Daniel Pipes does great work

As Americans elect a new president, we will forward an agenda that promotes American interests – helping policy makers, researchers, and activists confront our opponents. Our influence is evident, based on the millions who follow our work online, in the news, and on social media.

For example:

  • ISIS – Our Jihad Intel project helps police identify jihadists before they act. Fellow Aymenn Al-Tamimihas become the go-to source for intelligence and translations about jihadis in Syria and Iraq.
  • Europe‘s illegal immigrants – In addition to our intellectual output (for example, by fellow Raymond Ibrahim and me), we privately counsel some of the leading anti-immigrant parties in an effort to make them more responsible and moderate.
  • On campus – We counter the anti-Israel boycott movement (BDS) by researching both pro– and anti-BDS university faculty, monitoring their activities, and making analyses by our experts available to the anti-BDS alliance.
  • Israel – We work to change the U.S. position toward UNRWA’s loose definition of “Palestine refugee,” which both delegitimizes Israel and perpetuates conflict.
  • Iran – Our Legal Project funded the legal case that culminated in the U.S. Federal Court of Appealsupholding a $183,000 sanction penalty imposed on Iran’s unofficial American lobby, the National Iranian American Council. Gregg Roman successfully challenged Nitin Chadda, director of the Iran Desk at the National Security Council, on the merits of the nuclear deal.
  • TurkeyMy anti-Erdoğan writings “have come to dominate the entire spectrum of political commentary on Turkish affairs,” according to a pro-Erdoğan newspaper in Turkey.

Your support allows us to engage in these and many other activities, always with an eye toward American interests.

I look forward to thanking you for your support.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Pipes

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Two cents on interest rates

Cent #1) “Anyone familiar with asset markets know that it is expectations that move prices” – George Soros

Cent #2) Every action has a consequence, and each consequence has another consequence (“Second-Order Effect”)

Expectations of long term interest rates post fed hike (if any), are not necessarily the same and not necessarily linear toexpectations of long term interest rates pre fed hike.

Cent #1+ Cent #2 =  4 , 8 or potentially 16 Cents

The actual action of an interest rate hike (if any) can create “expectation feedback loop”, in turn, a desire by market participants for higher yields on their investments dollars, this potential shift in expectations is not priced in anywhere in the markets, not in stocks, high yield bonds or real estate, the market is pricing in a small hike, but not a shift in expectations post hike.

Considering the prices stocks, bonds and real estate are trading at, and considering that underlying earnings, rents, cash flows are far from depressed, a small move from lets say 4% cash flow yield to “new demand” of  5% cash flow yield on some assets, (as result of new expectations) can create a 20% decline that could cascade into something more serious. if buyers decide to only step away, that alone is enough to create a decline of that magnitude in some markets.

This is not a prediction, in complex systems no one can predict, but one can and should look for places of vulnerability in the assets they own, and whether or not there is any margin of safety in them, now is a perfect time to do so.

This exercise of demanding margin of safety is necessary for long term survival, you can be plenty wrong if you have enough margin of safety, and if you don’t, a few errors can and will take you out.

Source: Beijing Perspective – Two cents on interest rates

“the long bond wants the Fed to tighten”

ETF.com: Why is what happens to commodity prices—particularly oil—crucial to fixed income?

Gundlach: That’s been the case for decades. Oil is an incredibly important commodity. And oil correlates pretty highly to directions in interest rates. That’s because oil is a centerpiece-type commodity for inflation. Bonds care a lot about inflation. For government bonds, inflation is the most important thing. And oil is a harbinger of inflation. It’s not surprising that collapsing oil prices lead to a downgrade of inflation expectations, which leads to, on the margin, further support for bonds.

What’s been curious in the last month is that oil prices have been on a wild ride, and commodity prices generally have been on a wild ride. And yet for the month of August, the bond market was down in terms of total return, which is strange given the tremendous collapse that occurred in the commodity complex. If you’re going to take 20 percent out of the oil market price, under conventional wisdom, you’d’ve expected interest rates to fall substantially, not just 15 basis points or so, as we saw.

