ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Sep 25 21:14

Trillions of pounds at risk without Brexit deal on derivatives, warns Bank of England

The Bank of England has called for special arrangements to be made in order to protect the UK derivatives market when it leaves the European Union.

In today's statement from the central bank's Financial Policy Committee (FPC), the BoE said that it was essential to ensure the protection of the £20 trillion currently held in derivatives contracts between the UK and other EU country members.

Seeking to mitigate any likely risks of disruption to financial markets following Brexit, the FPC said it was assessing the derivatives situation, and "exploring actions" that could be taken where it believed that it might be too “complex and difficult” for financial firms to offset risks arising from the continuity of contracts between UK and EU27 counterparties, themselves.

Sep 25 16:32

Harvey and Irma Won’t End Carmageddon

Sep 25 05:50

Amazon- Dual topping patterns possible

Sep 25 03:26

Rickards: Is There Really A Bitcoin Bubble?

Sep 24 22:17

A brilliant plan: One Belt, One Road

Xi Jinping’s ambitious strategic initiative – an adaptation of the historical Silk Road – marks the beginning of a new geopolitical era.

Sep 24 10:51

U.S. Households Are Loaded Up With Stocks

Sep 23 15:37

Janet Yellen's Ptolemaic Monetary Universe

Sep 23 14:17

China imposes limit on oil supply to North Korea

China announced Saturday that it will limit energy supplies to North Korea and stop buying its textiles under U.N. sanctions imposed over its nuclear and missile development, further reducing support from Pyongyang's last ally.

Exports of refined petroleum to the North will be limited to 2 million barrels per year, effective Jan. 1, the Commerce Ministry said. Sales of liquefied natural gas are banned outright.

North Korea depends on China for almost all its oil and gas but estimates of its consumption are low, leaving it unclear how Beijing's new limit will affect them. The restrictions announced Saturday do not apply to crude oil, which makes up the biggest share of energy exports to the North.

China also will ban textile imports from the North, the ministry said. Textiles are believed to be the North's biggest source of foreign revenue following rounds of U.N. sanctions under which Beijing cut off purchases of coal, iron ore, seafood and other goods.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to admit; I did NOT see this coming, but good on the Chinese government for having taken this step; now, we are going to see how North Korea responds to this stiffening of sanctions against it.

Sep 23 12:55

Tillerson State Dept. Demanding Israel Hand Back Millions in U.S. Military Aid

State Dept., White House at odds over demand.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been pushing the Trump White House to demand that Israel give back to the United States millions of dollars in military aid, prompting pushback in the West Wing and further fueling ongoing tensions between Foggy Bottom and the White House over a range of key diplomatic issues, according to multiple sources briefed on the situation.

Sep 23 12:11

Catalonia Closes Ranks as Outrage over Crackdown Grows

Spain’s increasingly public crackdown on the planned October 1 secession referendum in Catalonia appears to be bringing the population of the northeastern region together. Reports say that the social indignation toward police action is spreading far from just the pro-secession crowd.

Spain’s Constitutional Court forbade the referendum, and national police have been out in growing force trying to undermine the lead-up to the vote. Still, there’s little sign they’re going to be able to prevent the vote outright, and mostly they’re just angering everybody in the region.

If anything, there’s some speculation that Spain’s crackdown is likely to sway the outcome more in favor of secession, as the pro-secession crowd is more mobilized than ever, and resentment is soaring. Polls had previously shown Catalonia widely split on the issue.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Spanish government needs to be very careful about how it handles this referendum; as the situation is now, it is risking a civil war here.

What Spain needs to do, if the referendum is, in fact, successful (which I think it will be) is to figure out what kind of healthy political and economic relationship it can have with an independent Catalonia, so that the region of Europe doesn't completely fracture.

Sep 23 10:38

Trump, Ghani agree U.S. can help develop Afghanistan's rare earth minerals

Hate to agree with Karl,but wars are economic,actually criminal. Somebody wants what someone else has and they figure the best way to get it is to steal it,using various nebulous reasons to motivate the cannon fodder. Like religion,nationalism,race or my favorite from Gullivers Travels;"They open their eggs from the wrong end!"

