ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Aug 16 23:46

Why does Russia sell US debt securities?

Russia has been reducing its investment activities in the US national debt lately. According to the US Treasury, Russia held $102.9 billion on the balance sheet of the US debt, which was almost six billion less than in May. Thus, Russia went down to the 14th position among the holders of US debt securities. At the same time, China has increased the amount of funds placed in US government bonds. China has acquired US securities worth 44.3 billion dollars, having thus topped the list... "It is Chinese businesses that ask for US securities. National interest and interest of big business are two different things. In this case, it goes about the wish of Chinese entrepreneurs to keep their money in major countries. This applies to Chinese capital too. China, compared with other peripheral countries, holds the largest amount of foreign exchange reserves, and this has made China take the first place on the list"...

Aug 16 18:34

The Central Bankers Have Become Desperate, They Are Asking People To...

German and other countries are following in the US footsteps, there latest program cash for clunkers. Retail sales have improved according the corporate media. These numbers are manipulated to make you believe the retail has rebounded.

Aug 16 17:55

NotPetya ransomware attack cost us $300m – shipping giant Maersk

"In the last week of the quarter we were hit by a cyber-attack, which mainly impacted Maersk Line, APM Terminals and Damco," CEO Soren Skou said in a statement today.

"Business volumes were negatively affected for a couple of weeks in July and as a consequence, our Q3 results will be impacted. We expect that the cyber-attack will impact results negatively by USD 200-300m."

Admittedly Maersk is massive – it's responsible for around 15 per cent of the world's entire shipping network – but that kind of financial damage is close to a record for such an attack. Then again, the company's entire network was down for days, Skou told the Financial Times.

Aug 16 16:30

Soda Taxes: Pitched As A Solution, They Only Cause Problems

Soda tax advocates promise healthier communities and balanced budgets. So far neither promise has materialized anywhere the tax has been imposed, but that isn’t stopping more cities from using those dubious arguments to justify increasing taxes on their poorest citizens.

Cook County, Ill., is the latest to experiment with soda pop social engineering.

Aug 16 16:24

Why Bitcoin SCARCITY is an elaborate LIE

Aug 16 15:35

RAISE Act Would Save American Taxpayers $1.9 Trillion Over Next Decade

According to research compiled by Robert Rector, The Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow on domestic policy, the RAISE Act could save America trillions of dollars in welfare, healthcare, and other social services over the coming decades.

Aug 16 14:49

Soros’s stock portfolio increased to $5.6B in Q2

In Q2 George Soros’s U.S. stock portfolio increased $660,000 million, according to a Seeking Alpha report titled “Tracking George Soros’s Portfolio – Q2 2017 Update.”

According to the report’s summary:

*Soros’ 13F portfolio value increased from $4.96B to $5.62B this quarter. The number of positions decreased from 260 to 203.
*They added Altaba and EQT while increasing TiVo and Time Warner.
*A large new short position in PowerShares QQQ ETF through Puts was established this quarter. Also, the SPY ETF Puts stake was increased while reducing the Russell 2000 ETF Puts.

Aug 16 14:21

High-Profile Sectors Start To Roll Over

Aug 16 14:18

Video: Subprime Auto Loan Defaults On The Rise

Bill Black the white collar criminologist says It is a very severe problem for consumers who are going to lose not only their cars.

Aug 16 10:57

Tech Rally Getting Thin?

Aug 16 10:24

Crews build controversial fence near homeless encampment in San Jose

Caltrans is building a taller, stronger wall in San Jose to stop homeless individuals from returning to an encampment, CBS San Francisco reports.

While the project has pleased many homeowners, it is generating a lot of anger in the community.

Caltrans workers have repeatedly cleaned up a large encampment under I-280, but the homeless keep returning.

Aug 16 09:21

Sanctions – A Conversation with Dr. Cynthia McKinney

The “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” rocketed through the US Congress at record speed in July, imposing sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. Faced with a veto override, an unhappy President Trump signed it into law on August 2, 2017.

