Bezos vs. the working class: Amazon’s new headquarters meets public backlash

By ethan / November 13, 2018

Amazon has named New York City and Crystal City, Virginia, as the locations for its second and third headquarters. While the move will bring billions of dollars to these areas, locals fear spiralling rents and displacement.

The online retail giant made the announcement on Tuesday, putting an end to a year of competition between more than 230 cities, who sought to lure the megacorporation with tax breaks and promises of infrastructural development. Each of the locations can now expect to take a share of 50,000 jobs and $ 5 billion in investment.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was ecstatic when discussing the then-unfinalized move on Monday night. “We’re talking about the single biggest economic development deal in the history of New York City,” he said.

During the solicitation process, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was equally giddy at the prospect of landing Amazon. “I am doing everything I can” he told reporters last week. “I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that’s what it takes.”

According to Amazon, New York will give the company over $ 1.5 billion in direct incentives. This includes $ 1.2 billion in tax credits over ten years, or $ 48,000 per job. Amazon will also receive a cash grant of $ 325 million towards its headquarters building. What’s more, the company can also avail of city’s Relocation and Employment Assistance Program, which grants employers $ 3,000 in tax credits per year to locate in the outer boroughs. With a workforce of 25,000, Amazon could snatch close to an extra $ 1 billion in savings.

Driving gentrification

Locals in Long Island City – the proposed location for the HQ – aren’t exactly thrilled. The area has seen rents skyrocket in recent years, a problem that they fear Amazon’s arrival will exacerbate. More rental units have been added here between 2010 and 2016 than in any other neighborhood nationwide, many of them luxury condos and high-rise apartments. Prices in this area have climbed almost ten percent since rumors of Amazon’s decision began circulating earlier this month.

Local realtor Patrick Smith told CNN that “buyers are asking if they can make an offer without seeing the apartment.”

Newly-minted congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described socialist, said that Amazon’s move will price the area’s long-term working class residents out of the area. She said that many of these residents have contacted her with their concerns.

“Displacement is not community development. Investing in luxury condos is not the same thing as investing in people and families,” she said on Monday. “Shuffling working class people out of a community does not improve their quality of life.”

“Amazon is a billion-dollar company,” she continued. “The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here.”

New York’s decaying subway system has been a bone of contention between authorities and residents for decades. Governor Cuomo promised in 2017 to overhaul the system, but one year on, delays are still commonplace and the system’s centuries-old tunnels are crumbling. Fixing the system would take ten years, cost $ 37 billion, and necessitate station closures and reroutes, a New York Transit Authority report claims.

Ocasio-Cortez has been joined by Queens Councillor Jimmy Van Bramer and New York State Senator Michael Gianaris in opposing the headquarters deal.

“Offering massive corporate welfare from scarce public resources to one of the wealthiest corporations in the world at a time of great need in our state is just wrong,” read a joint statement from the pair. “We were not elected to serve as Amazon drones.”

In Crystal City, Virginia, Amazon is moving into a different environment. Located just outside Washington, DC, the site was chosen for its glut of office space, closeness to Reagan National Airport, and no doubt appealing for CEO Jeff Bezos, its proximity to political power.

Bezos already owns the Washington Post, and the city’s most expensive residence. In Washington, criticism of Bezos hasn’t come from a young socialist like Ocasio-Cortez, but from President Trump. The president has attacked Bezos for driving small retailers out of business and has accused Amazon of avoiding taxes and ripping off the US Postal Service.

Residents near Crystal City share New Yorkers’ fears that Amazon could drive their rents skyward though. Already, realtors there have been holding on to their properties in anticipation of Amazon’s arrival, and search interest in property there has spiked 345 percent since the beginning of this month.  

Cities overlooked

Amazon’s choice to locate in two well-established coastal metro areas has also been criticized. Other cities on the company’s shortlist included run-down Newark, New Jersey, and the once-great rust-belt manufacturing cities of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Columbus, Ohio.

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© Reuters / Thomas Peter

An influx of investment could revitalize these areas, as happened in Charleston, South Carolina, in the 1990s when BMW opened its first US plant there. Lured in by incentives, the plant was a shot in the arm for a state that had seen its textile industry decline. It created 2,000 jobs, and over time was joined by plants from Volvo, Boeing, Honda and Mercedes-Benz, and by a host of other businesses that sprung up to service the plants and their employees.

“Before BMW, the world saw us in a particular light,” South Carolina Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt told the Post and Courier. “We were not seen as a can-do state. We were not seen as a sophisticated or complex state. The beginning of that change was BMW.”

By locating in two already gentrified and saturated cities, Amazon might have missed a golden opportunity to land a PR win. Bringing transformative growth could have dispelled the notion that the tech industry benefits only the wealthy coastal regions, while neglecting middle America.

Wherever companies like Amazon locate, the debate is the same. To what extent should government prioritize development over residents?

“We need to focus on good healthcare, living wages, affordable rent. Corporations that offer none of those things should be met w/ skepticism,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “It’s possible to establish economic partnerships w/ real opportunities for working families, instead of a race-to-the-bottom competition.”

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‘Nice tackle’: Ronaldo snap struck by naked teammate Chiellini's accidental photobomb

By ethan / November 13, 2018

It was supposed to be a photo with Cristiano Ronaldo to take pride of place in young player Raoul Bellanova’s scrapbook, but it ended up becoming an unintentionally revealing moment for Italian football legend Giorgio Chiellini.

AC Milan defender Bellanova posed for a post-match photo with Juventus superstar Ronaldo after Juve’s 2-0 win at the San Siro on Sunday. Ronaldo was typically topless and grinning as the pair took the picture in the dressing room after the game.

READ MORE: ‘Do not f*** with me’: Barca stars Suarez & Pique in post-match spat after Real Betis defeat

But it wasn’t until it was posted to social media by one of Bellanova’s friends that people started to notice something else about the shot. As well as a grinning Ronaldo and a starstruck Bellanova, the picture featured a naked Giorgio Chiellini in the background, with his manhood clearly on display.

Bellanova, embarrassed by the fact he’d shared a “d*** pic” of one of Italy’s most respected internationals, swiftly apologized in an Instagram post.

“I am deeply sorry for what came out on social media at this time,” he said in Italian, adding: “I apologize first of all with Giorgio Chiellini, it was not my intention.

“I assure him and all the football fans that I just took a picture with a great champion. I did not post anything on my social media, nothing on my profile nor on my stories, nor would I do it after a defeat, the smile of photo is for making a little dream.

“I made the only mistake, which I regret, that I shared the photo with some friends, who shared it, without having checked it first.”

Ronaldo opted not to react to the photo and instead headed for a night on the town in London with girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez. But Chiellini’s accidental photobomb has certainly caused some amusement on social media, drawing comments such as “Nice tackle from Chiellini,” and “Chiellini is stark naked!”

It remains to be seen if the fans of Juve’s next opponents, SPAL, will have any new chants ready for the 34-year-old defender when they meet in Serie A action on Saturday, November 24.

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Brexit deal ‘agreed’ with EU: UK ministers set to arrive at No 10. for May meeting

By ethan / November 13, 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May is to chair a special cabinet meeting, Wednesday, after a draft deal was reportedly agreed between UK and EU negotiators following intensive talks in Brussels.

According to an unnamed cabinet source, cited in the BBC, the text has been agreed upon at a technical level.

Cabinet ministers are, on Tuesday evening, having one-on-one meetings with the PM as she attempts to win their backing for the deal. Ministers will reportedly be allowed to see the key papers on the deal, but not allowed to take them home.

As ministers arrived, first impressions of the deal broke. Despite resigning as Foreign Secretary and thus having no direct knowledge of the said documents, Boris Johnson slammed the deal as “vassal state stuff.”

The Brexiteer told the BBC the deal “will mean we have to accept rules and regulations from Brussels over which we have no say ourselves. It is utterly unacceptable to anybody who believes in democracy.”

The crucial cabinet meeting is set to take place on Wednesday afternoon, when ministers will be able to examine the 400-page withdrawal agreement in more detail. Ministers will be focusing on when the so-called Irish border backstop can be ended, an issue that has riven the cabinet with divisions.

READ MORE: British Airways to be Spanish? Company wants to keep EU status in case of no-deal Brexit – report

Brexiteers MPs, both in and out of the cabinet, have repeatedly raised their opposition to the UK signing a backstop arrangement that will keep the country in the customs union. The backstop has been proposed as a way of maintaining a soft border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Despite the reports, a spokesperson for Simon Coveney, the Irish Foreign Minister, stated the talks were ongoing. “Negotiations between the EU and UK on a withdrawal agreement are ongoing and have not concluded. Negotiators are still engaged and a number of issues are outstanding. We are not commenting further on leaks in the media.” 

The cabinet was briefed on the current state of the negotiations, as well as planning for Brexit scenarios during a 45-minute discussion earlier today.

Downing Street stated that May had told her ministers that progress had been made, although there were “small number of outstanding issues as the UK pushes for the best text.” 

READ MORE: ‘Russia threat ever more real’: UK’s May berates Moscow like ‘recalcitrant child’ & offers salvation

Earlier in the day May was forced into an embarrassing climbdown when ministers stated they would publish a ‘full legal statement’ ahead of any parliament vote on the Brexit deal. The Tory government did not oppose the Labour motion, fearing a rebellion from their own MPs on the issue.

The news of an agreed deal sent Pound Sterling rocketing, on track for its 2nd-biggest daily gain since January.


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‘Post 9/11 US veterans don’t have the illusion of righteousness about the wars they fought’

By ethan / November 13, 2018

This generation of US veterans is facing the invalidity of the wars they fought, having been treated like puppets of the government in the execution of the unjust military action, Iraq war combat veteran Adam Kokesh told RT.

A new study has found that American soldiers who were part of the ‘War on Terror’ are struggling to make ends meet. They are facing greater hardship than veterans of previous generations.

“Post 9/11 veterans have become the first and only generation of veterans to struggle with housing affordability compared to civilians of like ages and demographics,” according to the study.

There are a number of things veterans have to deal with, according to Adam Kokesh. In his opinion, this generation of veterans is “dealing with a particularly unique combination of mental health issues that come out of the unique nature of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

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© Chip Somodevilla

There is also “a cascade of related challenges,” Kokesh explained. There is a general perception among the population “when you have over 20 suicides a day, that veterans don’t make particularly good employees.” He thinks this is also one of the fundamental challenges that veterans face coming home today.

Apart from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), combat, and the way the Department of Veterans Affairs in the US handles issues, “the big part of what my generation of veterans is facing in the US today is in regards to the invalidity of the wars themselves and being treated like puppets of the government in the execution of the unjust military action,” Kokesh said.

He argued that in previous wars “the lies were a lot better and there was more effect because the lies were harder to see through; so, veterans could come home and wrap themselves in the illusion of the justice and righteousness of the war that they fought.”

However, that is not possible anymore, Kokesh believes, “not in the age of the internet, not with these wars, not with any kind of sense of integrity.”

“A lot of veterans coming home are starting to understand that these wars were fundamentally illegitimate, that the sacrifices that we’ve made were not made just in vain, but not even in a righteous cause, but for the perpetuation of the current system of governance of states we live under throughout the world where people in charge get to treat people who aren’t [in charge] like property,” he claimed.

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© Lucas Jackson

Kokesh suggested that the perception of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has changed over time in the US, as the people “can admit now that we were lied to… and taken advantage of as a people… being convinced to support these invasions and occupations.”

In his view, most Americans “don’t really consider that we are still at war… but most at this point can recognize that these are things we want to see come to an end.”

“The government knows that it can only get away with so much these days without losing more credibility before the people realize that turning to elections is a waste of time, that you can’t hold a fundamentally corrupt system accountable for its corruption because it doesn’t have the mechanisms to hold people accountable.”

“No matter how unpopular a particular policy is, the government can get away with it and individuals profiteering of a government policy can profit of corrupting government away from the will of the people…” Kokesh concluded.

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Chasing Pele: Lionel Messi has Brazilian legend's goalscoring mark in sight

By ethan / November 13, 2018

Lionel Messi has won a host of football awards and captured a plethora of trophies during his stellar career, but the Barcelona superstar moved one step closer to overhauling another all-time great this past weekend.

Messi scored twice in Barcelona’s 4-3 defeat against Real Betis and in the process surpassed German legend Gerd Muller to climb to second place in the all-time list of top goalscorers for a single club.

READ MORE: ‘Leaked’ Ballon d’Or votes signal Messi & Ronaldo could be out of running for first time in decade

Messi’s double took his career tally for Barca to 566 as he edged past “Der Bomber,” who had found the net 565 times for Bayern Munich in his 15-year stint with the Bundesliga giants.

The only man left for Messi to catch in the all-time list is Brazilian legend Pele.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento played 18 seasons at Santos, netting a staggering 643 goals for the club, a mark that was considered by many to be unsurpassable in the modern era.

READ MORE: ‘I promised my father I’d win the World Cup’– Pelé recalls remarkable life in football

But Messi has averaged more than 50 goals a season for the last eight years and, with the Argentinian now standing just 77 goals shy of the Brazilian’s mark, it would appear that only a major drop-off in his form in front of goal will prevent him from catching and passing Pele’s record within the next few seasons.

The only other active player to feature in the all-time Top 10 list is Messi’s longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who departed Real Madrid for Juventus in the summer after scoring 450 goals for Los Blancos.

It leaves Messi as the only current player with any chance of overhauling Pele’s mark. For a player who continues to dazzle on the biggest stage at the age of 31, the record would only serve to further cement Messi’s name in the pantheon of the world’s all-time greats.


1. Pele (Santos) – 643
2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 566
3. Gerd Muller (Bayern Munich) – 565
4. Eusebio (Benfica) – 473
5. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – 450
6. Ian Rush (Liverpool) – 349
7. Telmo Zarra (Athletic Bilbao) – 335
8. Giuseppe Meazza (Internazionale) – 288
9. Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus) – 287
10. Piet van Reenen (Ajax) – 273

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‘Completely safe’: Monsanto owner Bayer hit by new wave of lawsuits over Roundup weed killer

By ethan / November 13, 2018

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer disclosed that lawsuits from 9,300 plaintiffs were pending at the end of October. The lawsuits allege that the company’s recently acquired weed-killing product causes cancer.

Plaintiffs claim that Roundup weed killers, which Bayer acquired in its takeover of US agrochemical firm Monsanto, made them ill and that the company knew or should have known of the risks but failed to warn adequately.

Bayer rejected all the accusations, claiming there are hundreds of scientific studies and regulatory authorities that show glyphosate, the compound contained in the weed killers, is safe to use.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, which is the most popular weed killer in the US.

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© Reuters / Wolfgang Rattay

“We continue to believe that we have meritorious defenses and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in all of these lawsuits,” said Bayer’s chief executive Werner Baumann.

He acknowledged, however, that “more lawsuits are to be expected.” There were 8,700 lawsuits against the company as of the end of August.

According to Baumann, “glyphosate is an indispensable chemical for modern agriculture that is safe to use, very effective and saves resources.” He explained: “When used appropriately, glyphosate is a completely safe and good product,” repeating “completely safe.”

The number of lawsuits against Monsanto has been surging lately and, according to expert estimates, could cost its new owner Bayer billions of dollars in damages in the coming years.

The surge in lawsuits followed the $ 289-million California court verdict when Monsanto was ordered to pay damages to a man who alleged its glyphosate-based weed killers, including Roundup, caused his cancer.

READ MORE: Bayer beware: US lawyers claim to have ‘explosive’ documents about Monsanto’s activity in Europe

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic. It had labeled glyphosate a carcinogen in 1985, but reversed the position in 1991. The World Health Organization’s cancer research agency classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015. California has listed glyphosate in its Proposition 65 registry of chemicals known to cause cancer.

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Sex difference: Scientists claim to have discovered what sets men and women apart

By ethan / November 13, 2018

Scientists are set to stir up debates around sex and gender after publishing a study which found differences in the brain between the sexes; men prefer ‘systems’ while women are more interested in people and emotions.

Conducting the largest ever study of sex differences, interviewing some 650,000 people, Cambridge scientists said their study confirmed that, on a population level, men will be more interested by systems, while women will have higher degrees of emotional intelligence – the so-called empathizing-systemizing theory of sex differences.

Secondly, the scientists found that the brains of autistic people were more ‘masculine’ compared to what is typical for their sex, confirming, they argue, the extreme male brain theory.

READ MORE: Young white men most disreputable group in Britain, social attitudes poll indicates

The study comes at a time of heated debate around sex and gender norms, and the confirmation of the theories – described by some as ‘neuro-sexism’ – has risked controversy.

Scientists at the prestigious university, led by renowned clinical psychologist Simon Baron Cohen (who is incidentally the cousin of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen), interviewed 671,606 people, the majority of whom were from Britain.

Their work, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, argued that differences in brain types between the sexes were ‘very clear,’ though they could draw no conclusions as to whether the discrepancies were a result of inherited characteristics or socialization.

READ MORE: Barking mad: IKEA faces online backlash over ‘sexist’ Facebook post ‘comparing’ women to pet dogs

Despite the large scale of the study, the report has come under fire for asking questions that required participants to self-report. Questions asked respondents to answer “agree/disagree” statements.

Professor Gina Rippon, quoted in The Times, stated that self-report measures “are prone to the kind of distortions caused by stereotypes – people who know you are measuring empathy are more likely to present themselves in more of an ‘empathic’ light than unprimed behavior might indicate.”

The scientists did assert that their conclusions applied “only to group averages, not to individuals,” and that they would “strongly disagree” with any inferences stemming from their report that would lead to discrimination.

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US will squeeze Iran with sanctions ‘until the pips squeak’ – Bolton

By ethan / November 13, 2018

US National Security Advisor John Bolton has threatened to “squeeze” Iran’s economy “until the pips squeak,” just one week after Washington imposed a new round of crippling sanctions billed as the “toughest ever.”

Speaking ahead of the ASEAN-US summit in Singapore, Bolton said that the Iranian government is already under “real pressure” and that the US would “significantly increase” the enforcement of sanctions.

It is our intention to squeeze them very hard. As the British say: ‘Squeeze them until the pips squeak’.

Bolton said there was “no doubt” that Iran has already begun looking for ways to evade sanctions, which hit the country’s oil, financial, shipping, nuclear and aviation industries. He added that Tehran would be looking for ways around sanctions on the oil and financial markets in particular, noting that the US’s objective has been to “get oil exports from Iran down to zero.”

READ MORE: Iran leaders will have to fall in line if ‘they want their people to eat,’ Pompeo says

In May, US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw the US from the 2015 multinational nuclear deal with Iran, despite objections from its European signatories who remain committed to the agreement.

Since then, all of the sanctions which were lifted under the terms of the deal have been reimposed. The harsh measures are expected to push the Iranian economy into recession this year, according to an outlook report from the International Monetary Fund this week.

European countries have been trying to find ways around Trump’s sanctions in an effort to continue trading with Iran, but Trump has warned of penalties if they do not abide by the sanctions.

Acknowledging widespread distaste for Washington’s Iran policy, Bolton compared Europe’s attitude to the grieving process, but was confident it would fall in line.

“I like to compare the attitudes that are changing in Europe to a book written years ago in the US called ‘The Six Stages of Grief’,” he said. “It starts off with denial. Then it ends up at acceptance.”

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Mike Pompeo © Reuters / Jonathan Ernst

US officials have stepped up aggressive rhetoric toward Iran in recent weeks, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leading the way, warning Iran to toe the line and “act like a normal country, or see its economy crumble” and suggesting that obeying Washington was the only course of action for Iran’s leaders if they “want their people to eat.”

It’s not the first time a US official has made flippant comments about starvation in countries where it has imposed sanctions. In January, Pompeo’s predecessor Rex Tillerson cited boats of dead North Korean fishermen as a sign that US sanctions were working.

The Trump administration claims that the latest sanctions are aimed at pushing Tehran to curb its “destabilizing influence” and scale back its involvement in some regional conflicts — and while that may be partly the goal, Iranian officials and many regional analysts believe the true aim is to push Iranian citizens to revolt against the country’s leaders, which would help facilitate US-backed regime change.

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‘A great honor’: Alexander Yakushev on induction to Hockey Hall of Fame

By ethan / November 13, 2018

Soviet hockey star Alexander Yakushev, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday, has said he was honored to be included in the shrine to the sport’s greatest players despite never playing in the NHL.

It’s a great honor for me to be inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame as a player who never played in the NHL,” Yakushev said. “I’m immensely grateful to the Hall of Fame president Jeff Denomme, Chairman of the board Lanny McDonald for making me worthy of this honor.”

The 71-year-old Russian thanked his family, former Spartak teammates and coaches for helping him to evolve into a top-class player who is privileged enough to now ne ranked among legends of the sport.

Yakushev emphasized that USSR coaches Arkady Chernyshev and Anatoli Tarasov, with whom he made his debut for the national team, played a key role in his development.

He also stressed that the legendary Tarasov had always wanted to see him at rival club CSKA, but that he had resisted his entreaties and remained at Spartak, where he spent almost his entire career.

Talking about the historic 1972 Summit Series in which Soviet players dispelled the myth about the “invincibility” of Canadian players, Yakushev noted that it was a “true hockey war” where nobody wanted to surrender.

Now we are communicating well with Canadian players who participated in the 1972 Summit Series: Phil Esposito, Yvan Cournoyer, Brad Park, Dennis Hull, Ken Dryden, the Mahovlich brothers,” Yakushev said.

But in 1972 no friendship was possible, as it was a true hockey war. I can’t explain how happy we were to win the first match. There was a Canadian journalist who promised to eat his article in which he had predicted losses for the USSR in all eight matches. He fulfilled his promise despite our attempts to talk him out of doing that.

It was an outstanding tournament where the winner was determined only in the eighth game, 36 seconds before the final whistle. And it was Canada. But there were no losers in the series because it was hockey which won,” the new Hall of Famer added.

Yakushev was the top points scorer in the Soviet team during the Summit Series, racking up seven goals and 11 points in total.

Together with the Soviet team he claimed two Olympic gold medals and won seven world championship titles during his lengthy career.

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Stock market in serious downward spiral & for very good reason – investment guru Jim Cramer

By ethan / November 13, 2018

The stock market is going through “a very serious correction,” which is underscored by several sound reasons for the market’s current downtrend, according to former hedge fund manager and financial author Jim Cramer.

The comment comes after another major slump in stock prices of the biggest American corporations, including Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google parent company Alphabet – the so-called FANG league. The high-flying quartet is commonly highly attractive for investors due to their potential for consistent growth and their enormous market values.

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© Reuters / Brendan McDermid

“The thinking behind today’s action is surprisingly simple: money managers are buying the winners and selling the losers,” Cramer said on CNBC’s ‘Mad Money’. “Unfortunately, there are a heck of a lot more losers than winners, and I want to put that into context because such behavior, frankly, is highly unusual this close to the end of the year.”

The FANG stocks are in a corrective phase, defined as a drop of at least 10 percent from the latest peak. Netflix and Facebook have dropped around a third of their values since hitting 52-week peaks.

“Their stock is pretty inexpensive. They have more than $ 100 billion in cash. They own search. They own online video. They own the self-driving car market, at least for now. I think it’s an outright buy. But no one cares. All this will start mattering at some lower price, though,” the stock market analyst said.

According to Cramer, the US Federal Reserve should pause or slow down its interest rate hiking initiative to assess current market conditions. He added that the economy was slowing down with continuous decline in oil prices, decreased home sales numbers, high mortgage rates and slipping prices for materials. The Fed is going to raise rates in December, for the fourth time in 2018.

“We need to see a trade deal with China or some sign that the Federal Reserve will wait and see before it hits us with more rate hikes next year,” Cramer said. “We’ve been getting weaker for some time and the Fed doesn’t seem to care — they’re still very committed to the ‘destroy the economy in order to save it’ approach.”

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