ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Jan 30 08:11

BANKRUPT PG&E SEEKS TO PAY $130 MILLION IN 2018 BONUSES

Perhaps the only people less worthy of receiving a bonus of any kind than the Moody's and S&P analysts who as recently as three weeks ago rated now bankrupt PG&E as investment grade is the management of PG&E, which one year after the most destructive fire in California history sparked, literally, another "most destructive fire in history" with no hedges or fallbacks in place. And yet as part of its first day bankruptcy motion, the California utility that filed for bankruptcy early on Tuesday is seeking to pay employees about $130 million in performance bonuses for last year, an amount which is due to be paid in March 2019.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Performance bonuses"?!?!?

Are you flipping kidding me?!?

The people whose lackadaisical "oversight" which led to the conditions which sparked this fire, should not be getting bonuses; they should be cooling their collective heels in a Federal Penitentiary, and NOT a "Club Fed" either.

Because if in fact these bonuses are paid, this is a signal to any other public or private utility in this country, that they can cause the greatest damage in the world, and never be held responsible.

Jan 30 08:10

BANKRUPT PG&E SEEKS TO PAY $130 MILLION IN 2018 BONUSES

Perhaps the only people less worthy of receiving a bonus of any kind than the Moody's and S&P analysts who as recently as three weeks ago rated now bankrupt PG&E as investment grade is the management of PG&E, which one year after the most destructive fire in California history sparked, literally, another "most destructive fire in history" with no hedges or fallbacks in place. And yet as part of its first day bankruptcy motion, the California utility that filed for bankruptcy early on Tuesday is seeking to pay employees about $130 million in performance bonuses for last year, an amount which is due to be paid in March 2019.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Performance bonuses"?!?!?

Are you flipping kidding me?!?

The people whose lackadaisical "oversight" which led to the conditions which sparked this fire, should not be getting bonuses; they should be cooling their collective heels in a Federal Penitentiary, and NOT a "Club Fed" either.

Because if in fact these bonuses are paid, this is a signal to any other public or private utility in this country, that they can cause the greatest damage in the world, and never be held responsible.

Jan 30 08:05

MEXICO IS STARTING TO LOOK LIKE VENEZUELA

In a way that almost sounds ridiculous.

But oil thieves have been drilling holes in Mexico’s extensive network of oil and gas piplelines across the country to steal fuel and sell it on the black market.

State-owned oil company PEMEX found more than 12,500 illegal holes in the pipelines last year.

And these oil thieves went as far as building a 2-mile long pipe themselves to divert oil directly from the refineries.

Selling oil on the secondary market is a highly lucrative business in Mexico. And some farmers who take up a job as lookouts for the thieves can earnmore than five times their regular income doing so.

The work is also incredibly dangerous… more than 80 people recently died in a pipeline explosion north of Mexico City when they were trying to siphon off gas.

But Mexico’s new president has decided to do something about this.

And in typical, political brilliance, he ordered the pipelines to be shut down.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How can it be that someone so pig-ignorant of basic economics get themselves elected to high office?!?

Of course, people in this country have no room to talk about crooked elections; in 2016, we had one candidate who had more geopolitical baggage than does Kim Kardashian on a photo shoot, and the other, a man brilliantly adept at invoking the rage of those who got left behind, economically, when their jobs in this country were offshored or outsourced, but turned against them, once president, in a complete, and utterly devastating transformation into an Israeli-centric warhawk, threatening Russia, Iran, and China, all in the same breath.

Jan 30 04:54

Trade, China

Jan 30 04:53

Topping pattern 2008 vs 2018

Jan 29 16:15

US COUP IN VENEZUELA MOTIVATED BY OIL AND CORPORATE INTERESTS - MILITARIST JOHN BOLTON SPILLS THE BEANS

In an interview on Fox Business, Trump’s hyper-militaristic National Security Adviser John Bolton admitted the US-led coup in Venezuela is motivated by oil and corporate interests.

