Daily Archives: October 13, 2019

October 13 Get Up!

Scripture Reading: Luke 22:31–34

Key Verse: Luke 22:31

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.”

In Peter’s mind, it was a brave moment of standing with his Messiah. Sword in hand, Peter would do everything he could to help Jesus carve away the Roman Empire and regain Israel’s independence.

Christ’s battle was not against Rome, though; it was against sin. He saw the truth of the situation, whereas Peter had a limited view. Jesus understood that in the stressful events leading up to the Crucifixion, the disciples would be filled with sorrow and confusion. Jesus knew that Peter would fail. Jesus told him, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:32).

Jesus knows there will be times when you fail too. Things will arise in your life—distresses, perplexities, great pains—that will be extraordinarily difficult to stand against, and you will flounder. However, Jesus is interceding for you. He does not view you in light of your failures but whether you rise again to serve Him.

Henry Liddon said, “Nothing is really lost by a life of sacrifice; everything is lost by failure to obey God’s call.” When you fall, do not be afraid of God. He always accepts you with open arms. Focus instead on His forgiveness and get up again!

Lord, just as You knew Peter would fail—but would return, humbled, and serve You—so, too, You know my failings and draw my penitent heart back to You.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 300). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

What Was the Reformation All About? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Over 500 years ago, a German monk named Martin Luther started a protest that exploded into a worldwide movement. So what was the Protestant Reformation all about? This short video narrated by R.C. Sproul is a tool to help you give an answer. Share it with your family and friends. Also available in Chinese, FrenchGerman, ItalianPortuguese, and Spanish.

This Reformation Month, watch a short video every day on the history and insights of the Protestant Reformation. And don’t forget that for this month only, you can request your free digital download of R.C. Sproul’s video teaching series Luther and the Reformation plus the ebook edition of The Legacy of Luther, edited by R.C. Sproul and Stephen Nichols at ligm.in/Reformation. Offer ends October 31, 2019.

Transcript

500 years ago, a German monk named Martin Luther started a protest that exploded into worldwide movement. At that time, Europe lived in the shadow of the Roman Catholic Church. It was more like an empire than a church. It crowned and cast down kings, and used its dominance to keep people in the darkness of superstition. That sounds pretty unfamiliar.

But in some ways, Luther’s day was very much like our own. Just like today, everyone had an opinion about the Bible even though almost no one had actually read it. Like so many of us, they were trusting the thought-leaders and taste-makers of their day to tell them what was in the Bible and whether or not to believe it. Luther was one of the very few people actually reading the Bible, and what he found was earth-shattering. Even though he was a monk, Luther hated the God of the Bible. But when he studied it, the world around him began to make sense. God made sense. The significance of Jesus became clear to him. He discovered the answer to his deepest question: how could evil be overcome? Specifically, how could his own evil—his own sin—be dealt with?

Luther discovered that he couldn’t do anything to fix this problem himself. He had to rely on the finished work of Christ alone. Luther had discovered a central truth. It changed his life. It changed the world. The Protestant Reformation was about two things. It was about who can say what’s true and it was about how to reconcile who we are with who God is. It recognized that God’s Word is the ultimate authority in this world, and that the perfect life and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ are the only answer for evil and the only basis on which sinners can stand before a holy God. The Protestant Reformation is a story of transformation—a transformation from hate to love, from slavery to freedom, and from blind faith to a glorious discovery of the truth in Jesus Christ.

via What Was the Reformation All About? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

WICCANS, PAGANS and HALLOWEEN: What Every Christian Should Know

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Every year, it seems that the topic of whether Christians would celebrate Halloween or not creates differing opinions – and sometimes bad feelings rise up during debates.

This article is not about opinions. I researched straight from WICCAN sites and Witchcraft sites to get the real scoop:  What is Halloween really about and should followers of Christ celebrate it?

I even found a youtube of a woman who had been involved with WICCA aka Pagans, but is now a born again, blood washed Christian. Her ministry is to educate believers as to what WICCA truly is and also to help us understand Halloween and what that holiday means to witches and pagans.

