ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

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

Sep 19 14:28

Shrug Today, Bleed Tomorrow

Sep 19 14:20

Putin Orders End To US Dollar Trade At Russian Seaports

Whether in response to rising scorching tensions with the US, or simply to provide support for the ruble, on Tuesday Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to approve legislation making the ruble the main currency of exchange at all Russian seaports by next year, RT reported citing the Kremlin website.

The head of Russian antitrust watchdog FAS Igor Artemyev, many services in Russian seaports are still priced in US dollars, even though such ports are state-owned. So, in order to "protect the interests" of dockworkers and their complyees with foreign currency obligations, the government was instructed to set a transition period before switching to ruble settlements.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I sincerely dislike the ways in which currency wars have a nasty tendency to morph into shooting wars.

Sep 19 12:34

Sub-$50 Oil Could Kill Shale

Sep 19 12:03

Federal Reserve will continue cutting economic life support

Today, we find our economic fundamentals in complete disarray, but the overwhelming fantasy within stocks still remains. Why? Because yet again, for some reason, no one is ready to accept the reality that the Fed is pulling the plug on America’s fiscal life support.

Sep 19 10:48

America's dirtiest, biggest student lender neutralized by federal watchdog

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, founded by Elizabeth Warren prior to her career as a senator, has entered into an unprecedented settlement with National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts, the largest holder of student debt in the country.
***
The Trusts are accused of widescale financial fraud, collecting on debts that they didn't own, or that had expired, using "deceptive or unfair means" and flooding the country's courts with bogus lawsuits.

The Trusts originally held more than $12B in debt, but $5B has already been lost to default. Trust bondholders will not receive any payments while the audit is underway. People whose debts are found to be invalid will not owe anything, and will not face tax penalties for "debt forgiveness." All wage garnishment and bank balance seizures will be suspended during the audit as well.

The settlement still awaits judicial approval.>>>

Sep 19 10:45

'Chapter 22' Bankruptcy Filings Increasingly 'En Vogue' For Struggling Retail Sector

In 2009, U.S. Shipping Partners LP accomplished what we believe was a completely unprecedented feat when they managed to confirm a bankruptcy plan of reorganization in the Southern District of New York that encumbered the new company with more debt than their investment bankers said the company was even worth.

Unfortunately, such illogical pro forma capital structures are more frequent than you might think and they're driving a surge in so-called 'Chapter 22' filings among retail companies. As Bloomberg notes this morning, of at least 10 merchants to file for Chapter 11 protection from creditors in the past year, four are taking the trip to bankruptcy court for the second time in as many years.

Sep 19 10:26

Rosneft to reach gas pipeline deal with Iraqi Kurdistan

Agreement on setting up the natural gas pipeline infrastructure for Iraqi Kurdistan may be sealed between Rosneft and the region’s government by the end of the year, according to the company.

Investment in the project will be made under the BOOT (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer) arrangement and will be recovered through tariff charges.

The capacity of the pipeline is expected at up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

"The Kurdistan Region gas pipeline will not only supply natural gas to power plants and domestic factories throughout the region but also enable exporting substantial volumes of fuel to Turkey and the European market in the coming years," said the report.

Commissioning of the pipeline and the first domestic supplies are planned for 2019. Exports will begin starting 2020.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, Russia also benefits economically from the establishment of an indepentent Kurdistan.

But President Putin, a word, please; have the Iraqi and Syrian governemnt gotten the memo yet that it will be parts of their territory which will be chewed off in order to establish such a country?!?

Just saying, sir.................

Sep 19 09:26

DEFENSE CONTRACTORS ON CLOUD 9

The Senate is expected to pass by a wide margin a $700-billion defense bill today. When it comes to extravagant military spending, Congress is relentlessly bipartisan, and all bickering stops, as long as the bacon gets spread to every district and state.

“The 1,215-page measure defies a number of White House objections, but Trump hasn’t threatened to veto the measure,” the Washington Post mused. “The bill helps him honor a pledge to boost military spending by tens of billions of dollars.”

So who gets this money?

