ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Jun 13 08:07

Defiant Trump Ignites Trade War with Canada and G-7 Allies

Citing national security issues to get around WTO rules, Trump ordered tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports from Canada and EU countries. William Black and Gerald Epstein discusses the implications of these tariffs on the different economies

Jun 12 23:46

What’s Wrong With The Economy: 9 Toxic Dynamics

Beneath the surface signals of an eternally rising stock market and expanding GDP, we all sense something is deeply, systemically wrong with the U.S. economy. These nine structural dynamics generate secondary dynamics, all of which are toxic to social mobility, sustainable prosperity, accountability and democracy...

Jun 12 23:24

Feds Collect Record Taxes; Still Run $532.2B Deficit...

The federal government collected a record $1,143,141,000,000 in individual income taxes through the first eight months of fiscal 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017 through the end of May), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

Jun 12 16:36

Infographic: What is a Mutual Fund?

Jun 12 13:21

INTUIT CREDIT CARD SERVICE SHUTS DOWN PAYMENTS ON ALL GUN PURCHASES

Several gun-related businesses were suddenly — and without warning — disrupted in recent weeks when Intuit stopped processing credit card payments because sales were gun-related, The Post has learned.

Jun 12 12:45

The US Economy Is a Giant Ponzi Scheme

Jun 12 12:11

Consumer Prices Surge At Fastest Pace Since 2011, Real Wage Growth Slumps

Last night's Singaporean show was the prelude to the rest of the week's real action - central banks - and nothing drives The Fed more than inflation anxiety as exhibited by Core CPI this morning... and it printed hot.

For the 32nd consecutive month, the consensus estimate on the street was +0.2% MoM - and expectations were met - pushing the headline CPI to +2.8% YoY (as expected) - the highest since December 2011...

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Those who do not learn from financial history, are doomed to repeat it.

Jun 12 12:09

Senate Adds ZTE-Deal-Killing Amendment To "Must Pass" Defense Bill

As was widely expected, a group of senators have successfully attached an amendment that would effectively kill the Trump administration's deal with Chinese telecoms firm ZTE to a "must-pass" defense authorization bill, according to Axios- the latest sign that the movement to kill the deal is gaining momentum, even among Republicans who rarely oppose the president. The measure has found support among a bipartisan group of Senators who claim that the ZTE deal poses potential national security problems, according to Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who introduced the amendment alongside Republican Sen. Tom Cotton. In addition, Van Hollen maintains that the ZTE deal is "genuinely a bad deal" that must be overturned.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump will, if it gets that far, veto the deal, and demand that Congress create another budget which does not at all mention ZTE.

Jun 12 12:06

The Real Reason Trump Lost It With Trudeau?

In Singapore, Trump tweeted more about that piggy bank.

“Why should I, as President of the United States, allow countries to continue to make Massive Trade Surpluses, as they have for decades … (while) the U.S. pays close to the entire cost of NATO-protecting many of these same countries that rip us off on Trade?”

To understand what drives Trump, and explains his exasperation and anger, these remarks are a good place to begin.

Our elites see America as an “indispensable nation,” the premier world power whose ordained duty it is to defend democracy, stand up to dictators and aggressors, and uphold a liberal world order.

They see U.S. wealth and power as splendid tools that fate has given them to shape the future of the planet.

Trump sees America as a nation being milked by allies who free ride on our defense effort, as they engage in trade practices that prosper their own peoples at America’s expense.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is reasonable for Trump to be upset, looking at these numbers; I just wish he hadn't gotten so publicly upset.

Jun 12 11:51

As the G-7 Implodes, SCO Meeting Confirms the New Century of Multipolarity

At the G7 meeting in Canada in recent days, we witnessed unprecedented clashes between Trump and G7 leaders over the imposition of tariffs on trade. We must now conclude that the event has been relegated to irrelevance, as the G7 has heretofore derived its clout from speaking as one voice. Trump even went further, refusing to sign the final draft of the organization’s joint statement after Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau lashed out at Trump’s trade decisions. Trump showed how little he cares for his allies, leaving the summit a day early to arrive early for the meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore to make preparations for the long-awaited encounter between the two leaders.

Jun 12 10:55

PEPE ESCOBAR: PUTIN & XI TOP THE G6+1

All hell broke loose at the G6+1, aka G7, while the China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) aimed at global integration and a peaceful multipolar order...