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday backed having companies from the United States develop Afghanistan’s reserves of rare earth minerals, despite formidable obstacles to industrial mining in the country.

The comments, at a meeting in New York, were the latest in a series in which both U.S. officials and the Afghan government have emphasized the potential strategic value of Afghanistan’s vast and largely untapped mineral reserves.

Sep 23 10:33

The Reason Why ICOs Have Been Going Through The Roof...

"Like the dot-com bubble in the 90s, you could add the concept of blockchain to just about anything and have a ‘business’ worth millions, no matter how idiotic the original idea..."

Sep 23 10:25

North Korea sanctions rattle Russian, Chinese businesses

As the U.S. exerts more pressure on Pyongyang, economic exchanges between Russia and North Korea, which the government of Vladimir Putin had sought to use as a diplomatic bargaining chip, are beginning to ebb.

In late August, Vladivostok in Russia's Far East suspended service on the Mangyongbong, a North Korean ferry and cargo ship. The ship started service to Vladivostok in May, making one round-trip per week from the port of Rajin in Rason, in northeastern North Korea. Now the ship remains moored at Rajin.

Sep 23 08:37

BOOBS ON CREDIT

Do you ever hear something so startlingly mind numbingly ridiculous you realize it must be a sign things have gotten so fucked up something has got to give? As I was driving to work yesterday morning on the Schuylkill Expressway a commercial comes on the radio from a plastic surgeon advertising for anyone looking for a better set of boobs. I had never heard a plastic surgeon commercial before, so I thought that was unusual. But, that wasn’t the best part. This plastic surgeon was offering no money down 18 month interest free financing on your new boobs.

Sep 23 06:06

U.S. Ties Noose Around Neck Of Venezuela’s Economy

Washington’s decision to tie a noose round the neck of Venezuela’s economy (presented as sanctions for notional crimes) is effectively preventing Caracas from allowing its oil to flow to allies of the U.S.A.. The knock on effect: from now on, Venezuela will export its oil to China. By doing so, Venezuela’s contracts will no longer be established in dollars but the yuan. This will soon threaten the supremacy of the US currency and, clearly, the US economy. So now, “the party that thought it had the key to the prison door, is held hostage in the cell”.
***
This is Caracas’s response to the sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration on 25 August; sanctions far harsher than those imposed by the Obama Administration in 2014, for the Trump sanctions prevent Venezuela from cashing in the dollars received from selling oil to the United States - more than a million barrels per day.>>>

Sep 22 18:46

Tillerson State Dept. Demanding Israel Hand Back Millions in U.S. Military Aid

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been pushing the Trump White House to demand that Israel give back to the United States millions of dollars in military aid, prompting pushback in the West Wing and further fueling ongoing tensions between Foggy Bottom and the White House over a range of key diplomatic issues, according to multiple sources briefed on the situation.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported on Friday that the State Department has been lobbying the White House to call for Israel to hand back some $75 million in U.S. military aid that was awarded to the Jewish state above the Obama administration’s financial request in 2016.

Sep 22 16:38

Dow 50,000! Why Not?!

Sep 22 13:35

Central Banks Investing in Equities

Sep 22 12:56

Why I hate the Banks with a Passion

Every time a country sets up a private central bank, there are big problems and the people are always robbed by the fraud they impose. When I read about banks getting caught manipulating their costumers delaying to post a payroll deposit to bank accounts so the banks could run the checks, then they can charge their clients with overdraft fees. The Banks today are known to rip off today more than ever.

Sep 22 10:28

U.S. not ruling out possible oil embargo on Venezuela: Haley

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Thursday a range of options remained on the table, including a possible oil embargo, if Venezuela did not move to restore its democratic processes.

“There’s a lot of support in Latin America to see Venezuela start to respect its people and go back to the democracy it’s supposed to be,” she told reporters. “If things don’t improve, all those options are always there,” Haley added, saying specifically that the possibility of an oil embargo remained.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As reported by ap.com on 10 August, 2017:

But even as the list of targeted individuals grows longer, promised economic sanctions have yet to materialize amid an outcry by the United States oil industry that a potential ban on petroleum imports from Venezuela – the third-largest supplier to the US – would hurt US jobs and drive up gas costs.