It’s going to get spread around, but defense contractors are going to get a chunk of it, and they’ve been on cloud 9 all year. Their shares – fired up by plenty of saber-rattling – have mostly soared from all-time high to all-time high.

These are some of the biggest defense contractors and their shares year-to-date as of this morning:

Rockwell Collins (COL), to be acquired by United Technologies: $130.90, up 40.6% YTD

Webmaster's Commentary: 

An absolutely staggering amount of your tax dollars get devoted to killing, and the technological refinement of killing, world wide; that is what this defense budget is about.

And these are some of the examples of what these weapons do: (warning: graphic images).

Over 160 children reported among US drone deaths

Images: Afghani funeral, US drone strike

US drone strike kills Afghani children

Images: US/Saudi bombing slaughters Yemeni children; massive malnutrition in Yemeni children; cholera sweeping Yemen

And this bugdget has been approved b "our" Senate while:

Fires blaze out of control in the Western US, while floods and storms ravage the South and West because the American infrastructure has been allowed to rot; homeless Vets sleep rough in our streets; homelessness and disease ravage this country; our alleged education system is simply a system of inidoctrination only; and jobs continue to be offshored and outsourced, destroying what was left of the middle class.

So do not believe, for one moment, that your "alleged Congressional Representatives" really represent you; at this point in this country's history, they represent only the interests of those corporations like those corporations named above, and this budget is to keep them financially flush, and well fed, just as they keep overt and covert campaign contributions "flowing" to the members of Congress who approve budgets like this.

Sep 19 09:23

Experts say it would be 'foolish' to expand eurozone because single currency has been 'divisive'

Jean-Claude Juncker's plans to expand the eurozone came under fresh attack last night as critics warned that the single currency has been 'disastrous' for the region.

In his annual State of the Union speech last week, the European Commission president said those members of the EU that have not adopted the euro should do so.

Sep 19 08:56

FREEDOM IS A MYTH: WE ARE ALL PRISONERS OF THE POLICE STATE’S PANOPTICON VILLAGE

First broadcast in Great Britain 50 years ago, The Prisoner—a dystopian television series described as “James Bond meets George Orwell filtered through Franz Kafka”—confronted societal themes that are still relevant today: the rise of a police state, the freedom of the individual, round-the-clock surveillance, the corruption of government, totalitarianism, weaponization, group think, mass marketing, and the tendency of humankind to meekly accept their lot in life as a prisoner in a prison of their own making.

Perhaps the best visual debate ever on individuality and freedom, The Prisoner (17 episodes in all) centers around a British secret agent who abruptly resigns only to find himself imprisoned, monitored by militarized drones, and interrogated in a mysterious, self-contained, cosmopolitan, seemingly tranquil retirement community known only as the Village. The Village is an idyllic setting with parks and green fields, recreational activities and even a butler.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This scenario has a familiar ring to it, doesn't it?!?

Because post 9/11, any attempt - even the most peaceful - to relay the truth about what is happening with our country, our world, and the potential future of freedom is repressed, digitized, surveilled, and severely culled by those in the Bowels of Power in the Occupied, Unhinged Surveilled States of of Amerika.

Yes, I am a Christian pacifist activist who consistently exhorts her country's government to achieve its geopolitical objectives through hard-won, honest, moral negotiations, rather than through war.

For that, I get thoroughly criticised, ignored and shunned.

And yet, I have to believe that there will be a point in this country's future, when war has proven a desolate, bitter, and horrific disappointment, as a means to an end, when my gentle, reasonable voice may yet still be heard.

And that is why I keep posting, because I do care about the future of this country and the that of the world.

We have some wonderful extended family, with three grand nephews and one grand niece, so I have to keep thinking; what kind of a world will my, and our, choices leave them?!?

Will it be a place of plenty; of health; enjoying the benefits of science and technology, and will it be a place where one has the freedom to speak one's mind, where love abounds??

Or will the world we leave them a completely dystopian replica of "1984", with "thought Police", reading those "double ungood thoughts", and proscribing drugs, torture, or something even worse, to get rid of them?!?

