ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Aug 02 15:03

Is Capitalism In Crisis? Latest Trends Of A System Run Amok

Having survived the financial meltdown of 2008, corporate capitalism and the financial masters of the universe have made a triumphant return to their “business as usual” approach: They are now savoring a new era of wealth, even as the rest of the population continues to struggle with income stagnation, job insecurity and unemployment.

Aug 02 15:03

It Is Becoming Extremely Hard To Ignore The Facts, The Economy Is Collapsing

GM auto sales have crashed and the outlook looks dismal.  US construction spending declines as the housing market implodes. Manufacturing is not improving. Quarter of a trillion dollars in US savings have been wiped away.

Aug 02 14:32

Carmageddon for Hyundai, GM, Chrysler, Ford

Aug 02 14:24

‘We are ready': If US sanctions hurt European interests, EU can react ‘within days’ – Juncker

Europe will come up with an “adequate” response and “within days” if the newly-signed US anti-Russian sanctions law hurts the interests of European companies working with Russia, European Commission Head Jean-Claude Juncker has warned.
European interests should be always taken into account when it comes to enabling new US sanctions, Juncker said in an interview to the German ARD-Europastudio Brussel.

“We must defend our economic interests even against the US. And that is what we are going to do," Juncker said.

Aug 02 12:29

Venezuela Bolivar Loses A Third Of Its Value In The Past Week

With events in Venezuela now well into the endgame, following US sanctions that named "dictator" Maduro personally and a likely subsequent sanction that will cripple Venezuela's oil industry promptly resulting in the nation's insolvency as it loses its last remaining source of revenue, things are moving fast. So fast, in fact, that according to Reuters, Venezuela's money supply surged 10% in just one week earlier this month, its largest single-week rise in a quarter of a century.

Aug 02 12:27

Russian PM: "The U.S. Just Declared Full-Scale Trade War On Russia"

Several hours after President Trump officially signed the new Russian sanctions into law - despite his reservations and his statement that while he favors "tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed" - Russia responded when moments ago Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on his FaceBook page that any hopes of improving Russian relations with the new US administration are dead, that the Trump administration demonstrated complete impotence by transferring executive power to Congress "in the most humiliating manner", and most notably, that the US just declared a full-scale trade war on Russia.

Aug 02 10:58

Trump unveils merit-based immigration bill favoring English-speaking applicants

Aug. 2 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced new immigration legislation that favors English-speaking applicants who can financially support themselves and contribute to the U.S. economy.

Aug 02 09:45

Trump’s Fatal Mistake: The President Can’t Stop Taking Credit For The Stock Market Bubble - Mac Slavo

So far it appears that Trump’s ascent to the White House is going to have a positive effect on the US economy. It’s good that we have a president who is willing renegotiate disastrous trade deals, back our country out of crippling agreements like the Paris Climate Accord, and shut down the southern border, which has allowed millions of low skilled laborers to enter the country and drive down wages for American workers.

However, that probably doesn’t justify Trump’s current enthusiasm for the American economy. Over the past few days he has taken credit for all of the recent gains in the stock market.

hat of course could prove to be a fatal mistake for his administration.

Donald Trump has inherited decades of financial mismanagement and unsustainable economic policies that have turned our economy into one giant debt bubble. He’s taking credit for impressive stock gains, but the stock market is definitely one of many messes that he has inherited from his predecessors.

Aug 02 09:43

States to Financially Break Away from Federal Government

Earlier this week I attended the Utah Monetary Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. As you may know, the state of Utah passed a Legal Tender Act earlier this year authorizing the use of federally minted gold and silver coins as money in the state of Utah. Now, legislators in other states, many of whom attended the Monetary Summit, are evaluating similar legislation.

Among other things, this means the United States is approaching a Constitutional crisis because states are beginning to financially break away from the federal government. This is no less serious than the American War of Independence or the War Between the States. The Utah Monetary Declaration (below) is a financial declaration of independence whereby states are beginning to opt out of the Federal Reserve System. A major confrontation seems inevitable.

Aug 02 09:43

Trump Set To Retaliate To China's "Unfair Trade Practices"

President Trump has given China six months to prove that it is committed to preventing a nuclear-armed North Korea, and it seems his tolerance for China’s dithering has finally reached its limit. Now that President Xi Jinping has established that his government is unwilling to engage in a meaningful crackdown on its neighbor, the era of using carrots like improving trade relations to coax China into helping solve the “North Korea problem” has ended. It is now time for the stick.

According to reports in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press, the Trump administration is planning to use an obscure 1970s law to launch a "broad-based" investigation into whether China’s trade-related intellectual property policies constitute “unfair trade practices.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I intensely dislike the way sanctions, coupled with trade wars, can very much be the preludes to actual shooting wars.

Aug 02 09:40

Manufacturing Loses Most Jobs Since Election As ADP Employment Growth Weakens

After April and June's disappointment, ADP reports the US economy added 178k jobs in July (less than the 190k expectation and below June's upwardly revised 191k). This is somewhat in line with the 180k expectation for NFP on Friday.

Two months in a row, ADP has weakened as ISM surveys suggested employment is rolling over.

Once again Service-providing jobs dominated (+174 k vs +4 k for goods) with manufacturing losing 4,000 jobs in July.

