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Spanish Stocks, Bonds Slump As Catalan Parliamentary Debate Looms

October 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Hopes of a ‘stall’ in secession proceedings have been dashed amid speculation that Catalonia’s regional parliament will convene on Monday, despite a suspension ordered by the central government in Madrid.

The bounce yesterday has been erased…Putting a nail in the coffin of ‘stall’, El Mundo reports that Catalan pro-independence party says not working on any scenario that delays declaratiuon of independence.

It’s now very clear what the establishment’s strategy is…

Good Cop…

As The Duran.com reports, Enric Millo, a Spanish official in Catalonia has offered the first attempt at an apology for the police brutality that marred the Catalan independence referendum on the 1st of October.

 

Spanish police were filmed beating civilians, shooting unarmed individuals with rubber bullets, as well as harassing and assaulting women and the elderly. The scenes caused a great deal of consternation, even among those who support the Spanish position vis-a-vis Catalonia.

 

Today, Enric Millo, who represents the Madrid regime, spoke in Catalonia and said,

 

“When I see these images, and more so when I know people have been hit, pushed and even one person who hospitalised, I can’t help but regret it and apologise on behalf of the officers that intervened”.

Bad Cop…

Having passed the law making it easier for companies to leave Catalonia, Spain’s Economy Minister Mendez iproclaimed rather quickly that “the business exodus from Catalonia was very sad,” with Guindos adding snidely that “irresponsible policies have economic responses.”

 

Mendez also lashed out at Puigdemont, saying that he “is breaking social cohesion” in the nation.

The IMF has chimed in… (via Bloomberg)

The International Monetary Fund said the Catalan crisis could have an impact on Spain’s economy, which has been one of the best performing in the euro area in recent years. In its latest assessment, the IMF said the banking system has become more resilient, while the economy has benefited from structural reforms and wage moderation as well as a favorable global backdrop. The report, based on an Article IV consultation that ended on Sept. 20, would usually attract attention in Spain, but it’s been overtaken by the political drama related to the secessionist push in Catalonia.

 

“The outlook for the Spanish economy is currently strong,” Andrea Schaechter, IMF mission chief, said in an interview.

 

“However, prolonged tensions and uncertainty related to Catalonia could weigh on confidence and investment decisions.”

On a humorous note, Spain’s Election Watchdog rejected the Catalan vote.

Spanish yields are rising across the entire yield curve with 10Y up 7bps and 2Y decoupling from Germany…

“The more conservative international investors, who have just cautiously returned to Spain in recent quarters, should remain inclined to reduce risk until the situation clears,” wrote Commerzbank AG strategist Christoph Rieger.

 

“Spreads should thus stay elevated at least until Monday’s scheduled session of the Catalan Parliament,” he said, referring to the yield premium demanded to hold Spanish bonds over their German counterparts.

JPMorgan is desperately tryting to play down the potential for contagion…

“It is not a threat to the euro,” said Jan Loeys, chief investment strategist at JPMorgan Chase & Co., in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

 

“This is a local problem. There will be affects on the local banks, local asset prices — yes, Spanish equity prices will be hurt a bit.”

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What Hurricane: Full-Time Jobs Soar By 935,000, Biggest Increase In The 21st Century

October 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Not only was there much confusion ahead of the September payrolls report, there was just as much confusion inside it, because while the market decided to ignore the 33,000 drop in payrolls (as per the Establishment Survey), the first monthly decline in…

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Paul Craig Roberts Asks “Was The Las Vegas Shooting A False Flag?”

October 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,
Dear Readers, I appreciate the confidence that you show in me with your emails asking my opinion about the Las Vegas shooting. Many of you suspect that it is another false flag affair, and you ask me about its purpose.

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“He’s Full Of Crap”: GM Exec Slams Musk As Car War Breaks Out

October 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Elon Musk says the upcoming Tesla Model 3 has the hardware to enable full-self driving capability. But GM’s self-driving car czar thinks he’s full of crap.

GM’s director of autonomous vehicle integration Scott Miller told a group of Australian journalists in Detroit on Thursday that Musk was “full of crap”, explaining that a “level 5” – that is, fully autonomous – vehicle would require hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of sensors. Even for a company like Tesla, which investors have practically encouraged to burn through large sums of cash, offering such an advanced vehicle for between $30,000 and $50,000 would be an impossibility.

“I think he’s full of crap,” Mr Miller said. “To think you can see everything you need for a level five autonomous car [full self-driving] with cameras and radar, I don’t know how you do that.”

Tesla and a handful of other car companies are testing autopilot in Australia, according to the Leader.