The response was swift. EU President Jean-Claude Juncker threatened retaliation. The German Minister for Economics and Energy, Brigitte Zypries, declared the sanctions illegal and urged the EU to take counter-measures. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced that the law had ended the possibility of improving U.S.–Russian relations and signaled “an all-out trade war with Russia.”

Aug 16 09:08

NAFTA Renegotiation Begins: What Do US, Canada, Mexico Really Want?

11 months after he called it “the worst trade deal in the history of trade deals, maybe ever,” US President Donald Trump will be meeting with leaders from Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) starting on Wednesday.

Aug 16 08:43

US Failure, Blame China

America’s chronic trade deficit with the rest of the world is testimony to a failed US economy. In reality, the US has no-one else to blame but itself for such an historic failure.

But in typical chauvinist fashion, the Trump administration has found a handy scapegoat by blaming China — its top bilateral trading partner. President Donald Trump this week ordered a probe into alleged trade malpractices by China, including claims of intellectual property theft and unfair subsidies.

These supposed grievances against China formed a major part of his election campaign last year, when the tycoon-turned-politician would whip up supporters in rustbelt states with emotive claims about how China was "raping our economy".

Aug 16 08:09

Russian,Turkish, Iranian companies ink $7 billion energy deal

Russia's Zarubezhneft, Turkish Unit International signed a $7 billion agreement with Iran's Ghadir Investment Holding to drill for oil and natural gas in Iran, the Turkish company confirmed on August 16, 2017.

Aug 16 07:03

WHY WE'RE DOOMED: OUR ECONOMY'S TOXIC INEQUALITY

Anyone who thinks our toxic financial system is stable is delusional.

Why are we doomed? Those consuming over-amped "news" feeds may be tempted to answer the culture wars, nuclear war with North Korea or the Trump Presidency.

The one guaranteed source of doom is our broken financial system, which is visible in this chart of income inequality from the New York Times: Our Broken Economy, in One Simple Chart.

While the essay's title is our broken economy, the source of this toxic concentration of income, wealth and power in the top 1/10th of 1% is more specifically our broken financial system.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One of the smartest things you can do right now, is, to the best you are able, is to get out of credit card debt as quickly as is humanly possible; rates will inevitably rise, keeping you in debtor's prison for as long as you live, if you do not do this.

Aug 16 02:21

How Insane Home Prices in Silicon Valley & San Francisco Trip up Jobs Growth

Bay Area housing affordability nightmare hits home, so to speak.

Aug 15 14:23

Speculative Positioning Is Back To Extremes

Aug 15 13:51

Americans' debt level notches a new record high

Americans' debt level notched another record high in the second quarter, after having earlier in the year surpassed its pre-crisis peak, on the back of modest rises in mortgage, auto and credit card debt, where delinquencies jumped. Total U.S. household debt was $12.84 trillion in the three months to June, up $552 billion from a year ago, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report published on Tuesday.

Aug 15 13:45

Bank of America Warns of an ‘Ominous’ Sign for Stocks

The drop represents a “warning sign for equities over bonds, high yield over investment grade, and cyclical sectors over defensive ones,” chief investment strategist Michael Hartnett wrote in a note Tuesday. “Further deterioration is likely to cause risk-off trades.”

Aug 15 12:42

Household Debt Hits Record as Auto Loans and Credit Cards Climb

U.S. household debt reached a new record of $12.8 trillion in the second quarter, driven by rising mortgage debt, a strong quarter for auto loan originations, and an uptick in credit-card balances, which reached their highest level since 2009.

Aug 15 12:17

Feds Collect Record Income and Payroll Taxes Through July

Through July, the federal government collected approximately $1,312,691,000,000 in individual income taxes. At the same time, it collected $976,278,000,000 in Social Security and other payroll taxes.