So the oil embargo suggested by Ambassador Haley is going to mess considerably with the American econony, yet she seems gung ho to do this, to achieve the Trump Administration's geopolitical objective of regime change in Caracas, and having Venezuelan oil ultimately sold only in US dollars?!?

Such a plan sounds absolutely as though it will be of no actual help to either the American or Venezuelan people; but of great help to the massive US oil companies, and the banks.

Sep 22 10:21

Gold Tops $1300, USDJPY Tumbles After North Korean "H-Bomb Test" Threat Reports

After an initial slide on Kim's "deranged dotard" reaction to President Trump, both USDJPY and US equity futures are falling further after Yonhap reports, North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho says the “highest level of hard-line” countermeasure could refer to hydrogen-bomb detonation in the Pacific.

Sep 22 09:26

Austria signs landmark funding deal with Iran

Austria’s Oberbank on Thursday signed a major finance deal with over a dozen Iranian banks thus becoming one of the first European financial institutions to break the ice in providing loans for Iranian projects after the removal of sanctions against the country in early 2016.

Sep 22 09:06

A Look At How Nestle Makes Billions Selling You Groundwater In A Bottle

Here's a look at how Nestle manages to buy the water in that bottle that you just dropped $2 on for a mere $0.000001...

Sep 22 08:41

Wal-Mart tests delivering groceries straight to the fridge with workers who can access customers' homes and put the purchases away

Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Friday it was testing a service in the Silicon Valley to deliver groceries straight to customers' refrigerators as it looks to gain an edge over Amazon.com.

The retailer said it is partnering with August Home, a provider of smart locks and smart home accessories, to test the service.

The delivery person would get access to the customer's house using a preauthorized one-time passcode and would put away groceries.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Now, what could possibly go wrong with that?!?

Sep 22 08:28

Special Pump-and-Dump Scheme Spikes to High Heaven

But the Swiss National Bank is just an innocent bystander.

Sep 22 07:35

Venezuela’s Rebellion against the Petrodollar

Washington’s decision to tie a noose round the neck of Venezuela’s economy (presented as sanctions for notional crimes) is effectively preventing Caracas from allowing its oil to flow to allies of the U.S.A.. The knock on effect: from now on, Venezuela will export its oil to China. By doing so, Venezuela’s contracts will no longer be established in dollars but the yuan. This will soon threaten the supremacy of the US currency and, clearly, the US economy. So now, “the party that thought it had the key to the prison door, is held hostage in the cell”.

Sep 21 21:04

Scott Adams: How a Silicon Valley Investor Does Leadership

Lately I have been describing my personal political views as “left of Bernie, but with a preference for plans that can work.” In other words, I would love universal healthcare and free college. I just don’t know how to get there in any practical way. I don’t think anyone else does either.

This indirectly brings me to Sam Altman, CEO of Y-Combinator, and a billionaire investor. He’s embarking on an experiment to see what happens when you give citizens free money, no strings attached. This is important because our robot-centric future will mean the end of most forms of human labor. And that means one of two things, in all likelihood: 1) 90% of the world starves to death while the robot-owners thrive, or 2) 90% of the world receives some sort of “free money” from the rich, with no strings attached. Sam is testing option two.

Sep 21 15:26

This chart is great news for gold…

Sep 21 14:30

Listening to the Donald at the UN – The Saker

No matter how bad things look now, Hillary President would have been infinitely worse!

In conclusion, what I take away from Trump's UN speech is a sense of relief for the rest of the planet and a sense of real worry for the US. Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their “bitch” the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill.

Sure, the Americans talk a lot, but at least they are doing nothing. That paralysis, which is a direct consequence of the internal infighting, is a blessing for the rest of the planet

Sep 21 13:50

Computers Rule The Earth

Optional Banner: 
WRH Exclusive
Sep 21 13:44

Top Investment CEO Shocked By Jamie Dimon Bitcoin Comments: “Major Banks Are All Spending Billions Of Dollars To Get In On Blockchain”

Last week saw some tumultuous moves in Bitcoin and the crypto currency market in general following news that China would be cracking down on ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings) purportedly in an effort to prevent fraud and capital flight. Just days prior to these announcements, JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon publicly said that Bitcoin is a fraud and that anyone in his firm caught trading the digital currency would be terminated. By the end of the week, it was revealed that not only were people not being fired at JM Morgan, but they were actively buying the crypto on European exchanges.

