ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

ECONOMY

Dec 06 17:07

Zoe Keating Offers More Evidence That Spotify Royalties Are Declining

She told her followers on the platform that, if they could only listen to another 48,000 streams of her music per month, she would be able to pay the $924 monthly health insurance premium required for her and her son.

While it does not appear as if Keating has reported streaming revenue from other platforms such as Apple Music, she did tell her followers about the paltry performance royalties she earns from Spotify. Because she publishes her own music, she received performance royalties as both an artist and a publisher. But together they amounted to a little more than $150 for the quarter, and she equated 200,000 streams to $47 in performance royalties.

Keating further mentioned what she earns in mechanical royalties. She says that, in the last five years, they totaled only $5,000.

Dec 06 09:54

Israeli Officials Warn Annexation May Lead Jordan to Take Drastic Steps

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is keen to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, on the grounds that the US is going to let him do so. Israeli officials, particularly military officials, are warning against one of the primary targets, the Jordan Valley.

The Jordan Valley, which connects the West Bank to Jordan, is something the Israeli right has long wanted to annex, as it would mean the rest of the Palestinian West Bank would never have a border with any nation other than Israel.

Military officials are warning that the big problem would be with Jordan itself, and that this move would further damage Israel-Jordan ties, and might force the Jordanian government to take drastic steps.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This may well be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back; the Jordanian government must really be concerned right now, and I don't blame them one whit.

This would be a complete game-changer for the Palestinians, and definitely not a good one, either.

Dec 06 09:43

US America Needs No Fixing – It Is Already “Totally Fixed”

Then to understand that our entire political system is one big financial scheme preserving an oligarchy of plutocrats, how can we even call ourselves a republic. We have never been a democracy. We are addicted to materialism. It is our stubborn belief in our validity as a nation, certainly as compared to others, that I believe preempts our capacity for the kind of popular revolt we need to be a nation with integrity and a true commitment to justice.

Dec 06 08:59

Banks Are Cutting 75,700 Jobs Worldwide

Dec 06 08:52

The Credit Market Powder Keg

Dec 06 08:45

BOOM! Rudy Giuliani Meets with Ukrainian Lawmaker Andrey Derkach Who Revealed Burisma Holdings Paid Joe Biden $900,000 for Lobbying

In October Ukrainian Parliamentarian Andrey (Andriy) Derkach revealed in a press conference that Joe Biden was paid $900,000 for lobbying efforts from Burisma Holdings in Ukraine.

This is the same organization that paid Hunter Biden over $50,000-83,000 a month to sit on their board in an obvious pay-for-play maneuver.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Tom Perez, PLEASE,. DAMMIT!!! you owe it to both your Party, and the nation, to get Biden to withdraw his candidacy, because these revelations will absolutely kill him when election time rolls around in 2020, if by some wild and unforeseen circumstance he actually wins the primary spot as your Presidential Candidate.

Or, are you just not making the effort, because you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Hillary will win a third-time try at the Presidential nomination in a brokered convention?!?

Dec 06 08:25

KENYA: NAIROBI GOVERNOR ARRESTED FOR 'ECONOMIC CRIMES'

SOURCE: ALJAZEERA.COM
The governor of Nairobi was arrested on Friday shortly after Kenya's chief prosecutor ordered he be detained to face charges for economic crimes.

Governor Mike Sonko is the latest in a string of top officials to be hauled in on corruption charges as Kenya battles to clamp down on rampant graft.

Sonko and other country officials are accused by public prosecutor Noordin Haji of having benefited from irregular procurement and payments of $3.5m (3.1 million euros).

Haji said he had sufficient evidence to prosecute Sonko and other county officials for "unlawful acquisition of public property, money laundering and other economic crimes."

"I have therefore ordered for the immediate arrest and arraignment in court of the Governor of Nairobi Hon. Mike Mbuvi Sonko and other persons," Haji said in a statement earlier on Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder if the charges are actually supported by fact; or if this is an attempt to consolidate power in the hands of the current President, Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya before the next election cycle.

Dec 06 08:19

Not This Again. China Announces Waivers For Soybeans And Pork 

In early Sept., China said it would waive soybean tariffs and start buying. Then in late Oct., China repeated it. Now a new headline from China states that it has waived duties of soybeans and pork, but does that mean China is actually going to start buying, or is it a feel-good narrative for President Trump to pump on Twitter?

