ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Jun 01 10:12

California Cities Signed Up For Pensions They Can't Afford

It's rare that a politician will say something that is praiseworthy and anger-inducing in the same breath. Nevertheless, Gov. Jerry Brown accomplished that unusual feat when he released his May revised budget, and told cities that the state government isn't in a position to help them with their soaring pension costs. "They have to handle that themselves," he explained during a briefing in the state Capitol.

Jun 01 08:29

The EU threatens to tax Harley Davidsons and BOURBON while China blasts US 'protectionism' over steel tariffs as Juncker welcomes the Chinese foreign minister to Brussels

The Trump administration yesterday announced a 25% tariff on steel imports 11% tariff on aluminium imports.

It chose not to exempt Canada and the European Union - the largest sources of foreign aluminum and steel respectively - sparking angry criticism that the move risks a global trade war.

The EU has threatened to retaliate with tariffs on 'symbolic' US products such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Levis jeans, cranberries and bourbon whiskey.

While many countries share U.S. frustration over Chinese trade and economic practices, critics say Trump risks a global trade war by alienating the European Union, Canada and Mexico with its new tariffs.

Jun 01 08:12

China Holds The Cards In Trump's Trade War

The Trump administration continues to play hardball games with China on trade. The latest news has China angry over Trump going forward with 25% tariffs on an array of Chinese goods after having reached a deal earlier over phone-maker ZTE.

As Bloomberg notes, the announcement by Trump, which seemed to tear up an agreement reached only 10 days ago in Washington, is the latest twist in a trade dispute between the U.S. and China that has rattled financial markets for months and could threaten the broadest global upswing in years, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Jun 01 07:32

Trump Aims to Close Market for German Luxury Cars as Trade War Looms - Reports

The White House has opted to introduce high metal import tariffs for the EU, triggering threats from the bloc that it will impose counter-measures. While the trade war is looming, the US administration is looking into another measure which could cause multi-billion losses to the European economy: evaluating a 25% import tax on cars.

Donald Trump has allegedly shared with French President Emmanuel Macron his wish to force German luxury car makers out of the US market. The German magazine WirtschaftsWoche, citing several diplomatic sources from both the US and Europe, stated that Trump would maintain his trade policy until no Mercedes models rolled on Fifth Avenue in New York.

Last week Trump ordered his administration to look into whether car imports endangered US security, which was one of his chief arguments for imposing higher steel and metal import tariffs. Following this path, Trump is threatening to levy a 25% tariff on imported European cars.

Jun 01 07:17

This means war: furious Canada and Mexico launch retaliation after Trump imposes tariffs

Canada responded to the US tariffs on steel and aluminium by imposing billions worth of countermeasures, while Mexico put duties on food and steel and the EU vowed its own retaliation

Jun 01 07:17

War inside Trump trade team triggers global angst

President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision Thursday to slap steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union capped a whipsaw week that reflected not just the deep divisions among his top economic advisers but the changeable attitudes of the irascible and unpredictable president himself.

Senior administration officials profess privately to not know exactly what Trump will ultimately decide to do on trade at any given moment. The uncertainty has led the president’s advisers to compete for his attention in a bid to sway him, leading to nasty behind-the-scenes fights that are increasingly bursting into public view.

The week began with a statement that the administration would move ahead with trade levies on China, just days after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a trade war with the world’s second largest economy was “on hold.” Trump’s senior trade adviser Peter Navarro publicly rebuked Mnuchin’s statement on Wednesday, calling it an “unfortunate sound bite.”

Jun 01 07:16

Rogers: US Dollar Will Lose Status By 2030, BRICS & Iran Building Alternative

The US dollar is becoming less desirable for investors as US debt continues to rise and the dollar is printed to cover it, American investor Jim Rogers admitted at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

“The dollar will be higher than it is now because the turmoil is coming. Then it is going to be overpriced and people will look around and say, ‘America’s got the biggest debt in the history of the world. It’s printing money as fast as it can,'” the investor stressed.

According to Rogers, the US currency will lose its status as the major reserve currency well before 2030, and Brazil, Russia, China, India, Iran and other developing countries will be looked at as alternatives.