Aug 02 09:35

2017's Dollar Collapse Is The Worst Start Since 1985

The USD is off to its worst start since 1985, down about 9%. In the chart below (courtesy of Bianco Research), it appears the USD is tracing its performance in 1985 quite closely. Of course, 1985 was the worst year for the USD in almost 40 years, so if we stay on the current path, expect the USD to drop another 10% from here.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These numbers are truly worrisome.

Aug 02 09:23

Venezuelan Default Fears Rise With Billions in Debt Coming Due Soon

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With Venezuela dependent on oil revenues for survival, the current US sanctions, coupled with the expected default, will destroy what is left of their economy.

Aug 02 09:11

How U.S. Capitalism Opened The Door To Racial Oppression

Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, recently surveyed U. S. patterns of violent racial oppression following the end of slavery. Pointing to South Africa, Rwanda, and Germany as countries that, for the sake of healing, confronted their own histories of racial oppression, he called upon America to follow their examples: “We can’t change our past, but we can acknowledge it and better shape our future.”

Aug 02 09:07

Merkel faces a RUDE AWAKENING: Deutsche Bank issues staggering warning on GERMAN economy

GERMANY'S economy is at risk of overheating and burning out as deceptive indicators mask worrying threats, the country's biggest lender has warned.

Aug 02 08:58

US dollar tanking against Euro

Aug 02 08:05

Collateral Damage

Do they know what they are doing? When the U.S. Congress adopts draconian sanctions aimed mainly at disempowering President Trump and ruling out any move to improve relations with Russia, do they realize that the measures amount to a declaration of economic war against their dear European “friends”?

Whether they know or not, they obviously don’t care. U.S. politicians view the rest of the world as America’s hinterland, to be exploited, abused and ignored with impunity.

The Bill H.R. 3364 “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” was adopted on July 25 by all but three members of the House of Representatives. An earlier version was adopted by all but two Senators. Final passage at veto-overturning proportions is a certainty.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF Congress was, collectively "too stupid" to understand that such a draconian suite of sanctions wasn't ultimately going to have severe unintended consequences, and bite the US economy in some very tender places, they are too stupid to be re-elected, period, end of discussion.

We are talking about the potential for trade wars coming up, with those trade wars becoming preludes to "hot wars".

Aug 02 08:04

DIESEL CRISIS: Merkel holidays as German officials make desperate bid to save car industry

It comes as Angela Merkel is looking to retain power in parliamentary elections in less than two months’ time.

But despite the huge pressure the chancellor is facing, she hasn’t bothered to return to Germany for the make-or-break talks - which could have a huge impact on her bid to retain the chancellorship.

The politicians present must strike a balance between standing up to the companies accused of unethical behaviour for allegedly failing to acknowledge the seriousness of air pollution, while also maintaining relations with an industry that employs around 800,000 people and is widely considered a source of national pride.

Aug 02 07:49

It turns out the iPad was just too expensive after all

It seems that people love everything about Apple's tablet -- except the price.

Aug 02 07:20

Thanks Sanctions! Russian Food Security at Record Level Thanks to Restrictions

The share of imports in the Russian retail sector dropped to 36% in the first quarter of 2017, hitting lows unseen since 2008, when measurement of the indicator first started. Food imports have dropped even further, down from 34% in 2014, to 24% in 2017, according to the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Fresh figures from the Russian state statistics agency Rosstat show that the share of imports in Russian retail trade have dropped steadily over a three year period, from 43% in Q1 2014, to 41% in Q1 2015, to 38% in Q1 2016, to 36% in Q1 2017. The agency says the indicator is at its lowest level since 2008, when measurement first began.

Speaking to Russia's Izvestia newspaper, the press service of the Ministry of Industry and Trade explained that a number of factors account for the decrease in the share of imports. The main factor, according to the Ministry, is the drop in food imports, where imports account for just 23% of the total.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In short, these sanctions against Russia backfired, spectacularly

Aug 02 07:07

TOTAL GOVERNMENT AND PERSONAL DEBT IN THE U.S. HAS HIT 41 TRILLION DOLLARS ($329,961.34 PER HOUSEHOLD)

We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world. In 1980, total government and personal debt in the United States was just over the 3 trillion dollar mark, but today it has surpassed 41 trillion dollars. That means that it has increased by almost 14 times since Ronald Reagan was first elected president. I am searching for words to describe how completely and utterly insane this is, but I am coming up empty. We are slowly but surely committing national suicide, and yet most Americans don’t even understand what is happening.

According to 720 Global, total government debt plus total personal debt in the United States was just over 3 trillion dollars in 1980. That broke down to $38,552 per household, and that figure represented 79 percent of median household income at the time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I read, recently, that the average household is over $16,000.00 in personal debt.

One of the smartest things all of us can do right now, is to get personal debt down as low as humanly possible, because we know that it is only a matter of time before the Fed raises the interest rates again, which affects all personal credit in this country.

