned a large group of websites. Many were left wing opinion websites, such as Mother Jones, The Huffington Post, Salon, Alternet, Rawstory, The Daily Kos, Truthout, Media Matters, and ThinkProgress as well as some popular progressive blog sites, such as Democratic Underground and Crooks and Liars. They also banned a number of right wing sites—Drudge Report, Breitbart, The Daily Caller, Dailypaul, Power Line, and Reason. Salon reported that "the section's moderators explained in a post on Tuesday, the goal is 'to reduce the number of blogspam submissions and sensationalist titles.' The purge, the moderators explained, is also aimed at sites that provide lots of "bad journalism." The December 2013 list of banned websites has been modified since late October, and sites with original content, such as Mother Jones and The Huffington Post, are allowed. Moderators also banned RT, which moderators stated was due to vote manipulation and spam, though one moderator stated that he wanted RT banned because it is Kremlin backed. 2014 In August 2014, photos from the 2014 celebrity photo hack were widely disseminated across the site. A dedicated subreddit, "TheFappening," was created for this purpose, and contained links to most if not all of the criminally obtained explicit images. Some images of Liz Lee and McKayla Maroney from the leak were identified by redditors and outside commentators as child pornography because the photos were taken when the women were underage. The subreddit was banned on September 6. The scandal led to wider criticisms concerning the website's administration from The Verge and The Daily Dot. Also in August 2014, moderators and administrators censored a sizeable amount of content related to the GamerGate controversy; one thread in the "gaming" subreddit had almost 24,000 comments removed. Multiple subreddits were deleted by administrators for voicing opinions on Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu and similarly important GamerGate controversy figures. The subreddit "ZoeQuinnDiscussion" was banned for violating the Reddit rules. Administrators defended this response when questioned, blaming 4chan for raiding threads and causing harm. This was debated by some redditors. An anonymous subreddit moderator claims he was removed for leaking correspondence between himself and Zoe Quinn. On December 18, 2014, Reddit took the unusual step of banning a subreddit, "SonyGOP," that was being used to distribute hacked Sony files. 2015 After Ellen Pao became CEO, she was initially a target of criticism by users who objected to her lawsuit. Later on June 10, 2015, Reddit shut down the 150,000-subscriber "fatpeoplehate" subreddit and four others citing issues related to harassment. This move was seen as very controversial; some commenters said that the bans went too far, while others said that the bans did not go far enough. One of the latter complaints concerned a subreddit that was "expressing support" for the perpetrator of the Charleston church shooting. Responding to the accusations of "skewed enforcement", Reddit reaffirmed their commitment to free expression and stated that "There are some subreddits with very little viewership that get highlighted repeatedly for their content, but those are a tiny fraction of the content on the site." On July 2, 2015, Reddit began experiencing a series of blackouts as moderators set popular subreddit communities to private, in an event dubbed "AMAgeddon," a portmanteau of AMA ("ask me anything") and Armageddon. This was done in protest of the recent firing of Victoria Taylor, an administrator who helped organize citizen-led interviews with famous people on the popular "Ask me Anything" subreddit. Organizers of the blackout also expressed resentment about the recent severance of the communication between Reddit and the moderators of subreddits. The blackout intensified on July 3 when former community manager David Croach gave an AMA about being fired. Before deleting his posts, he stated that Ellen Pao dismissed him with one year of health coverage when he had cancer and did not recover quickly enough. Following this, a Change.org petition to remove Pao as CEO of Reddit Inc. reached over 200,000 signatures. Pao posted a response on July 3 as well as an extended version of it on July 6 in which she apologized for bad communication and not delivering on promises. She also apologized on behalf of the other administrators and noted that problems already existed over the past several years. On July 10, Pao resigned as CEO and was replaced by former CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman.
Businesses, both brick-and-mortar and online, have begun accepting it as a form of payment, and GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul has said he would accept campaign donations via Bitcoin. Absent a central bank or governing authority, Bitcoin is a so-called cryptocurrency that allows users to buy and sell goods and services without dealing with government regulations. 36% of Bitcoin Investors Plan to Commit Tax Fraud This Year The IRS is ramping up its efforts to catch capital-gain tax evaders, and the new GOP tax law will make it easier. But bitcoin also went wild, rising above similar to the rotation from winners to losers seen in late 2015 and early 2016. Wednesday was the best day for the Dow transports since November 2011. Posted on November 13, 2015 Bitcoin By The Wealth Watchman The Wealth Watchman discusses the news that a major mega-bank is launching its own version of Bitcoin technology. Hoping to compete with Apple Pay, JP Morgan Chase has recently announced “Chase Pay”…
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