But again, go back to the Rosetta Stone. Why did this happen? Because oil collapsing meant the Fed was less likely to tighten. The more you analyze the markets, the more you realize the message has been crystal clear now, for nearly two years. The long bond wants the Fed to tighten. And I know that a lot of people have a hard time with that notion, but it’s difficult to look at the market data objectively and come to a different conclusion. People are far too committed to the idea that interest rates are about to explode higher. That’s been the wrong idea for years. And we’ve jumped to the wrong conclusion that the Fed tightening is somehow a disaster for long-term bonds. It’s exactly the opposite.

Source: Gundlach On How TOTL Outperforms | ETF.com

‘Impossible’ rocket drive works

The EM Drive actually works and would dramatically speed up space travel, scientists have confirmed

Interplanetary travel could be a step closer after scientists confirmed that an electromagnetic propulsion drive, which is fast enough to get to the Moon in four hours, actually works.The EM Drive was developed by the British inventor Roger Shawyer nearly 15 years ago but was ridiculed at the time as being scientifically impossible.


It produces thrust by using solar power to generate multiple microwaves that move back and forth in an enclosed chamber. This means that until something fails or wears down, theoretically the engine could keep running forever without the need for rocket fuel.

via ‘Impossible’ rocket drive works and could get to Moon in four hours – Telegraph.

Are GMOs safe? Yes.

I’ve spent much of the past year digging into the evidence. Here’s what I’ve learned. First, it’s true that the issue is complicated. But the deeper you dig, the more fraud you find in the case against GMOs. It’s full of errors, fallacies, misconceptions, misrepresentations, and lies. The people who tell you that Monsanto is hiding the truth are themselves hiding evidence that their own allegations about GMOs are false. They’re counting on you to feel overwhelmed by the science and to accept, as a gut presumption, their message of distrust.

Second, the central argument of the anti-GMO movement—that prudence and caution are reasons to avoid genetically engineered, or GE, food—is a sham. Activists who tell you to play it safe around GMOs take no such care in evaluating the alternatives. They denounce proteins in GE crops as toxic, even as they defend drugs, pesticides, and non-GMO crops that are loaded with the same proteins. They portray genetic engineering as chaotic and unpredictable, even when studies indicate that other crop improvement methods, including those favored by the same activists, are more disruptive to plant genomes.

Third, there are valid concerns about some aspects of GE agriculture, such as herbicides, monocultures, and patents. But none of these concerns is fundamentally about genetic engineering. Genetic engineering isn’t a thing. It’s a process that can be used in different ways to create different things. To think clearly about GMOs, you have to distinguish among the applications and focus on the substance of each case. If you’re concerned about pesticides and transparency, you need to know about the toxins to which your food has been exposed. A GMO label won’t tell you that. And it can lull you into buying a non-GMO product even when the GE alternative is safer.

If you’re like me, you don’t really want to wade into this issue. It’s too big, technical, and confusing. But come with me, just this once. I want to take you backstage, behind those blanket assurances about the safety of genetic engineering. I want to take you down into the details of four GMO fights, because that’s where you’ll find truth. You’ll come to the last curtain, the one that hides the reality of the anti-GMO movement. And you’ll see what’s behind it.

via Are GMOs safe? Yes. The case against them is full of fraud, lies, and errors..

“Peak Car”

In what year will the number of cars in the world reach its peak and auto sales overall begin to decline? For most, it may be surprising to realize we’re already there in the U.S. Growing data shows many wealthy economies have already hit “peak car,” a point of market saturation characterized by an unprecedented deceleration in the growth of car ownership, total miles driven, and annual sales.

In just a decade or so, owning a car may well be relegated to the hobbyist, luxury market, much like owning airplanes or horses today.

The losers in this emerging world will be insurance and finance companies, and all the dealerships dependent on sales. At the same time, traffic cops and traffic courts will go away along with all the lawyers, judges, parking lots, junk yards, taxi and limo services, and thousands of other tiny businesses supporting our current human-centric driving world.

via The Coming of “Peak Car” | Futurist Thomas Frey.