Sep 21 13:35

The Scam Known as Social Security Trust Funds

There is no trust fund. There is only a pile of IOU’s issued by the government.

Sep 21 12:02

XIV Volume Showing Sign of a Price Top

Sep 21 10:22

YOU HAVE TO BE IN AWE OF REDNECK ENGINEERING (20 PHOTOS)

Rednecks have never gotten enough credit for their inventions and contributions to the engineering world. Their prototypes may be crude at first glance, but there’s a nugget of moonshine soaked genius in there somewhere.

Get ready, ya’ll, the greatest examples of redneck engineering are coming at ya.

Sep 21 10:07

China says North Korean situation more serious by the day

The situation on the Korean peninsula is getting more serious by the day and cannot be allowed to spin out of control, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his German counterpart, the state-run China News Service said on Thursday.

A resolution to the North Korea issue cannot only rely on sanctions and not talks, Wang said, meeting German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting in New York on Wednesday, the report added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ambassador Yi is absolutely correct in his assessment.

China absolutely does NOT want to get mired in a war between the US and North Korea, and is very teed off that the confrontation has pushed tensions in the region to a knife's edge.

The US tolerates a nuclear-armed China; a nuclear-armed Israel; a nuclear-armed Russia; a nuclear-armed Pakistan; and a nuclear-armed India; why is it pathologically incapable, under President Trump's watch, of tolerating a nuclear-armed North Korea?!?

These weapons are developed as a deterrent to invasion, and would never be used in a first-strike capability by North Korea, because they understand that should they do so, the US, South Korea. and Japan would have their country reduced to molten glass in a heartbeat.

Sep 21 10:03

Could Kurdish Independence Spark An Oil War?

As the date of the Kurdish independence referendum approaches, oil industry moguls should be concerned about an oil production war between Iran and headless Iraq.

Sep 21 09:57

TRUMP FALLS IN LINE WITH INTERVENTIONISM

In discussing President Trump, there is always the soft prejudice of low expectations – people praise him for reading from a Teleprompter even if his words make little sense – but there is no getting around the reality that his maiden address to the United Nations General Assembly must rank as one of the most embarrassing moments in America’s relations with the global community.

Trump offered a crude patchwork of propaganda and bluster, partly delivered as a campaign speech praising his own leadership – boasting about the relatively strong U.S. economy that he mostly inherited from President Obama – and partly reflecting his continued subservience to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Trump did NOT inherit "...relatively strong U.S. economy" from President Obama; look at all the corporate bankruptcies which have happened in 2016, and 2017, to begin to comprehend the problems with the US economy, which have seen massive Federal and personal debt increase, coupled with the steady outsourcing/offshoring of jobs which used to be the mainstay of the American middle class.

But the rest of the article is absolutely correct, in pointing out President Trump's embracing everything that has failed, spectacularly, with US foreign policy under Bush's and Obama's regimes.

And it appears he is about to double down with North Korea, Iran, and perhaps even Venezuela.

IF, in fact, the US government goes to war against both North Korea and Iran, and choses to fire the first shot, we may well see China defending North Korea, and Russia defending Iran, militarily.

I wish someone who has the President's ear, other than the official triumverate of Mc Master, Kelly, and Mattis, would politely inform President Trump that the US military does not have the money; the manufacturing; the weaponry; or the troop strength to positively militarily engage either country at this point.

After a show of force in Syria, Russia has other countries clamoring for their weapons, because they work as advertised; most American weapons, unfortunately, do not.

Need I remind you of the utter fluster cluck and debacle which is the Lockheed Martin's F-35, which has cost taxpayers billions, but still cannot perform to speck, and may take billions more to ever fix?!?

I rest my case.

Sep 21 09:38

DHS PAYS POLICE MILLIONS TO TICKET AND PROSECUTE MOTORISTS

It used to be the DOJ, COPS, NHTSA and the USDOT were responsible for paying police to ticket motorists.

