ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Feb 15 19:10

How do you like them Apples? Tim Cook's iPhones sitting in the tree, feeling unloved by the Chinese

Apple's iPhone sales volumes in the strategic Chinese market slumped by double digits in Q4 – the firm's seasonally biggest quarter – as buyers opted for homegrown hardware makers' handsets.

CEO Tim Cook warned at the start of January that Cupertino's mobile phone revenue for Q1 of fiscal '19 ended 29 December were likely to be down 15 per cent, and so it proved when those numbers were filed.

Now Canalys has painted more colour on Apple's actual shipments: Apple sold 2.6 million fewer mobiles in China in the quarter, down almost 18 per cent to 11.5 million units. This was in a market that had declined 10.8 per cent to 100.7 million.

Feb 15 15:10

Retail Apocalypse and Carmageddon Continue to Pick up Speed as Predicted Here

We now know that the Retail Apocalypse took another trip downhill during the all-important holiday season. December reports show retail sales declined more in one month than they have since … the Great Recession. Notice what a common refrain that comparison has become.

Feb 15 13:33

Ocasio-Cortez celebrates Amazon’s NYC pullout

U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cheered the decision by Amazon.com Inc to scrap its plans to build an outpost in New York that could have created 25,000 jobs

Feb 15 11:56

Payless To Close All 2,300 Stores Amid Bankruptcy Plans: Report

With plans in place to file bankruptcy later this month, Payless ShoeSource Inc. will close all of its store locations as it plans to liquidate, Reuters reported.

The discount shoe retailer will close all of its approximately 2,300 store locations, sources told the outlet. The company is said to be in the process of initiating a going-out-of-business sales in the next week.

Payless had been trying to locate a buyer for the sale of its company, but a deal has not been struck with any promising investor. The company has made the decision to move toward liquidation, hoping for a buyer to come forth after it files for bankruptcy, reports Reuters.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And yet the government and corporate media keep insisting the economy is doing just fine.

Feb 15 11:40

Iranian Cryptocurrency Ready to Challenge Bitcoin and Save Tehran From Sanctions

Iranian authorities, together with four local banks and Ghoghnoos, have launched the PayMon cryptocurrency backed by gold reserves, aiming to bypass international sanctions. No other country has ever used gold reserves to back a cryptocurrency. PayMon is expected to be presented on the Iranian Fara Bourse OTC securities market.

Feb 15 11:40

US warns the world against buying Venezuelan oil

US National Security Advisor John Bolton has warned countries and companies against buying crude oil from Venezuela, after the Latin American country said it wants to sell more oil to the fast-growing Indian market.

In a tweet with a Bloomberg article on Venezuelan-Indian oil relations attached, Bolton wrote: “Nations and firms that support Maduro’s theft of Venezuelan resources will not be forgotten. The United States will continue to use all of its powers to preserve the Venezuelan people’s azsets and we encourage all nations to work together to do the same.”

Feb 15 11:06

US retail sales, Fed comments

Feb 15 10:33

US National Debt: ‘You Can’t Bridge Deficit Gap Overnight’ – Chief US Economist

The US national debt has surpassed the 22 trillion dollar mark for the first time; a milestone that experts have warned is further evidence of the deterioration of the nation’s finances and could jeopardise the economic security of every American.

The Treasury Department's daily statement showed Tuesday that the total outstanding public debt now stands at $22.012 trillion. It stood at $19.95 trillion when President Donald Trump took office on 20 Jan 2017

Feb 15 09:51

Recession looms as subprime borrowers default loans

Feb 15 09:49

Proposed ‘sanctions from hell’ against Russia may curb Trump, but won’t help US rule the world

Even as the ‘Russiagate’ probe crumbled in the US Senate, five senators resurrected a ‘sanctions bill from hell’ against Russia. What are the prospects of it passing, and does it even need to in order to achieve its objective?

The “Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression (DASKA)” Act, also known as Senate Resolution 482, was announced on Wednesday by the leading Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey). It is a rehash of the August 2018 bill (S. 3336) proposed by Menendez and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), called the “sanctions bill from hell” at the time.

Feb 15 09:13

THE CHINESE AND MAGINOT GOLD LINES

Feb 14 18:31

JP Morgan creates first US bank-backed crypto-currency

US investment bank JP Morgan has created a crypto-currency to help settle payments between clients in its wholesale payments business.