Jan 29 15:28

Insiders & Buybacks

Jan 29 14:43

Chinese Telecom Conglomerate Charged with Multiple Crimes

Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Bank Fraud, and Theft of Trade Secrets Among Nearly Two Dozen Charges Announced Against Huawei

Jan 29 14:42

These 55 companies issued 11K layoff notices in N.J. in 2018. Here's the full list

More than 11,000 workers at 55 companies in New Jersey received notices in 2018 that their jobs were in jeopardy as employers restructured and reduced payrolls, according to records kept by the state Department of Labor. In one case, a major well-known company headquartered in New Jersey shut down outright, accounting for a big chunk of the state's job losses last year.

The job cuts hit multiple sectors including retailers, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare.

Jan 29 08:20

Which Debt Do You Pay off First?

Jan 28 16:18

Debt collection negotiation script

Jan 28 12:59

So much bad news today...

Jan 28 12:41

How the Shutdown Shows Us Exactly Where to Start Cutting Government

Problem: Do you have any idea how many areas of your life involve the government? Now all these areas, that you didn’t even know the government was involved in, are affected by the shutdown!

Mainstream solution: Re-open government, and continue to leave all these sectors vulnerable to the incompetence and maliciousness of government.

Actual solution: GET THE GOVERNMENT THE HELL OUT OF THE ECONOMY!

Jan 28 11:41

Bank Of England Refuses To Release Venezuela's Gold After US Lobbying

With Maduro desperately clinging to power in Venezuela - albeit protected by Russian "security contractors" - The Bank of England just 'virtue-signaled' another jab in the socialist utopia's back by confirming its refusal to hand over Venezuela's gold from its vaults.

Bloomberg reports that Maduro's embattled regime, desperate to hold onto the dwindling cash pile it has abroad, was stymied in its bid to pull $1.2 billion worth of gold out of the Bank of England, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Bank of England’s (BoE) decision to deny Maduro officials’ withdrawal request comes after top U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, lobbied their U.K. counterparts to help cut off the regime from its overseas assets, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified.

Jan 28 11:12

VENEZUELA’S US-BACKED JUAN GUAIDÓ IMMEDIATELY TARGETS STATE OIL, REQUESTS IMF MONEY

The right-wing opposition leader that the United States is trying to undemocratically install as Venezuela’s president immediately set his sights on the country’s state-owned oil company, which he is hoping to restructure and move toward privatization. He is also seeking money from the notorious International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fund his unelected government.

On January 23, US President Donald Trump recognized the little-known, US-educated opposition politician Juan Guaidó as the supposed “interim president” of Venezuela. Within 48 hours, Guaidó quickly tried to seize control of Venezuela’s major US-based oil refiner and use its revenue to help bankroll his US-backed coup regime.

Guaidó is attempting to fire the directors of Citgo Petroleum, which is owned by Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, and seeks to appoint his own new board.

Reuters described Citgo as “Venezuela’s most important foreign asset”; Bloomberg calls it “the crown jewel of PDVSA’s assets.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Absoflippinglutely unbelievable; if you don't believe for one second, that this is an attempt at a US-generated regime change in Venezuela, you need to think again!!

Jan 28 11:08

JAPAN DATA SCANDAL: TOKYO ADMITS 40% OF ITS ECONOMIC DATA IS "FAKE NEWS"

When it comes to the biggest monetary experiment in modern history, namely Japan's QE which has seen the BOJ buy enough Japanese bonds to match the GDP of Japan, there is nothing more important than the BOJ having accurate metrics to determine if its "inflation targeting" is working, i.e., if wages and broader inflation are rising. Alas, the recent news that Japan's labor ministry published erroneous statistics for years, has raised doubt about not only the accuracy of economic analysis released by the Bank of Japan, but prompted investors to doubt absolutely every economic report published by Tokyo.

