ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Dec 13 17:44

THE BEAR IS HERE: Is Your Exit Blocked?

Dec 13 17:44

‘Astonishing fraud: Pentagon stashes away unspent money & then uses it without any accountability’

RT spoke to David Lindorff, investigative journalist, and columnist for the Nation, who said that US military budget is now “larger than all the US debt in the history of the country.”

“Pentagon budget is $750 billion dollars at this point. And each year it has been lower than that before. And yet their accounting shows that they have $21 trillion additionally in the budget, the one they submit to Congress each year. One budget year it was $6.5 trillion budget just for the army – which that year really only had 122 billion,“ he continued.

He explained that Pentagon accountant service is “making up numbers and plugging them in …to make the financial documents that they submit to Congress each year for showing what they have spent the prior year and year before completely incomprehensible and unauditable.”

He called it an “astonishing fraud”.

Dec 13 15:40

The US economy is slowing but how quickly?

Dec 13 15:13

Swing Kids - The Gathering Storm

Dec 13 15:05

No signs of a problem?

Dec 13 13:57

One Chicken? That will be 14 million Bolivars… or .03 Dash

Kentucky Fried Chicken was rumored to be the latest fast-food restaurant in Venezuela to accept Dash cryptocurrency for payment.

(Actually, KFC denies these claims, but then Church’s Chicken stepped up to the plate and announced it will accept the tokens.)

Why Dash? Because the cost of a chicken now exceeds $14 million bolivars, the Venezuelan currency.

Hyperinflation in the socialist country has caused the currency to lose about 99% of its value since last year… And even then it had already been through years of hyperinflation.

Officially, the exchange rate is $1 USD for 248,000 bolivars. In reality, the exchange rate on the black market is $1 USD for over 6.6 million bolivars.

Dec 13 11:14

Trump’s Dilemma And Refuting The Gold/Yuan Peg Theory

The dollar index has been rising since Trump began his war on trade. But right now it’s at the same 97 index level as when Trump was elected. Recall that Trump’s administration pushed down starting in 2017 to stimulate exports and attempt to cut the trade deficit. The dollar fell from 97 to 88. Gold ran from $1125 to as high as $1360 – a key technical breakout level – by late April 2018. Something had to be done to keep gold from moving higher…Trump started his Trade War in March, which pushed the dollar higher. Gold began tank. Ironically, the trade deficit one again began to balloon.

If Trump wants to “win” the trade war, he needs to push the dollar a lot lower. This in turn will send the price of gold soaring. This means that the western Central Banks/BIS will have to live with a rising price gold, something I’m not sure they’re prepared to do. This could set up an interesting behind-the-scenes clash between Trump and the western banking elitists.

Dec 13 11:10

Are We at the Peak of Employment and Wages?

Dec 13 11:02

Saudi Arabia Under Fire From All Sides

Saudi Arabia bet that it could defy the U.S. when it pushed for oil production cuts at the OPEC+ meeting, gambling that President Trump would not lash out in retaliation despite some heavy-handed pressure from his twitter feed ahead of the summit in Vienna. This week, the bet seems to have paid off.

To be sure, Saudi Arabia’s decision to push for oil production cuts was a bit of a no brainer. The extreme budgetary pressure facing Riyadh from low oil prices is vastly more concerning than any legal or political action from the U.S. Congress or White House. And absent a deal in Vienna, oil prices could have fallen further.

Dec 13 10:59

Why America is the new Middle East in terms of oil production: World’s largest reserves just discovered under Texas

For the first time since 1973, the United States now leads the world in terms of oil production. And according to reports, we have the ground underneath Western Texas and Eastern New Mexico to thank.

Dec 13 10:48

Homelessness on the rise in some U.S. cities

Homelessness has declined across most of the U.S. over the last decade as the economy has crawled back from the housing crash. In some cities, however, the problem is getting worse, with researchers pointing to a one culprit in particular: rising rents.

A new analysis from Zillow found that the incidence of homelessness is growing faster in the least affordable rental housing markets, including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

"It's undoubtedly good news that the overall level of homelessness has fallen nationwide, even as housing costs have increased. But that zoomed-out view obscures some very real, local tensions between housing affordability and homelessness, and ignores the reality that success in tackling homelessness in one community doesn't necessarily have the same effect in another," said Skylar Olsen, director of economic research and outreach at Zillow, a provider of real estate data, in a statement.

Dec 13 10:46

Harvard's $39B Endowment Is Secretly Acquiring California's Water Supply

Harvard University's endowment (valued at $39 billion as of 2018) is the largest academic endowment in the world. The private investment company has been quietly snapping up farmland and related water rights to properties located in the California region.

Instead of purchasing the land in Harvard Management Company, Inc.'s own name, asset managers secretly formed a wholly owned subsidiary - called Brodiaea, which was the vehicle to purchase more than a dozen investments in California vineyards over the last six years.

Harvard formed Brodiaea in 2012, and by 2015 the company had already acquired 10,000 acres in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties for roughly $60 million, according to Reuters.

Dec 13 10:45

House Passes $867 Billion Farm Bill Which Rejects Curbs On Food Stamps

President Trump still does not have a new chief of staff, but at least he now has a green light to hand out bailouts and subsidies to America's farmers.