Sep 19 08:29

TOYS "R" US FILES CHAPTER 11: SECOND LARGEST US RETAIL BANKRUPTCY IN HISTORY

Toys “R” Us Inc., the largest US "brick and mortar" toys retailer, filed for bankruptcy late on Monday night, as a result of a crushing post-LBO debt load and relentless competition from warehouse and online retailers, the "latest blow to a retail industry reeling from store closures, sluggish mall traffic and the gravitational pull of Amazon.com" according to Bloomberg. The Chapter 11 filing is among the largest ever by a specialty retailer and casts doubt over the future of its about 1,600 stores and 64,000 employees. It comes just as Toys ‘R’ Us is gearing up for the holiday shopping season, which accounts for the bulk of its sales, and as vendors halt shipments to the now insolvent retailer.

With assets of $6.9 billion, it’s the second-largest retail bankruptcy, trailing the filing in 2002 by Kmart, which had $14.6 billion in assets.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If you have kids for whom you shop for Christmas or Chanukah toys, now may be the time to do this here in light of the fact that vendors are no longer shipping to this company, so inventory is at its peak point.

Sep 19 07:50

What Is Real Wealth?

Sep 18 16:53

UK weapons companies have made £6bn from Saudi Arabia since it started bombing Yemen

New report estimates firms have made £600m profit during ongoing conflict

Sep 18 14:38

Pepe the Frog Creator Sends DMCA Take Down to Reddit

... Wants The_Donald to Police Pepe Use... SAD!

Sep 18 12:53

Solutions: Stop Using YouTube

SHOW NOTES AND DISCUSSION: corbettreport

Sep 18 11:13

Wildfires are bankrupting western states, accelerating their financial demise

As hurricanes batter Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, a fiery hell burns on through the night in the western United States. The year 2017 is on pace to be the worst year for forest fires. The two main firefighting agencies, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Interior, have spent more money combating fires than ever before — $2.1 billion so far.

Drought-stricken areas, low humidity, and lightning storms have sparked countless fires in poorly managed federal lands spanning from Oregon to Montana. Western states are using up all their resources to control the blaze and Montana is on the verge of financial demise.

Sep 18 10:59

John McAfee accidentally just revealed why Bitcoin is a total fraud: Behold the logic of “artificial work”

However, sir… you called Bitcoin ‘a fraud.’ I’m a Bitcoin miner. We create Bitcoins. It costs over one thousand dollars per coin to create a Bitcoin. What does it cost to create a U.S. dollar? Which one is the fraud? Because [the dollar] costs whatever the paper costs, but it costs me and other miners over a thousand dollars per coin – it’s called ‘proof of work.’

Sep 18 10:56

The Infowar Attack Against Azerbaijan Is Because of Geopolitics, Energy, and “Israel”

Azerbaijan has suddenly been subjected to a massive infowar attack in response to its increasingly independent foreign policy reducing the US’ level of control over this strategic energy supplier, and the end result of this coordinated operation is to replace the Turkic county with “Israel” as the EU’s anchor in a reconstructed Southern Energy Corridor.

Sep 18 10:09

4 of 10 Americans have $0 in savings

Sep 18 09:26

Jim Rogers Warns "If Trump Starts A Trade War With China, It Will End US Hegemony"

Following Treasury Secretary Mnuchin's threat that the US could impose economic sanctions on China if it does not implement the new sanctions regime against North Korea:

"If China doesn’t follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system, and that’s quite meaningful."

Billionaire investor and commodity guru Jim Rogers has a warning for the Trump administration - this would hurt America more because it just forces China and Russia and other countries to cooperate.

Sep 18 09:26

"Central Banks Are Petrified" Chris Martenson On The Hyperinflationary Threat Of "China Dumping The Dollar"

At the center of the danger zone is the declining U.S. dollar. Martenson explains,

“We are talking about a steady erosion of the dollar as a reserve currency. I think that is most likely. The only thing that could make that really go fast is some kind of war. The United States and China, we got to keep our eye on this because Trump has been threatening a trade war with China. China responded and said if you do that, we may dump the dollar. . . . So, there is all this trade and financial back and forth and maybe even actual war at some point...