Dec 06 08:19

MASSIVE LEAK CONFIRMS TURKEY'S "GOLD-FOR-GAS" SCHEME TO EVADE US SANCTIONS ON IRAN

OURCE: ZEROHEDGE
We first started noticing major 'odd' exports of gold from Turkey to Iran in May 2012. Turkey’s trade balance fluctuated wildly as gold stocks flowed out of the country in bursts.

“Turkey’s going to continue it,” the Turkish economy minister said. “If those casting aspersions on the gold trade are searching for immorality, they should take a look in the mirror.”

Then, in 2014, we discussed Turkey's "200 tons of secret gold" trade with Iran detailing how a complex network that spanned Turkey, China, Dubai and Iran was used to skirt US sanctions on energy exports from Iran.

The operation featured an Iranian-born businessman who liked fast horses, faster cars and the fastest planes. His unique skill: Getting gold into sanctions-encircled Iran.

Enough gold that for a time he became the government’s key instrument in improving Turkey’s irksome economic imbalance.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just what President Trump and NATO (which still also has stringent sanctions against Iran)are going to do about this.

I mean, Edrogan was just at the White House a couple of weeks ago, right?!?
President Trump meets with Turkish President Erdogan at the White House, 11/13/2019

If this was NEVER on the table, in terms of their discussions, one has to wonder to the degree President Trump feels betrayed about these very consistent shenanigans on Turkey's "trading with the (alleged) enemy" right now.

Dec 06 06:14

Time To Reduce Exposure To The Stock Market

Dec 05 15:33

The "Silicon Six" Are Doing A Great Job Avoiding Taxes

The “Silicon Six" - Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google and Microsoft. Collectively, they had 2018 revenues in excess of $800 billion and currently have a combined market capitalization of more than $4.5 trillion.

The "Silicon Six" have avoided over $100 billion in taxes between 2010 and 2019, according a report from Fair Tax Mark, a British organization that certifies businesses for good tax conduct. They analyzed 10-K filings to compare tax provisions, which is the amount corporations set aside to pay taxes, to cash taxes, which is the amount actually handed over to the government.

The aggregate tax contingencies of the six companies has increased from $8.9 billion at the end of 2010 to $47 billion in 2019. An additional $5.7 billion in interest and penalties has been accrued over the same period.

Dec 05 14:38

Drunk demolition worker arrested after blowing up the wrong building

An explosive expert was arrested this morning in Greenville, North Carolina after he set more than 5 tons of TNT in the wrong building and blew it up.

Dec 05 14:08

SOUTH BEND MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG ORDERS HOMELESS AREA TO BE DISMANTLED

Mayor Pete Buttigieg ordered this homeless area to be destroyed. This happened today a few weeks before Christmas. How heartless can you be Mayor?

Dec 05 11:57

UK household debts see big increase

Debts excluding mortgages are on the rise in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Debts including credit card debt and personal loans rose 11% to £119bn in the two years to March 2018, according to the ONS study, which is published every two years.

Average household financial debt rose 9% to £9,400.

Much of the increase is a result of higher student loan and hire purchase debt.

Dec 05 11:56

Homeless single mother sobs as she puts 14p on table in temporary housing she shares with her teenage son and says 'that's all our money'

A homeless single mother burst into tears as TV crews filmed her putting 14p on the table before telling them it is all she has.

Rachel is bringing up her teenage son Bradley on her own and sobbed as she pulled four 2p peices and six 1p coins out of her pocket during a BBC News report.

The mother-of-one, who is living in temporary accommodation in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, was featured on a report about voters in next week's election who rely on food banks.

After taking the change from her pocket, she told camera crews: 'It's all I have to my name'.

Dec 05 10:24

SELL THE NASDAQ AND BUY GOLD

Dec 05 09:18

Congo: Millions Die While the “UN Keeps the Peace”

With 18,000 troops, the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Congo is the largest in the world, and it has been in Congo for 20 years without protecting the people or the peace. A young protester in Beni told Aljazeera, “The UN is supposed to keep us safe, to keep peace in North Kivu, but we’ve never seen the peace. So we are so angry we don’t want them to stay here in North Kivu.”

