ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Aug 11 11:01

US Military Presence Overseas Mushrooming: Here, There, And Everywhere

Around 200,000 US troops are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world. The forces use several hundred bases, more than 1,000 if the figure includes overseas warehouse and installations. The US may need more soon, with its presence and involvement in armed conflicts on the rise.

Under President Trump, drone strikes worldwide grew 432 percent as of mid-March. Civilian death toll is significant in Iraq and Syria as a result of US bombardment.

A war with Iran appears to be imminent. An attack against North Korea is on the cards. There is a plan to spend $8 billion on bulking up the US presence in the Asia-Pacific region over the next five years by upgrading military infrastructure, conducting additional exercises and deploying more forces and ships.

Aug 11 09:00

Montgomery County Minimum Wage Hike Will Cost 47,000 Jobs, $396.5 Million Lost Income

It seems like the evidence is never ending on how minimum wage hikes harm the economy.

Aug 11 08:57

Germany's top stock market crashes: North Korea war fears speed-up selling

GERMANY'S top stock market the DAX has hit its lowest level in four months, as investors rush to sell amid tensions between North Korea and Donald Trump.

Aug 11 08:51

US Postal Service calls for price increases amid record losses

The US Postal Service has seen record losses as traditional mail is replaced by electronic means. Without enough money to pay for years of employee benefits, the agency is calling for legislation to enable them to raise their prices.

On Thursday, the USPS reported losses of $2.1 billion in the third fiscal quarter of 2017, compared to a $1.6 billion loss in the same quarter last year.

Over the past 10 years, the USPS has incurred a net loss of $63.3 billion and they project future losses without legislative and regulatory changes.

Aug 11 07:44

Are You Tired of Banks, Credit Cards, and Debt? Consider a System of Trading Time Instead of Money

We live in a capitalistic society. Banks are everywhere, and it often seems like cash and credit are required to live. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is growing. And it can sometimes seem like economic inequality is ubiquitous.

But around the world, people are using a system of exchange that requires something everyone is, for the most part, given equally, every day: Time.

Aug 11 03:07

Prof. Werner brilliantly explains how the banking system and financial sector really work.

“During the 20th century, governments allowed the creation of money to become the byproduct of the process of credit creation. Most money today is created by private sector institutions – banks. This is the most serious fault-line in the management of money in our societies today,” Mervyn King, former Bank of England governor – in his 2016 book, The Alchemy of Money..

Aug 10 16:46

Slavery & Human Trafficking In ‘Every Large UK Town & City’ – National Crime Agency

Forced prostitution “could be happening on your street,” the National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned, as it revealed modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK is far more prevalent than previously thought.

The NCA released figures on Thursday showing there are currently more than 300 live policing operations targeting modern slavery in the UK, with cases affecting “every large town and city in the country.”

Aug 10 15:35

The Insecurity Of Social Security

Aug 10 14:46

UK Homeless Population Growing Under Tories: Study

Britain’s homeless population has increased by a third since 2011, a year into the Conservative Party took over, a new study has found.

Aug 10 13:23

Bill Bonner on bitcoin

Aug 10 13:11

SPOTTED: Fire & Fury on dip buyers

Aug 10 13:10

Amazon’s next target: TICKETMASTER

Aug 10 13:03

Is Global Stock Rally Hitting A Wall?

Aug 10 12:29

Are Oil Bulls About To Be Burned Again?

Aug 10 12:10

Another Warning Sign Atop Debt Mountain

Aug 10 11:42

Inflation Spikes Most since 2008 in Mexico. One Eye on Elections, Finance Minister Blames Tomatoes

Despite Bank of Mexico’s “monetary shock.”

Aug 10 10:50

Death Spiral: 6.5 Million People Choose To Pay Tax Rather Than Buy Obamacare

For those who still aren't convinced that Obamacare is trapped in an inescapable death spiral that will inevitably end in nothing short of an epic collapse of the federal and state health insurance exchanges, perhaps you should consider the following facts from the National Review and Mark Farrah and Associates.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aug 10 09:38

ECB BACKLASH: Anger as fifth of German firms face negative interest rates

GERMAN companies have reacted with fury after banks tried to impose negative interest rates — meaning they would have to pay to keep cash in their accounts.