Aug 02 07:03

IMPACT OF IMF SDRS FOR COMMERCIAL TRADE

The global corporatist economy works differently from business transactions at your neighborhood convenience store. Ostensibly, the International Monetary Fund was set up to allow the G20 nations to umpire the ground rules to play nice in macro trade. Platitudes about promoting job growth or third world development are the realm of public relations for the central banks. The impact of the IMF on virtually all countries, vividly seen in every crisis whether real or contrived, always has a political objective that underpins the economic functions. As confidence in national currencies falter, the big sugar daddy loves to intervene, provided they pull the strings.

The use of SDRs is one tool used to paper over insolvency. Investopedia explains 'Special Drawing Rights - SDR' in the following manner.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In using the SDRs, the IMF has only one profitability about which it is concerned; its own.

Aug 02 06:08

Economic Expert Exposes Collapse is Near

Aug 01 16:42

Food banks run out as hungry children on summer holidays have no access to free school meals

One food bank ran out of basic supplies in the first week of the summer holidays

Aug 01 16:27

Mexico is Dumping U.S. Treasuries

Aug 01 16:12

Brick & Mortar Retail Meltdown Fueled by Asset Stripping. Details Emerge in Bankruptcy Courts

PE firms win again. Stiffed creditors not amused in bankruptcy court.

Aug 01 15:29

A “Better Deal” For American Workers?

For those people in the United States who still believe there are two major political parties, the Democrats’ Senator Chuck Schumer on July 24th  of this year published an op-ed in the New York Times  in the form of a policy statement intended to speak to “Americans clamoring for bold changes to our politics and our economy.” 

Aug 01 15:25

US OCCUPATION OF VENEZUELA HAS ALREADY BEGUN AND IS BEING CONDUCTED BY EXXONMOBIL

The priority of this U.S. oil company to topple Venezuela is geopolitical and geo-economic, as a fundamental pillar of a new political, economic and financial configuration of the continent (with Russia and China as alternative strategic partners), which poses a threat to the strategic advantages and the almost absolute control of the energy resources of the region that these corporations boasted throughout the 20th century. Securing that source of supply not only enabled it to carry out its arms race and military campaigns in the Middle East, but to maintain a global superpower status which is challenged today by emerging rivals.

In the demarcation reinforced by this second round of contracts in the Liza-1 and Liza-2 fields, there is an implicit interest in appropriating an energy corridor as an Exxon exclusive exploitation zone that runs from the Orinoco Oil Belt, through the Essequibo, reaching the mouth of its Atlantic front.

Aug 01 15:22

Slavery Is The Most Profitable It Has Ever Been

Experts have warned that slavery is more profitable than ever with traders making 30 times more than in the 18th and 19th century.

Aug 01 15:20

When is the World Going to Impose Sanctions on America?

Only when we are living in a world in which sanctions are imposed 'on' the United States rather than 'by' the United States will we know justice reigns.

Aug 01 15:17

US Occupation of Venezuela Has Already Begun and Is Being Conducted by ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil awarded contracts to Guyana for infrastructure, drilling and storage with a view to extracting the huge oil and gas reserves from the so-called “Liza Project” located in maritime territory claimed by Venezuela as stipulated by the Geneva Agreement of 1966. In 2015 the first oil discovery in the area provoked a diplomatic conflict between the nations due to the activities of the oil company on the Atlantic front of the Essequibo river.

Aug 01 15:16

Marc Faber Downplays Recent Market Rally

Aug 01 15:11

Bitcoin Could ‘Fork’ Itself Trying To Split Into Two Separate Currencies

After years of debate, the Bitcoin community could not come to an agreement about the future of the cryptocurrency. Now, the currency is set to split into two, leading to the creation of an entirely new currency called Bitcoin Cash.

Bitcoin users have found themselves in the middle of a fight between developers, who want to retain the blockchain that protects the cryptocurrency from hackers and miners who want to double the blockchain size to make the network faster.

Aug 01 14:31

U.S. Companies Post Profit Growth Not Seen In Six Years

America’s largest companies are on pace to post two consecutive quarters of double-digit profit growth for the first time since 2011, helped by years of cost-cutting, a weaker dollar and stronger consumer spending.

Aug 01 14:15

Many Americans Are Too Drugged-Out To Work

A slew of reports finds a fresh reason for the chronic inability of American companies to fill skilled jobs: not a lack of skills, and hence a training-and-education crisis, but a surfeit of drug abuse.

Aug 01 13:43

"It's Better To Turn Cautious Too Soon..."

Aug 01 13:24

US Construction Spending Just Collapsed

Headline growth in US construction spending collapsed in July to just 1.6% YoY - the weakest since 2011.

As Reuters reports, U.S. construction spending unexpectedly fell in June as investment in public projects recorded its biggest drop since March 2002. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that construction spending tumbled 1.3 percent to $1.21 trillion - the lowest level since September 2016 - drastically missing economists' estimates of a 0.4% increase.

This downside surprise suggests notable downside revisions to Q2 GDP (from its 2.6% annualized level).

However, most ironic in the government's report was, amid The White House constant chatter of the need for infrastructure spending in America, Federal government construction spending crashed 9.5% - the largest drop since December 2010.

Aug 01 13:20

A Quarter Trillion Dollars In US Savings Was Just "Wiped Away"

As part of its historical revision to GDP, the BEA also had to adjust personal income and spending, with the full results released in today's July report. What it revealed was striking: over the revised period, disposable personal income for US household was slashed cumulatively by over $120 billion to just under $14.4 trillion, while spending was revised higher by $105 billion, to just above $13.8 trillion. There were two immediate consequences of this result.