Congolese Swiss historian Bénédicte Kumbi Njoko also spoke to Aljazeera:

“If we think about the UN and its presence, we need to go back to almost 59 years that the UN has been working in the Congo because there were problems in the country. And I think that if we take that into perspective, we can of course question the utility of this organization, because what we have seen the last 20 years now is that people are still dying and this war that is happening in the Congo has caused already more than 8 million deaths, so maybe the response that the UN is giving to that situation is not an appropriate one.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It's about the resources, folks, and who controls them. A little more than a year ago, we find the following story in zerohedge.com:

Hot economic warfare: scrambling for rare earth minerals

The article goes on to state: "In countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, columbite-tantalite, a mineral used in the manufacture of semi-conductor chips, is such a hot commodity that rival warlords, some acting on behalf of outside players, including Rwanda, Uganda, Israel, Japan, China, and the United States battle one another for control of the mineral’s extraction and export.

The Rwanda Mines, Petroleum, and Gas Board signed a deal in 2017 with a major Japanese rare earth extraction firm for the exploration and mining of rare earths, as well as tungsten, in Rwanda. However, Rwandan President Paul Kagame is known to have backed fellow Tutsi rebels in the DRC, who exploit rare earth mines in South and North Kivu provinces and send the stolen minerals to Rwanda. There have been attempts to curtail the trade in “conflict minerals” in the Great Lakes region of Africa, but they have all come to no avail."

And so, UN soldiers do what they do best; they simply allow the violence to continue, not wanting to get in the middle of these wars for 21st century riches.

Dec 05 08:55

New Silk Roads in Action at China-Kazakh BorderCentral Asia, between China and Europe, is bustling

We are cruising on a pristine, 380 km-long four-lane superhighway from Almaty to Khorgos – finished in 2016 for $1.25 billion, 85% of the cost covered by a World Bank loan. And then, suddenly, riding parallel to us, there’s the real superstar of New Silk Road connectivity.

Meet Yuxinou, the container cargo train plying back and forth along the 11,000 km-long railway corridor connecting Chongqin in Sichuan province via Xinjiang and Kazakhstan to Russia, Belarus, Poland and finally Duisburg in the Ruhr valley. And all that in a mere 13 days.

Along the way, the Yuxinou stops in, among other places, Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent, Tehran, Istanbul, Moscow and Rotterdam: a who’s who of Eurasian cities. It carries laptops, BMWs, spare parts, clothes, machinery, international post packages, chemical products, medicine and medical instruments – all manner of goods, made in China and made in Europe. And all that for only 20% of air freight cost.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In order to get what they want, both economically and geopolitically, Chinese leadership is making deals; what is the US government leadership has been doing to getting what they want, both geopolitically and economically?!? Waging wars.

What's wrong with this picture?!? Bloody everything!!

Dec 05 08:25

"Floodgates Are Open" - German Banks Start Charging Retail Savers

“Maybe at the end of the story, in three to five years, we will notice it was a historical mistake.”

Dec 05 08:10

Cartel Violence Explodes - Has Mexico Finally Lost All Control?

Authored by Sarah Cowgill via LibertyNation.com,

On the heels of President Donald Trump’s attempts to designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), an attack uncomfortably close to U.S. soil has the Mexican government scrambling and the president fuming. At least 22 died over the weekend as rival cartels struggling for Northern Mexico turf dominance clashed with local law enforcement in Villa Union, Coahuila, an hour’s drive from Eagle’s Pass, TX. The brazen attack seemingly was directed at the Mexican government to send a warning as to who is in charge.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think that the real question which should be asked is, was Mexico's government ever, really, in control of cartel violence in the first place, and the short answer is, "HELL no!".

My late maternal grandmother, Thelma, lived in Eagle's Pass Texas as a kid, and when I was a teenager, she took me there to meet an old family friend; the place looked like a broken stepchild of two countries which had no real compunction to fix anything which, to my eyes, meant everything.
The grinding, unrelenting urban poverty I remember seeing, broke my heart, and I wondered how this town was supposed to survive, in such a condition.

Fast-forward to 2019, and it is very obvious to me, that the drug cartels have taken over on both sides of the US/Mexico border.

But if President Trump wants to put an end to this alleged "war on drugs", which is utterly doomed to failure, in its current configuration, all he has to do, is to declassify, and decriminalize small amounts of drugs for personal use, then have those using referred to counseling, rather than jail.

And guess what European country has already made this work, at least to some degree: Portugal's radical drugs policy is working, so why hasn't the world copied it?