Jun 01 07:14

TRADE WAR DEEPENS: EU launches WTO case against Trump in furious reaction to steel tariffs

THE EU has vowed to react furiously after the US slapped it with massive tariffs on steel and aluminium in a move that cost could firms in the bloc billions of pounds.

US President Donald Trump promised to impose tariffs, claiming trade across the Atlantic was a one-way street.

The EU had demanded a permanent exemption from the tariffs following a temporary one being granted in April, but the plea has been rejected by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire had earlier met with Mr Ross in a last ditch attempt to prevent the tariffs being imposed, but they failed to come to an agreement.

Jun 01 06:58

Even #HODLers are selling......$BTC

Jun 01 05:39

The FANG stocks won’t save you

May 31 14:51

Sears to close another 72 stores as sales plunge and losses grow

The beleaguered retailer said that it has identified about 100 stores that are no longer turning a profit, and the majority of those locations will be shuttered soon

May 31 14:09

The Collapse of High-Yield Bonds Is Imminent

May 31 13:55

As Its Stock Crashes To All Time Low, A Shocked Deutsche Bank Issues A Statement

Back in September 2016, when its stock was imploding over capitalization and solvency concerns, the market was transfixed with the daily drop in Deutsche Bank stock price, which tumbled, eventually sliding below €10, and only implicit promises that Germany would bail it out, prompted a slow, if painful reversal. And yet, at no point in that period did the stock close at a level below where it closed today: a new all time low, crashing 7.2% to €9.16 following reports that the bank was on the Fed's "Secret" probation list.

May 31 12:42

It’s Fear That Is Crippling Our Economy

May 31 12:18

ITALY: The Election That Will CRASH THE EU

May 31 10:44

Oil and gas geopolitics: no shelter from the storm

There could be widespread ramifications from US energy independence and looming US sanctions on Iran and Russia; states in Central Asia could be hit hard, as well as serious possible impacts on global oil production and the West

May 31 09:07

Burrito Index Update: Burrito Cost Triples, Official Inflation Up 43% from 2001

Long-time readers may recall the Burrito Index, my real-world measure of inflation. The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160% Since 2001 (August 1, 2016). The Burrito Index tracks the cost of a regular burrito since 2001. Since we keep detailed records of expenses (a necessity if you’re a self-employed free-lance writer), I can track the cost of a regular burrito at our favorite taco truck with great accuracy: the cost of a regular burrito has gone up from $2.50 in 2001 to $5 in 2010 to $6.50 in 2016.

It's time for an update: the cost of a regular burrito has now reached $7.50, triple the 2001 cost. That's a 200% increase in 17 years. According to the federal government, inflation since 2001 has risen about 40%: what $1 bought in 2001 now costs $1.43, according to the BLS Inflation calculator.

May 31 09:04

Bye-Bye Benz: Trump Planning Ban On Luxury German Autos

Having cornered his European allies over the Iran sanctions, and tightened his grip on the EU economy over metals tariffs, an exclusive report by German magazine WirtschaftsWoche claims that President Trump is taking direct aim at Merkel and is preparing to impose a total ban on German luxury carmakers from the U.S. market.

May 31 06:57

Recession 2020?

May 30 15:02

Oakland tells homeless to move from Lake Merritt — NBA finals start Thursday

Oakland is dolling itself up to host the NBA championship, and nowhere is that more evident than at Lake Merritt — where weeds are being pulled, the homeless are being cleared out and the Warriors are planning to host a big pre-series party Wednesday night at the Lake Chalet restaurant.

Even ESPN is getting into the act, setting up at the Lake Chalet for a series of live TV shows starting Thursday morning. The Golden State Warriors will face the Cleveland Cavaliers that evening in game one of the seven-game series.

“They’re trying to clean up everywhere — mostly where the homeless are,” said one city worker pulling weeds near Lakeside Drive on the lake’s eastern side.

In fact, one homeless camper, Manual Sanchez, 40, who said he was among the dozens displaced from a San Pablo halfway house where four people died in a suspicious fire last year, said the police gave him until Wednesday to move out of the space he has occupied on the lake’s edge for the past six months.