All hell broke loose at the G6+1, otherwise known as G7, in La Malbaie, Canada, while all focused on divine Eurasian integration at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in China’s Qingdao in Shandong, the home province of Confucius.

US President Donald Trump was the predictable star of the show in Canada. He came late. He left early. He skipped a working breakfast. He disagreed with everybody. He issued a “free trade proclamation”, as in no barriers and tariffs whatsoever, everywhere, after imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on Europe and Canada.

Meanwhile, over in Qingdao, the stunning takeaway was offered predictably by Chinese President Xi Jinping; “President Putin and I both think that the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership is mature, firm and stable.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Russia and China are thinking long-term; American politicians cannot see their way beyond the next election cycle, and that will be this country's undoing.

Jun 12 10:18

Governor Brown Reaches $200 Billion Budget Deal

On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders decided against two proposals that would have expanded access to health care and tax breaks to undocumented Californians. The $200 billion budget deal sets aside enough money in reserves to fill the "Rainy Day Fund" with almost $14 billion. Another $2.2 billion will go to contingency funds for other unexpected emergencies.

The sum of these two set aside funds gives the state around $16 billion in total reserves. According to the legislative Analyst's Office, that's 'enough to weather a mild recession without severe cuts to government services.'

Jun 12 10:07

Venezuela's hyperinflation at new dizzying high

Venezuela's sky-high inflation soared to 24,571 percent in the past 12 months, lawmakers said Monday.

President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government controls most of the country's economy and is in the midst of an ever-deepening crisis with food and medicine in short supply.

Analysts blame what they call mismanagement of a state-led economy. That includes its control over hard currency, as well as low oil prices. Venezuela depends on crude oil for its earnings.

The government blames US sanctions and businessmen speculating on the problems.

Jun 12 10:04

Voluntarily vagrant, homeless youth a 'crusty' urban challenge

From the parks of Berkeley to the streets of Brooklyn, and in most every large city in between, they have become an almost inescapable part of urban life.

Known by many names – “crusty punks,” “crusties,” “gutter punks,” “crumb bums” and “dirty kids,” to list but a few – this group of young adults has rejected a more traditional 9-to-5 lifestyle in favor of train hopping, panhandling and voluntary homelessness.

And while traditionally tolerated by police and urban residents, these transient groups of the unshaven and unwashed have been involved in a series of incidents in recent years -- accompanied by an abundance of bad press -- that has municipalities across the country puzzling over how to address the problem.

In New York City's East Village, they have been spotted doing drugs in local parks, making camp outside of apartment buildings and sleeping outside storefronts. One crusty traveler’s pit bull even attacked a man and his small dog - killing the other dog.

Jun 12 09:57

TRANSCANADA’S NEW “BEST-IN-CLASS” GAS PIPELINE EXPLODES IN WEST VIRGINIA, CAUSING FIERY BLAST

A newly installed TransCanada natural gas pipeline exploded early Thursday in the remote Nixon Ridge area of Marshall County in West Virginia.

No injuries were reported but flames and smoke from the blast could be seen as far as 20 miles away, residents told local media. Area police told CBS News the fire was "very large—if you can see it from your house, evacuate."

"It sounded like a freight train coming through, or a tornado, and the sky lit up bright orange, and then I got up and looked out the window and flames were shooting I don't know how far into the sky," Tina Heath-Chaplin, of Moundsville, told WPXI.

TransCanada—the same company behind the Keystone pipeline—said the explosion has been contained and an investigation is underway.

"As soon as the issue was identified, emergency response procedures were enacted and the segment of impacted pipeline was isolated. The fire was fully extinguished by approximately 8:30 a.m," the company commented Thursday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The cause is probably, most simply, that the company did the installation on the cheap, and cut corners in both materials and installation proceduures, which resulted in the blowout.

Explosiions like this just "don't happen"; they are caused when all the safety regs in place are ignored, to some degree or other.

Jun 12 04:30

New asteroid gold rush ‘could earn everyone on Earth £75 billion’

That’s what bankers Goldman Sachs reckon, anyway – and several companies are now vying to be the first into space.

NASA estimates that the total value of asteroids out there could be up to $700 quintillion – equivalent to £75 billion each for us here on Earth.

Jun 12 03:28

The Biggest Risk To Markets?