Now I will be the first to admit that this policy had areas where it didn't work; however, that being said, it is one hell of a lot more practical, and more compassionate, than nearly anything being done in the US.

Dec 05 07:41

China Set To Make History With Record Number Of Bond Defaults In 2019

While China is bracing for what may be a historic D-Day event on December 9, when the "unprecedented" default of state-owned, commodity-trading conglomerate Tewoo with $38 billion in assets may take place, it has already been a banner year for Chinese bankruptcies.

According to Bloomberg data, China is set to hit another dismal milestone in 2019 when a record amount of onshore bonds are set to default, confirming that something is indeed cracking in China's financial system and "testing the government’s ability to keep financial markets stable as the economy slows and companies struggle to cope with unprecedented levels of debt."

After a brief lull in the third quarter, a burst of at least 15 new defaults since the start of November have sent the year’s total to 120.4 billion yuan ($17.1 billion), and set to eclipse the 121.9 billion yuan annual record in 2018.

Dec 05 07:28

German Industrialists Created the Euro in Order to Colonize Southern Europe

The crisis in Europe will come from Germany. Germany has entered a period of political crisis that, as yet, has not exploded.

But the pyre is built, the torches lit and all that remains is dragging Chancellor Angela Merkel up and setting the whole thing on fire.

Dec 05 07:08

"Floodgates Are Open" - German Banks Start Charging Retail Savers

It has been over 7 years since the European Central Bank's key deposit facility rate was positive, and just a few weeks ago it was lowered to a record low of -50bps.

Source: Bloomberg

And during that time, European bank stocks have suffered greatly...

Source: Bloomberg

As Cornelius Riese, co-CEO of Frankfurt-based DZ Bank A.G. (Germany’s second-largest by assets), observed, negative rates indeed “have a huge impact on banks.” Riese ventured to offer some gentle criticism of Draghi & Co.’s grand policy experiment:

“Maybe at the end of the story, in three to five years, we will notice it was a historical mistake.”

Well, it appears we are about to reach the vinegar strokes of that 'historical mistake', as Bloomberg reports, German banks are breaking the last taboo: Charging retail clients for their savings starting with very first euro in the their accounts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is going to cause intelligent savers to move as quickly as humanly possible into other assets, such as gold, silver, or whatever they think a "stable" version of a bitcoin is going to be.

Savings... should be about earning money, not having money taken away from you for absolutely no damned good reason.

Dec 05 06:38

Costs Are Spiraling Out of Control

Dec 05 06:05

China Repeats US Must Reduce Tariffs For "Phase One" Trade Deal

Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng confirmed to reporters on Thursday what the Global Times had already leaked previously, namely that tariffs must be reduced by the US to reach a phase one trade deal, reported Reuters.

"The Chinese side believes that if the two sides reach a phase one deal, tariffs should be lowered accordingly," Feng told reporters.

His comments were a reiteration of Beijing's hard stance of tariff rollbacks in the last month or no phase one trade deal. Feng said both trade teams are in communication, but didn't say if the trade talks were going well.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to hope, for the sake of US farmers who are hurting immeasurably right now, financially, that some degree of "flexibility" can be found on the US side, to create a trade deal.

Dec 04 17:53

Lynette Zang: The Reset Is Already Under Way!

Dec 04 15:29

Western France Runs Out Of Gas As "Massive Strikes" Set To Paralyze Entire Nation

France is bracing for major transportation disruptions throughout the country starting Thursday, as trade unions launch a strike in response to changes President Emmanuel Macron wants to make to the country’s retirement system, while port blockades have resulted in widespread fuel shortages across the country. Much of the Paris Metro will be shut down, as will many national and international train lines, including certain Eurostar services. Flights will also be canceled, as air traffic controllers say they will join the protests through Saturday.

Hundreds of filling stations around western France have run out of gasoline and diesel as blockades of oil refineries enter their second week according to industry group UFIP. According to The Local, construction workers have been blockading refineries in Brittany since last week and a blockade at La Rochelle has resumed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to politely suggest to Premier Macron, that he needs to get his own economic "house in order" before he continues having "open mike hissy fits" again with President Trump; it appears that this strike will put maximum pressure on his government, and a lot of economic pain on the citizens of France.

