Saturday, January 14, 2017

Today's links

1--Obama Opens NSA’s Vast Trove of Warrantless Data to Entire Intelligence Community, Just in Time for Trump

With only days until Donald Trump takes office, the Obama administration on Thursday announced new rules that will let the NSA share vast amounts of private data gathered without warrant, court orders or congressional authorization with 16 other agencies, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security.

2--Investors are bracing for a massive stock-market selloff

3--Northman Trader: The bull market is in its final inning – here's why

4--Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him

5--Donald Trump has persuaded Republicans to doubt the intelligence on Russia’s hacking

6--As Crisis That Vexed Obama Fades, Trump Will Benefit-- President-elect could preside over longest recovery since World War II

In ways that few appreciate, the financial crisis that ushered Barack Obama into office in 2008 shaped all eight years of his presidency. It drove his regulatory and economic agenda, polarized politics and policy, hobbled output and wage growth, and ultimately helped make Donald Trump president.
Ironically, Mr. Obama steps down as the recovery from that crisis is largely complete, which could leave Mr. Trump to preside over the longest expansion since World War II.
Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University have documented that recoveries that follow crises are weaker than those after a typical recession; on average, it takes eight years for a country to achieve its previous peak in per-capita gross domestic product.

The U.S. has done well, reaching its precrisis peak in just six years, in 2013. Nonetheless, at 2.1%, average annual growth over this expansion is the weakest of the postwar period....

That drained money from investment. Even today, housing, consumer spending on durables and business investment are just 24% of GDP, compared with 28% or more at previous economic peaks, according to Goldman. This lack of investment has both held back growth and worker productivity—or output per hour worked—which in turn has held back wages.

As in other countries, the financial crisis also polarized and fragmented politics. Outrage at bank bailouts and Mr. Obama’s broader economic interventions helped bring Tea Party Republicans to power in Congress in 2010. They forced Mr. Obama to pivot to fiscal austerity in 2011 when stimulus was still needed. Meanwhile, responding to the priorities of the left, his administration vastly expanded regulation and prosecution of financial companies, restricting the supply of mortgage and small business credit.
Paradoxically, the weakness of the expansion over the last eight years may sustain it. Business expansions don’t automatically die as they age but do become more vulnerable to life-threatening conditions. That is because investors, businesses and households tend to overinvest after a long stretch of good times, setting the stage for a correction...

The Goldman report notes that deleveraging has recently abated and may “soon reverse as households and the financial sector face a more favorable fiscal and regulatory environment under President-elect Trump. For all practical purposes, the ‘hangover’ may now be over.” It says that rising home and stock values should encourage consumers to save less and spend more, as typically happens during expansions but hasn’t so far in this one.
Job growth will slow simply because the economy is running out of spare workers, but that may be offset by a long overdue rebound in productivity growth. A survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that small business optimism has soared since the election, perhaps in anticipation of a more business-friendly White House. Wages are now growing at the fastest pace since 2009, which will also encourage investment in labor-saving technology. The Fed has promised to drag its feet at raising rates..

7--The Deep State Goes to War With President-Elect, Using Unverified Claims, as Democrats Cheer

8--Trump Recruits Another Goldman Sachs Bankster

9--Kerry bombshell tape: We saw ISIS rise but thought we could manage it

10--Still popular--     TV Ratings: Obama's Farewell Address Pulls 34 Million Viewers

11--1930s-Like Demographic Headwinds Are Restraining the U.S. Economy

12--Americans Assess Progress Under Obama

13--Documents alleging Trump-Moscow ties leaked to media, intensifying conflict in US state

14--NYT Accuses CNN, BuzzFeed Of Peddling "Fake News" Over Russia Report

Of particular interest was the use of unsubstantiated information from anonymous sources, a practice that fueled some of the so-called fake news — false rumors passed off as legitimate journalism — that proliferated during the presidential election.

15--Trump : Head Of US Intel "Denounced Fictitious, Illegally Circulated Report"

16--Trump wants Putin summit in Reykjavik

Britain fears leak of its secrets to Moscow

17--Obama's Farewell Tears Are an Insult, His Record is Soaked in Blood

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