For those who are unfamiliar with the latest economic fake news scandal, on Wednesday Japan's labor ministry revised its monthly labor survey for the period between 2012 and 2018 admitting it had overstated nominal year-on-year wage increases by as much as 0.7 percentage point between January and November of last year, to take just one example.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

THAT... is an industrial-strength financial "YIKES"!!!!

Jan 28 10:23

This Week's Three Scenarios For US-China Trade Talks

This week will mark another round of talks between the United States and China in an attempt to resolve the ongoing trade war, after President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping ordered their officials to hammer out a deal by March 1 on "structural changes" to China's economic model.

Failure to reach an agreement will result in Trump raising the tariff rate on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, and would "dash hopes of a lasting truce that would remove one of the darkest clouds hanging over the world economy," reports Bloomberg.

Starting Wednesday, US Trade Representative Robert Lightnizer will meet with Vice Premier Liu He in Washington for two days, building on negotiations ranging from soy beans to subsidies Beijing provides to various state-owned companies.

Jan 28 10:23

Ford cancels Mexico plant, expands U.S. factory and adds 700 jobs

Ford Motor announced Tuesday that it would cancel plans for a $1.6 billion Mexico plant and launch a Michigan expansion in a move that may be viewed as a capitulation to Donald Trump.

Ford CEO Mark Fields said the company would spend $700 million and add 700 jobs to "transform and expand" its Flat Rock, Mich. manufacturing plant to make autonomous and electric vehicles.

"Make no mistake about it — Ford is a global automaker but our home is right here in the United States," Fields said at a press conference.

Jan 28 09:35

Japan Data Scandal: Tokyo Admits 40% Of Its Economic Data Is "Fake News"

When it comes to the biggest monetary experiment in modern history, namely Japan's QE which has seen the BOJ buy enough Japanese bonds to match the GDP of Japan, there is nothing more important than the BOJ having accurate metrics to determine if its "inflation targeting" is working, i.e., if wages and broader inflation are rising. Alas, the recent news that Japan's labor ministry published erroneous statistics for years, has raised doubt about not only the accuracy of economic analysis released by the Bank of Japan, but prompted investors to doubt absolutely every economic report published by Tokyo.

For those who are unfamiliar with the latest economic fake news scandal, on Wednesday Japan's labor ministry revised its monthly labor survey for the period between 2012 and 2018 admitting it had overstated nominal year-on-year wage increases by as much as 0.7 percentage point between January and November of last year, to take just one example.

Jan 28 09:05

Postal Service Loses $3.9 Billion in Fiscal 2018

The U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday reported that it saw a $3.9 billion loss in fiscal 2018, a 44 percent larger dip into the red over the previous year despite a $1 billion revenue increase.

Ongoing volume losses of 3.6 percent during the fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, led to a “controllable loss” of $2 billion, more than doubling the loss from the previous year. Expenses outside of management’s control, such as funding for retiree health benefits, accounted for the rest of the negative outcome. The Postal Service declined to make required payments of nearly $7 billion to pay for future retirees’ pensions and health care.

Fiscal 2017 marked the first time in five years that the Postal Service failed to turn a profit on controllable operations.

Jan 28 02:47

Mr President. End This Shameful War Now!

The United States, champion of freedom and self-determination, is now in its 18th year of colonial war in Afghanistan. This miserable, stalemated conflict is America’s longest and most shameful war. So far it has cost over $1 trillion and killed no one knows how many Afghans.

Jan 27 16:36

Here’s Your Global Stock Market Rally

Jan 27 16:27

Fishy problem: Dunedin robotics company to bone salmon automatically

A solution to the age-old and finicky problem of removing fine bones from salmon fillets is being sought by a specialist Dunedin engineering and robotics company.

Scott Technology, whose specialties include robotic meat processing, has teamed up with Mt Cook Alpine Salmon and Seafood Innovations to find a solution to the time-consuming problem of manually plucking 30 bones from each fillet.

Mt Cook manager of processing operations Brent Keelty said about 500,000 fish were processed annually and a growing number of customers were looking for "bone-out" fillets and portions.

