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Bitcoin Cash Price Technical Analysis – BCH/USD Reaching Support

September 29, 2017 Aayush Jindal 0

Key Points Bitcoin cash price after trading to a new high above $480 against the US Dollar found sellers. There is a major ascending channel forming with support at $452 on the hourly chart of BCH/USD (data feed from Kraken). The price is approaching the $450-452 support area and might find strong bids. Bitcoin cash … Continue reading Bitcoin Cash Price Technical Analysis – BCH/USD Reaching Support

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“What’re They For, Exactly?” $100 Million Bridge-And-Tunnel Towers Baffle New Yorkers

September 29, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

After a summer plagued by hours-long delays and service outages, New Yorkers’ frustration with the city’s rapidly deteriorating subway system has reached a boiling point. But while the MTA is desperately trying to close massive budget shortfalls by hiking fares in lieu  of any kind of meaningful assistance from the State of New York, commuters have noticed that a series of mysterious metal towers have started appearing at the entrances of tunnels and bridges around the city.

And some are expressing frustration with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the MTA for refusing to release any details about the towers’ purpose, despite planning to spend $100 million on them.

One New Yorker, Jose Lugo, told CBS that the quickly appeared after the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toll booths came down.

Earlier this month, Reinvent Albany asked the Authorities Budget Office to investigate whether the ‘MTA board was fully informed, before approving contracts’ related to the construction of the towers. The group is trying to figure out if the MTA board knew what it was doing when it approved a series of contract amendments worth some $47 million worth of expenses for the towers that currently sit at the entrance to the Battery and Queens Midtown Tunnels.

Eventually, the MTA plans to construct 18 such towers, saying only that they will serve some vague anti-terrorism-related purpose.

“It’s a bit mind-boggling that the MTA is approving $100 million for what appears to us to be big, decorative pylons,” says John Kaehny, the leader of the watchdog group Reinvent Albany. “What we’re asking for is transparency from the MTA.”

 

“What we’re asking for is transparency from the MTA.”  

But the individuals in charge are staying tight-lipped about what the towers actually do.

Cedrick Fulton, the head of the MTA’s bridges and tunnels, refused to comment to media organizations asking about the towers, and MTA chaiman and former mayoral candidate Joe Lhota said he wasn’t at liberty to discuss details of the project, other than to confirm that they would serve some type of anti-terrorism-related purpose.

Shams Tarek, a spokesman for the MTA, told Politico that the towers ‘host cameras, traffic monitoring and other equipment related to homeland security that would otherwise have been hosted by the former toll booth structures’.

If this is accurate, then $100 million seems like a hefty price tag for such a project.

Citizens aren’t the only ones asking questions about the towers. According to CBS, some MTA board members, including New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, say they know too little about the towers – especially considering that the MTA has already spent $50 million on them.

“It’s a $100 million MTA project shrouded in secrecy, with 18 of them for tunnels and bridges. So, what are they exactly?” Trottenberg said.

Let’s hope – for the MTA’s sake – that these pylons do have some kind of sophisticated functionality, and that this isn’t another classic example of the wasteful spending habits that have contributed to the subway’s present-day troubles.  
 

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Market Still Thrilled by US Tax Plan; Busy Data Calendar Ahead

September 29, 2017 Oil N' Gold 0

Wall Street extended gains as investors expect the US Congress would likely pass the tax reform bill and as economic data were encouraging. The DJIA and S&P 500 indices rose +0.2% and +0.1% respectively. US dollar retreated with the DXY index slipping -0.3% after a 3-day rally. GBPUSD recovered after falling over the past 4 days, despite the lack of progress in the Brexit talks.

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Trump’s Iran threats risk a US break with Europe

September 29, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Donald Trump is approaching a crucial deadline on his Iran policy. On 15 October, he will have to certify whether Tehran is observing the 2015 multinational agreement to forego nuclear weapons. Trump has reluctantly certified Iran’s compliance, which is due quarterly, twice since taking office. This time, his belligerent address to the United Nations on 19 September suggests he may not. If the United States follows through on threats to stop fulfilling its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the Iran deal is formally known, its allies in Europe will be forced to choose between committing a crime and making a mistake. Whichever they decide, the strength of the transatlantic coalition – America’s most important […]

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Turkey’s Erdogan links fate of detained US pastor to wanted cleric Gulen