In the past few years, things have taken a turn for the worse. It now appears that DHS has become the largest cash provider for police departments.

What does that mean for motorists?

It means more tickets.

A recent article in the Knoxville News Sentinel, reveals that the Blount County Sheriff's Office received $91,488 from DHS to create 'specialized enforcement' on The Dragon, a section of U.S. Highway 129 near the North Carolina state line.

Another article in the Tennessean revealed how DHS is giving prosecutors millions to target motorists.

"State Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner David Purkey was joined by Vic Donoho, director of the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, in Dickson on Aug. 30 as one part of a four-city, statewide tour Wednesday to announce $19 million in federal grants for programs to reduce road fatalities."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When citations become revenue generators for cities and states, expect them to increase exponentially from now on.

In light of the fact that Mike and I are driving an 18 year old crudmobile, we tend to treat it very gently, and generally drive very conservatively.

But for those out there driving in states where a radar detector is legal to use, it might not be a bad investment right now.

Sep 21 09:37

THIS $700 BILLION PUBLIC EMPLOYEE TICKING TIME BOMB IS ONLY 6.7% FUNDED; MOST STATES ARE UNDER 1%

As a study from Pew Charitable Trusts points out today, the average OPEB plan in the U.S. today is only 6.7% funded (and that’s if you believe their discount rates…so probably figure about half that amount in reality) and many states around the country are even worse.

Sep 21 09:22

Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For

Last year, U.S. bottled water sales reached $16 billion, up nearly 10 percent from 2015, according to Beverage Marketing Corp. They outpaced soda sales for the first time as drinkers continue to seek convenience and healthier options and worry about the safety of tap water after the high-profile contamination in Flint, Mich., about a two-hour drive from Mecosta. Nestlé alone sold $7.7 billion worth worldwide, with more than $343 million of it coming from Michigan, where the company bottles Ice Mountain Natural Spring Water and Pure Life, its purified water line.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This thievery of what should be clean, public resources for water, should be criminal, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Unfortunately with Nestle, which I am sure has a thoroughly deserved reputation for buying local and federal politicians, in order to bend them to their corporate agendas, that may well happen only when pigs discover they are aerodynamic.

Sep 21 09:14

IT HAS STARTED: CREEPING GLOBAL DE-DOLLARIZATION

The issue of when a global reserve currency begins or ends is not an exact science. There are no press releases announcing it, and neither are there big international conferences that end with the signing of treaties and a photo shoot. Nevertheless we can say with confidence that the reign of every world reserve currency has to come to and end at some point in time. During a changeover from one global currency to another, gold (and to a lesser extent silver) has always played a decisive role. Central banks and governments have long been aware that the dollar has a sell-by date as a reserve currency. But it has taken until now for the subject to be discussed openly. The fact that the issue has been on the radar of a powerful bank like JP Morgan for at least five years, should give one pause. Questions regarding the global reserve currency are not exactly discussed on CNBC every day. Most mainstream economists avoid the topic like the plague. The issue is too politically charged.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With the BRIC nations bypassing the dollar completely in their trade, we are seeing the wheels starting to come off the car represented by the petrodollar, and with amazing rapidity.

23 Countries Now Abandoning US Dollar

Picking up some gold and silver (for its melt value, not numismatic value), if at all possible, may not be a bad thing right now.

Karl Marx was right on at least one thing; all wars are economic in origin.

Look at who is getting demonized right now in the corporate presstitute media, outside of North Korea; China, Russia, Venezuela, and Iran. What do these countries have in common?!?

They have stopped using the US dollar in international trading.

Sep 21 08:34

LOVING OUR DEBT-SERFDOM: OUR NEOFEUDAL STATUS QUO

Democracy (i.e. political influence) and ownership of productive assets are the exclusive domains of the New Aristocracy.

I have often used the words neoliberal, neocolonial and neofeudal to describe our socio-economic-political status quo. Here are my shorthand descriptions of each term:

1. Neoliberal: the commoditization / financialization of every asset, input (such as labor) and output of the economy; the privatization of the public commons, and the maximizing of private profits while costs and losses are socialized, i.e. transferred to the taxpayers.