"Pin boning is a tedious and costly task and we have to rotate our staff on the pin bone line to avoid repetitive strain injuries," he said.

Jan 27 09:48

Why Germany Leads in Renewables: It Has Its Own Green Bank

The Green New Deal endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more than 40 other US Representatives has been criticized as imposing a too-heavy burden on the rich and upper-middle-class taxpayers who will have to pay for it, but taxing the rich is not what the Green New Deal resolution proposes. It says funding will come primarily from certain public agencies, including the Federal Reserve and “a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks.”

Jan 27 08:55

GLOBAL MARKETS weekly recap

Jan 26 18:53

Russian Long-Range Bombers Intercepted In Canadian Air Identification Zone By NORAD Jets

At a tense moment of a number of heightened geopolitical standoffs in hot spots where Russia and the west have competing aims, Russian bombers are reportedly cruising over skies near Canada. This comes just as UN Security Council talks are underway over Venezuela at UN headquarters in New York, and at a time when NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is in Washington DC for talks with US leaders.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, folks, just a little later in the story, we have the following announcement:

"An E-3 AWACS, 2x F-22, 2x CF-18 fighter jets from NORAD positively identified 2x Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers entering the Canadian Air Defense Identification Zone on January 26, 2019. Bombers remained in international airspace and did not enter sovereign territory."

This is the time to really put the skids to any hype; to think critically; and to try to ratchet down hostilities at this moment.

Mr. President, I am politely sharing a thought with you right now; any attack against Venezuela, could potentially lead to hot conflicts with both Russia and China, and create a global war.

Jan 26 18:45

Venezuela's Highest Ranking Military Attaché Flips On Maduro; Urges Armed Forces To Recognize Guaidó

Venezuela's top military attaché at the Washington D.C. Embassy has broken with the Nicolás Maduro regime Saturday, and has urged other members of the Venezuelan armed forces to recognize Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim president, according to the Miami Herald.

As the Venezuelan defense attaché in the United States, I do not recognize Mr. Nicolás Maduro as president of Venezuela," Silva told el Nuevo Herald in a telephone interview from Washington.

"My message to all armed forces members, to everyone who carries a gun, is to please let’s not attack the people. We are also part of the people, and we’ve had enough of supporting a government that has betrayed the most basic principles and sold itself to other countries," added Silva.

As the Venezuelan defense attaché in the United States, I do not recognize Mr. Nicolás Maduro as president of Venezuela," Silva told el Nuevo Herald in a telephone interview from Washington.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well, IF this absolutely is true, that didn't take long.

This seems to be set out to a predetermined script, engineered for rapid fire deployment; the other day, when Mike Pence called Juan Guaidó, to tell him what portion of the Venezuelan constitution he could invoke to oust , Guaido claimed himself to be the Interim President of Venezuela.

And today, we get this notice that Venezuela's top military attaché at the Washington D.C, Colonel Jose Luis Silva, announcing to Reuters,in an interview in DC that he could no longer support Maduro.

I have to wonder how easy the US government found it to have him "name his price", in order to get this kind of treatment. I am sure that right now, Silva has had various funds for him and his family, to enable them to create a new life here in the US.

One wonders just what is on the docket for Venezuela tomorrow; violence, or calm demonstrations?!? I know I have said this before, if you are so inclined; the Venezuelan people need that desperately right now.

Jan 26 14:56

The Shale Energy Bust Is Starting

Jan 26 13:27

Russia blames 'shameless and aggressive' U.S for crisis in Venezuela while Trump's Secretary of State says country was run like an 'illegitimate mafia state' at fiery U.N Security council meeting

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on allies to 'pick a side' on Venezuela, and described its President Nicolas Maduro as part of an 'illegitimate mafia state' responsible for the country's economic collapse.

Pompeo was addressing the 15-member U.N. Security Council on Saturday, which met at his request after Washington and a string of countries in the region recognized Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido as head of state.