Aug 15 12:16

China Steel Output Hits All Time High, Setting Stage For Escalating Trade War

While the long-term consequences of Trump's first trade war salvo launched today will become obvious only in hindsight, it may have come at an opportune moment: just as China prepares to flood the world with record amounts of steel. Overnight, the National Statistics Bureau reported that even as Beijing intensified its war on smog, local steel output "paradoxically" hit a new monthly record in July, some 74.02 million tonnes, up 10% Y/Y (or 50% more than China's GDP) and higher than the previous record of 73.23 million tonnes set in June.

Aug 15 12:15

Used Car Prices Crash To Lowest Level Since 2009 Amid Glut Of Off-Lease Supply

The U.S. auto market is at an interesting crossroads with used car prices crashing to new lows every month while new car prices continue to defy gravity courtesy of a somewhat 'frothy', if not suicidal, lending market that has seemingly decided that anyone with a pulse is financially qualified for a $0 down, 0% interest, 80 month loan on a brand new $40,000 luxury vehicle of their choice.

As the Labor Department’s consumer-price index data showed last Friday, used car prices once again dropped in July to the lowest level since the 'great recession' of 2009. In fact, since the end of 2015, the cost of used vehicles has dropped in all but three months and are now roughly 10% off their 2013 high.

Aug 15 12:15

"The Goolag Echopeligo"

Warning: SLL is about to put forth two propositions that are so obvious they’re undoubtedly controversial. Readers offended by the obvious but controversial are advised to stop reading.

Proposition one: If Group A and Group B are competing for the same jobs and standards are lowered for Group B but not Group A, on average the members of Group B will not be as good at the jobs as members of Group A.

Proposition two: Men and women are different.
This, when you wade through James Damore’s excruciatingly diplomatic Google memorandum is the crux of what he said.

SLL can say it but Damore couldn’t; Google fired him for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

Aug 15 11:44

Fed’s Dudley Drops Bombshell: Low Inflation “Actually Might Be a Good Thing”

QE unwind in September, “another rate hike later this year.”

Aug 15 11:40

Ten Years After Financial Crisis, Our Elites Have Learned Nothing

Last week, I heard BBC announce the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the financial crisis. This is dated to the decision by the French bank BNP Paribas to prohibit withdrawals from two hedge funds that were heavily invested in subprime mortgage backed securities. According to BBC, this was when lending began to freeze and house prices began to fall.

Aug 15 11:08

Rogue state, what rogue state? Burgeoning EU-Iran relations signal US adrift

The phalanx of European leaders, ministers, and dignitaries, attending the inauguration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last weekend was a stunning snub to Washington. It was also a clear signal the US is losing its thrall over Europe.

Think about it. According to US President Donald Trump and the American Congress, Iran is the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism. And yet here we saw European leaders respectfully attending the swearing-in of the country’s re-elected president. A rather big contradiction, don’t you think?

Aug 15 11:07

Crimeans no longer have to pay their debts taken on at Ukrainian banks

The head of Crimea, Sergey Aksenov, approved a bill that exempts the residents of the republic of Crimea from payments on loans taken from Ukrainian banks. Amendments to the legislation give the Crimean parliament the right to write off the debts of citizens.

Aug 15 11:03

US Launches Quiet Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies

While all eyes were distracted with the Trump-demeaning headlines of the foreign sanctions bill, few spotted the hidden mandate that foreign governments monitor cryptocurrency circulations as a measure to combat "illicit finance trends" in an effort to "combat terrorism."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Actually, this is to keep us slaves to the private central bankers!

Aug 15 09:37

Chart Mentioned In Lundin Podcast

Aug 15 09:31

The difference between capitalism and welfare mentality

A man named Tom Nicholson posted on his Facebook account the sports car that he had just bought and how a man approached and told him that the money used to buy this car could've fed thousands of less fortunate people. His response to this man made him famous on the internet.

A guy looked at my Corvette the other day and said, "I wonder how many people could have been fed for the money that sports car cost."

I replied I am not sure, it fed a lot of families in Bowling Green, Kentucky who built it, it fed the people who make the tires, it fed the people who made the components that went into it, it fed the people in the copper mine who mined the copper for the wires, it fed people in Decatur IL. at Caterpillar who make the trucks that haul the copper ore. It fed the trucking people who hauled it from the plant to the dealer and fed the people working at the dealership and their families. BUT,… I have to admit, I guess I really don’t know how many people it fed.

Aug 14 16:34

Australia: Life Expectancy Gap Between Rich And Poor Almost 20 Years

The Social Health Atlas, a new analysis of government health statistics, has revealed much lower life expectancy and far higher rates of avoidable deaths in working class suburbs when compared to wealthier suburbs in Australian cities.

Aug 14 16:32

Turkey’s Drive To Restore Ottoman Era Influence

After nearly a century of being relegated to a smaller regional power acting alongside the Israeli-Saudi nexus, Turkey’s new leadership stands prepared to significantly increase its political power and prestige. Taking advantage of various conflicts around their borders, Turkey has embarked on a bit to expand their influence not just in the Middle East, but also on the borders of an increasingly volatile European Union. These actions, along with consolidation domestically and an increased focus on militarization mean that Turkey’s profile stands a good chance of rising over the next decade.

Aug 14 14:20

"A Better Deal" For American Workers? Not Without Unions

At the Tufts Medical Center in Boston, 1,200 nurses recently walked off the job, initiating “the largest nurses’ strike in Massachusetts’s history and the first in Boston for 31 years.”

Aug 14 14:11

Unemployed New Yorkers are giving up on finding jobs

Heck of a job governor…

Cuomo must be so proud.

Aug 14 11:54

Why Some Pharmaceuticals Are So Expensive

Enter “outrageous drug prices” into Google and you will receive plenty of examples. As reported here, Marathon Pharmaceuticals planned to charge $89,000 per year for its Emflaza brand of the corticosteroid deflazacort. Deflazacort was introduced in 1969 and is available outside the U.S. for less than $2 per tablet. US patients with muscular dystrophy have been obtaining the drug for around $1,500 per year from foreign sources.

Aug 14 11:19

How Capitalist Central Banks Have Been Creating The Next Financial Crisis

As central bankers, finance ministers, and government policy makers head off to their annual gathering at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this August, 24-26, 2017, the key topic is whether the leading central banks in North America and Europe will continue to raise interest rates this year; another topic high on the agenda is when the three major central banks – the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England – might begin to sell off their combined $9.8 trillion dollar balance sheets that they accumulated since the 2008-09 banking crisis.

Aug 14 09:59

China implements UN sanctions against North Korea, as Trump trade probe looms

In an unprecedented move against North Korea, China on Monday issued an order to carry out the United Nations sanctions imposed on the rogue regime earlier this month.

China made the announcement amid not only Pyongyang's escalating war of words with the United States regarding the North Korea nuclear missile program, but also as President Trump was reportedly set to order an investigation into China's trade practice -- a probe which could lead the U.S. to levy its own sanctions on Beijing.

Trump has sought China's help in dealing with North Korea, as China has remained one of the last defenders of dictator Kim Jong Un and could apply enormous financial pressure should it turn on the North Korean leader.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What concerns me here, is the way in which trade wars can morph into shooting wars, and that would be the worst of all possible options with China.

Aug 14 09:20

US Launches Quiet Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies

While all eyes were distracted with the Trump-demeaning headlines of the foreign sanctions bill, few spotted the hidden mandate that foreign governments monitor cryptocurrency circulations as a measure to combat "illicit finance trends" in an effort to "combat terrorism."

Aug 14 09:07

Riot police open up with flashbang grenades and pepper spray on antifascist protesters who hit them with SILLY STRING as thousands gather in cities across America in solidarity with victims of Charlottesville's 'Unite the Right' rally

Thousands gathered in cities across the US on Sunday in response to the shocking violence seen at Charlottesville's 'Unite the Right' rally on Saturday.

Anti-fascist groups, Black Lives Matter supporters and others gathered in cities in states from coast to coast, including a planned march on Trump Tower in New York, a candlelight vigil in Florida and a rally in a public square in Cleveland.

In many cities the events were loud but peaceable - however, things took a nasty turn in Seattle, Washington, when antifascist protesters were blocked from reaching a pro-Trump 'Freedom Rally' in Westlake Park.

The antifascist group - some holding signs with anarchy symbols - faced off with police in riot gear and sprayed them with Silly String.

A brief scuffle was captured about 45 minutes into this Facebook video, as protesters appeared to rush police, leading to them pushing back to maintain the line and stop them reaching the pro-Trump rally.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The right to peacefully protest are enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. But I have to wonder; cui bono, who benefits from the violence we have been seeing here, which appears to be spreading nationally?!?

Are there elements in the American Deep State who want this, in order for President Trump to declare a national martial law, so that the warmongers can continue with their agendas against North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela, unabated, because no national protests can happen against these these actions, once that martial law is in place?!?

All racism is a mental illness, and should be treated as such. But fighting in the streets will never resolve this; quiet dialogue, with all Americans working together, possibly can, and it is high time, at this portion of the 21st century, that such dialogue happens.

Aug 14 06:21

Are We Already in Recession?

Aug 14 02:20

The System Continues To Fall Apart As The Economic Apocalypse Takes Hold

The retail apocalypse continues, Macy's, Kohls and many other stores are seeing traffic dry up and sales decline.

Aug 13 19:08

‘True’ £660m weekly cost of Britain’s EU membership

THE true cost to Britain of being in the EU has been £660million a week since 2010, a think tank says.

This includes more than £80billion lost to the Treasury after the European Court of Justice forced tax rebates to multinationals and £50billion in Eurozone bailout obligations.

In membership fees alone, after the rebate has been returned Britain has paid out £70.6billion in fees.

But the Bruges Groups says our real financial commitment is £275.08billion.

Over seven years that is £34.3billion a year, or £661,260,000 a week.

Aug 13 12:15

GANN Analysis Signals S&P500 Warning

Aug 13 11:56

U.S. Foreign Sanctions Mandates That Governments Monitor Cryptocurrency To Combat Terrorism

President Trump signed a new controversial foreign sanctions bill into law that had a hidden mandate for the foreign governments of Iran, Russia, and North Korea to monitor cryptocurrency circulations as a measure to combat “illicit finance trends” in an effort to “combat terrorism.”

The bill requires the governments to develop a “national security strategy” to combat the “financing of terrorism and related forms of illicit finance.” ...

Aug 13 09:52

Bitcoin blasts through $4000 as new suckers buy into the “promised land” of digital fiat currency backed by nothing

Almost no one buying Bitcoin has any idea how it actually works. They’re just ejaculating money at it under the absurd premise that it will keep going up forever. Of course, none of them have stopped to think about the fact that Bitcoin “gains” aren’t real until you sell your Bitcoin. Before you sell it, all you’ve really bought is an entry on a shared digital ledger called the “blockchain.” And only a very tiny percentage of people can sell their Bitcoins without crashing the value of the entire market, which means — by definition — perhaps 98% of those who think they are getting rich are actually getting screwed in the end. They will be the ones left holding Bitcoin as it plunges toward zero one of these days.

Aug 13 09:50

North Korea factories humming with ‘Made in China’ clothes, traders say

Chinese textile firms are increasingly using North Korean factories to take advantage of cheaper labor across the border, traders and businesses in the border city of Dandong told Reuters.

Aug 13 09:09

Stock Market Warning Siren is Blaring

Are we blinded yet by the brilliance of corporate earnings?