May 30 14:23

China Trade Deal On The Verge After Beijing Slams Trump's Latest Surprise "Flip-Flop"

One day after Trump surprised trade watchers by announcing he would impose 25% tariffs on up to $50 billion in Chinese tech imports as well as other sanctions, a confused Beijing hit back at the US president, saying that if the U.S. insists on unilateral measures, China will respond accordingly, according to foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday.

“Every flip-flop in international relations simply depletes a country’s credibility,” Hua added following the White House's statement on Tuesday that a final list of imported goods to be targeted will be released by June 15, and levies imposed “shortly thereafter.”

Trump’s latest u-turn was greeted with dismay in the Chinese state media, though pledges to retaliate were muted: "The world faces an extremely mercurial White House administration,” an editorial in China’s Global Times tabloid read. “The Chinese government has the ability and wisdom to handle such situations."

May 30 14:21

To Avoid Raising Wages, Firms Are Now Hiring Felons And Drug Addicts: Beige Book

Fast forward to today when fears of trade wars appear to have moderated (no pun intended) and there were only 22 instances of the "word" tariff in the just released, May Beige Book.

Meanwhile, as trade war fears receded modestly, the various regional Feds found that, once again, the U.S. economy expanded "moderately" through much of April and May, which was a modest upgrade from previous periods, although with little indication of overheating... as was the case in late 2007 and early 2008; one exception to this mediocrity was the Dallas District, where overall economic activity sped up to a solid pace.

The Fed's Beige Book report, arguably the least market moving of all if sometimes the most interesting as it is based on direct, anecdotal information collected by the 12 regional Fed banks, said manufacturing showed “strong” gains, while employment and prices continued to rise “modestly” or “moderately”

May 30 11:57

Why a Mortgage Is a Pledge to the Dead

May 30 09:35

Trump BACKS the Euro? US officials tell Italy it's 'BETTER' to stay with EU currency bloc

DONALD Trump’s administration has given their support to Italy staying in the euro and the EU, after commenting the eurozone bloc should “work things out” with Rome.

May 30 09:23

Nerve agent

Nerve agents and antidepressants have something in common!

Nerve agents, sometimes also called nerve gases, are a class of organic chemicals that disrupt the mechanisms by which nerves transfer messages to organs. The disruption is caused by the blocking of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter.

Poisoning by a nerve agent leads to constriction of pupils, profuse salivation, convulsions, and involuntary urination and defecation, with the first symptoms appearing in seconds after exposure. Death by asphyxiation or cardiac arrest may follow in minutes due to the loss of the body's control over respiratory and other muscles.

May 29 15:54

Help draw a smile on the face of a poor Palestinian child

Hello I am Shadi from the besieged Gaza Strip. I work in the field of humanitarian volunteerism, helping the poor, distributing food to the poor and drawing smiles on poor children. Since 2014, the war has started on the Gaza Strip, leading to a high rate of unemployment in the Gaza Strip. That's why I ask you for support. Note / cost of food aid for poor families for a week of $ 20 I wish you help in the success of this project, the combination to help a large number of poor thank you for your support!

May 29 14:49

Rick Santelli & Yra Harris: It All Blows Up

May 29 11:57

How Systems Collapse

This is how systems collapse: faith in the visible surface of abundance reigns supreme, and the fragility of the buffers goes unnoticed.

May 29 11:42

ITALY - THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE EUROPEAN UNION - BY DEBS IS DEAD

The news out of Italy over the last two days has the potential to completely change the game as it could end in the destruction of the EU.

The original Euro Community was an admirable ideal as it emphasised the rights of all citizens of member states, guaranteeing them a range of protections from unjust and stupid demagogues. Unfortunately the neolib corporatist globalists took over the machinery and turned it over to a gang of cold-hearted technocrats who used the once estimable governance structure to enforce a draconian monetarist policy. - see Greece.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Given its recent history, it was only a matter of when, and not of if, the EU would fail, spectacularly, which it appears to be about to do.