Pompeo urging the U.N council to back Guaido and called for free and fair elections as soon as possible, adding that Maduro must step down.

'Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem,' Pompeo told the council.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Every time Secretary of State Pompeo spews this kind of codswallop - particularly in public - I am very painfully reminded that citizens of the US are no longer citizens of a democratic republic,but are now the victims of a kleptocracy, masquerading as legitimate country.

Every single action this country does, in regard to international relations, is engineered to return even higher profits to the already monied, while the rest of us are forced to make do with less, just to survive.

Jan 26 12:19

European, US Politicians and Scholars Denounce US Pressure Over Nord Stream 2

Sputnik has discussed the increasing US pressure on EU states, particularly Germany, over the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that is poised to deliver Russian natural gas to Europe with European and American scholars and politicians in light of threatening letters by the US envoy in Berlin to European firms involved in the project.

Earlier in January, European companies participating in the venture aimed at building a new route for Russian gas to bypass Ukraine, reportedly received threatening letters from the US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. He warned the firms about how their involvement in the project incurs the risk of sanctions.

Jan 26 12:16

US FOLLOWS UKRAINE, SYRIA ROADMAP IN VENEZUELA REGIME CHANGE PUSH

Since the decision of the Trump administration on Wednesday to recognize a member of the Venezuelan opposition, Juan Guaidó, as an unelected “interim president,” the situation in the South American country has become increasingly tense, with efforts to force the current government of Venezuela — led by Nicolás Maduro — out of power having grown in intensity over the past few days.

Despite the enormous pressure his government faces from both local and international sources, Maduro has managed to maintain his position thanks to a combination of factors. These include the loyalty of the country’s well-armed military, in addition to popular support from Venezuelans who recently voted for Maduro, as well as Venezuelans who may not like Maduro but prefer him to a politician hand-picked and foisted upon them by the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

On that last statement, you can bet your sweet bippy it will happen, if this regime change attempt does not go as planned!

China and Russia have extensive investments in, and in co-sponsorship of, many projects in Venezuela.

Do you believe that they won't protect those assets, if they see a move toward regime change in Venezuela? I'm afraid that the short answer here, is "HELL yes!"

Jan 26 11:41

SearchSearchYour Clueless, Boring Overlords Meet in Small Swiss Mountain Town

As global business leaders gather this week in the rarefied, snowy mountaintop resort of Davos they’re said to be fretting about how to reinvigorate the international economy.

What these elites should be doing, if they had any genuine interest in solving economic problems, is to spend less time in an exclusive Swiss resort and more time down on the streets and fields where most of humanity struggle to get by.

Jan 26 11:27

 CONFIRMING US ORCHESTRATION, REPORT DETAILS PENCE'S KEY PHONE CALL TO VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADER

"The U.S. had been planning this coup in Venezuela. It was the Trump administration that told the little-known opposition leader Juan Guaidó to declare himself (unelected) 'president.'"

As U.S. lawmakers, civil society leaders, and Latin America experts continue to warn against American intervention in Venezuela's internal political affairs, the Wall Street Journal on Friday confirmed suspicions that opposition leader Juan Guaido's move to declare himself "interim president" of Venezuela this week was highly coordinated with the Trump White House and Republican lawmakers.

"The U.S. is not just 'behind' this coup; the U.S. is openly leading the coup."
—Ben Norton, The Real News

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am watching the Faux crawl as I type this, and what is the most critically important, attention grabbing story they choose to go with at 6:50 AM my time?
Lawsuit Filed to have the ending of the Rams/Saints replayed, after missed call.

No wonder so many people are so incapable of having a critical thought, as to what their government does behind their backs.

But no, wait a minute; this is being done right in front of the public's face; they just need to want to see it.

And THAT, my friends, is why we, as a country, are slouching toward more and more wars, because those who are supposed to be taking care of We the People, are taking care of the governments and corporations which have acquired them, like some kind of assets, to be certain that the "geopolitical game" gets played precisely to bring more profit to the already monied.