JPM Coin is the first digital currency to be backed by a major US bank.

Feb 14 17:49

More than 50% of US renters are cost-burdened

Feb 14 15:34

Is Quadriga’s CEO Actually Dead, Or Is This A $140 Million Exit Scam?

The first detail that raises questions is the fact that the Cotten died in India, a country where the government has a difficult time maintaining order concerning documentations. Some parts of India have been known to fabricate birth, marriage, and death certificates. An event that exposes these fabrications has been recorded in the past in Mumbai.

In Jaipur, where Cotten died, it is said that a death certificate can be obtained by an application form, a fee receipt and an Aadhaar card (which can be replaced by an international passport for non-Indian citizens). This led many to suggest that the death can be framed through bribery or improper confirmation. An offshoot of this is this comment by a Redditor to the company to provide proof of Cotten’s death.

Here is a video that illustrates the ease of buying a fake death certificate in India:

Feb 14 15:00

Reduced to skin and bones by civil war: Twelve-year-old girl weighs just 22 pounds - the same as a typical toddler - as Yemen fighting drives people to the brink of famine

These heartwrenching images of a 12-year-old starving girl, so weak she has to be carried by her sister, shows just one of millions of victims of Yemen's civil war.

Fatima Qoba weighs just 22lbs - no more than an average toddler - and years of starvation has left her with paper-thin skin stretched over her bones.

She is receiving treatment at a malnutrition clinic in Hajjah, northwest Yemen, after her desperate sibling brought her there, fearing she would die.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

WARNING: VERY GRUESOME GRAPHICS HERE: One has to wonder; is this the "good behaviour" of the US military in the Middle East with which Vice-President tried to pummel his captive audience in Warsaw to try to turn them turn against Iran?!?

Please remember; this is not a civil war; it is a Saudi Arabian war against Yemenite insurgents, aided and abetted by the US military. Famine; death, and disease are what the people of Yemen are left with, after three years int his conflict.

Children die regularly from being shot at by Saudi Arabian fighters in schools, hospitals, and public markets; the US is actively working with the Saudis blockading the Yemeni ports, insuring that no food can get in, so kids like this child starve to death, if they do not get treated. Children are also dying of cholera, because, thanks to the US/Saudi destruction of clean water resources, (and the fact that this cholera may well have been weaponised), any water they get is not clean.

When you look at this child, don't think of her as "collateral damage"; she is a human being, and witness to US enabled Saudi war crimes Yemen.

Talk to your Congressional Representative, and send the image to them; ask them when this madness will stop. Because, Constitutionally, it is only Congress which can approve war.

But with Yemen they didn't

Feb 14 13:35

Big 5 Healthcare Insurance As Big As FAANG

Feb 14 13:08

Report: ‘No Light At The End Of The Tunnel’ As A Wave Of Retail Stores Close

Another economic red flag has appeared and its the closure of retail stores. According to a new report detailing the precarious situation of the current economy, there is “no light at the end of the tunnel” as the closure of brick and mortar stores will continue.

Feb 14 12:41

Mtg apps, Euro zone industrial production

Feb 14 12:07

What Caused the Recession of 2019-2021?

Feb 14 11:57

Trump Has Lost on the Wall. Now He Can’t Win on Trade

President Donald Trump says he’s unenthusiastic about the spending package Congress has settled on to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. That’s no surprise. Although the details of the deal aren’t entirely clear, it certainly looks as if he’s wound up worse off than he would have if he had backed down in December and avoided the 39-day government shutdown. The new plan contains less money for fewer miles of new border barriers. Even if the administration gets more flexibility about where to spend the funds (also uncertain so far), the $1.375 billion in the package is nothing like the full $5.7 billion he had asked for. Or, as Greg Sargent puts it, this is basically a surrender.

Feb 14 11:37

PENCE SAYS EU MUST WITHDRAW FROM IRAN DEAL & STOP TRYING TO ‘BREAK UP’ SANCTIONS ON ‘VILE REGIME’

US Vice-President Mike Pence has demanded that Europe withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and lashed out at the EU’s efforts to evade Washington’s sanctions on Tehran.

Speaking at a security conference in Warsaw, Pence chastised Europe for leading an “effort to create mechanisms to break up our sanctions” against Iran, and complained that European countries had not been “cooperative” since the Trump administration withdrew from the Iran deal last year.