Aug 10 08:38

Twice as many people are sleeping rough in Tory Britain as we thought, alarming new study reveals

More than twice as many people are sleeping rough in Tory Britain as previously thought, a worrying new study on homelessness warns today.

Analysis by academics at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh found 9,100 people are currently sleeping on the streets across Britain - more than double the 4,100 previous estimates suggested.

Their study warns a further 8,900 people are sleeping in tents, cars or public transport, more than 12,000 live in squats and a staggering 68,300 are sofa-surfing on friends’ couches.

Aug 10 08:15

This $5 Trillion Time Bomb Will Devastate Americans

Over 3,000 millionaires have fled Chicago in recent months.

This is the largest outflow of wealthy people from any US city right now. It’s also one of the largest outflows of wealthy people in the world.

Aug 10 07:59

JP MORGAN LAUNCHES NEW HIGH FREQUENCY TRADING ALGORITHM

The disconnect between genuine human market activity and that created by machines proceeds apace, for JP Morgan has just launched a new algorithmic high frequency trading algorithm, as this article from Zero Hedge, spotted and shared by Mr. B.H., states:

JPM Develops A.I. Robot To Execute High Speed Trades, Put Humans Out Of Work

The motivation, as usual, is the "bottom line," and maximizing profits while minimizing costly (human) labor overhead:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aug 10 07:57

Merkel’s monster: Is Macron plotting for France to overtake Germany as EU powerhouse?

EMMANUEL Macron could be plotting for France to take over Germany's position as the powerhouse of the European Union.

Aug 10 07:46

Really Bad Ideas, Government Debt Isn’t Actually Debt

The failure of fiat currency and fractional reserve banking to produce a government-managed utopia is generating very few mea culpas, but lots of rationalizations.

Aug 10 07:45

Central Bank Caught In A Lie, Everything Is Not What It Seems

The European banks are dumping government debt, do they know something we don't. 2016 was revised down to the worst year of productivity. US companies have more debt, more leverage and more richly valued than ever before.

Aug 10 02:19

Why most economic forecasts are wrong

Aug 10 01:22

NZ in 'productivity recession', JBWere says

New Zealand's economy is in a "productivity recession" and relies on migrant-fuelled population growth to expand while stocks are overvalued and investors should cut their holdings by about a quarter, says JBWere.

In an economic update on New Zealand, titled "Working Harder, not Smarter," the advisory firm says headline gross domestic product has continued "to print impressively" but GDP per hour worked has flatlined for five years and per-capita GDP is similar to Japan's.

"In the absence of productivity gains, our economy has relied on more people, working more hours," analysts at the firm said. "Net migration provides a conveyor belt of fresh labour, but it comes with attendant bottlenecks in housing and infrastructure. The profitability windfall for these sectors has not arrived, with earnings warnings from all the major listed construction companies this year."

Aug 09 14:23

Powerlessness and Consumerism

Aug 09 13:53

The Most Precious Metal Bullish Quote Ever

Aug 09 12:37

The Democrats Adopt Trump And Bannon’s Economic Nationalism

The Democratic Party unveiled a new portion of its “Better Deal” program Wednesday, August 2, in which it adopted wholesale the economic nationalism of President Donald Trump and his fascist adviser, Steve Bannon. Many of the proposals are implicitly or explicitly directed against China, the main target of US imperialism in the Asia-Pacific region.

Aug 09 12:28

Gold Play, with Exploration Upside

Aug 09 11:56

Technically Speaking: Bullish But Bearish

Aug 09 11:12

The two faces of Rumsfeld

LINK FIXED

Randeep Ramesh

Friday 9 May 2003 03.48 EDT
First published on Friday 9 May 2003 03.48 EDT
Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, sat on the board of a company which three years ago sold two light water nuclear reactors to North Korea - a country he now regards as part of the "axis of evil" and which has been targeted for regime change by Washington because of its efforts to build nuclear weapons.

Mr Rumsfeld was a non-executive director of ABB, a European engineering giant based in Zurich, when it won a $200m (£125m) contract to provide the design and key components for the reactors. The current defence secretary sat on the board from 1990 to 2001, earning $190,000 a year. He left to join the Bush administration.

The reactor deal was part of President Bill Clinton's policy of persuading the North Korean regime to positively engage with the west.

Aug 09 11:07

FLASHBACK:Clinton, in Letter, Assures North Koreans on Nuclear Reactors

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26— President Clinton promised North Korea's leader in a letter released today that if the planned international financing for new nuclear reactors fell through, he would do his utmost to have the United States provide them.

Last week the United States and North Korea reached an agreement in which the North pledged to freeze its nuclear program in return for having the United States and other members of an international consortium build two light-water reactors and provide oil until the reactors are built.

Aug 09 10:52

This Hits the Wheezing Commercial Real Estate Bubble at Worst Possible Time

The last big enthusiastic buyer, China, is leaving the party.

Aug 09 08:11

"NONE OF IT WAS TRUE": 103 YEARS LATER, THE FT ADMITS IT LIED AND COLLUDED WITH THE BANK OF ENGLAND

When one strips away the lies about central banks' "inflation and employment" mandates and focuses on what they really do - which is to keep asset prices artificially supported and volatility suppressed - the motive behind virtually every central bank act becomes readily apparent: preserve (and increase, if possible) confidence in the market and economy, while saying anything and everything that helps achieve this, or in other words, lie but don't get caught.
Today, thanks to the FT, we have proof of precisely this, in what may be the first recorded instance of a central bank openly lying in an attempt to preserve market stability... and getting caught.

On Tuesday, the Bank of England admitted that the UK government failed to find enough investors to fully cover its its 1914 War Loan, and was forced to turn to the central bank to help plug a deficit of more than £100m in the fundraising. However, it did so only after it lied to the public that the bond was oversubscribed:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Lies by the financial community never end, because they are engineered to "paper over" a system so delicate and fragile that complete economic collapse is only a minor hiccup away, most of the time.

Aug 09 07:15

Americans collectively owe over $1 trillion in credit debt

Credit card companies have once again lent to high-risk customers in droves despite what happened in 2008 leaving Americans owing over $1 trillion dollars in debt altogether.

Aug 09 00:56

Can we avoid another financial crisis

With house prices dropping, anemic growth and terrible productivity figures, it seems that developed economies are heading toward another financial fallout – having not yet paid for the last one.

Aug 08 17:32

Trump on collision course with Germany over US bid to dominate energy market

Klaus Schaefer, CEO of German energy company Uniper, said "strategic economic interests" were behind Mr Trump's sanctions.

He predicted the United States will soon push its liquefied natural gas (LNG) into Europe in a bid to dominate the energy market.

Mr Schaefer said: "The core reason [for the sanctions] are strategic economic interests, meaning the targeted dominance of the US in energy markets.

"Uniper's readiness to finance the Nord Stream 2 project with other European partners arises from the conviction that this additional gas link makes economic sense and that our contribution to its financing will be profitable."

Aug 08 14:53

Amazon And Foxconn In Kenosha, Wisconsin: The New American “Special Economic Zone”

The opening of operations at Amazon’s Fulfillment Center in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2015 was a major early step in a major economic transformation underway in the greater Southeastern Wisconsin. Amazon, Foxconn, and other massive companies are taking advantage of the devastation wrought on this region over several decades of deindustrialization, a reason to develop the area into a massive platform for low wage labor.

Aug 08 14:06

The Despotic Origins Of U.S. Public Secondary Education

During the 1890s, as patriotic fervor was sweeping the nation, the flying of the nation’s flag on school grounds and within classrooms was normalized, whereupon students were required to pledge allegiance to the nation’s flag on a daily basis.

Aug 08 12:14

Wall Street Firms Win Again, Regulators Capitulate

Financial Crisis is forgotten. Even sounds of gentle wrist-slapping fade. 

Aug 08 11:55

US Sanctions — a Looney Tunes Bad Remake

By F. William Engdahl
5 Aug 2017

The ever-so-wise members of the Congress of the United States have just passed one of the most bizarre pieces of legislation in US history. Unilaterally, it makes illegal and severely punishable investments by European companies in international energy projects where Russia is involved. But it does far more. Unlike earlier US sanctions acts, the EU countries were not even consulted on the new act. It may well be that the bill, HR-3364: Countering Americas Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (sic) and its Senate counterpart will mark the irreversible decline of the United States as a global power and forge new ties between Russia, China, Iran and, yes, the major states of the EU including Germany .

What the Act says
That's All Folks!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9M4htrogqA

Aug 08 11:45

DOJ: Miami No Longer A ‘Sanctuary City,’ Will Receive Nearly $500k In Federal Grants

Florida’s most populated county is no longer considered to be a “sanctuary jurisdiction” by the Justice Department. As a result, Miami-Dade will be eligible for certain federal grant money denied to other immigration “sanctuary cities.”

On Friday, the Department of Justice sent a letter to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez (R), notifying him that the county was in compliance with federal immigration requirements and would therefore be eligible for Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) grants.

Aug 08 10:54

How Goldman Sachs And Bain Capital Destroyed The Learning Company And Got Off Scot-Free

By Aaron Kesel

In 1997, Goldman Sachs aided Thomas Lee Partners, Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, to get involved with “The Learning Company” through a private equity firm...

Aug 08 10:13

Why Germans NEED Brexit Britain: USA could bring Germany to its knees over Russia

GERMANY fears its economy could take a battering if Donald Trump presses ahead with plans to slap new sanctions on Russia - potentially further pressing the need for Berlin to force through a good Brexit deal.

Aug 08 10:12

New Report Finds The Economy Never Recovered, It Is One Big Illusion

Labor market breadth is near record lows. Looking at all of the different economic indicators it shows the economy has not been improving.

Aug 08 10:11

Sessions Humiliates Rahm: "No Amount Of Federal Funds Will Help A City That Refuses To Help Its Own Residents"

All the latest moves coming from Jeff Sessions would seem to imply that the beleaguered Attorney General has every intent of aggressively pushing forward with Trump's agenda in order to mend broken fences with the White House and try to keep his job. The latest such move comes in the form of the following rather direct official statement from Sessions in response to Chicago's lawsuit filed earlier this morning regarding federal funding, or lack thereof rather, for sanctuary cities.

Among other things, Sessions scolded Chicago's Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, saying that "no amount of federal taxpayer dollars will help a city that refuses to help its own residents." Meanwhile, Sessions also took direct aim at Chicago's soaring violent crime rate pointing out, as we have on many occasions, that the city recorded more murders in 2016 than New York and L.A. combined.

“No amount of federal taxpayer dollars will help a city that refuses to help its own residents."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sessions was absolutely correct in reading Chicago's mayor, Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, the riot act, on this issue.

Aug 08 10:06

This is Why the US Avoids Messing Around With Venezuelan Oil

The United States has imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, but stopped short of punishing the Latin American country’s oil sector. In an interview with Sputnik, economist Rafael Quiroz Serrano explained why.

Venezuela is exporting 823,000 barrels of crude oil to the US a year, all of which is bought by privately-owned refineries.

Of these, 550,000 barrels go to four Venezuelan-owned refineries in Texas, Louisiana and other US states.

Aug 08 09:58

US CREDIT CARD DEBT SURPASSES FINANCIAL CRISIS RECORD, AS STUDENT AND AUTO LOANS HIT NEW ALL TIME HIGH

Who would have expected that today's otherwise boring monthly consumer credit report would be the day's most exciting event. Well, moments ago the monthly update from the Federal Reserve confirmed that as of the end of June, total revolving (i.e. credit card) credit rose to $1,021.7 billion, an increase of $4.1 billion on the month, and a new all time high, taking out the previous record high set during the summer of 2008.

... means that total consumer credit in June increased by $12.4 billion, slightly less than the $13.9 billion expected and modestly less than the $18.4 billion increase in May, to $3,855.8 billion, also a record high.

Taking a closer look at the quarterly update in non-revolving debt, we find that for another consecutive quarter, both student and auto loans hit record highs, of $1.450 trillion and $1.131 trillion respectively, although there does appears to be a modest slowdown in credit issuance for these two largest categories.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In the immortal words of Casey Stengel, this feels like "deja vu all over again."

The Economic Crash of 2008

Aug 08 09:35

US consumer credit card debt balloons to all-time high

American consumers have accumulated $1.02 trillion of debt on their credit cards as of June, according to the US Federal Reserve. This is more than the record set just before the 2008 financial crisis.

US household debt balances were $12.73 trillion in March 2017, compared to the 2008 peak of $12.68 trillion.

Aug 08 09:27

Whiff of Reality at Crazy Super High-End Housing Market?

BS asking prices meet the ax.

Aug 08 09:25

Our Broken Economy, in One Simple Chart

Many Americans can’t remember anything other than an economy with skyrocketing inequality, in which living standards for most Americans are stagnating and the rich are pulling away. It feels inevitable.

But it’s not.

A well-known team of inequality researchers — Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman — has been getting some attention recently for a chart it produced. It shows the change in income between 1980 and 2014 for every point on the distribution, and it neatly summarizes the recent soaring of inequality.

Aug 08 09:02

Video: As Downtown Detroit Gentrifies, Longtime Black Residents Fight Illegal Tax Foreclosures

In Detroit, a recent study found that one in four Detroit properties have been subject to property tax foreclosure between 2011.

Aug 08 08:18

When will real wages finally rise?

Aug 08 08:17

EUROZONE ON THE BRINK: Germany imports PLUNGE to lowest level since 2009, figures show

Exports from Europe's biggest economy fell by 2.8 per cent, the biggest drop since August 2015, the Federal Statistics Office said.

Adding to Germany's woes, imports plunged by 4.5 per cent in the same month, the biggest drop since January 2009.

The shocking data, released earlier today, drove the country's seasonally adjusted trade surplus to a 10-month high of €21.2billion (£19.2bn).

Aug 08 08:02

Leave Us Out of It: EU Commission Refuses to Get Involved in US-Russia Spat

The European Union considers the diplomatic dispute between Moscow and Washington a "bilateral" one and is giving the fracas a wide berth, an EU Commission spokesperson has said. While not a direct condemnation of US actions, the bloc is clearly keeping its distance, and may not be dancing to the US' tune as enthusiastically as it once did.

Aug 08 07:55

Gold Up On Weak U.S. Dollar, Geopolitics

Gold prices are moderately higher in early U.S. trading Tuesday, supported by weaker U.S. dollar and some safe-haven demand amid an uptick in U.S.-North Korea tensions. December Comex gold was last up $4.90 an ounce at $1,269.50. September Comex silver was last up $0.109 at $16.36 an ounce.

North Korea has threatened to use its nuclear weapons against the U.S. after the United Nations slapped more sanctions on the rogue nation. This matter won’t just go away and will likely get worse before it gets better. Such is likely to continue to be an underlying bullish element for the gold market.

The U.S. dollar index is weaker in early U.S. trading Tuesday. The index has been trending lower all year long and the bears possess the strong near-term technical advantage. The rally in the dollar index late last week has fizzled.

Aug 08 07:55

Silver Mining Production Plummets 27% At Top Four Silver Miners

In an interesting change of events, production at four of the top primary silver miners plummeted during the second quarter of 2017.

This goes well beyond normal fluctuations in mining companies production figures during different quarterly reporting periods. The company with the least percentage decline in silver production still suffered a 20% reduction of mine supply in the second quarter.

According to recently released company data, silver production declined between 20-34% from these four primary silver miners during the second quarter. The company that suffered the biggest decline in silver production was Hecla at -34%, followed by Endeavour Silver at -26%, Silver Standard at -24% and First Majestic with a decrease of 20% (see table above).

Aug 08 07:52

The IRS Scandal, Day 1552: The IRS's Email Retention Policies Still Do Not Ensure That Emails Are Retained And Produced When Requested

IRS policies do not comply with certain Federal requirements that agencies must ensure that all records are retrievable and usable for as long as needed. For example, IRS e-mail retention policies are not adequate because e-mails are not automatically archived for all IRS employees. Instead, the IRS’s current policy instructs employees to take manual actions to archive e-mails by saving them permanently on computer hard drives or network shared drives.

This policy has resulted in lost records when computer hard drives are destroyed or damaged. In addition, a recently instituted executive e-mail retention policy, which should have resulted in the archiving of e-mails from specific executives, was not implemented effectively because some executives did not turn on the automatic archiving feature.

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