Every war, or regime change the US has started over the past 17 years has resulted in a massive, epic, fail. Afghanistan is a mess; Libya is a mess; Iraq is a mess; Somalia is a mess; Syria is a mess; Ukraine is a mess; and Yemen, where the US is complicit in ongoing Saudi war crimes against the Yemeni people?!? Please don't flipping get me started.

It would be very pleasant to live in an America whose painfully honest, slogan would not be be "War Crimes R Us!!"

Unfortunately, however, we have seen the consistent, brutish behaviour of this government, against people who have the gall to live over, or around, resources the US wants to expropriate.

The methodology here is simple, and we can see it in every one of the US government's military misadventures of the last 17 years; demonization; the piling on of sanctions (which frequently have zero basis in fact); destabilization; regime change; making sure that the companies handling those resources are US centric; and that those resources will only be sold in the American dollar.

Stir; rinse; repeat.

And rather than have the maturity to analyze where the country has gone wrong, to prevent these atrocities from ever happening again, it is doubling down on thinking that DC can create regime change in Venezuela, about which they know less than nothing, except for the massive oil reserves the country has.

Venezuelans are a very smart people, with a real understanding of their very rich, and complex, history.

Therefore, I would like to politely, but strongly, caution DC about jumping in here with any kind of "invasion force", as that force will not only be met with the fury of the Venezuelan people, but also by China and Russia, which have intense financial interests here, and will probably react very forcefully, should the US invade Venezuela.

And President Trump, please; a word, here.

As a Christian pacifist activist, I have always hoped that the US could manage to "engage rather than enrage" regimes with which we differ.

But sir, what I am seeing is that we have very little with which to engage.

Our GMO agriculture is a fright, and other countries have learned to manufacture products which are both cost effective, and work amazingly well; if you have an iphone, remember; this clever little gadget, which can do so much for us, is manufactured in China.

Our manufacturing has been offshored and outsourced, and that critical issue has to get fixed; but educating people as to how things are manufactured in the 21st century, and particularly with the integration of AI now, takes time.

The only thing left, in which the world is interested, is our weaponry, and that is already getting shown up by some incredible work in Moscow (brilliantly field tested in Syria, as you know) and Beijing.

So I can see why you, and the people surrounding you, are playing the "enrage" card against countries around the world; that is because it is the only card the US has to play right now.

Military actions against countries on the US government's "to regime change list", may well unleash a world war of epic magnitude, the likes of which have never been seen before, with a devastation potential for destroying most of the life left on earth, including humankind. Talk to the scientists who are privy to this information; I am very sure they will tell you much the same.

I remember a quote from the great genius, Albert Einstein. When queried about what weapons would be used in the next "great war", his response was the following "I don't know about the weapons for the next war; but I do know about the weapons which will be used in the war after that. The questioner pressed, "And what will those be, Dr. Einstein?!? At which point, Einstein shot the guy a look, and said, "Sticks... and stones"

Jan 26 11:21

SCIENTIST TELLS WORLD LEADERS AT DAVOS MDMA AND MAGIC MUSHROOMS SHOULD BE LEGAL

It’s not the kind of topic you would expect to be discussed at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. It’s when world leaders, business moguls, and economists meet to discuss the pressing issues facing the world.

Jan 26 10:57

Chinese company buys 60 pct stake in Peru port: newspaper

COSCO Shipping Ports Ltd has reached an investment agreement with a Peruvian polymetallic miner to acquire 60 percent of its stake in a terminal project for 225 million U.S. dollars, China Daily reported Friday.

With an initial payment of 56 million U.S. dollars, the deal was sealed in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday, according to the company.

After the acquisition, Terminales Portuarios Chancay SA will become the first terminal project controlled by China COSCO Shipping Corp -- the parent company of Hong Kong-headquartered COSCO Shipping Ports -- in South America, as well as the group's second greenfield port project invested overseas, the newspaper reported.

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