Jun 11 15:31

Mapping the Price of Beer Around the World

Jun 11 15:04

High Street bloodbath: 30,000 retail workers in Britain under threat of losing their jobs as collapse of Poundworld puts a further 5,100 at risk

On another bleak day for the High Street, the loss-making store was the latest to crash into administration, putting 5,100 jobs at risk.

The company, which has 335 shops and sells everything from flip-flops to deodorant and baked beans, racked up losses of £17.1million last year.

More than 30,000 High Street jobs have been lost or left hanging in the balance this year as a string of shops and restaurants struggle to survive.

The crisis in the industry has led to the collapse of household names such as Toys R Us and Maplin as well as job losses at Marks & Spencer, Mothercare and Debenhams.

House of Fraser outlined plans last week to shut 31 stores, putting 6,000 jobs on the line, as it fights to stay afloat.

Jun 11 15:04

Italy faces another bond market crisis

Jun 11 13:17

No Tolls on Seattle's Highway 99 Tunnel

Jun 11 12:39

Speaking Of Wile E. Coyote Moments…

Jun 11 12:06

Emerging Market Outflows Likely to Continue

Jun 11 11:56

Italian Bond Yields Plunge Most In 6 Years, Banks Soar As Tria Endorses Euro

Italian capital markets are en fuego (or whetever 'on fire' is in Italian) following, as we detailed earlier, Italy's new finance minister, Tria, gave a strong endorsement of the euro in comments over the weekend, prompting UBS to suggest that Italy's disagreements with the EU seem more likely to focus on immigration than on economics.

Jun 11 11:55

Geopolitical Tensions Reach Boiling Point Ahead Of OPEC Meeting

The upcoming OPEC meeting on June 22 is shaping up to be a contentious one, after news broke that the U.S. government asked Saudi Arabia to increase oil production before Washington pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Earlier last week, news surfaced that the U.S. government asked Saudi Arabia to boost output to relieve pressure on prices. But Reuters followed up with a report on June 7, adding more context to that story. According to Reuters, a high level Trump administration official called Saudi Arabia a day before Trump was set to announce the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, asking for more oil supply to cover for disruptions from Iran.

The last time the U.S. government pressured OPEC into adding supply, it was also over Iran. The Obama administration wanted the cartel to offset disrupted Iranian production, after an international coalition put stringent sanctions on Iran in 2012. Roughly 1 million barrels per day were knocked offline.

Jun 11 11:52

Fed Policy Just Slammed Into a BRIC Wall

The Fed’s plan of withdrawing $1 trillion in liquidity this year via QT has slammed into a BRIC wall.

Year to date, the Fed has shrunken its balance sheet by $116 billion. This sounds like a lot of money until you put it in perspective.

Jun 11 11:52

The Clock Is Ticking: "Modern Slaves Are Not In Chains, They're In Debt"

Debt isn’t always a form of slavery, but those old sayings didn’t come from nowhere. You can find hundreds of quotes on the Internet discussing the problems of debt. Debt traps borrowers, lenders, and innocent bystanders, too. If debt were a drug, we would demand it be outlawed.

The advantage of debt is it lets you bring the future into the present, buying things you couldn’t afford if you had to pay full price now. This can be good or bad, depending on what you buy. Going into debt for education that will raise your income, or for factory equipment that will increase your output, can be positive. Debt for a tropical vacation, probably not.

Jun 11 11:17

Poundworld enters administration after rescue talks fail

Discount retailer Poundworld has appointed administrators, putting 5,100 jobs at risk.

The move came after talks with a potential buyer, R Capital, collapsed leaving Poundworld with no option other than administration.

Poundworld, which serves two million customers a week from 335 stores, also trades under the Bargain Buys name.

Administrators Deloitte stress the stores will continue to trade as normal with no redundancies at this time.

Jun 11 11:10

Guerrilla Car Buying

Jun 11 11:09

The gig economy: An insider’s guide

Call it the gig economy or a freelance workforce—or, as the US bureau of Labor statistics would have it, “contingent workers”—there’s no question that the employment landscape has been shifting away from traditional job models to contract labor. This ebook considers the pros and cons of gig work as well as strategies for building a successful career as a freelancer.

Jun 11 10:17

Amazon is slammed for 'appalling conditions' at its Echo and Kindle Chinese factory where employees work more than 100 hours in overtime for as little as £1.68 per hour

Amazon has been slammed for major 'labour violations' at a plant in China that makes the retail giant's Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker and Kindle e-reader.