China has the ability to really impact the dollar in a big way on the world stage. We better hope it does not come to that because a slow erosion we can adjust to; a quick erosion is going to really roil the markets and maybe blow a few of them up.”

Sep 18 09:25

Algeria Officially Launches Helicopter Money Amid Sliding Oil Revenue, Budget Crisis

On Sunday, Algeria’s prime minister unveiled a plan to plug the country's budget deficit as the the OPEC member state looks to offset lower oil revenue by directly borrowing from the central bank, while avoiding international debt markets. In other words, direct monetization of debt, which bypasses commercial banks as a monetary intermediate, and is better known as "helicopter money."

Sep 18 09:08

Trump & Netanyahu Families Now Determine All Our Future Lives

The United States of America is the world’s greatest super-state with the largest economy/global GDP; the most powerful military machine in history backed by the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in existence.

It’s ‘sidekick’ in the Middle East is the state of Israel. The American principal and its Israeli satellite, work in concert to control both the global economy and international politics through their combined position in the United Nations and through the economic and political power of the US Congress. All this is done publicly with no attempt to hide this extraordinary blatant, bilateral US-Israeli agenda.

That agenda is to overtly increase its economic and political power to the exclusion and at the expense of the rest of the world i.e. the other 191 member states of the United Nations General Assembly. This is no secret pact but a stated aim of the US President.

Sep 18 08:58

VENEZUELA HAS OFFICIALLY ABANDONED THE PETRODOLLAR – DOES THIS MAKE WAR WITH VENEZUELA MORE LIKELY?

History has shown that when the status of the petrodollar is threatened, the U.S. is swift to take action.

And it is very interesting to note that President Trump will be meeting with Latin American leaders next week, and the main topic for discussion will be “the Venezuela crisis”…

U.S. President Donald Trump has invited three Latin American leaders to dine with him next week in New York as he seeks to address the Venezuela crisis and build bridges with the region after an acrimonious start with neighbor Mexico.

The political and economic turmoil in Venezuela, source of 10 percent of the oil consumed by the United States, will almost certainly top the agenda when he receives the center-right presidents of Peru, Colombia and Brazil at Trump Tower on Monday evening, diplomats said.
Could this latest move by Venezuela be enough to potentially spark a military conflict?

"The guys over at Zero Hedge seem to think so…

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US government, practically, cannot afford to be supporting any more wars than it already has on its plate, and they can barely afford the continuing wars in Somalia; Libya; Iraq; Afghanistan; and Yemen.

I do hope and pray that the Deep State triumverate at the White House, which consists of Mc Master, Kelly, and Mattis, are not quietly suggesting to President Trump that a war against Venezuela (in retaliation for its dumping the dollar) is a war that the US military can actually win, when the US military is already pulled in a zillion directions by the existing wars from which it cannot, years on, extricate itself with anything which approximately resembles victory.

Sep 18 08:19

'We Must Take Countermeasures': US Anti-Russian Sanctions Anger German Business

German companies working in Russia have unanimously rejected the new anti-Russian sanctions law adopted by the US last month, a survey by the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) has found.

Sep 17 16:51

Aug 30 Flashback: Tim Cook Sure Is Selling Stock at a Weird Time

Stock-market investors are over the moon about the prospects for Apple's next iPhone. But the company's top executive isn't sending the most bullish signal.

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook in recent days sold about $43 million worth of company stock, according to a regulatory filing, reflecting a sale of all the net shares he was awarded last week for his job performance.

It's a nice time for Cook to get handed a big batch of Apple stock. Shares hit an all-time high on Tuesday and have climbed 41 percent so far this year. But it might not be the greatest time to sell Apple shares, if you believe the company is on the cusp of (further) greatness.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently sold all the net shares from his annual stock award; it's only the second time in five years that he's done so.

Sep 17 12:57

Market Shock Coming...

Sep 17 12:27

Long-Term Mortgage Delinquencies Seriously Under-Reported

This clarification confirmed my belief that many – if not most – of the borrowers were now delinquent for several years. My response: FIGURES LIE and LIARS can FIGURE. Makes perfect sense to me!

Sep 17 08:42

iPhone X launch: Apple share price PLUNGES after iPhone 8, 10 release amid delay worries

Investors were on edge ahead of the iPhone X launch, amid hopes the new features would justify the gadget's $999 price tag (which is expected to sell for about £760 in the UK), 10 years after the first iPhone was released.

The tech giant's stock price jumped initially jumped after the release, but losses picked up on Wednesday, with the value sinking by around 1.5 per cent.

iPhone sales are hugely important for Apple's profits, so the X and 8 models are crucial for the technology giant's outlook.

But it's feared delays could dent profits.

Sep 17 07:56

US Sanctions Continue to Backfire: China Opens $10 Billion Credit Line for Iran

Assisting Tehran with sidestepping an ongoing Washington sanctions regime against the country, China has opened a $10 billion line of credit intended to finance energy, transportation, water and other key Iranian infrastructure projects.

Sep 16 14:21

Unprecedented Global Risk – No One Cares

To summarise in one sentence: The world is facing risk of major (nuclear) wars, economic and financial collapse, as well as political and social upheaval. The realization of just one of these risks would be enough to change the world for a very long time. We live in a totally interconnected world and the danger is that the domino effect will trigger one event after the next until all the risks become reality.

Sep 16 14:08

Sign of the times : Toys “R” Us Enters Death Spiral… Facing Imminent Bankruptcy, Suppliers Halt Shipments

Ultimately, whatever the fate of Toys ‘R’ Us may be, it will inevitably go through bankruptcy court: according to the WSJ, in recent weeks Toys ‘R’ Us’s advisers have been hunting for a DIP loan to fund operations under chapter 11, effectively guaranteeing that a bankruptcy filing is now just a matter of days.

Sep 16 11:36

Suddenly, “De-Dollarization” Is A Thing

For what seems like decades, other countries have been tiptoeing away from their dependence on the US dollar. China, Russia, and India have cut deals in which they agree to accept each others’ currencies for bi-lateral trade while Europe, obviously, designed the euro to be a reserve asset and international medium of exchange. These were challenges to the dollar’s dominance, but they weren’t mortal threats. What’s happening lately, however, is a lot more serious.

Sep 16 09:15

Hawaii Becomes First U.S. State To Go Cashless For Marijuana Sales

By Aaron Kesel

Hawaiian state officials announced Tuesday that Hawaii will be the first state to require the sale of marijuana to be cashless, paid with a special debit card payment system next month.

“Oct. 1 is our target date to try to go cashless as much as we can,” Iris Ikeda the state’s financial institutions commissioner, told reporters at a news conference.

While marijuana is legal for medical use in Hawaii, the feds still consider it a Schedule I drug. This status has brought problems for many banks and credit unions, which is the reason why cannabis dispensaries have been cash-only...

Sep 16 08:43

Petrodollar end looming as China & allies dump it in oil trading - Jim Rogers

Beijing has announced plans to start a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold. The step might lead to the emergence of a new Asia-based crude oil benchmark to compete with Brent or West Texas Intermediate futures.

Sep 16 08:33

Pennsylvania Ran Out Of Cash Tonight, Leaving $860MM Of Bills Unpaid

As equity markets spike to all new highs with each passing day, the number of fiscal crises springing up within local and state governments around the country are reaching somewhat alarming levels, even if they're being completely ignored by investors. As Reuters notes this morning, the state of Pennsylvania may become the latest example government failure when it runs out of cash later tonight leaving some $860 million worth of bills unpaid.

Sep 16 07:45

Sudan Hopes to Join BRICS in Near Future - Presidential Aide

Sudan is hoping to join BRICS in the near future, the Sudanese presidential aide and deputy chair of the High Committee for Overseeing Sudan’s Relations with BRICS, told Sputnik on Saturday.