2. Neocolonial: the exploitation of the domestic populace using the same debt-servitude model used to subjugate, control and extract profits from overseas populations.

3. Neofeudal: the indenturing of the workforce via debt and financial repression to a new Aristocracy; the disempowerment of the workforce into powerless debt-serfs.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

After the deaths and maimings for life of so many of our brave military service people in Iraq and Afganinstan,ultimately for control of the oil pipelines and mineral resources of these countries, and my nacent, dawning understanding of Karl Marx's statement that "all wars are economic in nature", I can no longer buy into anything the corporate presstitutes are saying. They may get the weather correctly, but even that can be problematic.

The Occupied, Unhinged, Surveilled State of America has never been a true meritocracy; it has always been about power, money, and influence, of which I have precious little.

But I have never bought into victimhood or identity politics, which I think, has been a reasonbly healthy way in which to behave. As a 68 year old, still working woman, an equity feminist, and a published composer, I appreciate what I can still bring to the table, in terms of both art and business.

I will not be defined by a corpratocracy which may dictate that I am "over the hill". You would never hear that from the clients for whom I do marketing!! :-)

Sep 21 07:56

Brussels faces rebellion over South America trade deal that will 'devastate' EU farmers

BRUSSELS was today facing serious questions about its proposed trade deal with a group of South American countries after Irish farmers warned it would have a “devastating impact” the EU cattle industry.

Sep 21 06:17

Exactly How Many Warnings Do You Need?

Sep 21 05:47

Answers Emerge from Harvey-Hit Houston

Sep 21 04:41

Mattis: Budget Uncertainty Endangers US Survival

It’s a time honored tradition for Defense Secretaries to complain about the budget caps imposed in 2011, even though Congress has literally never failed to circumvent those caps. James Mattis followed that trend of alarmism, but seemingly at the worst possible time.

Mattis claimed that budget uncertainty has him questioning “whether or not America has the ability to survive.” The US, of course, spends many-fold more on their military than any other nation>>>

(*and still cant seem to be able to "Get The Job Done" in an efficient manner when we go into any of the impoverished nations we usually choose to pick on)

Sep 20 14:53

What, No Hurricane Bounce? Ford Idles 5 North American Plants In Wake Of Slumping Car Sales

As initially reported by the Census Department, motor vehicle sales were up 1.2% in July following a 0.9% gain in June. At the time, I commented, “This is unbelievably bizarre in the face of actual auto sales reports.”

The Census Bureau revised sales estimates much lower in September as noted in Retail Sales Unexpectedly Decline, Huge Negative Revisions in June and July: Reflections on “Bizarre” Sales Reports.

Today we learn Ford to cut production at five North American vehicle plants due to rising inventory and slumping sales.

Sep 20 14:51

Venezuela Bankrupt? Caracas Fails To Make Sept 15 Interest Payment

Exactly one week ago, we wrote that a "Venezuelan default is only a matter of time". We said that "while debt servicing has been a government priority, declining external liquidity and a deteriorating domestic situation (three-digit hyperinflation, shortages, and a political crisis between the government and the National Assembly) make it a daunting task. By 2020, the country must repay 30% of the external debt due to expire in the next 23 years."

Among other things we warned that "default seems inevitable in the medium term due to the prolonged period of low oil prices and increased US sanctions. President Trump's executive order of August 24, 2017, strengthened sanctions against PDVSA by prohibiting all transactions related to new debt with a maturity greater than 90 days and by forbidding Citgo from repatriating dividends in Venezuela."

Sep 20 14:34

Just Say No to Early Christmas Decorations or Bah Humbug!!!!!!

These big-box stores need to put back Christmas displays until after Thanksgiving or at least a week before Black Friday. The early Christmas promotion has become absurd. I remember watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade every year and the last float had Santa Clause. I would not surprise me if Santa Clause appears in the St Patrics parade as the last float while Easter has not arrived yet.. I hope they do not go over the top with promoting Christmas season going to the extreme.

The Big Box store Claire and I go to have their Christmas stuff up already!