An investigation by US watchdog group China Labor Watch found the factory's harsh working conditions left employees underpaid and exhausted, with some forced to work 100 hours overtime for just £1.68 ($2.26) per hour.

The report cited excessive hours, low wages, poor training and an overreliance on 'dispatch' or temporary workers in violation of Chinese law at the plant.

Jun 11 10:12

Government is 'fiddling the figures to hide the true cost of student loans', says damning Lords report

Ministers must stop trying to ‘mask’ the true levels of national debt linked to student loans, a damning report argues today.

An attempt at ‘accounting trickery’ has made the Government’s budget deficit appear lower than it is, the House of Lords economic affairs committee claims.

The peers want taxpayers to see the true cost of the student loan system on the economy and are calling for a steep reduction in interest rates on loans to alleviate the burden on graduates.

The report is critical of the Cameron government’s 2012 reforms to university financing, which replaced government grants with funding through tuition fees.

Jun 11 09:15

A Jaw-Dropping History Lesson ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN in Schools!

Jun 11 09:06

Earn $3,500 As Human Vaccine Test Subject At St. Louis Hotel

That’s right, a St. Louis University research team is so desperate to test out new flu vaccines that they are willing to pay people to stay in a flu infested hotel and eventually get a flu shot. The flu virus will be shot as a nasal spray inside of your nose. Following that, you will either get a real flu shot or a placebo. The research team will then monitor your symptoms of the flu and decide how effective the flu vaccine is. There are 24 hotel rooms at the Salus Center ready to host this flu-vention.

Jun 11 07:49

Potentially A Signal For The Next Big Crash

Jun 11 04:11

All US Homes Are Overvalued

Jun 11 03:58

Trustees report warns Medicare finances worsening

Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected, and Social Security's financial problems can't be ignored either, the government said Tuesday in a sobering checkup on programs vital to the middle class. The report from program trustees says Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 - three years earlier than previously forecast. Its giant trust fund for inpatient care won't be able to fully cover projected medical bills starting at that point. The report says Social Security will become insolvent in 2034 - no change from the projection last year. The warning serves as a reminder of major issues still languishing while Washington plunges deeper into partisan strife.
Note: Plenty of money for wars!

Jun 10 16:25

The Peoples’ Capitalism | Dissident Voice

America began as a plutocracy and rather quickly evolved into a corpocracy, or an unequal partnership between Corporate America and Government America, with the former controlling the latter. We now call the plutocracy the power elite of the corpocracy, and it is this power elite that is responsible for America’s economy and its capitalistic economic system. Both the economy and the system serve the power elite, obviously, and not the common good. Assuming you are not one of the power elite, you, like me, are on the short end of the stick. How short depends generally on what your socioeconomic status is. The stick is very short for America at large, for it is becoming, if it hasn’t already gotten there, a third world country, which means a substandard living for many of the citizenry.

Jun 10 16:16

Dimon: Consumer Debt Levels Are Low

Jun 10 15:59

US & EU Argue On Tariffs, But Do Not Address Real Problems, Like Soaring Debt

The row over tariffs between the US and EU might actually be a part of Trump’s “maneuvers” over the Iranian nuclear deal, Ron Paul believes, warning that behind this smokescreen, the real problems – like debt – are not addressed.

Jun 10 12:40

Real Estate Is Going Nuts

Jun 10 09:10

Musk called out for greed, sued over his mammoth $2.62bn Tesla package

Tesla CEO Elon Musk faces legal action from a Tesla shareholder who accused the visionary CEO of neglecting the needs of investors and using the tech company for his personal enrichment.

Days after some shareholders said the time has come to oust the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk faces yet another challenge. A new lawsuit filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery and unsealed on Thursday accuses Musk of swindling the company with his unprecedented $2.6 billion award, recently approved by shareholders, and calls for the removal of the board and the appointment of new directors to better reflect the interests of the shareholders.

Jun 10 09:08

The cost of human rights? UK may relax rules to lure Saudi’s Aramco to London Stock Exchange

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is ready to relax its rules to enable state-owned companies such as Saudi Arabia’s Aramco to float on London’s Stock Exchange, despite the kingdom’s questionable human rights record.

After calls for a crackdown on the influence of Russia’s “dirty money,” allegedly via ‘Putin’s cronies,’ it appears the UK is comfortable with Saudi state finances circulating through the City of London. Especially when a tidy £1.5 trillion ($2 trillion) is at stake.

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