Dec 04 13:45

Crunchtime: When Events Outrun Plan B

Dec 04 11:16

The American Empire and its Media

Largely unbeknownst to the general public, executives and top journalists of almost all major US news outlets have long been members of the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Established in 1921 as a private, bipartisan organization to “awaken America to its worldwide responsibilities”, the CFR and its close to 5000 elite members for decades have shaped US foreign policy and public discourse about it. As a well-known Council member famously explained, they transformed the American republic into a global empire, albeit a “bene­volent” one.

Dec 04 10:18

Google stocks rise and add $13 BILLION to the company's valuation after Larry Page and Sergey Brin relinquished their control of Alphabet to Sundar Pichai amid mounting scandals and antitrust investigations

tock in Google's parent company Alphabet is rising after co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced that they are stepping down from their management roles.

Page and Brin, both 46, announced in a blog post on Tuesday that they will be stepping down as Alphabet CEO and President respectively, amid mounting legal troubles for Google in both Europe and the US.

Dec 04 10:16

Perfect Storm: Trump Admin To Cut 750,000 From Food Stamps Ahead Of Recession

In a bid to end the massive welfare state, the Trump administration is expected to announce new measures Wednesday that would end food stamp benefits for nearly 750,000 low-income folks. The new rules will make it difficult for "states to gain waivers from a requirement that beneficiaries work or participate in a vocational training program," according to Bloomberg sources.

Republicans have long attempted to abolish the welfare state, claiming that the redistribution of wealth for poor people keeps them in a state of perpetual poverty. They also claim the welfare state is a system of command and control and has been used by Democrats for decades as a political weapon against conservatives, hence why most inner cities vote Democrat.

House Republicans tried to cut parts of the federal food assistance program last year, but it was quickly rejected in the Senate.

Dec 04 10:00

Meet The Biggest Losers Of The US Shale Bust

Dec 04 09:34

Tucker: Vulture Capitalists Like Paul Singer Have Looted Our Country And Destroyed Rural America

Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night released one of the most important segments ever aired on television exposing predatory GOP megadonor Paul Singer for helping loot our country and destroy our middle class.

Dec 04 09:14

The Other World Bank Scandal: A New Study Documents How Corporate Collusion Hurts the Bank’s Credibility—and Harms Sustainable Development

While the World Bank scrambles to contain the Doing Business rankings firestorm, a new paper by Rabia Malik and Randall Stone traces a more insidious source of partiality in how the Bank does development work.

World Bank chief economist Paul Romer prompted widespread dismay when he admitted last week that the Bank’s Doing Business rankings may have been manipulated to make Chile’s economic environment look worse under the sitting socialist president Michelle Bachelet. The scandal now threatens not just Romer’s position at the Bank but also that Bretton Woods institution’s overall sheen as one of the better-behaved organs of international governance.

Dec 04 09:12

WTO Faces Cliff-Edge Crisis Next Week as Mediator Eyes Departure

The World Trade Organization’s appeals panel will cease to function starting Dec. 11 when one of its three remaining members plans to step down, according to people familiar with the situation.

Thomas Graham, the chairman of the WTO’s powerful appellate body, told officials this month that he won’t agree to consider disputes after Dec. 11 when his term ends, said the people who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations. Traditionally, panel members whose terms have expired can continue to hear pending disputes.

This will effectively paralyze the most important function of the Geneva-based trade organization -- which upholds, modifies or reverses WTO rulings -- at a time when multilateral relationships have come under assault from protectionist currents.

Dec 04 09:10

The Key?

After weeks of rallying on low volume on virtually no 2 way price discovery and relentless volatility compression the inevitable has happened: $VIX has busted out of its latest compression phase for another big spike very similar to what we saw this summer.

Dec 04 04:52

India has an economic growth problem

Dec 03 21:47

Reserve Bank's '$20 billion' decision on bank capital may flow through to mortgage rates

The Reserve Bank is expected to ask the big four Australian-owned banks to pour billions of dollars more of their own money into their businesses on Thursday.

The amount of extra capital ASB, ANZ, BNZ and Westpac and smaller banks will need to find, or transfer from Australia, could be as high as $20b over five years.

That is based on previous consultation documents published by the Reserve Bank.

The Reserve Bank is expected to largely stick to its guns for a big capital increase in its final ruling, but perhaps with some comprise.

The changes will be designed to make it less likely a bank will fall over in a future financial crisis.

But there is likely to be some short-term pain in the form of higher interest rates on loans, which means less lending, and/or lower interest on savings such as term deposits.

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