Sep 20 14:08

The Everything Bubble Is Ready To Pop

Sep 20 12:10

Trump’s Embarrassing UN Speech

The arrogance conveyed by Trump’s speech is unprecedented.

I wonder if whoever wrote the deplorable speech intended to embarrass Trump and inadvertently embarrassed America as well, or whether the speechwriter(s) is so imbued with the neoconservative arrogance and hubris of our time that the speechwriter was simply blind to the extraordinary contradictions that stood out like sore thumbs all through the speech.

Sep 20 12:00

JPMorgan Helps Clients Buy Bitcoin Despite CEO Calling Bitcoin ‘A Fraud’

JPMorgan Chase has been routing customer orders for bitcoin -related instruments, a spokesman said on Monday, despite the bank’s chief executive’s calling the crypto currency “a fraud.”

Sep 20 11:40

UK Supermarket Becomes World’s First to Offer Cashless Checkout with Finger Vein Scan

By Nicholas West

The march toward a cashless society has now moved from the theoretical to the phase of widespread adoption. This is primarily due to developments in the tech sector that now enable the easy use of biometric recognition systems, as well as the increasing acceptance from a public who is becoming familiar with turning themselves into a password for their personal devices...

Sep 20 11:39

How Many of 2017’s Retail Bankruptcies Were Caused by Private-Equity’s Greed?

According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, there have been 35 retail bankruptcies this year, almost double the 18 retail bankruptcies of last year. The filing by Toys ‘R’ Us this week was the latest.

What many of these retailers have in common is that they were taken private in leveraged buyouts (LBOs) by private equity (PE) firms. Toys ‘R’ Us, Payless ShoeSource, The Limited, Wet Seal, Gymboree Corp., rue21, and True Religion Apparel were all LBOs. Gander Mountain can also be included in this list if you reach back to its 1984 LBO. Far too many LBOs are simply asset stripping operations by Wall Street vultures who load the company with enormous debt, then asset strip the cash from the company by paying themselves obscene special dividends and management fees.

Sep 20 09:21

You can Eat and Drink Gold

Sep 20 09:07

Military Defeat as a Financial Collapse Trigger

Back in 2007 I wrote Reinventing Collapse, in which I compared the collapse of the USSR to the forthcoming collapse of the USA. I wrote the following:

“Let us imagine that collapsing a modern military-industrial superpower is like making soup: chop up some ingredients, apply heat and stir. The ingredients I like to put in my superpower collapse soup are: a severe and chronic shortfall in the production of crude oil (that magic addictive elixir of industrial economies), a severe and worsening foreign trade deficit, a runaway military budget and ballooning foreign debt. The heat and agitation can be provided most efficaciously by a humiliating military defeat and widespread fear of looming catastrophe.” (p. 2)

A decade later these ingredients are all in place, with a few minor quibbles.

Sep 20 08:18

Illinois Unpaid Vendor Backlog Hits A New Record At Over $16 Billion

Back in July, the state of Illinois narrowly avoided a junk bond rating with a last minute budget deal that included a 32% in hike in income taxes. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the budget and called it a "disaster," but both houses of the state legislature voted to override his veto. Meanwhile, S&P and Moody's were apparently both convinced that the budget deal was sufficient for the state to remain an investment grade credit and all lived happily ever after, if just for a few months.

Sep 20 08:00

"This Is Where The Next Financial Crisis Will Come From"

In an extensive, must-read report published on Monday by Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid, the credit strategist unveiled an extensive analysis of the "Next Financial Crisis", and specifically what may cause it, when it may happen, and how the world could respond assuming it still has means to counteract the next economic and financial crash. In our first take on the report yesterday, we showed one key aspect of the "crash" calculus: between bonds and stocks, global asset prices are the most elevated they have ever been.

Sep 20 07:59

The Obamacare "Death Spiral": Health Plans Now Cost Employers More Than A New Car

As we’ve reported time and time again, the bill has increased cost pressures on businesses, forcing them lay off employees or pare back benefits to stay in business.

According to WSJ, the average cost of health coverage offered by employers pushed toward $19,000 for a family plan this year, while the share of firms providing insurance to workers continued to edge lower, according to a major survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Sep 20 07:15

Getting out of San Francisco:  83 percent of Bay Area renters plan to leave the area before settling down.