First, as the following table shows, while government pay has remained roughly flat over the past 3 years, growing in the mid-2% to mid 3% range, wages and salaries for private workers have been steadily declining as the blue line below shows, and after hitting a 4% Y/Y growth in February, wage growth has slumped to just 2.5% in June, the lowest since January 2014 when excluding the one-time sharp swoon observed at the end of 2016.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These numbers are truly worrisome.

Aug 01 13:03

Germany Tells EU to Prepare Countermeasures Against US Sanctions

The German government has again weighed in with strong criticism of the latest US sanctions bill.

The latest comments have come from German Economics Minister Brigitte Zypries, who is reported by Reuters to have said the following

We consider this as being against international law, plain and simple. Of course we don’t want a trade war. But it is important the European Commission now looks into countermeasures.

(bold italics added)

These are exceptionally strong words coming from the Economics Minister of the country which is the US’s most important ally.

They also underscore the folly of the latest sanctions bill. In saying that the proposed sanctions go against international law Germany is now publicly contesting the US doctrine of the universal worldwide applicability of US law.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is going to get ugly, economically, very quickly.

Aug 01 12:51

North Korea's night lights show improving economy despite sanctions

As it happens, 2016 was a banner year for the North Korean economy, according to the Bank of Korea in Seoul. The North’s economy grew 3.9 percent last year, according to bank researchers. That was the fastest pace in 17 years.

Exports to China of coal and other minerals fueled the faster rate of growth. But those exports have reportedly taken a hit this year with Beijing apparently making good on a promise to President Trump to reduce those exports amid the North Korean nuclear crisis.

But Chinese goods are still making their way into North Korea, according to analysts. Despite indicating it would help enforce international sanctions on its neighbor, China’s exports grew nearly 20 percent in the first half of this year, according to a report by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

Even though jet fuel was one of five items banned by the United Nations, Beijing’s export of jet fuel to Pyongyang increased 18.3 percent in the first half of 2017.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

WOW, that is almost double the rate of economic growth for the US government during the same period!!

U.S. economic growth slowed in 2016 to 1.6%

Aug 01 11:58

Russians See Sanctions Regime as a Blessing in Disguise

German exports to Russia have increased by twenty percent despite the existing sanctions against Russia, says University of Kent professor Richard Sakwa

Aug 01 11:31

This Is How Bad The Wage Gap Is For Black Women

Monday marks Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which shows how many days into 2017 a black woman needs to work to make as much as a white man did in 2016, assuming they both started Jan. 1, 2016.

Aug 01 11:26

ECB Lies And Omissions And Actions

Aug 01 10:56

Is Rally Leader Amazon Breaking Down?

Amazon’s stock is threatening to break below a trendline that has supported it during its epic 2 and a half year run.

Aug 01 10:19

Being Rich Wrecks Your Soul. We Used To Know That

With a billionaire real estate tycoon occupying America’s highest office, the effects of riches upon the soul are a reasonable concern for all of us little guys. After all, one incredibly wealthy soul currently holds our country in his hands.

Aug 01 10:18

Under Armour announces LAYOFFS as sales SLIDE

Aug 01 10:03

Meet Tally, the grocery store shelf auditing robot that’s going to put thousands of low-wage grocery workers out of a job

Losing our jobs to robots is no longer a topic of vague interest; it is now a very real situation, one further evidenced by the introduction of Tally, the newest automated shelf-auditing and analytics system slated to hit grocery stores soon. Developed by Simbe Robotics, Tally is the world’s first robot to capture, report, and analyze stocks so that stores maximize their sales. Tally will regularly move around grocery stores, scanning shelves to determine out-of-stock, low-stock, or misplaced items. It would also be able to check for pricing errors. The inherent cost-effectiveness and efficiency of Tally means the potential unemployment of hundreds of thousands of workers.

Aug 01 08:55

Our Nation Depends on Restoring Product Liability

At the height of its power, ancient Rome created many new technologies which allowed it to become the supreme power over their portion of the world. These accomplishments included the invention of concrete, improved metallurgy, medicine, hygiene, plumbing, and sewage. As each of these were developed, Rome came to be dependent on them. As Rome went into decline, their ability to maintain their technologies started to fade. Aqueducts stopped delivering water. Public health failed. Metal rusted. Concrete cracked. Eventually the failure of those systems on which Rome was dependent hastened its eventual fall.

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Aug 01 08:34

Germany slams US anti-Iran sanctions

German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said on Monday that Berlin considers the US new sanctions on Iran a breach of international laws.

Aug 01 08:32

The real reason so many millennials still live with their parents

Recently, a U.S. Census report confirmed something many millennials like me know all too well: As of 2015, one-third of 18- to 34-year-olds still lived at home—beating out all other living arrangements, including cohabitating with a partner or living alone, for the first time.

Older generations like to attribute this to laziness or entitlement, saying we lack ambition or are coddled by our parents—but that’s a clouded argument. There are some lazy kids in every generation, but a third of us? Sorry, but no.

As a millennial who’s in this category, I’m setting the record straight on the real reasons we’re still living at home.