Sep 16 07:38

Gemstones from Myanmar

With regard to Burmese gemstones, the first thing that springs to mind is high quality rubies and sapphires from Mogok in the Mandalay region. In fact, this area has been called "The Valley of Rubies" due to its glittering treasures of exceptional purity and hue, such as the famed "pigeon's blood" deep bluish-red rubies. Such prized rubies have been mined since the sixth century. In the late 1500s, the King of Burma appropriated the area and took control of its mineral wealth. For a short time, the area was freely mined, and then became a British colony, before gaining independence in 1948. From 1962 to 2011, the country was ruled by a military junta.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And now you know one motive for the sudden hostilities in Myanmar.

Sep 16 07:34

Putin's proposals on peacekeepers no grounds for easing sanctions, says Merkel

Germany's Federal Chanceller thinks it does not create the grounds for easing the sanctions against Russia

Sep 16 07:17

Suddenly, “De-Dollarization” Is A Thing

Sep 15 15:52

Financial Institutions Call For A Market Crash In The Next 3-8 Months

Retail sales report will be released soon and it does not look good. Most of the blame will be on the hurricanes to manipulate the real situation. Jim Rickards is forecasting that the next economic crisis will occur in the next 6-8 months.

Sep 15 13:24

Terror in Myanmar as US Faces Off Against China’s “Belt and Road”

As I’ve argued previously, decisions taken by the Trump administration since January indicate a shift in US foreign policy. No longer concerned with waging petty wars on behalf of the Israel lobby and the billionaire class, attention has been focused acutely on Asia, and in particular China. Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was quite forthright about this in his August 16 interview with American Prospect magazine:

“To me, the economic war with China is everything. We have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, 10 years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.”

Without a hint of irony, Bannon later added

Sep 15 13:17

UN List of Companies Linked to Illegal Settlements in Occupied Palestine, to be Published Despite Israeli, US Pressure

According to a report published Tuesday by Israel’s Channel 2, the full list will be published in December, and will include some of the biggest firms in the Israeli industry as well as major US companies, a translation of the report from Times of Israel said.

Some of the international companies on the list reportedly include Coca-Cola, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Priceline, and Caterpillar, in addition to Israeli companies such as pharmaceutical giant Teva, the national phone company Bezeq, bus company Egged, the national water company Mekorot, and the country’s two largest banks, Hapoalim and Leumi.

The list was recently delivered to the Foreign Ministry, the report said.

Last year, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution to support forming a database of all companies conducting business in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, amid fierce opposition by the United States and Israel.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Good; it is darn well about time for these companies to be named and shamed.

Sep 15 13:15

Swindling Futurity — Jim Quinn on on why Jefferson was right.

Yesterday the government reported a “modest” August budget deficit of $108 billion. That’s one month folks. This is another example of how the government and their mainstream media mouthpieces portray horrifically bad, extremely abnormal financial data as normal and expected. They pretend everything that has happened since 2008 is just standard operating procedure. They follow the Big Lie theory to the extreme. The masses have been so dumbed down, desensitized, and taught to believe delusions, they can’t distinguish the abnormal from the normal.

Sep 15 10:40

Moody's: State Pension Liabilities Hit $1.3 Trillion

U.S. state unfunded pension liabilities hit $1.3 trillion in fiscal 2016, a $56 billion or 4.5 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, Moody's Investors Service reported.

Sep 15 09:17

Bitcoin Hits The Target – Is Its Run Over?

Sep 15 09:03

The 30 Metros in the US with the Highest and Lowest Incomes

Breath-taking differences in a vast country.

Sep 15 08:45

CalPERS Slashes Pension Payments To Retirees In Two More California Towns By Up To 90%

While we've yet to experience any large municipal pension failures, which is just a matter of 'when' rather than 'if', the small pension failures sprinkled across the state of California are starting to pile up. As The Sacremento Bee points out today, public workers in Trinity and Imperial counties are just the latest to have their pensions slashed by up to 90% as their cities admit what most of us have known for some time, namely that they're running ponzi schemes which simply don't have the funding required to payout the benefits they've promised.

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