May 29 11:19

CHINESE FIRM TO INVEST $2B IN OIL REFINERY IN IRAN

A Chinese investment firm will spend US$2 billion on building an oil refinery in the Iranian northern province of Mazandaran, the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on Monday, quoting the deputy head of the province’s center for attracting foreign investment, Mousa Qasem-Pisheh.

The Chinese company has already been issued the license to build the oil refinery, Iranian media report, without specifying the name of the Chinese firm involved in the project.

Chinese and Russian firms are expected to continue to invest in Iran, and to actually benefit from the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, especially after European companies are very cautious regarding projects and investments in Iran, for fear of inadvertently breaking some sanction policy as U.S. sanctions on Tehran return.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Way to go, Mr. President, in withdrawing the US from the P5+1 Iran Deal!!

Now, you have both enraged our European allies with reimposition of the sanctions, and brought China, Russia, and Iran, into an even closer relationship; now, what if that relationship extends, which it logically should, to enhanced defense cooperation between all three countries?!?

Did you imagine, when you decided to withdraw from the treaty, that Russia and China would actually benefit, financially from the withdrawal of the US, and this economic boon might lead to better multilateral defense ties between all three countries?!?

Oh, and what else do these countries have in common?!? Let's see: they either have ditched, or will shortly ditch, all use of the US dollar in their international transactions.

A triple play here, Mr. President, and congratulations .... on your outstanding, pathalogical inability to understand what the ultimate ramifications of your decision here would be!!!

May 29 11:06

US Pushes China to Buy its Oil and Gas in Wake of Trade Row - Reports

In April, Beijing was given a list of goods that China buys in various countries that can be replaced by American ones. The list includes oil, oil products, liquefied natural gas, beef, poultry and soybeans.

Washington is pressuring Beijing by lobbying long-term contracts for the supply of energy resources and agricultural products to China in order to reduce the multi-billion-dollar trade deficit between the countries, according to the Financial Times.

Washington also intends to seek the abolition of quotas on US supplies to China. If the parties agree to remove trade barriers, then the expansion of energy supplies, according to the US Treasury, will bring the US an additional 50-60 billion dollars a year.

May 29 11:02

RON PAUL: AMERICA’S INCREDIBLE SHRINKING INFLUENCE

It seems the world has grown tired of neocon threats from Washington. Ironically the “communist” Chinese seem to understand better than the US that in capitalism you do not threaten your customers. While the US is threatening and sanctioning and forbidding economic relations, its adversaries overseas are busy reaping the benefits of America’s real isolationism.

I’ve often spoken of the unintended consequences of our aggressive foreign policy. For example, President Bush’s invasion of Iraq only helped Iran – our “enemy” – become more dominant in the Middle East. But it seems new consequences are emerging, and for the neocons they must be very unintended: for all of its bellicosity, threats, demands, sanctions, and even bombs, the rest of the world is increasingly simply ignoring the demands of Washington and getting on with its own business.

May 29 10:59

GENE-EDITED SUPER-CROPS TO BE GROWN IN UK FOR THE FIRST TIME

Gene-edited super-crops are to be sown in Britain in a European-first after scientists exploited a legal loophole.

The Government has quietly approved the farming of gene-edited (GE) Camelina oilseed crops as part of a trial to super-charge the plants to produce Omega 3 fish oils, one of the most popular food supplements.

The pilot was approved because, unlike genetically modified (GM) plants, the Camelina oilseed crops contain no foreign DNA. Instead, they had their genetic code altered in a way that could have happened naturally.

Scientists say gene-editing can cut the time it takes to engineer new plants from decades to months. They argue embracing the new technology is vital if Britain is to benefit from GE crops and help maintain a sustainable source of fish oils in face of depleted ocean stocks

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Instead, they had their genetic code altered in a way that could have happened naturally."

But if it DIDN'T happen naturally, how do the scientists believe it "could have"?!?

Playing with the basic building blocks of life (genetic engineering) could well result in an absolute, agricultural, and human, catastrophe here, both to the land, and to the people who ingest this oil.

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