Aug 13 08:20

Trump Warns Xi: Trade War With China Begins Monday

As if there weren't enough geopolitical and social stress points in the world to fill a lifetime of "sleepy, vacationy" Augusts, late on Friday night President Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping and told him that he's preparing to order an investigation into Chinese trade practices next week, according to NBC. Politico confirms that Trump is ready to launch a new trade crackdown on China next week, citing an administration official, a step that Trump delayed two weeks ago under the guidance of his new Chief of Staff Gen. Kelly, but now appears imminent. It is also an escalation which most analysts agree will launch a trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The thing I hate most about trade wars, is their capabilities of morphing into shooting wars.

I would like to hope President Trump has the presence of mind to understand that this is precisely where we should not be going with China right now, particularly with the simmering, quasi-war state of hostilities over North Korea.

Aug 13 08:13

Trump Warns Xi: Trade War With China Begins Monday

As if there weren't enough geopolitical and social stress points in the world to fill a lifetime of "sleepy, vacationy" Augusts, late on Friday night President Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping and told him that he's preparing to order an investigation into Chinese trade practices next week, according to NBC. Politico confirms that Trump is ready to launch a new trade crackdown on China next week, citing an administration official, a step that Trump delayed two weeks ago under the guidance of his new Chief of Staff Gen. Kelly, but now appears imminent. It is also an escalation which most analysts agree will launch a trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Aug 13 07:00

Bitcoin Debate! Max Keiser VS Peter Schiff

Aug 13 06:32

Volatility in Housing: What Surges & Crashes the Most?

It depends on the value of the home.

Aug 12 17:02

Volume in VXX Is A Tell For Price Bottoms

Aug 12 12:21

Are Internal Cracks Turning Into Chasms?

Recently noted deterioration in market internals appears to be getting worse.

Aug 12 09:14

Ditching the dollar: Russia's long-term response to Washington

Russia will respond to new US sanctions with the help of an unexpected decision: Moscow intends to reduce dependence on the dollar and American payment systems.

New US sanctions against Russia have become the largest since early 2014. The law, signed by US President Donald Trump, hits the energy sector, which is extremely important for the Russian economy. In addition, the document provides for the possibility of imposing sanctions on the state debt of the Russian Federation in six months, and this would be a serious blow to the country's economy.

Therefore, a response to sanctions is necessary, and we should not talk about expanding the food embargo.

Aug 12 08:50

SoundCloud Teeters on Collapse as Other Big Tech Hitters Also Stare Into Abyss

Music streaming service SoundCloud will collapse very soon, unless investors don’t offer a rescue funding round to the tune of $169.5 million. The company has stumbled from crisis to crisis in 2017, with 40 percent of staff laid off in July. If its financiers don’t stump up the cash, SoundCloud will be up for sale - or indeed closure.

Aug 11 15:54

Homelessness In Britain To Rise 76% Over Next Decade, Charity Warns

Nearly a quarter of a million people are experiencing acute forms of homelessness across Britain, with rough sleeping set to rise by 76 percent by 2026 unless the government takes serious long-term action, the homelessness charity Crisis has warns.

Aug 11 12:58

Amazon Online Grocery Boom? Not So Fast…

All big gorillas have been trying, but consumers just don’t want to.

Aug 11 12:34

Jim Rickards: Is bitcoin money?

Aug 11 12:13

Economy Now Tanking - It's Here

Aug 11 12:11

Applebee's and IHOP to close up to 160 restaurants

The parent company of Applebee's and IHOP plans to close as many as 160 locations of the two restaurant chains.

Dine Equity could shut down more than 100 Applebee's and 25 IHOP restaurants this year.

Both chains have been hit by a slowdown in the casual dining industry as customers shift to eateries with faster service.

Aug 11 11:55

The rocky upwards ride of Bitcoin continues

Aug 11 11:01

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

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

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

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

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