“The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal” and join with the US to give the Iranian people and the world “peace, security and freedom,” he said.

Pence said the EU’s newly created Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), conceived as a way to continue facilitating trade between the EU and Iran, was an “ill-advised step” which would only “strengthen Iran, weaken the EU, and create still more distance between Europe and the United States.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently, Vice-President Pence is absolutely tone-deaf to how he is coming across to European heads of state, with such unhinged, and uncharacteristically hubristic threats against US European allies.

The countries in Europe want to make money, and need Iran's oil to do so.

So, what are he and President Trump going to do, if they don't get their way?!? Bomb Europe?!? Bomb Iran?!?

This meeting in Poland, was doomed to be an epic fail even before it began; Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, was absolutely correct in his prediction of this happening precisely the way he said it would.

And President Trump, it is very unfortunate ... that your only understanding of both Iran's history, and future trajectory, comes exclusively from the Butcher of Gaza, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu.

And I have a video you should absolutely see, before you decide on how hard you are going to militarily shatter this country, because your economic sanctions are going utterly nowhere, as evidenced by the Polish meeting in Warsaw: Don't Tell Mother I'm In Iran

This little trip, done by a very charming Jewish videographer, was to see just how the Jewish community was faring in Iran, and the good news is that the resounding answer was, "Quite Well!" He was shown a beautiful synagogue, and the Majlis Building (their Parliament), where minority religions are guaranteed a seat at the national table, which includes Christians, Jews, and the Bahai.

Mr. President, Netanyahu could fly to Tehran, and make peace within a day's worth of work; but he absolutely will not, as his "vision" of Iran is just as flawed as is humanly possible. It's about controlling the oil and regime change here, to create something more to Israel's and the US's liking.

But Mr. President, there is a reality that you and Netanyahu are going to have to face; this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. People are living better than they ever did under the Shah, and feel they have a future, both as individuals, and as a nation.

You were utterly mistaken that Europe would just collectively" drop dead", in its dealings with Iran, and this "conference" was proof positive that they wouldn't.

I think it is high time for you and Prime Minister Netanyahu to collectively dust off that word neither of you like to hear or use frequently, and that word is...(drum roll, please....) NEGOTIATIONS. Because if the threats and sanctions are not working, because they are totally unrealistic for our European allies, what else do you have to fall back on; an invasion, which will almost surely bring Russia to Iran's defense?!?

Feb 14 11:37

$1,665,484,000,000: Feds Collect Record Individual Income Taxes in Calendar 2018–as Debt Climbed $1,481,349,159,596.80

The federal government collected a record $1,665,484,000,000 in individual income taxes in calendar year 2018, according to the Monthly Treasury Statements for the year, which the Treasury finished publishing today with the belated release of the December statement.

Feb 14 11:21

‘Bordering racketeering’: Kremlin slams US sanctions bill as act of unfair competition

Top Moscow officials have lashed out at a new US “bill from hell” which imposes sanctions on Russia’s banking and energy industry, but said the country is well prepared to face the “racketeering” penalties.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democrat Bob Menendez, is based on a “precise, pragmatic and aggressive trade policy which has nothing to do with international trading rules,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

This policy is sometimes bordering racketeering

Feb 14 11:16

Dumping the Dollar? EU Seeks to Promote Euro in Global Energy Trade

The European Commission is launching discussions with executives from top EU energy companies, seeking to boost the role of the euro in international trade in oil and natural gas.

Kristian Rouz — The European Union (EU) has launched an effort to increase the role of its single currency in international energy transactions, with a particular focus on buying and selling oil and natural gas in euro-denominated transactions.

European officials opened discussions with representatives from top EU energy companies, including OMV, Eni, and Engie, on how to reduce the reliance of global energy trade on the US dollar Wednesday.

Feb 14 11:15

Outrage in US as EU Includes American Territories in 'Dirty Money' Blacklist

The European Commission published a list of 23 countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks on Wednesday.

The US Treasury Department has condemned a new EU money laundering blacklist that includes four US territories, including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the United States Virgin Islands, and 19 other jurisdictions.

“The US Department of the Treasury has significant concerns about the substance of the list and the flawed process by which it was developed”.

The Treasury Department further stated that American banks should ignore any suggestions from the European Commission to put transactions under greater scrutiny based on its newly-adopted list.