We’re shouldering serious student loans.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To all parents out there whose kids are juniors in high school this fall; please seriously talk with your kids about what jobs which pay well without a college education.

The debt trap in which so many millennials live, thanks to that college education, and the debt burden it brings, is avoidable, but they are going to have to think their way around believing that a college education is "the only way" to get a decent job.

High paying jobs you can get without a college degree

Best jobs you can get without a college degree

17 jobs that don’t require a college degree and pay over $70,000 a year

The old model of a college degree being the only way to get higher paying jobs doesn't make sense in this part of the 21st century. And there are respected on-line colleges which allow you to take college at your own pace, and can either enhance your chances of promotion at work, or give you the classical education you have wanted, whether it enhances your upward financial mobility or not.

But before kids think about college, and until there is universal, free higher education in this country (a number of enlightened countries in Europe have been doing this for decades), they need to ask themselves; is this the only way to a good-paying career?!? And if they check out their options, they will see that this is absolutely not the case.

Aug 01 08:02

BILLIONAIRE INVESTORS BACKING AN OIL PRICE TURNAROUND

Here’s something few energy investors know...`

The Latin American energy sector is at its most lucrative turning point ever.

In Argentina, while all the supermajors are tied up in the Vaca Muerta shale, massive heavy oil opportunities are up for grabs.

In Colombia, demand for gas is dangerously outpacing supply, and the country’s largest gas field is declining rapidly. They need 65MMscf to come online every year just to keep pace. And gas in Colombia fetches attractively higher prices than the well-known Henry Hub.

One oil story in particular has an enormous profit potential, led by some of the smartest energy investors out there--a team that is renowned for being in the right place at the right time.

This company has massive early mover advantage in Argentina’s heavy oil, and it’s got Colombia cornered as well, with drill-ready natural gas developments.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And of course, the coming wars and a potential revolution in Venezuela, will do their part in driving up oil prices exponentially.

Aug 01 04:23

The Irish Crimean: Comparing level of salaries in Russia and the West is meaningless

In Ireland, or most other Western countries for that matter, I would have to spend 6 times more money to buy a loaf of bread than I do in Russia. And the loaf of bread which I would buy in Ireland would have less than one third of the nutritional value of a loaf of Russian Darnitsky khleb. Salaries and GDP per capita are meaningless, guys. If you want to know how "wealthy" a person is, then look at the nutritional value of the food which they can buy, look at the quality of the materials which were used to build the housing which they occupy... I lived in Ireland for 28 years, in Germany for 1 year, in London for 1 year, and in the Czech Republic for 9 years. The average industrial salary in Ireland is about 30,000 Euros per year, and about half that in the Czech Republic. And yet Irish people, Czechs and Londoners STILL have to spend on average almost half their salaries on housing.

Jul 31 16:54

Netflix is more than $20 BILLION in the red and 'bleeding cash' thanks to hits such as Stranger Things

Global streaming giant Netflix is more than $20billion in the red and 'bleeding cash' thanks to producing original content like Stranger Things.

Netflix has more than doubled its spending this year and is expected to toss more than $6billion on its slate of programming in 2017, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Its negative free cash-flow of $258 million for the same quarter last year, and $423 million for the quarter ending March 30, increased to a company-record negative $608 million for the quarter ending June 30.

Jul 31 16:48

Welcome To New York City’s Taxpayer-Funded $2 Million Bathroom

Did you see the $2 million dollar bathroom? That’s what New York City government spent to build a “comfort station” in a park.

I went to look at it.

Jul 31 13:38

U.S. SLAPS SANCTIONS ON VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT MADURO

The move comes a day after Maduro declared a sweeping victory in a vote that will allow him to further consolidate his power over the crisis torn nation. Much of the world -- and many of Venezuela's own citizens -- have called the vote an assault on democracy.

Jul 31 13:28

YOUR BANKER IS ALWAYS IN: SWEDEN ROLLS OUT THE ROBOTS

Aida is the perfect employee: always courteous, always learning and, as she says, “always at work, 24/7, 365 days a year.” Aida, of course, is not a person but a virtual customer-service representative that SEB AB, one of Sweden’s biggest banks, is rolling out. The goal is to give the actual humans more time to engage in more complex tasks.

Jul 31 12:55

Scott Adams: People Keep Telling Me to Stop Blogging about North Korea

My critics have been extra vocal lately in saying I should stop writing about North Korea because I have no expertise in that area. So I decided to talk about North Korea some more. Today I’ll tell you how to end North Korea’s nuclear ambitions at a reasonable cost.

Jul 31 12:46

Scott Adams: Can a Nation Attack a Company?

North Korea keeps testing missiles that can reach the United States. China could turn off trade with North Korea, and effectively force them to stop, but that isn’t happening. Why the hell not?

Jul 31 12:31

Outgoing Sears Canada employees try to stop $7.6M in bonuses for execs

Former and current employees of Sears Canada have filed a legal motion in an attempt to stop dozens of company executives from splitting $7.6 million in retention bonuses while many laid-off workers miss out on severance payments.