On Wednesday, the House passed an $867 billion farm bill to help those workers in the agricultural industry, sending the legislation to President Trump for a signature. The measure easily passed with a 369-47 vote. The legislation, which previously passed the Senate in an 87-13 vote on Tuesday, expands farm subsidies and according to The Hill, includes language legalizing hemp production.

Dec 13 10:43

Albert Edwards: Trump's Tariffs Have Launched A Chinese "Death Wobble"

Two months ago, Albert Edwards first suggested that investors are focusing on the wrong catalyst for the next crash, which according to the grumpy SocGen strategist would emerge out of China, contending that as Trump exerts mounting pressure on the Chinese economy via tariffs, "the worry is that a Chinese policy response will send the global markets into a tailspin, just as the August 2015 devaluation did."

Today, in his latest note, Edwards doubles down on his assertion that a China hard-landing may be "the grey rhino that investors are ignoring" even as he once again admits that "naysayers, such as I, have consistently been proved wrong about the ability of China’s policymakers to successfully navigate choppy waters without capsizing the economic ship. And it is wholly natural that investors, having been proved overly bearish about the economy in the past, have given up worrying about a Chinese hard landing – but now that ship looks to be taking on water once again."

Dec 13 10:42

In First Major Purchase Since "Trade War Truce", China Buy 500,000 Tonnes Of US Soybeans

Despite numerous pitfalls and occasional arrests, the truce between Trump and Xi appears to be bearing fruit, or rather vegetables.

According to Reuters, Chinese state-owned companies bought at least 500,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans on Wednesday in the first major purchases since Trump and Xi met in early December and cobbled together a ceasefire in the trade war between the US and China.

Citing one trader, Reuters said that at least nine cargoes traded and "there were probably more."

A second trader with direct knowledge of the deals said Chinese state-owned firms bought at least 12 cargoes for shipment between January and March. "China was buying right out of the gate this morning. It looks like we're back in business now," the source said.

The soybeans are expected to be shipped from grain terminals in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, the most direct route to Asia, the traders said.

Dec 13 10:42

America Won't be Able to Stop Iraq From Importing Iranian Gas - U.S. Expert

The United States will not be able to force Iraq to stop importing gas from Iran, says an academic, adding that Baghdad will continue to procure its energy requirements rather than going along with the U.S. anti-Iran sanctions.

“Definitely in the context of Iraq, it is not looking good for the hawks in Washington because they are basically not going to be able to remove the waivers that enable Iraq to continue to purchase energy from Iran," David Yaghoubian, professor of History at CSU San Bernardino told Press TV in an interview on Wednesday.

According to the terms of an agreement struck between Tehran and Baghdad, Iran is to supply 35 million cubic meters of natural gas on a daily basis to the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad [gradually in three phases], while up to 25 million cubic meters of gas per day is supposed to be exported to the southern city of Basra.

Dec 13 10:08

Goodyear Shutters Venezuela Plant, Gives Out Tires As Severance

Venezuela's economic depression has claimed yet another victim, as Goodyear Tire announced it would shutter its Venezuela operations and lay off its entire local workforce, the latest foreign corporation to close shop in the crisis-torn county. On Monday, employees arrived at the company’s lone plant in the industrial city of Valencia to find it closed with a letter posted on the door. “Goodyear Venezuela has been forced to cease operations,” according to a copy seen by Bloomberg.

Dec 13 10:07

Walmart Testing Flippy The Job-Stealing Robot Cook

Walmart is testing out a new kitchen robot assistant named "Flippy" at its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters in order to see if it might make for a valuable team member in its in-store delis, according to Yahoo! Finance.

While Flippy had somewhat of a rocky start at a Pasadena, California burger joint - having to be taken offline after its human co-workers couldn't prepare patties fast enough, the robot has had more recent success flipping 17,000 pounds of chicken tenders and tater tots at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Dec 13 10:07

Chinese Auto Sales Accelerate Historic Collapse, Set For First Annual Decline In 30 Years

Progress in the United States/China trade war seems to be happening at just the right time.

The automobile industry in China has been crippled, partly as a result of this trade war, partly due to the ongoing domestic economic slowdown in the mainland, and absent major subsidies - which don't appear to be coming - the outlook for the rest of 2018 and 2019 is not promising. The collapse has been historic and according to new data, continued through November.

November data confirmed a continuation of the ugly trends that we discussed last month. For instance, passenger vehicle wholesales were down 16.1% on the year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. This data includes sedans, SUVs and crossover utility vehicles.

Dec 13 09:15

European MPs who oppose Nord Stream-2 possibly pin hopes on firewood, says Moscow

"Opposing energy cooperation and its diversification and measures to adjust it to modern trends is madness for Europe," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said

Dec 13 06:55

Robert Shiller: Worried About Housing Again

Dec 13 05:37

China Tariffs Are A Regressive Tax On Americans

China tariffs are a regressive tax on Americans — and putting us at risk for a new recession

(*same thing Xi was trying to say six months ago !)

Dec 13 04:41

Routine I-5 traffic stop yields more than 100 pounds of marijuana

Oregon State Police pulled over a swerving 2017 Chevy Impala on Interstate 5 near Cottage Grove and discovered more than 100 pounds of marijuana in the driver’s car, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday. The trooper immediately detected the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle, the document states, and discovered 108 individually sealed one-pound bags of marijuana in bags in the trunk of the car, according to the complaint. In the back seat, a bag was found containing $40,000 in cash, concealed between sheets of lead, a tactic used by drug traffickers to keep X-ray machines from detecting currency, the complaint states.

Dec 12 19:19

Where is the Santa Claus Rally?

Dec 12 15:08

Beware the Naked Companies

Dec 12 12:36

Economic Structure Change, Ready And Prepared

Dec 12 12:09

Macron's credibility shattered as France joins Italy in budget disgrace

Emmanuel Macron’s bid to buy off France’s “gilets jaunes” protesters with instant budget handouts threatens to blast through eurozone’s fiscal limits, fatally damaging his credibility as the champion of the European project and the guardian of French public accounts.

The package of short-term measures announced in a theatrical mea culpa on Monday night leaves President Macron’s putative “grand bargain” with Germany in tatters.Emmanuel Macron’s bid to buy off France’s “gilets jaunes” protesters with instant budget handouts threatens to blast through eurozone’s fiscal limits, fatally damaging his credibility as the champion of the European project and the guardian of French public accounts.

The package of short-term measures announced in a theatrical mea culpa on Monday night leaves President Macron’s putative “grand bargain” with Germany in tatters.

Dec 12 11:57

82% of Ontario residents opposed to permits for bottled water companies: survey

The Council of Canadians released results of a poll showing 82% of Ontario residents are opposed to new or expanded permits for bottled water companies.

The poll was conducted by phone and found strongest opposition from those aged 18 to 34, which sits at 91 per cent.

There is a dip among those 63 years and older, sitting around 70 per cent.

But results seem to show a trend of opposition across multiple backgrounds with only a 11 per cent overall not opposed and seven per cent unsure.

Dec 12 11:10

The Price Of Gold Is Settled In A Casino

Dec 12 09:48

Credit Is Driving Sell Off In Stocks

Dec 12 09:17

Charles Nenner – We’re in a Bear Market

Dec 12 08:59

Greece MPs to vote on canceling further pension cuts

Greek lawmakers are debating legislation canceling a major round of pension cuts which were to take effect on January 1. Athens earlier secured the agreement of bailout lenders that the cuts were no longer necessary for a balanced budget. Parliament is to vote on Tuesday on whether to cancel articles in a law passed last year that would impose cuts worth 1 percent of GDP, AP reported.

Dec 12 08:44

US DEBT NEARS $22 TRILLION MARK AS "STORM CLOUDS" INDICATE "ANOTHER FINANCIAL CRISIS" LOOMS

The rapidly exploding U.S. national debt is about to cross another critical threshold. According to the U.S. Treasury, the debt of the federal government is currently sitting at $21,854,296,172,540.94, and at our current pace we will likely hit the $22 trillion mark next month.

This is a horrifying national crisis, and yet nothing is being done about it. When Barack Obama entered the White House in January 2008, the U.S. was $10.6 trillion in debt, and so that means that we have added 11.2 trillion dollars of new debt to that total in less than 11 years. Needless to say, it doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that we have been adding an average of more than a trillion dollars a year to the national debt for more than a decade. But instead of getting our insatiable appetite for debt under control, Congress is actually accelerating our spending. At this point, there is no possible scenario in which this story ends well.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It does look, from a financial perspective, that the excrement is very close to exploding through the ventilation shafts, and at that point, we have to see what the US government is prepared to do.

Possibly confiscate every dollar in savings the American people might have been able to salt away over the years, in savings or IRAs?!?

Were I a betting woman, I would not bet against such an action happening, in case of an extreme Federal financial emergency.

Dec 12 03:56

EAEU to create common currency

The member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) - Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia - may introduce a common currency into their transaction system. The Russian Finance Ministry has upheld a relevant initiative put forward by the National Payment Council, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told Izvestia. The EAEU currency is supposed to be a digital one, National Payment Council Board Chairperson Alma Obayeva told the newspaper. According to her, the new payment tool will consist of payment obligations that EAEU countries owe each other concerning goods supplies. The common currency’s exchange rate will depend on the mutual exchange rates of EAEU member states’ national currencies, as well as on each country’s contribution to the Union’s overall trade, Obayeva explained. She noted that a number of big Russian banks and corporations have expressed interest in the creation of a unified means of payment.

Dec 11 19:16

Can Liberals Survive the Apocalypse? This is Funny!

Doomsday Prepper's conservative off grid living and survival expert, Rick Austin (AKA The Survivalist Gardener) and the founder of Prepper Camp, teaches the Daily Show’s liberal Desi Lydic about survival and prepping.

Desi Lydic and her film crew come to the forest in the Secret Garden of Survival, to discuss survival skills, self defense, bush craft, and preparing for an apocalypse.

They got a little more than they bargained for.

Watch the banter between conservative and liberal points of view. This is funny!

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