Feb 14 11:13

Trillion-dollar-valued Amazon pays $0 in income taxes for 2018, gets multi-million refund

Trillion-dollar-company Amazon skated through 2018's tax filings without paying a cent for the second year in a row. The e-commerce behemoth, which made $11 billion last year, will pay no taxes at all, thanks to 2017's tax reform.
Rather than pay the standard 21 percent corporate income tax rate, Amazon is actually claiming a tax rebate of $129 million, which works out to a logic-defying rate of -1 percent. Aside from the nebulous “tax credits,” which the company does not have to spell out in its public filings, Amazon is also claiming a tax break for executive stock options, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy – a longstanding loophole that permits profitable corporations to dodge federal and state income taxes on almost half their profits.

Feb 14 11:13

US to 'Shoot Itself in the Foot' With Sanctions on Russia's Nat'l Debt - Fin Min

US Senators on Wednesday introduced a bill that if adopted would lead to new sanctions against Russia's banking and energy sector, as well as against Russia's sovereign debt.

Russia is ready to respond to new sanctions if they are introduced, including supporting state banks if restrictions are applied to them, Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.

"If we are talking about debt, I have repeatedly said that in the first place, indeed, we have seen a reverse interest in our debt from foreign investors. This will hit foreigners first. They will shoot themselves in the foot", Siluanov said.

Feb 14 10:48

US Orders Major Gas, Oil Lease Sale for Gulf of Mexico Federal Waters

The Trump administration has announced a sale for all the remaining oil and natural gas lease areas in US-government-controlled waters in the Gulf of Mexico, the Department of the Interior said in a news release.

“Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Joe Balash and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Acting Director Walter Cruickshank today announced that BOEM will offer 78 million acres for a region-wide lease sale scheduled for March 2019", the release said on Wednesday.

The sale would include all available un-leased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Interior Department explained.

Feb 14 10:45

Trump Demands Gavin Newsom Return $3.5 Billion for Canceled Bullet Train; Newsom: It’s ‘California’s Money’ Now

President Donald Trump demanded Wednesday evening that the State of California return $3.5 billion in federal funds after Gov. Gavin Newsom canceled most of the state’s high-speed rail project, saying it was too expensive.

“California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars,” the president tweeted. “They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a “green” disaster!”

Feb 14 09:53

Dear Libertarians: Trade Deficits Matter

Feb 14 08:15

3 Charts That Scream "Don't Buy Stocks"

Feb 13 18:23

Investors Pile Back Into Stocks

Feb 13 16:52

Are We Already In A Recession?

Feb 13 16:28

Rate Hikes off the Table?

Feb 13 15:09

Debt Crisis In America: A Record Number Of Americans Are Behind On Car Payments

Debt has become an issue of concern for those who care about their financial future. But with the government setting the terrible example of drastically spending more than they bring in, many in America are following suit and it is leading to a crisis and a red flag for the economy.

Feb 13 12:23

Scott Adams: Talking to @Naval Ravikant About All the Important Stuff

Bonus broadcast!

Trusting experts and science
Fusion power’s future
Crypto, here to stay?
Turn-around specialists for countries (like Venezuela)
A retirement plan for the entire U.S. legal population
What will the future of news look like?
Who currently holds the most power in the U.S.?
Who’s thumb is on the scale?
Twitter will become an unbiased protocol or…
…democracy won’t stand for its control and power
Is Universal Basic Income and Socialism the future?
What form will future educational systems have?
What are life’s biggest illusions?
Thoughts on The Simulation
Old problems were about scarcity, now they’re about abundance
Author recommendations

https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1095428576076152832

Feb 13 11:44

A $77 billion derailment

The most ambitious infrastructure project in America looks dead, at least for now, after its estimated costs had swelled to $77 billion.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for dramatically dialing back the formidable high-speed rail project. In a speech today, he said "there simply isn’t a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A. I wish there were.” The project will be confined to California’s Central Valley, running from Merced to Bakersfield, Newsom said.

Feb 13 11:20

VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION RECEIVES FIRST BLOCKED AID SHIPMENTS IN DEFIANCE OF MADURO

As part of the continued jostling over the contentious issue of the US intent to deliver foreign aid to Venezuela, which embattled president Nicolas Maduro has controversially banned — going so far as to post troops along potential border access points — opposition leader Juan Guaido announced on Monday that his team had received its first shipment of external humanitarian aid cargo, yet he didn't specify how it was received or which country or organization was the source.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And one could not help but notice who President Trump had as guests at the White House this morning: Columbia's President Iván Duque Márquez, and his wife, María Juliana Ruiz Sandoval.