From holidayinsights.com

Brethren, this site is not from a Christian vantage point. But this explains so much about the blatant evil of Halloween. I believe that we Christians need to fully understand this:

Witches and Warlock – Annual…

View original post 654 more words

October 13 Devoted to Prayer

Scripture Reading: Matthew 14:13–23

Key Verse: Luke 5:16

He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

Even with all of the crowds pressing around Him, with continual requests and a desire just to be with Him, Jesus sought time alone with His Father. Jesus made clear what He believed is the most important part of fellowship with God. In spite of the demands on His energy, He made communing with God His priority.

Is prayer the first thing on your list for the day? The last? Somewhere in between? Read what the apostle Paul said to the believers in the church at Colosse: “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2 nasb).

The word devote here doesn’t convey the complete meaning of the original Greek, which was “giving constant attention to” or “persevering.” We are to make the conscious decision to set aside time to talk to the Father and to listen to Him as He works in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and His Word.

It is tremendously helpful to set a specific time to pray. Make an “appointment” with the Lord, and write it down on your list for the day. If you keep in mind that you are making arrangements for a special encounter with God, you will treat this meeting accordingly.

You can combat the clamor of the day to find victory and joy in prayer, and a vital part of doing so is finding freedom from avoidable distractions.

Ask God to show you how rich your relationship with Him can be.

Father God, I make a conscious decision today to set aside time to talk with You. Set me free from avoidable distractions. Show me how rich our relationship can be.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 300). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Sunday Talks: Defense Secretary Mark Esper -vs- Chris Wallace Debate Turkey, Syria, Kurds and Ultimately The Ottoman Empire and TheMuslim Brotherhood… — The Last Refuge

 

Defense Secretary Mark Esper discusses and defends President Trump’s smart decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria in advance of Turkish forces launching an assault into Syria against Kurdish forces and the SDF.

The background here goes back to Turkish President Recep Ergodan, a gatekeeper between the middle-east and Europe; and his intention to use his ideological alignment with political Islam, via the Muslim Brotherhood, to recreate the Ottoman Empire.

via Sunday Talks: Defense Secretary Mark Esper -vs- Chris Wallace Debate Turkey, Syria, Kurds and Ultimately The Ottoman Empire and TheMuslim Brotherhood… — The Last Refuge

October 13 Seeking God’s Will

Scripture reading: John 16:7–15

Key verse: John 16:13

When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

Former pastor Henry Blackaby is helping countless Christians answer their questions in seeking the will of God. In his popular book Experiencing God, Blackaby says we should not ask, “What is God’s will for my life?” Rather, we should ask, “What is God’s will?”

Right now God is working all around you and in your life. One of the greatest tragedies among God’s people is that, while they have a deep longing to experience God, they are experiencing God day after day but do not know how to recognize Him.

Blackaby writes,

The Holy Spirit and the Word of God will instruct you and help you know when and where God is working. Once you know where He is working, you will adjust your life to join Him where He is working.

You will experience His accomplishing His activity through your life. When you enter this kind of intimate love relationship with God, you will know and do the will of God and experience Him in ways you have never known Him before. I cannot accomplish that goal in your life. Only God can bring you into that kind of relationship.

The relationship comes first. If you have received no clear direction about how to serve the Lord, perhaps it is time to deepen your fellowship with Jesus. The Christian life is a marathon that begins with a walk.

Dear heavenly Father, strengthen my relationship with You. I want to experience You in ways I have never known before.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 300). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Byron York: Democrats Use Secret Impeachment Process to Control Narrative | Breitbart News

Byron York wrote in the Washington Examiner on Saturday that Democrats are using a secret impeachment process to create a narrative that leaves out contradictory facts and prevents Republicans from presenting any real defense.

Source: Byron York: Democrats Use Secret Impeachment Process to Control Narrative

Fed Held Secret Videoconference On October 4 To Plan Launch Of QE 4 | ZeroHedge News

While the financial intelligentsia debates whether the Fed’s just announced plan to restart POMO with the purchase of T-bills at an initial pace of $60BN per month “at least into the second quarter of next year in order to maintain over time ample reserve balances at or above the level that prevailed in early September 2019”, is QE or is “Not A QE”, a key development was lost in the din surrounding the bigger picture.

As Rabobank’s Philip Marey writes, after hesitating at the September 17-18 meeting, the FOMC decided to announce balance sheet expansion well before the next meeting on October 29-30. This is earlier than the Committee anticipated at the previous meeting; it is also well ahead of the Wall Street consensus that had formed a balance sheet announcement would be made at the November FOMC: “After all, at the press conference on September 18, Powell indicated that ‘organic growth’ of the level of reserves would be high on the agenda of the October meeting.”

However, in his speech to the NABE last week (October 8) Powell was more explicit and said that the FOMC would “soon” announce measures to add to the supply of reserves over time.

It now turns out that “soon” meant a few days, and it was not a coincidence.

The reason for that is that as the Fed announced in a Q&A that was published alongside the POMO announcement, and which mostly flew under the radar amid the flurry of other news on Friday, the FOMC secretly held a video conference on October 4: “the first unscheduled (= emergency) meeting of this cutting cycle” as Rabobank puts it. From the Fed’s Q&A:

The FOMC met by videoconference on Friday, October 4 to discuss issues related to the recent pressures in money markets and monetary policy implementation. There was broad agreement following that discussion on appropriate technical operations to address these issues. Specific plans were developed for review by the Committee this week. As noted in the announcement, the final plans for these technical operations were approved by notation vote that was completed today.

That this took place after quarter-end, when the Fed had already announced a generous menu of repo unclogging operations, including a barrage of term repos in addition to the expanded, $100BN overnight repo, confirms just how seriously the Fed took the mid-September freeze of overnight funding markets (which sent G/C overnight repo rates to 9.25%), and is proof that – contrary to what many central bankers said last week – this was far more than a mere “plumbing” hiccup.

It also suggests that the bank which we pointed out on October 2 was the catalyst for the sudden and dramatic flare up in repo rates in September may have had one or more phone calls with Powell in hopes of boosting the amount of “excess” reserves in the interbank market (because clearly $1.4 trillion in reserves is no longer enough, and clearly expanding this amount of reserves to where they were at the peak of the Fed’s QE is “not QE” as so many so-called pundits will claim).

That bank, for those who missed the article, was JPMorgan.

Whether or not Powell indeed held a call with Jamie Dimon – who is “richer than you” for obvious reasons – will be revealed when the next set of the Fed Chair’s public schedules is released in a few weeks – the most recent one showed that Powell held phone calls with top Wall Street executives at the start of August, a day after the central bank cut interest rates for the first time since the global financial crisis. Specifically, Powell spoke with JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon for seven minutes and Citigroup’s Michael Corbat for 15 minutes on the morning of August 1, according to his latest public schedule.

Incidentally, later that afternoon on August 1, markets tumbled after President Trump abruptly announced he would move forward with tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese products (which he has since suspended). The Fed had a day earlier lowered its benchmark rate by a quarter percentage point but signaled it was not necessarily the start of an easing cycle. A little over two months later, the market is convinced that this, too, was a lie and the Fed will cut again in October and gives significant probability to yet another rate cut after, some time in November or December.

Meanwhile, going back to Rabobank, the bank which correctly predicted the Fed’s U-turn one year ago, now expected that the Fed will continue easing until the end of 2020, when the Fed Funds rate goes back to 0.00%

 

One final point: whereas we have made it quite clear that in our view, the Fed’s monthly purchase of $60BN in Bills, and up to $110BN in total TSY purchases, net of maturities and rollovers, is QE 4, even if we enjoy calling it “NOT A QE” to infuriate those Fed progressive pedants who for some bizarre reason find the urge to defend Powell’s actions, when it was the Fed’s monetary lunacy that caused the biggest wealth and income inequality and directly led to the ascent of Trump, the Fed defends its narrative of not calling the $60BN in indefinite T-Bill purchases a QE for the following reason:

the operations announced on October 11 are purely technical measures aimed at maintaining an appropriate level of reserves in the banking system and have no material implications for the stance of monetary policy. In particular, purchases of Treasury bills likely will have little if any effect on longer-term interest rates, broader financial conditions, or the overall stance of monetary policy. As a result, these purchases should not have any meaningful effects on household and business spending decisions and the overall level of economic activity.

There is just one problem with that cop out loophole: the Fed is saying it’s “not QE” because the Fed isn’t directly targeting long-term rates and “overall level of economic activity.” That is beyond disingenuous for one simple reason: while the Fed may not admit it, it is now scrambling to restore monetary conditions that were attained at the peak of QE. And while Powell may not claim that injecting up to $400BN in liquidity in the market is not aimed at monetary policy, it has a very clear, if unstated, motive: to further ease financial conditions, which is precisely what QE sought to do.

A very simple thought experiment: what would happen if the Fed had not pursued permanent balance sheet expansion: just how severe would the ensuing banking crisis be, which the Fed with its own actions confirmed was inevitable had it not intervened?

Source: Fed Held Secret Videoconference On October 4 To Plan Launch Of QE 4

Fed in Effect Commits to Financing 60 % of Federal Deficit With Its Own Made Up Money | AC2 News

In that case, why stop there? Why not double and triple the deficit again? The Fed says that all this self financed federal spending won’t cause inflation or anything else.
(From Reuters)

It’s a message that [Fed Chairman] Powell… foreshadowed earlier in the week: This is not quantitative easing.

The Treasury purchases will therefore have “little if any” meaningful effect “on household and business spending decisions and the overall level of economic activity,” the Fed said, repeating that explanation three times for emphasis in a statement Friday accompanying its announcement.

Click here for the article.

Source: Fed in Effect Commits to Financing 60 % of Federal Deficit With Its Own Made Up Money

Putin offers to help ease Gulf tensions before Saudi trip | One America News Network

October 13, 2019

By Olesya Astakhova and Stephen Kalin

RIYADH (Reuters) – Russia can play a positive role in easing tensions in the Gulf following a spate of attacks in the region, President Vladimir Putin said in comments published on Sunday before his first visit to Saudi Arabia in over a decade.

He cited good Russian ties with Gulf Arab states and Iran in an interview with Arab broadcasters, but said he had no reliable information about who was behind attacks on Saudi oil facilities on Sept. 14 which stoked tension and rattled oil markets.

Yemen’s Houthi movement said it was behind the drone and missile strikes, but Riyadh and Washington blamed Tehran, which denied responsibility.

The attack exposed big gaps in Saudi air defenses, prompting the United States to send around 3,000 more troops to the kingdom.

“It is wrong to determine who is guilty before it is known reliably and clearly who is behind this act,” Putin said, adding that he had agreed to help investigate.

“Imagine, we don’t know. The next day, I asked the head of the foreign intelligence service and the defense minister. ‘No, we don’t know’,” he said according to an Arabic-language transcript provided by Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television.

Putin is due to arrive in Saudi Arabia on Monday and will hold talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before leaving for the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday. Russia and Saudi Arabia are two of the world’s biggest oil producers.

Tensions in the Gulf have risen to new highs since May 2018, when the United States withdrew from a 2015 international nuclear accord with Tehran that put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of sanctions.

President Donald Trump has reinstated U.S. sanctions, increasing pressure on Iran’s economy, and there have been attacks on Saudi Arabia and in Gulf waters that Washington and close allies have blamed on Iran. Tehran denies responsibility.

Putin said such attacks strengthened cooperation between oil producers inside and outside OPEC, an alliance known as OPEC+, and that Russia – which is not in OPEC – would work with its partners to reduce attempts to destabilize markets.

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, in a media briefing, said Riyadh was not behind a suspected strike against an Iranian-owned oil tanker in the Red Sea on Friday.

IRAN DEAL, SYRIA

Pakistan’s prime minister is visiting Tehran and Riyadh this week to try to facilitate talks.

Putin said the region’s rival leaders did not need advice and mediation.

“You can only talk to them out of friendship,” he said. “I know that they, being smart, will listen and analyze what they are told. In this context we can play a positive role.”

He said he had “very friendly personal relations” with Prince Mohammed, the de facto Saudi ruler.

Asked whether Moscow supported a return to negotiations with Iran to limit its missile program as Trump has called for or enforcing the nuclear deal first, Putin said the two issues should be dealt with separately.

“Most likely it (the missiles) can and should be discussed … The missile program is one thing and the nuclear program is another thing,” he said. “Of course, this is necessary, but there is no need to merge one with the other…”

On Syria, where Russia and Iran have been key allies of President Bashar al-Assad during the country’s civil war, Putin said any new constitution that is drawn up should guarantee the rights of all ethnic and religions groups.

A congress convened by Russia last year tasked the United Nations envoy for Syria with forming a committee to draft a new constitution, after many rounds of talks to end the war failed.

U.N. officials say forming a constitutional committee is key to political reforms and new elections meant to unify Syria and end the civil war.

Putin said Syrians “interact positively” with Russian military police and military stationed in the country.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Washington was poised to evacuate about 1,000 troops from northern Syria after Turkey began an offensive against Kurdish forces in the border area. He told CBS the Kurds were looking to cut a deal with the Syrians and Russians to counterattack against the Kurds.

Turkey says it aims to set up a “safe zone” to resettle Syrian refugees but the offensive has raised international alarm over the possibility of Islamic State militants escaping from Kurdish-run prisons.

Putin said Moscow did not blame Trump for not improving U.S.-Russian relations, blaming the lack of progress on the “internal political agenda”.

(Additional reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi in Dubai, Writing by Stephen Kalin, Editing by Edmund Blair and Timothy Heritage)

Source: Putin offers to help ease Gulf tensions before Saudi trip

White House to send military equipment & 3 thousand new soldiers to Saudi Arabia | RT

Donald Trump is claiming Saudi Arabia has agreed to pay for the deployment of additional U.S. troops to the region. The addition troops dispatched by the White House will bring the total deployment of U.S. forces to the kingdom to 3,000 since mid-September.

Donald Trump Taunts Hunter Biden as He Leaves Board of Chinese Investment Firm | Breitbart News

President Donald Trump continued taunting former Vice President Joe Biden’s son on Sunday after Hunter Biden announced he was stepping down from a Chinese investment firm.

Source: Donald Trump Taunts Hunter Biden as He Leaves Board of Chinese Investment Firm

Rashida Tlaib: We’re Considering Jailing The President’s Allies If They Don’t Comply With Impeachment Inquiry | The Daily Wire

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), one of the key members of the progressive Congressional “squad,” reiterated a claim Sunday that Democrats are quietly considering jailing allies of President Donald Trump if they do not comply with the House’s impeachment inquiry.

Source: Rashida Tlaib: We’re Considering Jailing The President’s Allies If They Don’t Comply With Impeachment Inquiry

Kimberly Strassel: Media wage relentless crusade to destroy Trump | FOX news

The press has embraced its bias, joined the anti-Trump Resistance and declared its allegiance to one side of a partisan war. It now openly declares those who offer any fair defense of this administration as Trump “enablers.”

Since Donald Trump’s election in 2016, the mainstream media has shed its once-noble mission — the pursuit of the truth — and instead adopted a new purpose: to take down the president. In an excerpt from her new book, “Resistance at All Costs: How Trump Haters are Breaking America,” out Tuesday, Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal examines how far the press will go in its relentless crusade.

Last week The Washington Post revealed the alarming news that House Democrats were considering having their anonymous “whistleblower” testify from a remote location, and in disguise. Just as shocking as the details of this plan was the justification the Post ladled on this Democratic effort to hide impeachment information from the public.

It explained, high up in the story, that the cloak-and-dagger approach was merely Democrats expressing “distrust of their GOP colleagues, whom they see as fully invested in defending a president who has attacked the whistleblower’s credibility and demanded absolute loyalty from Republicans.”

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR OPINION NEWSLETTER

This, from a newspaper with a tagline of “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” Maybe the better journalistic epitaph is: Democracy dies in bias. How did journalism get here?

I’ve never engaged much in media criticism, because it’s almost too obvious. Yes, the mainstream media is liberal and biased. But at least in the past, that bias was largely a function of insularity. Most reporters weren’t even fully aware they were prejudiced politically; everyone they worked and socialized with held the same left-of-center views.

That’s changed in the age of Trump. The press has embraced its bias, joined the Resistance and declared its allegiance to one side of a partisan war. It now openly declares those who offer any fair defense of this administration as Trump “enablers.” It writes off those who question the FBI or Department of Justice actions in 2016 as “conspiracy” theorists. It acts as willing scribes for Democrats and former Obama officials; peddles evidence-free accusations; sources stories from people with clear political axes to grind; and closes its eyes to clear evidence of government abuse.

This media war is extraordinary, overt and increasingly damaging to the country.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS PIECE IN THE NEW YORK POST

Source: Kimberly Strassel: Media wage relentless crusade to destroy Trump

Rand Paul: Troops in Saudi Arabia create ‘magnet for all the crazy jihadists around the world’ | FOX news

An increased American military presence in Saudi Arabia creates a “magnet” for Islamic extremism in the region, and presents an open target for radical Jihadists, said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., during a Sunday television interview.

Source: Rand Paul: Troops in Saudi Arabia create ‘magnet for all the crazy jihadists around the world’

Iraq War Whistleblower Hopes Her Film Won’t Let Bush and Blair Get Away With Malfeasance | Sputnik International

Katharine Gun is now in the spotlight again, but this time not for exposing classified information. A film discussing illegal US activities prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq premiered in London this week.

Source: Iraq War Whistleblower Hopes Her Film Won’t Let Bush and Blair Get Away With Malfeasance

Trade Deal Done? Is 3300 The Next Stop For The Market? | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

Trade Deal Done

On Thursday and Friday, the market surged on hopes that a “trade deal” was coming to fruition. This was not a surprise to us, as we detailed this outcome two weeks ago:

‘For Trump, he can spin a limited deal as a ‘win’ saying ‘China is caving to his tariffs’ and that he ‘will continue working to get the rest of the deal done.’ He will then quietly move on to another fight, which is the upcoming election, and never mention China again. His base will quickly forget the ‘trade war’ ever existed.

Kind of like that ‘Denuclearization deal’ with North Korea.’”

As we discussed in that missive, a limited “trade deal” would potentially set the markets up for a run to 3300. To wit:

Assuming we are correct, and Trump does indeed ‘cave’ into China in mid-October to get a ‘small deal’ done, what does this mean for the market. 

The most obvious impact, assuming all ‘tariffs’ are removed, would be a psychological ‘pop’ to the markets which, given that markets are already hovering near all-time highs, would suggest a rally into the end of the year.”

This is not the first time we presented our analysis for a “bull run” to 3300.

Every week, we review the major markets, sectors, portfolio positions specifically for our RIA PRO subscribers (You can check it out FREE for 30-days)Here was our note for the S&P 500 previously.

  • We are still maintaining our core S&P 500 position as the market has not technically violated any support levels as of yet. However, it hasn’t been able to advance to new highs either.
  • There is likely a tradeable opportunity approaching for a reflexive bounce given the depth of selling over the last couple of weeks.

This is the outcome we expected.

  • There is no “actual” deal.
  • The “excuse” will be this deal lays the groundwork for a future deal.
  • No one will discuss a trade deal ever again.

It is almost as if Bloomberg read our work:

“The U.S. and China reached a partial agreement Friday that would broker a truce in the trade war and lay the groundwork for a broader deal that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping could sign later this year.

As part of the deal, China would agree to some agricultural concessions and the U.S. would provide some tariff relief. The deal under discussion, which is subject to Trump’s approval, would suspend a planned tariff increase for Oct. 15. It also may delay — or call off — levies scheduled to take effect in mid-December.”

So, who won?

China.

  • China gets to buy agricultural and pork products they badly need.
  • The U.S. gets to suspend tariffs.

Who will like the deal?

  • The markets:  the deal removes a potential escalation in tariffs.
  • Trump supporters: Fox News will “spin” the “no deal” into a Trump “win” for the 2020 election. 
  • The Fed: It removes one of their concerns potentially impacting the economy.

By getting the “trade deal” out of the headlines, this clears the way for the market to rally potentially into the end of the year. Importantly, it isn’t just the trade deal providing support for higher asset prices short term:

  • There now seems to be a pathway forward for “Brexit”
  • The Fed is injecting $60 billion a month in liquidity into 2020 (More on this below)
  • The Fed has cut rates and is expected to cut again by year end.
  • ECB back into easing mode and running negative rates
  • Fed and ECB loosening capital requirements for banks (Because they are so healthy after all.)

This is also a MAJOR point of concern.

Despite all of this liquidity and support, the market remains currently confined to a downtrend from the September highs. The good news is there is a series of rising lows from June. With a “risk-on” signal approaching and the market not back to egregiously overbought, there is room for the market to rally from here.

Let me repeat what we wrote back in July:

“As we face down the last half of 2019, we can once again run some projections on the bull and bear case going into 2021, as shown in the chart below:”

The Bull Case For 3300

  • Momentum
  • Stock Buybacks
  • Fed Rate Cuts
  • Stoppage of QT
  • Trade Deal

However, while the case for a push higher is likely, the risk/reward still isn’t great for investors over the intermediate term. A failure of the market to make new highs, given the amount of monetary support, will be a very bearish signal.

The Fed’s “Not QE”, “QE”

Sure thing, Brian.

As I noted previously:

“Then there are the tail-risks of a credit-related event caused by a dollar funding shortage, a banking crisis (Deutsche Bank), or a geopolitical event, or a surge in defaults on “leveraged loans” which are twice the size of the “sub-prime” bonds linked to the “financial crisis.”  (Read more here)

Just remember, bull-runs are a one-way trip. 

Most likely, this is the final run-up before the next bear market sets in. However, where the “top” is eventually found is the big unknown question. We can only make calculated guesses.”

Think about this logically for a moment.

  1. The yield curve inverts which puts pressure on bank loans and funding.
  2. The Fed cuts rates, which puts pressure on banks net interest margins.
  3. The banks are chock full of leverage loans, risky energy-related debt, subprime auto loans, etc. 
  4. The Fed begins reducing excess reserves.
  5. All of a sudden, banks have a problem with overnight funding.
  6. Fed reduces liquidity regulations (put in place after Lehman to protect the financial system)
  7. Fed now has to commit to $60 billion in funding through January 2020 to increase reserves.

The last point was detailed in a recent FOMC release:

“In light of recent and expected increases in the Federal Reserve’s non-reserve liabilities, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) directed the Desk, effective October 15, 2019, to purchase Treasury bills at least into the second quarter of next year to maintain over time ample reserve balances at or above the level that prevailed in early September 2019. The Committee also directed the Desk to conduct term and overnight repurchase agreement operations (repos) at least through January of next year to ensure that the supply of reserves remains ample even during periods of sharp increases in non-reserve liabilities, and to mitigate the risk of money market pressures that could adversely affect policy implementation.

In accordance with this directive, the Desk plans to purchase Treasury bills at an initial pace of approximately $60 billion per month, starting with the period from mid-October to mid-November.”

NOTE: If you don’t understand what has been happening with overnight lending between banks – READ THIS.

The Fed is in QE mode because there is a problem with liquidity in the system. Given the Fed was caught “flat-footed” with the Lehman bankruptcy in 2008, they are trying to make sure they are in front of the next crisis.

The reality is the financial system is NOT healthy. 

If it was, then we would:

  1. Not still be using “emergency measures” to support banks for the last decade. (QE, LTRO, Etc.)
  2. Not be pushing $17 trillion in negative interest rates on a global basis.
  3. Have reinstated FASB Rule 157 in 2012-2013 requiring banks to mark-to-market the assets on their books. (A defaulted asset can be marked at 100% of value which makes the bank look healthy.)
  4. Not be needing to reduce liquidity requirements.
  5. Not be needing $60 billion a month in QE.

Oh, but that’s right, Jerome Powell denies this is “QE.”

“I want to emphasize that growth of our balance sheet for reserve management purposes should in no way be confused with the large-scale asset purchase programs that we deployed after the financial crisis. Neither the recent technical issues nor the purchases of Treasury bills we are contemplating to resolve them should materially affect the stance of monetary policy. In no sense, is this QE,” – Jerome Powell

It’s QE.

Just so you can understand the magnitude of the balance sheet increase over the last couple of weeks, the largest single week increase from 2009 to September 20th, 2019 was $39.97 billion.

The last two weeks were $58.2 and $83.87 billion respectively. 

But, it’s not Q.E.

So, what was it then?

This was not about covering unexpected cash draws to pay quarterly taxes, which was one of the initial excuses for the funding shortfalls.

Nope.

This was bailing out a bank that is in serious financial trouble. It started with the ECB a month ago loosening requirements on banks, then proceeded to the Fed reducing capital reserve requirements and flooding the system with reserves. 

Who was the biggest beneficiary of all of these actions? Deutsche Bank.

Which is about 4x as large as Lehman was in 2008 and is currently following the same price path as well. Let me repeat, the Fed is terrified of another “Lehman Crisis” as they do not have the tools to deal with it this time.

(Courtesy of ZeroHedge)

The problem for the Fed, is that while they insist recent rate cuts are “mid-cycle” adjustments, as was seen in 1995 to counter the risk of the Orange County bankruptcy, the reality is the “mid-cycle” has long been past us.

With the Fed cutting rates, injecting weekly records of liquidity into the system, at a time where economic data has clearly taken a turn for the worse, the situation may “not be in as good of a place” as we have been told. 

Being a little more cautious, taking in some profits, and rebalancing risks continues to be our recipe for navigating the markets currently.

Source: Trade Deal Done? Is 3300 The Next Stop For The Market?

Syrian Army To Enter Turkish-Besieged Cities “Within 48 Hours” As US Exits | ZeroHedge News

A huge development after earlier in the day Sunday Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Trump has ordered a “deliberate withdrawal” of 1,000 US troops in northeast Syria amid the advancing Turkish incursion: sources close to the Syrian government have announced  the Syrian Army will move in to assist Kurdish militias in Kobani and Manbij.

This after shocking statements over the weekend by the head of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Mazlum Abdi, who told CNN, “I’ve been holding myself for two days from going to the press and saying that America abandoned us and that I would like you to get out of our areas now so that I can invite Russian and [Syrian] regime planes to take over this airspace.”

Syrian Army, via AFP/Getty

Reuters now reports on the significant development which could see the Turkish and Syrian armies enter into direct confrontation: “The Lebanese broadcaster al-Mayadeen said on Sunday the Syrian army would deploy within 48 hours to the town of Kobani which is held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and the nearby town of Manbij which is controlled by SDF-aligned forces.”

“The Syrian Governmental Forces (SAA) are preparing to enter the region of Kobani today, based on an agreement with the Syrian Democratic Forces,” Syrian official Mohammed Shaheen, was cited as saying.

As early as last week the SDF was reportedly engaged in intensifying talks with Damascus over assistance from the Syrian Army, after the US withdrew its air support for the Kurdish-led group amid the Turkish assault.

On Monday the commander of the US trained and armed SDF, Mazlum Abdi, indicated just that in a bombshell statement: “We are considering a partnership with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the aim of fighting Turkish forces.” 

Though Damascus has yet to confirm an official deal with YPG/SDF forces, state-run SANA did say on Sunday that national forces were moving north to “confront” Turkish forces and its “aggression”.

Military analysis site, The Defense Post, reports on the potential direct cooperation between the Syrian Army and SDF to push out the Turks:

Kobani official General Ismet Sheikh Hasan said that Russian and Syrian government troops could enter Kobani and Manbij by Sunday night to help secure the cities from a Turkish incursion.

“We did everything we could,” he said. “We have called upon the West [and] the Arab Union but no one is coming to help, so we have no one other than ourselves to defend [Kobani]. Kurdish youth should come and defend their homes, and people should not abandon their homes – this is our land. It looks like this is the fate of the Kurds, to go through this each time.”

Damascus officials had subsequently denied that it was engaged in a wide-ranging deal, however, Sunday’s reported development of Syrian Army forces to the north could be the beginning of more significant deal making.

The United States has blocked such talks and cooperation for years, but the White House appears ready to washing its hands of the matter.

.

Source: Syrian Army To Enter Turkish-Besieged Cities “Within 48 Hours” As US Exits

Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Takes Swing at Biden Over Ukraine Scandal — The Gateway Pundit

Democrat presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard took a swing at former Vice President Joe Biden over the Ukraine scandal during an interview on Friday.

Biden has been facing scrutiny over his son’s position at Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings and the firing of a prosecutor who says that he was investigating them for corruption. The prosecutor claims the government was pressured to get rid of him by the then-vice president.

Appearing on Hill.TV’s “Rising” on Friday morning, Gabbard was asked by host Krystal Ball if she would allow her vice president’s son to sit on the board of a Ukrainian energy company if she wins.

“I think that would be a poor decision to make,” Gabbard said.

Rising co-host Saagar Enjeti asserted that many of the Democrat candidates have been “very reluctant to call this out as evidence of corruption” and asked if she was going to.

“I think the perception is certainly a concern,” Gabbard said. “I think we have to look at how we can root out the corruption of the abuse of power and influence within our government, and I think that there’s a lot of examples of it.”

Gabbard also reaffirmed that she is considering boycotting the fourth Democratic presidential debate in protest of the DNC rigging the primaries.

via Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Takes Swing at Biden Over Ukraine Scandal — The Gateway Pundit