September 29, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

President Tayyip Erdogan suggested on Thursday that Turkey could free a detained US pastor if the United States handed over a Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania whom Ankara has blamed for a failed military coup last year, an idea that Washington appeared to dismiss. Turkey has been seeking the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a former ally of Erdogan whose supporters are blamed for trying to overthrow Erdogan’s government in July 2016. Gulen has denied any role in the coup attempt, in which 250 people were killed. US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said the Turkish government has yet to provide enough evidence for the US Justice Department to act. Read More: Erdogan slams Kurdish referendum as ‘betrayal’ Thousands of […]

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Is The Bubble About To Burst? Student-Loan Delinquency Rates Rise For First Time In Years

September 29, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Since the financial crisis, most market observers and economists have cheerfully ignored the aggregate student-debt load in the US, which recently swelled to an economy-threatening $1.4 trillion. Even as student-debt, which can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, grew to represent 10% of the total US debt burden, defenders of the status quo pointed to declining default rates as evidence that the government-backed student loan industry wasn’t in danger of imploding.

But that may soon change.

As Bloomberg reports, the student-loan default rate in the US ticked higher during the second quarter for the first time since 2013. While it’s only one quarter of data, it should send a chill down the spine of government and private lenders, who have every reason to worry that this could be more than a temporary blip.

To wit, the share of Americans at least 31 days late on loans from the U.S. Department of Education ticked up to 18.8% as of June 30, up from 18.6% during the same period a year ago, according to new federal data. Meanwhile, about 3.3 million Americans have gone more than a month without making a required payment on their Education Department loans—up about 320,000 borrowers.

The rise interrupts a period of 12 straight quarters of declines in delinquency rates, according to numbers dating to 2013. It also comes at a time when US economic growth is nominally expanding (the BEA announced earlier today that the US economy expanded by 3.1% during the second quarter, an improvement over its previous estimate).

While the uptick may be small compared with the 17 million debtors making student-loan payments, according to Bloomberg, it has baffled economists, who’ve struggled to find a suitable explanation.

“There’s no fundamental reason for that to be happening,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, senior U.S. economist for Bloomberg Intelligence. After all, she said, the U.S. economy has improved since June of last year, with lower unemployment, higher household incomes and increased wealth, federal data show. Consumers are more confident about the economy and their own personal finances, too, according to Bloomberg Consumer Comfort data.

In the name of generosity, let’s assume that these economists aren’t being willfully ignorant, and that the argument that there are no “fundamental reasons” for the uptick in delinquencies is grounded in some type of institutional shortsightedness.

To be sure, when it comes to the precarious finances of student-loan borrowers, nothing has changed in the past three months. Instead, we’d posit that the US’s massive pile of student-loan debt has for years posed an underappreciated threat to the US economy.

Case in point: The recently released Student Loan Debt and Housing Report 2017, an annual study conducted by the National Associated of Realtors, confirmed that many borrowers are putting off moving out of their parents’ house, purchasing homes, and myriad other purchases because of their student debt.

The U.S. currently has a student debt load of $1.4 trillion, which accounts for 10 percent of all outstanding debt and 35 percent of non-housing debt. The magnitude of the debt continues to grow in size and share of the overall debt in the economy. While this amount of debt has risen, the homeownership rate has fallen, and fallen more steeply among younger generations.

Student loan debt impacts other life decisions including employment, the state the debt holder lives in, life choices such as continuing education, starting a family, and retirement.

 

Twenty-two percent were delayed by at least two years in moving out of a family member’s home after college due to their student loans.

 

Among non-homeowners, 83 percent cite student loan debt as the factor delaying them from buying a home. This is most frequently the case due to the fact that the borrowers cannot save for a downpayment because of their student debt. Among homeowners, 28 percent say student debt is impacting the ability to sell their existing home and move to a different home. The delay in buying a home among non-homeowners is seven years and three

years for homeowners.

But perhaps the most dismaying evidence was when the NAR tried to gauge “buyer awareness” – i.e. the student’s understanding and frame of mind when they first applied for the loans.

  • Before attending college, 28 percent of borrowers knew generally the school “might be expensive” or “might be cheap”, but had no further information.
  • More than one-quarter of borrowers had an understanding of tuition, but had little understanding of other costs such as fees and housing expenses.
  • One in five borrowers understood all the costs including tuition, fees, and housing.

After offering a handful of specious explanations, ranging from a rise in the number of debtors actively making payments, to the notion that the best borrowers have already “graduated” (i.e. paid off their loans), Bloomberg offers a nugget of sense.  

Finally, Tarkan said, there could be a simpler reason: Maybe more Americans just can’t afford their monthly payments.

Sometimes, the best explanations are also the simplest.
 

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