Most likely, if in fact this aid came from the US, the supply lines are well and truly carved out in Colombia, and Marquez and President Trump will be figuring out the next political and military steps which must be taken to "regime change" Venezuela to their liking.

Of course, what the Venezuelan people have to say about this, is nothing over which they will expend any skull-sweat whatsoever.

Feb 13 11:06

California Governor Gavin Newsom Cancels High-speed Rail: ‘Would Cost Too Much and Take Too Long’

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday in his “State of the State” address at the California State Capitol in Sacramento that he would abandon the state’s high-speed rail system because it was too expensive.

The plan to connect San Francisco to Los Angeles by high-speed rail “would cost too much and, respectfully, would take too long,” he told legislators. He said the state would still build a portion of the system under construction in the rural Central Valley, denying that it would be a “train to nowhere.” He said the state would not send $3.5 billion back to the federal government to be spent by President Donald Trump.

But Newsom said the state could not afford the total cost — even with what he noted was a “record-breaking surplus” in the state’s coffers, thanks to the ongoing economic recovery.

Feb 13 11:05

Activision Blizzard cuts nearly 800 jobs amid ‘record results in 2018’

Activision Blizzard has announced that it’s laying off 8 percent of its employees — roughly 770 people — as part of the company “de-prioritizing initiatives that are not meeting expectations.”

The news came on the heels of announcement of Activision Blizzard’s Q4 and 2018 earnings, where CEO Bobby Kotick gave the company’s “record results in 2018.” Kotick went on to comment that, “While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential.”

As such, Activision Blizzard says that it’ll be focusing more on its biggest franchises: Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Diablo, with plans to increase developers across those titles by “approximately 20% over the course of 2019.” (Destiny, another one of Activision’s marquee titles, parted ways with the publisher in January and is now back in the hands of developer Bungie.)

Feb 13 11:02

HERE'S A LIST OF THE 31 NATIONAL EMERGENCIES THAT HAVE BEEN IN EFFECT FOR YEARS

According to the Federal Register, 58 national emergencies have been declared since the National Emergency Act of 1976 was signed into law by President Gerald Ford.

And 31 have been annually renewed and are currently still in effect, as listed in the Federal Register.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The questions I would like to ask are, why these 31 Emergency Declarations have not been removed, and what threats do these situations still create, that they have to stay renewed?!?

I am sorry, but must confess that, from my perspective, it is US Foreign policy is which is creating enemies where it should be creating friendships and alliances.

Folks, we have been trading with Vietnam for a long time Clinton presidency normalizes relations with Vietnam

So what about relations with Cuba, please?!?

Mike and I know a police officer from Canada, who, when he needed surgery to get his knees replaced, was sent to Cuba, as these doctors and medical teams here, have one of the most stellar track records for shorter recuperations, and good surgical outcomes.

Why cannot Americans take advantage of this?!?

Why cannot there be cultural, educational exchanges, so Cuban kids could get a dose of (healthy, not exploitative) capitalism, in the kind homes of good US sponsors whose own kids may be in homes in Cuba?!?

I think such exchanges would sow the seeds of mutual understanding and support between Cuba and the US, and could be an important building block to normalized relations with the country.

Or, one has to ask, does the Trump Administration WANT Russia to come back as a huge influence in this very strategically placed island, as another "reason" for invading and reconquering Cuba?!?

Folks, all we have in Cuba is Guantanamo, one leased encampment, and that is a horrible place, where people the US suspects of trying to do something awful are thrown, and frequently with no charges against them.

Inmates are still force-fed, if they elect to do a hunger strike, so they won't die quickly.

Because water-boarding is not the worst which has been done to these men, and the American military doesn't want autopsies done which would validate that this was true.

The following are very graphic images of men being force-fed; if you don't have the stomach for it, don't look.Images: inmates being force-fed (believed to be still be happening in 2019, at Guantanamo

IF we are. in fact, a nation of laws, why do we hold people indefinitely, without charges?!? Even the rankest of US criminals has that right.

Feb 13 10:47

Household Debt Closes 2018 at $13.54 Trillion

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