San Francisco real estate continues to operate in a land of full on self-indulged delusion and pseudo-tech worship. I travel to the Bay Area and San Francisco often and the amount of self-delusion when it comes to real estate is amazing. You will find all of these convoluted justifications as to why a crap shack should sell for $1.5 million and when some other chump takes the jump, they use this as some sort of reinforcement of their real estate buying acumen. You are the amazing market timer and they are the fool (at least that is the thought process). I’ve seen this with couples in the area where two professionals have sound financial judgment but then a kid is thrown into the mix and all hell breaks loose. “Well I don’t want my kid living in a rental!” or “I want them to have a piece of real estate when I turn over and pass on” as if your kid wants to chase the same Full House rat race. People are mistaking luck with skill but that is part of human nature.

Sep 20 07:10

Compsci degrees aren't returning on investment for coders – research

University in the UK has never been more expensive. But at least doing a computer science degree guarantees a nice fat, well-paid job at the end, right? Wrong.

Coders with a bachelor's degree only earn £3,000 more a year than those who don't have one, according to a survey of 4,700 developers in the UK by Stack Overflow, a community site frequented by developers for answers to technical questions.

This is despite the average degree now costing £9,000 a year in tuition fees alone. Average student debt is now more than £50,000, according the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

The research found that the median salary of those who did not have higher education was £35,000 per year, while those who gained a bachelor's degree earned £38,000 and postgraduates took home £42,000.

Sep 20 07:04

China soon to make its own jet engines, predicts Rolls Royce chairman

China will likely begin "manufacture engines for jumbo jets" soon, said Rolls Royce Chairman Ian Davis at the Singapore Summit over the weekend.

At present, Rolls Royce remains the second largest provider of commercial and defense aero-engine products and services in the world. In Davis’ opinion, China will join in the global competition of jet engines manufacturing, playing a more and more crucial role in the development of this industry.

Sep 20 07:01

Threats against China could result in another Great Depression

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s threats of a trade war against China if it does not uphold sanctions against North Korea not only will not accomplish anything, they could trigger a global economic tsunami and further heighten tension in the Korean Peninsula if he follows through with the threat.

Sep 20 06:23

“This Is Where The Next Financial Crisis Will Come From” – Deutsche Bank

In an extensive, must-read report published on Monday by Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid, the credit strategist unveiled an extensive analysis of the “Next Financial Crisis”, and specifically what may cause it, when it may happen, and how the world could respond assuming it still has means to counteract the next economic and financial crash.

Sep 20 06:22

Global Debt Bubble Understated By $13 Trillion Warn BIS

Global debt may be under-reported by around $13 trillion because traditional accounting practices exclude foreign exchange derivatives used to hedge international trade and foreign currency bonds, the BIS said on Sunday.

Bank for International Settlements researchers said it was hard to assess the risk this “missing” debt poses, but that the main worry was a liquidity crunch like the one that seized FX swap and forwards markets during the financial crisis.

The $13 trillion unaccounted-for exposure exceeds the on-balance-sheet debt of $10.7 trillion that data shows was owed by firms and governments outside the United States at end-March.

Sep 19 21:52

The End Is Nigh

Although the sabre rattling by US political leaders and retired generals is heard daily on the American news programmes, and the American people are clearly being indoctrinated to believe that war might be necessary, America has never been less ready for a war.

The US is a very different country from what it was in 1941. It does possess a sizable military; however, that military is no match for the combined forces of China and Russia. Moreover, the US is not the industrial giant it was in 1941. Its factories have largely closed and moved overseas. What remains is not sufficient for wartime production. The American people as a whole are heavily in debt and the government itself is broke.

By any standard, the actions being taken by the US are therefore reckless indeed. The end of the world is not nigh, but the end of the world as we know it most certainly is.

Sep 19 18:52

US Current Account Deficit Reaches $123 Billion

The deficit in the broadest measure of US trade rose to the highest level in more than eight years this spring, reflecting in part a drop in fines and penalties paid by foreign companies.

Sep 19 18:35

Bubble Fortunes

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA