Articles by Tyler Durden

As details about yesterday’s shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas started trickling out, witnesses and police sources shared how one brave man with a rifle confronted and shot  suspected killer Devin Kelly, forcing him to flee.

A  high-speed pursuit ensued, which ended when Kelly’s car crashed into a ditch. Police said they found Kelly dead in his vehicle, but it isn’t clear how he died.

However, two men who reportedly helped stop the shooter are now being hailed as selfless heros – “good guys with guns” who potentially saved dozens of lives by stopping the killer before he could murder more innocent people.  As Sheriff Joe Tackitt pointed out in an interview with CNN, “there’s another church right down the road,” suggesting that the killer could’ve headed there next after murdering more than half of First Baptist’s congregation if he had not been stopped.

My San Antonio is now reporting that the man who confronted Kelly outside the church is Stephen Willeford, a sharp-shooting plumber with no military background who managed to shoot Kelly – who was reportedly dressed in tactical gear – prompting him to flee the scene. Earlier media reports identified Willeford as being a neighbor of the church.

Stephen Willeford

As Willeford exchanged gunfire with Kelly outside the church, a second man – identified as Johnny Langendorff – pulled over when he witnessed the carnage and saw Kelly speed off. Willeford saw Langendorff and quickly rushed to his car.

Here’s more from My San Antonio:

Johnny Langendorff was one of the men who chased after suspected killer Devin Kelley, a 26-year-old from Comal County, he told KSAT  in a television interview.

 

“I pulled up to the intersection where the shooting happened and I saw two men exchanging gunfire,” Langendorff said, noting the shooter and another local were shooting at each other.

 

Once the gunman fled the church grounds in his vehicle, Langendorff said the other man came to his car.

 

“The other gentleman said we needed to pursue (the shooter) because he shot up the church,” he said. “So that’s what I did. I just acted.”

 

“So we were doing about 95 mph, going around traffic and everything,” he added.

 

The pair chased the man down FM 539 headed North before the shooter lost control and ran off the roadway. Langendorff said the other man with him jumped out of the car and drew his rifle on Kelley.

 

“He didn’t move after that,” Langendorff said.

According to the New York Post, Texas Department of Public Safety chief Freeman Martin said Willeford “grabbed his rifle and engaged the suspect” after Kelley left the First Baptist Church. An area resident told the paper that Willeford, an avid biker who attends another church, learned about the shooting when his daughter called to say a man clad in body armor was shooting worshipers.

The local said that although Willeford has no military background, he didn’t hesitate when he came face to face with the suspect — and managed to squeeze off a round that struck the gunman, who had dropped his Ruger AR-15 variant.

Kelley had taken a hostage in his SUV’s passenger seat before fleeing, the local man told the paper.

Devin Patrick Kelley

According to Langendorff, it took cops about five to seven minutes to arrive. In the meantime, they kept a gun trained on Kelley.

“The police arrived and they pushed us back and they took care of the rest,” he said.

Langendorff’s girlfriend, Summer Caddel, said Kelley died a few feet away from Langendorff.

Johnny Langendorff

The local man, who knows both heroes, said Willeford made sure Kelley’s hostage was outside the vehicle when they approached the SUV.

Authorities are now reporting that between 12 and 14 children were among the 26 fatalities of the shooting. Another 20 people were injured. Police said not all of the victims were shot inside the church, but declined to elaborate.

Yesterday’s church shooting was the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history, and the deadliest shooting at a church in US history.
 

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With President Donald Trump arriving in Japan today to kick off a 10-day Asia tour, the Washington Post is reporting that the only way to locate and secure all of North Korea’s nuclear weapons sites “with complete certainty” would be …

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War is coming…

This weekend’s chaos in the middle east just got considerably more serious.

Yesterday we detailed reports that the Saudis intercepted a ballistic missile over the nation’s capital Riyadh…

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— ????? ???????? (@anba_Alsaudia) November 4, 2017

At the time, Al Jazeera reported that Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they launched the Yemeni-made, long-range ballistic missile Burqan 2-H (with a range of 500 kilometers) from the Saudi-Yemeni border before being intercepted.

But tonight, according to a statement from the Saudi coailition carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the missile that targeted Riyadh has been called “a direct military aggresion” by Iran against Sauid Arabia,  that “could rise to be considered an act of war.” Furthermore, the Saudi-led coalition has closed all Yemen’s land, sea and air ports after missile targeted Riyadh.

Following on what the Coalition had previously announced regarding the ballistic missiles launched by the Iranian-controlled Houthi militias from within Yemeni territory that targeted the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the most recent of which was the flagrant military aggression by the Iranian-controlled Houthi militias which targeted the city of Riyadh on November 11, 2017 (Corresponding to 15/2/1439 Hijri) using a ballistic missile with a range of more than 900 Km.

 

And, after the thorough examination of the debris of these missiles, including the missile launched on July 22, 2017 (Corresponding to 28/10/1438 Hijri) by experts in military technology, has confirmed the role of Iran’s regime in manufacturing these missiles and smuggling them to the Houthi militias in Yemen for the purpose of attacking the Kingdom, its people, and vital interests.

 

The Coalition’s command considers the Iranian regime’s action in supplying the Houthi militias that it commands with these missiles to be a blatant violation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions that prohibit nations from arming these militias, specifically UNSC Resolution (2216). Further, Iran’s role and its direct command of its Houthi proxy in this matter constitutes a clear act of aggression that targets neighboring countries, and threatens peace and security in the region and globally.

 

Therefore, the Coalition’s Command considers this a blatant act of military aggression by the Iranian regime, and could rise to be considered as an act of war against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and thus affirms the legitimate right of the Kingdom to defend its territory and people in accordance with Article (51) of the U.N. Charter. The Coalition Command also affirms that the Kingdom reserves its right to respond to Iran in the appropriate time and manner, in accordance with international law and based upon the right of self-defense, including the defense of its territory, its people, and its vital interests, which is enshrined in international agreements and conventions including the UN Charter.

 

To address the vulnerabilities in the current inspection procedures that led to the continuation of the supply of ballistic missiles and military equipment to the Houthi militias which enabled them to continue to commit crimes against the Kingdom, the Yemeni people, and the peoples of countries in the region, which constitutes blatant violations to international humanitarian laws, the Coalition’s Command has decided to temporarily close all Yemeni ground, air, and sea ports. These measures will be implemented while taking into consideration the continuation of the entry and exit of humanitarian supplies and crews in accordance with the Coalition’s updated procedures.

 

The Coalition Command calls upon all relevant parties to adhere to the inspections, entry, and exit procedures to and from Yemeni ports of entry designated by the Coalition that will be announced later. All necessary legal steps will be taken against violators of these procedures. The Coalition Command calls upon the brethren Yemeni people and all civilian and humanitarian crews to avoid areas of combat operations, areas populated by the Houthi armed militia, areas and ports exploited by this Iranian-controlled militia to smuggle weapons, and areas from which this militia launch its attacks against the Kingdom. The Coalition also calls upon diplomatic missions to avoid areas that are not controlled by the Legitimate Government of Yemen.

 

The Coalition Command calls upon the international community and the United Nations Security Council including the sanctions committee established by the Council for the implementation of UNSC Resolution 2216, to take all necessary legal measures to hold Iran accountable for its violation of UN Security Council Resolutions, primarily resolution 2216, in addition to its violations of provisions and principles of international law that criminalize the aggression against other states, due to: Iran’s direct involvement in the unlawful smuggling of weapons to the Houthi Militia under its control, which threatens international peace and security; its aggression against the territory and people of Saudi Arabia and other neighboring countries; and its continued support for the Houthi militia in violation of international resolutions that aim to restore legitimacy in Yemen.

The timing is fascinating.

What better way to get the price of oil up before an Aramco IPO – which President Trump just happened to mention out of the blue.

And amid increasing evidence of Saudi rapprochement with Russia and China – and the growing de-dollarization of the anti-unipolar world – a Saudi war with Iran would require the latter to be supported by Washington to survive… which perhaps could be quid pro quo for ending any chatter about the death of the petrodollar.

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Ahead of Trump’s visit to Asia, there were understandable concerns that a diplomatic snafu was imminent. Those concerns were partially justified after a report from Japan Times according to which Trump said Japan should have shot down the North Korean …

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Submitted by iBankCoin.com

An internet researcher has uncovered what appears to be proof that the FBI was investigating the Uranium One deal back in 2015 – months after the Peter Schweizer book Clinton Cash exposed the scheme, along with an article in the New York Times which laid out allegations of criminal malfeasance by the Clintons, their charitable foundation, and several associates.

Twitter user Katica (@GOPPollAnalyst) – who notably discovered Hillary Clinton’s IT guy ‘Stonetear’ asking Reddit users how to strip Clinton’s name from archived emails – discovered several Preservation and Records requests sent by an FBI special agent to various agencies involved in the approval of the Uranium One deal on August 28th, 2015, as first published by The Conservative Treehouse. Katica found the requests buried in an FBI file released via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Revealing Timeline

While the Clinton email investigation was launched in March of 2015 after it was revealed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a personal server and non-approved email accounts to conduct government business, reports from August, 2015 revealed that the FBI investigation was actually a criminal probe – though most assumed it was simply covering Clinton’s mishandling of classified information and not the content of her emails.

What Katica discovered is that weeks after the criminal probe began, the FBI sent notices to every agency involved in the Uranium One approval process to preserve records.

This is huge… 

The agencies which received the request included the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Dept. of Treasury, the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI James Clapper), The National Counter Terrorism Center, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Five days after the initial request, the same FBI agent sent another round of notifications to the same agencies, adding the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Secret Service (USSS).

The next day, September 3rd, 2015three more agencies were added to the preservation request: The CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Department of Defense (DOD)

At this point, every single member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) which signed off on the Uranium One deal was served with a notice to preserve records. 

As The Conservative Treehouse notes:

It would be intellectually dishonest not to see the very likely attachment of the special agent’s action.  That is to say an FBI probe originating as an outcome of information retrieved in parallel to the timing of the “criminal probe” of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email use.

 

The sequence of events highlights a criminal probe starting [early August 2015], followed by notifications to the “Uranium One” CFIUS participants [late August 2015].

 

If you consider the larger Clinton timeline; along with the FBI special agent requests from identified participants; and overlay the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as the leading entity surrounding the probe elements; and the fact that the CFIUS participants were the recipients of the retention requests;  well, it’s just too coincidental to think this is unrelated to the Uranium One deal and the more alarming implications.

FBI Mole 

Let’s not forget a bombshell report from The Hill two weeks ago which revealed that as early as 2009, the FBI – led by Robert Mueller at the time, had a mole in the Russian uranium industry, and that the agency had evidence that “Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow” – a deal which would grant the Kremlin control over 20 percent of America’s uranium supply. 

The mole was forced to sign an iron-clad non-disclosure agreement (NDA) which threatened criminal penalties for revealing information, even to Congress. After a request was made by Reps Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) calling for the Justice department to invalidate the NDA, the gag order was lifted, and the FBI informant was authorized to speak with congress.

BREAKING: DOJ authorizes FBI Informant to speak with Congress concerning alleged corruption involving Clintons & Uranium One. #MAGA #DTS

— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) October 25, 2017

Tony Podesta and Uranium One

While one-time Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort turned himself in to the FBI a week ago on charges of money laundering, let’s not forget what a former Podesta Group executive interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller told Tucker Carlson Tonight: the FBI probe is now focusing on people in Washington who have worked as de-facto operatives on behalf of Russian government and business. To that end, he had quite a bit to say about his former boss Tony and his relationship to the Uranium One deal.

  • In late 2013 or early 2014, Tony Podesta and a representative for the Clinton Foundation met to discuss how to help Uranium One – the Russian owned company that controls 20 percent of American Uranium Production – and whose board members gave over $100 million to the Clinton Foundation.
  • In 2013, John Podesta recommended that Tony hire David Adams, Hillary Clinton’s chief adviser at the State Department, giving them a “direct liaison” between the group’s Russian clients and Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
  • “Tony Podesta was basically part of the Clinton Foundation.”

As far as the current state of the FBI investigation, “They are more focused on facilitators of Russian influence in this country than they are on election collusion,” Carlson’s source told Fox.

Tying it together – previous reports of Federal investigations into the Clinton Foundation: 

Katica’s FOIA discovery corroborates a New York Times report from November 1, 2016, which asserts that an FBI investigation was kicked off based on revelations of pay-for-play in the book “Clinton Cash” written by Peter Schweizer:

The investigation, based in New York, had not developed much evidence and was based mostly on information that had surfaced in news stories and the book “Clinton Cash,” according to several law enforcement officials briefed on the case.

 

The book asserted that foreign entities gave money to former President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, and in return received favors from the State Department when Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state. Mrs. Clinton has adamantly denied those claims. -NYT

The Wall St. Journal also reported last October that five FBI field offices were investigating the Clinton Foundation; New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Little Rock and  Miami, and “were collecting information about the Clinton Foundation to see if there was evidence of financial crimes or influence-peddling, according to people familiar with the matter.”

The FBI field office in New York had done the most work on the Clinton Foundation case and received help from the FBI field office in Little Rock, the people familiar with the matter said. –WSJ

And in November, as tweeted by Wikileaks and reported on by the Dallas Observer, the Clinton Foundation has been under investigation by the IRS since July of 2016, after 64 GOP members of Congress received letters urging them to push for an investigation. The investigation has been notably held at the Dallas IRS office – far away from Washington.

The Earle Cabell Federal Building in downtown Dallas is an all purpose office complex, a bastion of federal bureaucracy located at 1100 Commerce St. Most people come for a passport or to get business done in front of a federal judge. But inside, a quiet review is underway that has direct ties to the raging presidential election: The local branch of the IRS’ Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division is reviewing the tax status of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

So – while the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton was sold as a simple matter of mishandling of classified material, we now have proof that the FBI set their sights on the Uranium One scandal weeks after they began looking into Hillary Clinton’s emails. We also know that five FBI field offices and the IRS have been investigating the Clinton Foundation on accusations of pay-to-play and other criminal acts. 

Bets on who’s indicted next?

Flashback to October 27, 2016

Wallace Says HARD NEW PROOF Hillary Clinton Foundation/Bill & State Colluded 4PAY4PLAYS via Doug Band #PodestaEmails20 ‘s #Thursdaythoughts pic.twitter.com/CxOpiKtW3w

— ????STOCK MONSTER???? (@StockMonsterUSA) October 27, 2016

Follow on Twitter @ZeroPointNow § Subscribe to the YouTube channel

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The Federal Reserve’s “smooth transition” from Janet Yellen to Jay Powell is set for a major speedbump.
Just two short days after Donald Trump confirmed what weekly trial balloons had reported for weeks, namely that Janet Yellen is being replaced with …

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Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

The insouciant American electorate is so inattentive that it routinely elects enemies of civil liberty to represent the public in Congress. Last Wednesday Rep. Adam Schiff (D, CA), Rep. Trey Gowdy ( R, SC), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D, CA), Sen. Mark Warner (D, VA), Rep. Jackie Speier (D, CA), Sen. Tom Cotton (R , AR ), and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D, TX) tried to intimidate executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google into blocking all digital dissent to the anti-Trump/Russian line taken by the DNC and military/secrurity complex and to serve as spy agencies for the CIA.

Two of the above – Gowdy and Cotton – are Republicans who have aligned themselves with the attack on Russia and Republican President Trump. What unites the members of the two parties is that they want a police state. Jackie Speier demands to know from Google why Google hasn’t “shut down RT on YouTube.” Joaquin Castro wants messages linked to Russia turned over to the US government. Trey Gowdy wants false statements blocked, which would mean that the entire print and TV media in the US would be shut down along with Congress, John Brennan, Robert Mueller, and James Comey. Gowdy does not know that the First Amendment guarantees free speech and leaves it up to the public to decide what is true and what is false.

You tell me.

What kind of insouciant people are capable of electing representatives who do not respect the Bill of Rights?

Is a country whose government does not respect its own Constitution a democracy? Is such a country an exceptional, indispensable country?

Or is it a completely corrupt entity whose government no longer has the slightest allegience to the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution?

What is the quality of an electorate that sends those with a police state mentality to represent them in the government that has power over them?

Are we witnessing the destruction of democracy by the electorate?

Is the failure of the American people staring us in the face?

Are you amazed that it is the executives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google, and not the members of Congress who have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, who point out to US Representatives and Senators that their demands for censorship and spying are unconstitutional?

What is the liberal/progressive/left, which believes that good resides in government and evil in the private sector, to make of this?

Is the hatred of dissent so great that nothing else is important?

Here is a report on Wednesday’s hearings by the House and Senate Intelligence (sic) committees on “extremist” views (via Global Research’s Andre Damon)…

Lawmakers Demand Tech Companies Censor Journalists and Conduct Mass Surveillance

Wednesday’s hearings by the House and Senate Intelligence committees on “extremist” political views served as the occasion for members of Congress to urge technology companies to flagrantly violate the US Constitution by censoring political speech, carrying out mass surveillance, and muzzling journalists in pursuit of the government’s geopolitical aims.

The hearings revolved around allegations, promoted ceaselessly in recent months by the intelligence agencies, leading figures within the Democratic Party, and newspapers such as the New York Times, that social opposition to the political establishment results from “fake news” promoted by Russia.

As Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff put it, “Russia” promoted “discord in the US by inflaming passions on a range of divisive issues” and sought to “mobilize real Americans to sign online petitions and join rallies and protests.”

The basic problem, however, as Schiff put it, is “not just foreign.” The algorithms used by Facebook and Twitter have the “consequence of widening divisions among our society.” Schiff complained:

“What ends up percolating to the top of our feeds tends to be things we were looking for,” as opposed to US government propaganda disseminated by the establishment media, which he referred to as “true information.”

Congressman Adam Schiff

In line with Schiff’s assessment, members of Congress who participated in the hearings spent the bulk of their time demanding that the companies censor such “fake” news, which they equated with the writings of exiled journalist Julian Assange and other political dissidents.

It is a testament to the decay of American democracy that it was left to the representatives of Facebook and Twitter, who have been broadly accused of violating users’ privacy for their own financial gain, to inform members of Congress about the ABC of constitutional law.

In an exchange that embodied the total contempt for freedom of speech that pervades the ruling elite, South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy demanded that Facebook and Twitter block their users from making inaccurate statements about the current day of the week.

“Can I ‘say today is Thursday’,” the South Carolinian demanded. “What are you going to do with that?” Gowdy asked which constitutional amendment protects the right of people to make such statements, totally oblivious that almost all false statements are protected under the First Amendment.

Colin Stretch, Facebook’s general counsel, fighting back a skeptical smile, replied:

“There is Supreme Court precedent on that…”

Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch

Gowdy, befuddled, demanded: “On which side?” Stretch answered:

“That it is, in most cases, protected.” He continued: “On Facebook, our job is not to decide whether content is true or false.”

Although the representatives of the technology companies largely played along with the narrative of “Russian meddling” in American politics, their resistance to the most flagrant censorship demanded by the government piqued the ire of the senators leading the witch-hunt.

“I don’t think you get it,” fumed Senator Dianne Feinstein, who said the past year had seen “a cataclysmic change” in American politics. This is “the beginning of cyber warfare,” she declared, and technology companies “have to really take a look at that and what role you play.”

Senator Mark Warner, for his part, complained that his accusations had been “frankly blown off by the leaderships of your companies and dismissed.”

Earlier this month, Google removed Russia Today (RT), a Russian-sponsored TV station and online news outlet that reports stories largely censored by the mainstream press, from its list of “preferred” channels on YouTube. Feinstein took issue with Google’s statement that it revoked RT’s status as a preferred channel for non-political reasons, and demanded to know why Google had not acted against RT earlier.

Google’s general counsel Kent Walker replied:

“We have carefully reviewed the content of RT to see that it complies with the policies that we have against hate speech, violence, etc. So far, we have not found violations.”

California Democratic representative Jackie Speier asserted that RT “seeks to influence politics and fuel discontent in the United States.” She asked:

“Why have you not shut down RT on YouTube? … It’s a propaganda machine, Mr. Walker, the intelligence community says it’s an arm of one of our adversaries.”

The clashes continued. Senator Tom Cotton demanded to know why Twitter refused to turn its platform over to the CIA in order to conduct mass surveillance. He asked:

“Do you see an equivalency between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Russian intelligence services?”

Sean Edgett, Twitter’s general counsel, replied:

“We’re not offering our service for surveillance to any government.”

Cotton likewise demanded that Twitter censor WikiLeaks’ editor Assange.

“The current director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, as well as this committee, has labeled WikiLeaks a non-state hostile intelligence service who aids hostile foreign powers like the Kremlin,” he said. “Yet, to my knowledge, Twitter still allows him to operate uninhibited.”

Receiving a reply from Twitter general counsel Edgett that the company applies its policies “without bias,” Cotton retorted:

“Is it biased to side with America over our adversaries?”

In yet another incitement for technology companies to violate the Constitution, this time the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, Texas Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro asked:

“Are you also intending to turn over to the committee any kind of direct messages” on accounts suspected of being linked to Russia?

When Edgett pushed back that this would be possible only through legal channels, Castro responded:

“Certainly you’re not making the argument that a Russian account, a fakely created account, has some protection of privacy here.”

Edgett replied:

“Some users may end up being fake. Others will be real.”

The most surprising element of the hearings, however, was the extent to which Walker, Google’s general counsel, sought to separate Google’s search tools from the social networks operated by Facebook and Twitter when it comes to “fake news.”

In reference to a question regarding fake news, Walker interjected:

“I think there’s a distinction between say Google search, whose goal is to provide accurate, relevant, comprehensive information and social network concerns,” such as those related to Twitter and Facebook. “We think the heart and soul of the products is to try to provide useful and, to the extent we can, accurate information to users.”

This was in addition to his prepared testimony, where he noted:

“At Google News, we use fact check labels to spot fake news. At Google search, we have updated our quality guidelines and evaluations to help surface more authoritative content from the web.”

Based on the stated goal of fighting “fake news,” Google has implemented sweeping changes to its search algorithm that has led search traffic to 13 leading left-wing, progressive and anti-war sites to plunge 55 percent. Search traffic from Google to the World Socialist Web Site has fallen by 74 percent, and the site has been blocked from Google News.

Wednesday’s testimony makes clear the political motives behind Google’s actions. Rather than seeking, as it publicly claims, to provide “true” and “authentic” content, Google is acting as the proxy of the US government and its agencies to muzzle its critics and political opponents.

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October is historically the most volatile month of the year, but in 2017 – the average volatility of US equity markets dropped to an all-time record low…

 

… And you know something’s wrong when, just like in early 2007 when the crash in vol killed the swaptions industry – just before all hell broke loose – Goldman Sachs is pulling back from U.S. options market-making on exchanges.

The Wall Street Journal reports an extraordinary calm in markets has choked the trades that typically funnel through banks’ derivatives desks.

Waning stock volatility is pressuring the equity derivatives business, suppressing revenue and driving traders out of what was once a key Wall Street moneymaker.

Goldman Sachs pulled back from U.S. options market-making on exchanges, a spokeswoman for the firm said Thursday.

It’s the latest to withdraw from the business of continuously buying and selling contracts on venues using automated programs.

Revenue in an equity derivatives business that focuses on listed options shrank by 41% in the U.S. and by 28% globally during the first half of 2017 from the same period a year ago, according to data firm Coalition, which tracked 12 of the biggest banks in the world.

The number of employees in equity derivatives at banks has contracted by about 10% since 2012, Coalition data also show.

“With lower volatility this year, we’re seeing less of those trades come through,” said Coalition’s research director Amrit Shahani.

 

“It’s a vicious cycle.”

OptionMetrics LLC founder David Hait said investors tend to think of options as insurance for stock bets.

With U.S. equities in an eight-year bull market, people are asking, “What do I need an option for?” he said.

After 16 years of trading options during which he ascended to managing director at Bank of America and Deutsche Bank, Zahid Biviji left Wall Street this year, citing fewer opportunities in the space, partly caused by regulations imposed after the financial crisis.

“I had a good run making money,” Mr. Biviji said, noting that “a lot of the derivatives business is in survival mode right now.”

But as equity market volatility has collapsed to record lows, another asset class has sprung up with record-breaking-high volatility: cryptocurrencies.

“For the most part, you’re not going to get wealthy like you could in the late ‘90s or early 2000s” in equity derivatives, said Arthur Hayes, the Hong Kong-based co-founder and chief of Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, who traded derivatives at Citigroup and Deutsche Bank.

“In cryptos, you actually get to do what you like to do: trade.”

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Senator Rand Paul was assaulted at his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky when a local man broke into his residence and attacked him, causing minor injuries before the intruder was subdued and arrested, the Bowling Green Daily News reported.

Rene Boucher, 59, is in the Warren County Regional Jail in lieu of a $5,000 bond, according to online jail records available Saturday afternoon.

Paul suffered minor injuries, according to a news release from Kentucky State Police Post 3 in Bowling Green, which did not describe the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“Senator Paul is fine,” said Kelsey Cooper, Paul’s Kentucky communications director, said “Senator Paul was blindsided and the victim of an assault,” Cooper said in an email. “The assailant was arrested and it is now a matter for the police.”

A news release said troopers were called to Paul’s home at 3:21 pm Friday. According to the release, Boucher was arrested by Trooper Bartley Weaver and charged with assaulting the senator.  

Local property records show a Rene Boucher owns a home on Rivergreen Lane, which is in the gated neighborhood just east of Bowling Green where Paul resides.

An arrest warrant for Boucher was issued through the Warren County Attorney’s office. The charge of fourth-degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail. Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken said further charges could be brought, based on the extent of Paul’s injuries.

The investigation by Weaver is continuing, and no other details were immediately available. Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky who was elected in 2011, has made headlines recently for his intransigent opposition to the Trump legislative agenda – he was the only Republican who vote against the senate’s $4 trillion budget bill. He is also a vocal critic of Obamacare, who successfully persuaded President Trump to sign an order that will allow health insurance companies to sell insurance policies across state lines.

No motive for the attack has been determined as of yet, police said.
 

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