The company is planning to price the Model 3, which just started rolling off the production line at Tesla’s California factory, at $50,000 in Australia. The car reportedly incorporates cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors for self-driving.

However, as the Leader points out, the Model 3 won’t be able to use Tesla’s controversial autopilot feature until the company’s engineers perfect the software. A Tesla driver in Florida became the first person to die in an accident involving Autopilot. Eventually, the NHTSA ruled that Tesla wasn’t at fault in the crash. But since then, other customers have complained that they found the way in which autopilot was marketed to be misleading.

With this in mind, perhaps Musk should consider the consequences before exaggerating the functionality of a feature like autopilot.   

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JPMorgan Updates By-laws In Case Of “Nuclear Disaster” Or World War III

October 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

In the most bizarre news of the day, Bloomberg’s Hugh Son noticed that in a late Thursday filing, the board of JPMorgan approved a series of revisions to the bank’s by-laws, including a particularly notable one: a new section defining what constitutes a quorum in an emergency resulting from “an attack on the United States” or a “nuclear or atomic disaster.” That scenario is listed among emergencies that – understandably – might make it hard to hold a normal meeting for board members of America’s largest bank.

The clause can be activated not just in case of a nuclear disaster or World War III, but also in a variety of situations including “without limitation apparent terrorist activity or the imminent threat of such activity, chemical and biological attacks, natural disasters, or other hazards or causes commonly known as acts of God.”

In short, JPMorgan’s Board has decided it is time to seriously consider a TEOTWAWKI scenario.

As Son notes, in such an event, any member of the board or the firm’s operating committee can call a meeting using “any available means of communication.” And, just in case everyone else on the Board happens to die, one person will be sufficient to constitute a quorum. Vacancies can be filled by a majority vote of available directors. And if none are around, then designated officers can stand in. No officer, director or employee can be held liable in such a situation, except for “willful misconduct.”

The revised Emergency By-Laws are reposted below (highlights ours):

ARTICLE XI

 

Emergency By-laws

 

Section 11.01. Emergency By-laws. This Article XI shall be operative during any emergency resulting from an attack on the United States or on a locality in which the Corporation conducts its business or customarily holds meetings of its Board or its stockholders, or during any nuclear or atomic disaster, or during the existence of any catastrophe or other similar emergency condition (including without limitation apparent terrorist activity or the imminent threat of such activity, chemical and biological attacks, natural disasters, or other hazards or causes commonly known as acts of God), as a result of which a quorum of the Board or the Executive Committee thereof cannot readily be convened for action (an “Emergency”), notwithstanding any different or conflicting provisions in the preceding Articles of these By-laws, the Certificate of Incorporation or the General Corporation Law. To the extent not inconsistent with the provisions of this Article XI, the By-laws provided in the other Articles of these By-laws and the provisions of the Certificate of Incorporation shall remain in effect during such Emergency and upon termination of such Emergency, the provisions of this Article XI shall cease to be operative.

 

Section 11.02. Meetings. During any Emergency, a meeting of the Board, or any committee thereof, may be called by the Chairman or any other member of the Board or the Chief Executive Officer, or any member of the Corporation’s Operating Committee (each, a “Designated Officer” and collectively, the “Designated Officers”), or the Secretary. Notice of the time and place of any meeting of the Board or any committee thereof during an Emergency shall be given by any available means of communication by the individual calling the meeting to such of the directors and/or Designated Officers who shall be deemed to be directors of the Corporation for purposes of obtaining a quorum during an Emergency if a quorum of directors cannot otherwise be obtained during such Emergency, in each case, as it may be feasible to reach. Such notice shall be given at such time in advance of the meeting as, in the judgment of the individual calling the meeting, circumstances permit.

 

Section 11.03. Quorum. At any meeting of the Board, or any committee thereof, called in accordance with Section 11.02 above, the presence of one director shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Vacancies on the Board, or any committee thereof, may be filled by a majority vote of the directors in attendance at the meeting. In the event that no directors are able to attend the meeting of the Board, then the Designated Officers in attendance shall serve as directors for the meeting, without any additional quorum requirement and will have full powers to act as directors of the Corporation for such meeting.

 

Section 11.04. Amendments. At any meeting called in accordance with Section 11.02 above, the Board or a committee of the Board, as the case may be, may modify, amend or add to the provisions of this Article XI so as to make any provision that may be practical or necessary for the circumstances of the Emergency.

 

Section 11.05. Management Contingency Plan. During an Emergency, the Corporation shall be managed by the Operating Committee under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer. In the absence of the Chief Executive Officer or his or her successor, the Operating Committee shall act under the direction of the Operating Committee member with the longest tenure with the Corporation.

 

Section 11.06. Liability. No officer, director or employee of the Corporation acting in accordance with the provisions of this Article XI shall be liable except for willful misconduct.

 

Section 11.07. Repeal or Change. The provisions of this Article XI shall be subject to repeal or change by further action of the Board or by action of the stockholders, but no such repeal or change shall modify the provisions of Section 11.06 of this Article XI with regard to action taken prior to the time of such repeal or change.

 

Section 11.08. Termination of Emergency. The provisions of this Article XI shall cease to be operative upon the termination of the Emergency as determined by a quorum of the Board or the Executive Committee thereof in accordance with Sections 2.06 and 3.01, respectively, of these By-laws.

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Sheriff: Vegas Shooter Led “Secret Life”, May Have Planned Car Bombing; Tried To Ignite Jet Fuel Tanks

October 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

With every passing day, the Las Vegas police department releases new details about Stephen Paddock, the gunman behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, who according to the latest update, spent decades stockpiling guns and living a “secret life” and may have planned other attacks, including a car bombing, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said, after suggesting that it was only logical to “make the assumption” that Stephen Paddock had “some help at some point” in pulling off Sunday’s massacre.

As evidence, Lombardo pointed to gunman Paddock’s huge arsenal, explosive materials found in his car and his meticulous planning. “What we know is Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood,” the sheriff said. Lombardo also revealed that Paddock had an escape plan, even though he turned the gun on himself as police closed in on his suite at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Meanwhile, authorities are still searching for a motive. “Anything that would indicate this individual’s trigger point, that would cause him to do such harm, we haven’t understood it yet,” Lombardo told reporters Wednesday. “Don’t you think the concealment of his history of his life was well thought out?”

Analyzing Paddock’s computer, cellphone and other electronic devices, investigators have found no obvious ideological motive, no clear connection to extremists or activist groups or outward display of mental illness, the Associated Press reported.

Earlier in the day, an Australian man who claimed he met Paddock several times in the Philippines told the Guardian that the shooter was “extremely intelligent, methodical, conservative — guarded — and strategic. A planning, thinking type of guy.” The man, who spoke to The Guardian on condition of anonymity from his Brisbane home, said the encounters came through their respective girlfriends, both Philippine-born sisters, who had family reunions.

He said he and Paddock had “robust” discussions about American gun laws and said Paddock mentioned a “gun room” during one stay in his home in Mesquite, Nev. “His comments were that it’s a substantial hobby that needs to be protected: ‘a gun room’,” the man told The Guardian.

Separately, NBC reported that Marilou Danley, Paddock’s girlfriend, said she remembers him exhibiting symptoms such as lying in bed and moaning, according to two former FBI officials who have been briefed on the matter. “She said he would lie in bed, just moaning and screaming, ‘Oh, my God,'” one of the former officials said. The other former official said Danley spoke about Paddock displaying “mental health symptoms.”

Investigators believe Stephen Paddock, who claimed nearly 60 lives and injured hundreds more in Las Vegas on Sunday, may have been in physical or mental anguish, the sources said.

Investigators are also examining approximately six media devices left behind by Paddock, one of the former officials said. Included in that search is an inquiry into Paddock’s web browsing history.

* * *

Meanwhile, as Fox News reports, the materials found in Paddock’s car – 1,600 rounds of ammunition, fertilizer that could be used to make explosives and 50 pounds of the explosive substance Tannerite — led authorities to believe the Paddock was possibly planning a car bombing.

Authorities also revealed that the weekend before the shooting, Paddock had rented a high-rise condo in a building that overlooked the Life is Beautiful alternative music festival featuring Chance the Rapper, Muse, Lorde and Blink-182. Lombardo offered no other details on what led Paddock there. Paddock also rented a room in August at Chicago’s downtown Blackstone Hotel, but never checked in. The hotel overlooks Grant Park where the Lollapalooza festival is held each year with hundreds of thousands of people in attendance.

Addition to the confusion is that as the AP notes, where other mass killers have left behind a trail of plain-sight clues that help investigators quickly understand what drove them to violence, Paddock had nearly no close friends, social media presence or other clear connections to the broader world. Even the No. 2 official in the FBI said Wednesday he was surprised investigators have not uncovered more about why a man with no obvious criminal record would cause so much bloodshed.

“There’s all kinds of things that surprise us in each one of these events. That’s the one in this one, and we are not there yet,” FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said. “We have a lot of work to do.”

They wonder if he had some sort of mental break at the time that drove him to start making plans for mass murder. Authorities were looking for hints in the details of the kind of life he lived, and the kind of victims and venue he targeted, said David Gomez, a former FBI national security and criminal profiler.

“We may never know to 100 percent certainty,” he said. “But they will find out.”

* * *

In a tangent, overnight the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Paddock reportedly also took aim at nearby aviation fuel tanks during the rampage. The bullets fired by the killer left two holes in one of two circular white tanks. One of the bullets penetrated the tank, but did not cause a fire or explosion near the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. The tanks are roughly 1,100 feet from the concert site, where Paddock killed 58 people. Several airplane hangars belonging to prominent corporations are also near the tanks.

Within the past couple of days, a construction crew repaired the holes, and FBI agents inspected the tanks and took measurements of the line of fire from Mandalay Bay, the sources said. The bases of private aircraft companies are also close to the tanks, which sit on property owned by McCarran International Airport.

The tanks are operated by Swissport, the company that runs the fueling operations for the airport, according to McCarran spokeswoman Christine Crews. They primarily are used to provide fuel to the private aircraft operators.

According to the Journal, jet fuel is hard to ignite and tanks like those across from Mandalay Bay have mechanisms in place to prevent fires. Mike Boyd, a Colorado-based aviation consultant, echoed those words. “A machine gun is not going to blow up a tank of fuel,” Boyd said. “Jet fuel itself sitting there in a big wet pile is very hard to ignite. You have to be a very amateur terrorist to think anything like that.”

Which would make sense: earlier in the day ISIS “tripled down” on allegations that Paddock was both a convert to Islam and operating on its behalf in its just published edition of its weekly Naba newsletter. The Islamic State propaganda newsletter featureed infographs and new specific claims concerning Paddock, who the terror group identifies according to the Muslim name, Abu Abdul Barr al-Amriki (or Abu Abdul Barr “The American”) and claimed “converted six months ago” to ISIS.

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20% Of Illinois Lawmakers To Quit (To Save Their Pensions?)

October 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,
20% of the Illinois House announced will not run for reelection, many of them are cowardly, corrupt Republicans who voted for a tax hike.
It’s a Huge Stampede for the Door the likes of which Illino…

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Despite Spike In Accidents, California Allows GM To Expand Self-Driving Car Fleet

October 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

California regulators have largely acquiesced to General Motors’ requests to expand its fleet of self-driving robot cars. But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been a few, uh, bumps in the road for GM’s Cruise Automation division.

Reuters reported Thursday that the number of accidents involving GM’s self-driving cars has continued to climb, even as California and one powerful Senate committee have done everything in their power to hasten advances in the technology by allowing companies broad remit to increase the size of their fleets, while simultaneously green lighting a bill that would allow automakers to expand testing programs across the US.

To wit, GM’s self-driving cars were involved in 6 accidents during the month of September – a month where the company finished expanding its fleet of self-driving cars from around 30 or 40 cars to more than 100.

As the company increases the size of its test fleet, it has also reported more run-ins between its self-driving cars and human-operated vehicles and bicycles, telling California regulators its vehicles were involved in six minor crashes in the state in September.

 

“All our incidents this year were caused by the other vehicle,” said Rebecca Mark, spokeswoman for GM Cruise.

We’re not certain the unsuspecting cyclists, drivers and pedestrians who comprised the other party in many of these incidents would agree with GM’s characterization of events.

The company has been testing the automated cars on busy San Francisco streets as part of its effort to develop software capable of navigating congested and often chaotic urban environments, an effort that one might expect to be fraught with complications given that the slightest error on the car’s part can be easily amplified given the volume of traffic.

Ford and GM have been richly rewarded by investors for their pioneering efforts in the world of self-driving car technology (Wired, the tech bible, even published a story proclaiming that “Detroit Is Stomping Silicon Valley in the Self-Driving Car Race”). GM shares are up 17% this year.

However, California’s permissiveness has raised hackles with some vehicle safety groups, who claim the state is giving too much latitude to automakers.

In filings to California regulators, Cruise said the six accidents in the state last month involved other cars and a bicyclist hitting its test cars.

 

The accidents did not result in injuries or serious damage, according to the GM reports. In total, GM Cruise vehicles have been involved in 13 collisions reported to California regulators in 2017, while Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Waymo vehicles have been involved in three crashes.

Last year, a Tesla owner died in a fatal crash while the company’s autopilot feature was engaged. Excuse us for being morbid, but much longer until a car with no driver is involved in a deadly crash?

And what will happen to GM’s share price when that happens?
 

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