Jul 31 10:52

China hits back at Donald Trump: Don't blame us for North Korea

China hit back on Monday at Twitter posts from US President Donald Trump over trade and the North Korea crisis, saying the two issues should not be linked and that the US is to blame for Pyongyang's military buildup.

"We think the North Korea nuclear issue and China-US trade ... are in two completely different domains," Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming said at a news conference in Beijing on Monday.

Jul 31 10:51

Markets Relax Merrily on a Powerful Time Bomb

Magnitude unknown but huge. Brokerages push it to new heights.

Jul 31 10:48

The Amazon Effect: Retail Bankruptcies Surge 110% In First Half Of The Year

As Amazon flirts with a $500 billion market cap, letting Jeff Bezos try on the title of world's richest man on for size if only for a few hours, for Amazon's competitors it's "everything must go" day everyday, as the bad news in the retail sector continue to pile up with the latest Fitch report that the default rate for distressed retailers spiked again in July.

According to the rating agency, the trailing 12-month high-yield default rate among U.S. retailers rose to 2.9% in mid-July from 1.8% at the end of June, after J. Crew completed a $566 million distressed-debt exchange. Meanwhile, with the shale sector flooded with Wall Street's easy money, the overall high-yield default rate tumbled to 1.9% in the same period from 2.2% at the end of June as $4.7 billion of defaulted debt - mostly in the energy sector - rolled out of the default universe.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This number of bankruptcies, barely into the second half of the year, is horrifically bad.

Jul 31 10:08

Turns Out Money Does Buy Happiness And Here’s How

“New research is challenging the age-old adage that money can’t buy happiness,” says a recent press release about a new study on the psychology of money habits. Too be clear, it is not material possessions that impart this happiness, not a chance...

Jul 31 09:54

Advisers trump going to punish China for North Korea

Senior advisers to the President of the United States Donald trump’s “behind the scenes” develop economic sanctions against China.

The reason for this step was the inaction of Beijing in relation to the nuclear issue of North Korea, writes Politico, citing officials of the US administration.

Jul 31 09:23

Going Soft on Corporate Crime a Bipartisan Affair

Donald Trump is not a fan of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the law that says it’s illegal for any person — corporate or human — to bribe overseas.

Trump has called the FCPA “a horrible law” and has said that the law “puts us at a huge disadvantage.”

Jul 31 09:22

Minnesota Residents to Get First Glimpse at Insurance Rates Monday

Minnesota residents who buy health insurance on their own will soon get their first glimpse at rates for next year.

The rates set to be released Monday are still preliminary as insurers and state regulators work to finalize premiums for 2018. Monday's release will also answer whether any companies plan to drop out of the individual marketplace as Blue Cross Blue Shield did last year.

Jul 31 09:22

When The Slaves Called The Free Inferior

When The Slaves Called The Free Inferior - Morris

We are indoctrinated to think our rootless lives are superior to those that are grounded in history and the land.

Jul 31 08:22

HOW PRISON LABOR IS THE NEW AMERICAN SLAVERY AND MOST OF US UNKNOWINGLY SUPPORT IT

American slavery was technically abolished in 1865, but a loophole in the 13th Amendment has allowed it to continue “as a punishment for crimes” well into the 21st century. Not surprisingly, corporations have lobbied for a broader and broader definition of “crime” in the last 150 years. As a result, there are more (mostly dark-skinned) people performing mandatory, essentially unpaid, hard labor in America today than there were in 1830.

With 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prison population, the United States has the largest incarcerated population in the world. No other society in history has imprisoned more of its own citizens. There are half a million more prisoners in the U.S. than in China, which has five times our population. Approximately 1 in 100 adults in America were incarcerated in 2014. Out of an adult population of 245 million that year, there were 2.4 million people in prison, jail or some form of detention center.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF you are as outraged as I am by these practices, and you have a store where you like to shop that is mentioned in this article, please find the manager of that store and tell them you will never, ever shop at that store again, until they stop using prison labor, period, end of discussion.

Jul 31 08:17

Uber, Lyft Mangle Rental Cars & Taxis. Other Sectors Next

But Uber’s growth among business travelers got lumpy.

Jul 31 08:17

The Perfect Crash Indicator Is Flashing Red

Jul 31 08:05

WTI Jumps Above $50 On Report US Prepping Sanctions Against Venezuela Oil Industry

After both Brent and WTI rose above their respective 50DMAs on Friday, capping 2017's best weekly rally for oil, the rising tide is accelerating as the latest CFTC COT data confirmed, when net specs boosted bullish Nymex WTI crude oil bets by 27K net-long positions to 423K, the highest in two months, as producers continued to cover short hedges, sending their net position to the most bullish since the summer of 2015.

Jul 31 07:31

The Amazon Effect: Retail Bankruptcies Surge 110% In First Half Of The Year

As Amazon flirts with a $500 billion market cap, letting Jeff Bezos try on the title of world's richest man on for size if only for a few hours, for Amazon's competitors it's "everything must go" day everyday, as the bad news in the retail sector continue to pile up with the latest Fitch report that the default rate for distressed retailers spiked again in July.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Amazon makes for a convenient scapegoat, but the problem is in large part that people simply do not have money to spend these days and refuse to borrow more.

Jul 31 07:24

U.S. Shale Is Determined Not To Kill This Rally

Oil prices moved closer to a two-month high on Friday, closing out the week with some of the strongest gains in 2017. Market sentiment has turned “cautiously optimistic,” as Goldman Sachs put it, with rebalancing efforts starting to become more clear.

Crude oil inventories continue to decline, and the latest EIA figures show a massive 7.2 million-barrel drawdown for the week ending on July 21, suddenly plunging U.S. inventories back into the upper end of the five-year average range. Data from the past month or so has dispelled fears that the oil market was poised to suffer another meltdown, perhaps below $40 per barrel.

Instead, Brent is back up above $50 per barrel for the first time in two months, and WTI is hovering just below that range as well.

Jul 31 07:08

Leaked: EU Plans to Freeze Deposits to Prevent Bank Runs

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures.

Jul 31 06:22

Credit card Britain: £1.5BN of debt racked up in ONE MONTH sparking fresh crisis fears

Consumer credit, including credit cards, car finance and personal loans surged by 10 per cent from the same time last year, Bank of England figures today showed.

In comparison, incomes have increased by less than two per cent.

Jul 31 06:16

No wonder they want BILLIONS from Britain! The EU’s poverty problem EXPOSED

POVERTY across the European Union has reached new levels while the Brussels elite continues to preach about unity and success.

More than a quarter of children in the 28-member state club are living below the breadline with the total number of poor predicted to reach 100million by 2020.

One in four Europeans are now affected by poverty, with the worst affected nations being in the eastern bloc.

The most recent figures suggest 119 million people were living in poor homes - at risk of poverty.

Figures from 2015 show more than a third of the population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Bulgaria, Romania and Greece.

Across Europe 27 percent of children now live in a poor households.

Jul 30 16:52

BTC-e.com Top Ten Bitcoin Exchange Seized – Bitcoins Stolen

The United States Department of Justice in disrepute for its shady Democratic Party affiliations, politically motivated policies, uneven handed justice, as well as other USA federal bodies...

Jul 30 16:32

WATCH: Congressman Asks a Question About Weed and Accidentally Exposes Tyrannical Drug War

I like this guy. No accident about it!

Harold Watson “Trey” Gowdy III is a member of the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party and serves as a congressman from South Carolina. He is also the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. During the meeting with the ONDCP this week, Gowdy asked why marijuana was a schedule I drug.

While Gowdy didn’t go so far as to call for the legalization of cannabis — because it would likely mean political suicide among his staunchly conservative base — his line of questioning set off a conversation that would eventually expose the war on drugs.

Jul 30 16:05

EU explores account freezes to prevent runs at failing banks

European Union states are considering measures which would allow them to temporarily stop people withdrawing money from their accounts to prevent bank runs, an EU document reviewed by Reuters revealed.

The move is aimed at helping rescue lenders that are deemed failing or likely to fail, but critics say it could hit confidence and might even hasten withdrawals at the first rumors of a bank being in trouble.

The proposal, which has been in the works since the beginning of this year, comes less than two months after a run on deposits at Banco Popular contributed to the collapse of the Spanish lender.

Jul 30 11:26

How VIX Ends A Long Run of Low Values

Jul 30 09:25

It’s Your Money But You Can’t Have It: EU Proposes Account Freezes To Halt Bank Runs

European Union states are considering measures which would allow them to temporarily stop people withdrawing money from their accounts to prevent bank runs, an EU document reviewed by Reuters revealed. The move is aimed at helping rescue lenders that are deemed failing or likely to fail, but critics say it could hit confidence and might even hasten withdrawals at the first rumors of a bank being in trouble.

Jul 30 08:35

Imperial Folly Brings Russia and Germany Together

Economic war has been declared against Russia for at least three years now. The difference is this latest package also declares economic war against Europe, especially Germany.

That centers on the energy front, by demonizing the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and forcing the EU to buy US natural gas.

Make no mistake; the EU leadership will counterpunch. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission (EC), put it mildly when he said, "America first cannot mean that Europe's interests come last."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These reckless sanctions are turning the whole world away from the US and towards Russia. The US Government is isolating the nation!

Jul 30 08:31

Let's review the "roaring Twenties."

Jul 30 08:30

FOXCONN'S CORPORATE WELFARE DEAL WILL COST WISCONSIN TAXPAYERS MORE THAN 3 BILLION DOLLARS

The recent trumpist trumpeting about the plans of Chinese manufacturer Foxconn to open a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin omitted a few key details -- like the fact that Foxconn is being given a sweetheart tax-break that's topped up with 15 years' worth of guarantees of up to $200 million/year in cash subsidies at taxpayer expense -- a record-setting taxpayer subsidy that exceeds the previous Wisconsin record-holder by a factor of fifty.

The total bill for this incentive package that Wisconsin is giving the super-profitable Chinese manufacturer? Three billion dollars.

But there's more! Wisconsin cities will also have to provide incentives, including hundreds of millions more in infrastructure, and exemptions on environmental rules that will allow Foxconn to pollute watersheds, drain water habitats, and reengineer Wisconsin's freshwater sources, up to and including Lake Michigan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is truly a lousy deal for the citizens of Wisconsin.

Jul 30 08:27

US true loser of imposing sanctions on Iran, Russia

Regarding the volume of cooperation between Iran and Russia, he expressed satisfaction that 13 percent of bilateral trade exchanges have been on the rise since last year, and the cooperation is growing often in the political, economic, security and defense fields, as well.

Pointing to US anti-Russia and Iran sanctions, Velayati said the Americans will be the true losers of illegal pressures.

Jul 30 08:26

The Sanctions Blowback From the EU Begins

As we wrote last month, Germany and Austria have fumed that the sanctions threaten European energy interests, by targeting (among other European-Russian ventures) the Gazprom co-financed Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany. For the bill’s European enemies—among them the Netherlands and France, who have been quieter in their opposition than Germany—the sanctions are a thinly veiled excuse to promote American LNG exports and meddle in the European energy market. And top German business leaders are already mulling retaliation.

Jul 30 08:22

The Shocking, Unmatched Pains That Wal-Mart Took to Avoid Unions

One reason that Wal-Mart workers have always had difficulty improving their lot is that they’ve never been able to form a union. At its core, Wal-Mart’s rationale for being against organized labor was not unlike that of Kodak, say, or General Electric under Lem Boulware: management had an open door policy, by which any worker could ostensibly walk in and discuss anything. Therefore, as Wal-Mart laid out in its “Manager’s Toolbox to Remaining Union Free,” “we do not believe there is a need for third-party representation. It is our position every associate can speak for him/herself without having to pay his/her hard-earned money to a union in order to be listened to and have issues resolved.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And, not surprisingly, WALMART workers are forced on to government-sponsored subsidies for health care,subsidized housing, and food stamps because WALMART wages are so disturbingly low.

Report: Walmart Workers Cost Taxpayers $6.2 Billion In Public Assistance

To be able to continue to do this, the corporation must have BOTH political parties in this country "by the short and curlies."

Jul 30 05:38

Our Way Of Life Is About To Change & Many Are Not Prepared For This

LIBOR is being phased out and the bankers are bringing in another system, the manipulation will not end. Brussels says that the UK cannot make a trade deal with the US.

Jul 29 19:14

The Corrupt Origins of Central Banking in America

This is a great lecture by Tom DiLorenzo on Alexander Hamilton and how national bank corruption got started in the United States.

Jul 29 19:03

Prescriptions for antidepressants cost NHS more than £750,000 per day

ANTIDEPRESSANT prescriptions have risen to more than 60 million a year costing, the NHS a record £780,000 a day, an investigation has found.

Between October 2015 and September 2016, the number of prescriptions rose seven per cent from 59.5 million to nearly 63.6 million, according to NHS Digital.

The four million rise equates to an annual cost of £285million.

Over 20 years antidepressant prescriptions have risen more than fourfold.

Jul 29 17:42

The Shocking, Unmatched Pains That Wal-Mart Took to Avoid Unions

One reason that Wal-Mart workers have always had difficulty improving their lot is that they’ve never been able to form a union. At its core, Wal-Mart’s rationale for being against organized labor was not unlike that of Kodak, say, or General Electric under Lem Boulware: management had an open door policy, by which any worker could ostensibly walk in and discuss anything. Therefore, as Wal-Mart laid out in its “Manager’s Toolbox to Remaining Union Free,” “we do not believe there is a need for third-party representation. It is our position every associate can speak for him/herself without having to pay his/her hard-earned money to a union in order to be listened to and have issues resolved.”

Jul 29 09:27

Renters Struggle As California Home Prices Climb Faster Than Official Inflation Rate

By Jeff Paul

The US government likes to pretend that the rising cost of living is under control. People in Southern California know better. According to a new report in the Los Angeles Times, median house prices in Southern California have nearly doubled in the last five years...

Jul 29 08:54

Another Low for Starbucks: Worst Stock Dive in 2 Years

Famed coffee maker Starbucks experienced a series of woes in 2016, but none worse than the current stock slump that not only saw shares drop over eight percent but is causing the loss of over three thousand jobs.

Jul 29 08:53

USA's new sanctions against Russia split European Union

The European Union will respond should the USA's new sanctions against Russia harm the interests of European companies, the Financial Times wrote.

According to the publication, it was chairman of the European Commission (EC), Jean-Claude Juncker, who announced the readiness of the EU to react to USA's move. The document prepared for the meeting of the European Commission also contains a requirement for Washington to publicly acknowledge (in written form as well) that the new sanctions would not show a negative impact on the interests of European businesses in Russia.

Europe fears the new sanctions against Russia may affect the implementation of a number of projects, which European companies have with Russia, such as Nord Stream-2, for example.

Jul 29 08:52

‘We told you so’: EU reaps bitter harvest of siding with US in sanctions row – Russia’s UN envoy

The EU has fallen victim of its unconditional support for the US sanction policy against Russia, Russia’s UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya told RT. Calling the state of US-Russian relations “worse” than that of the Cold War-era, Nebenzya said the two still have to cooperate.

The wave of anti-Russian sanctions coming from Washington is “unprecedented, baseless and illegal,” said Nebenzya, who is Russia’s new Permanent Representative to the UN.

He added that the EU should blame itself for becoming a victim of the side-effects of the US policy toward Russia as it previously followed in Washington’s footsteps as regards to sanction policy.

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