ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Mar 25 09:42

Kids...here is why you need an emergency fund

Mar 25 08:44

Too Big To Sell

Mar 25 08:00

Apple's TV streaming service: The company's biggest gamble yet

I'm writing this article on Sunday night, about 12 hours before Apple's event, when it's expected to announce a streaming service. Early rumors indicate that the company is expected to aggregate some big name streaming services, as well as provide its own video programming. We'll obviously know more about what the event shapes up to be, and I'll update this article with links to the details.

What I want to look at with you now is the "why" of the event. Why is streaming so important for Apple now, in 2019?

To unpack this, we need to look at two seemingly unrelated vectors: the changes in Apple's revenue balance over the past few years, and the change in television and streaming overall.

Mar 25 07:46

The Next Big Letdown for Stocks

Mar 25 05:25

Examining A Sad Truth

Mar 25 01:22

The number of Auckland suburbs with million dollar price tags has tripled in five years

One in five Auckland suburbs had median house prices below $500,000 five years ago - but now you won't find a single suburb anywhere in the city that cheap.

That's according to the new data by research firm CoreLogic that highlighted how house prices have leapt beyond the reach of many Kiwi families.

The closest to the $500,000-mark is apartment-filled Auckland Central with a median value of $532,200. Elsewhere, prices in many other suburbs have skyrocketed past $1m over the last five years.

*Can you say bubble? I knew you could!*

Mar 24 10:44

The Biggest U.S. Importers and Exporters

Mar 24 09:55

Russia Gives US Red Line On Venezuela

At a high-level meeting in Rome this week, it seems that Russia reiterated a grave warning to the US – Moscow will not tolerate American military intervention to topple the Venezuelan government with whom it is allied.

Meanwhile, back in Washington DC, President Donald Trump was again bragging that the military option was still on the table, in his press conference with Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro. Trump is bluffing or not yet up to speed with being apprised of Russia’s red line.

The meeting in the Italian capital between US “special envoy” on Venezuelan affairs Elliot Abrams and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov had an air of urgency in its arrangement. The US State Department announced the tête-à-tête only three days beforehand. The two officials also reportedly held their two-hour discussions in a Rome hotel, a venue indicating ad hoc arrangement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am hoping and praying, that President Trump "sees the light" of non-intervention in this situation.

But if he does not, and Abrams, Bolton, and Pompeo urge him to go into Venezuela, guns blazing, this country will most likely find itself in a war of attrition in a jungle environment, in which our military does not generally fare quite well (Anyone at the White House remember the Vietnam War?!? Thought not.)

Mar 24 09:53

‘We Lost A Lot Of Customers’: ShopRite Closes Its Doors After Nearly 30 Years Due To Philadelphia Beverage Tax, Owner Says

After shopping at a West Philadelphia supermarket for decades, customers were emotional to find out it’s closing its doors Thursday. According to the store’s owner, the city’s so-called soda tax is to blame.

The beverage tax debate rages on after the closing of the ShopRite is West Philadelphia. The store’s owner blames the mayor’s office, and the mayor’s office responded to the criticism.

Mar 24 09:52

Dockworkers Protest Driverless Cargo Trucks at Port of L.A., Triggering Project’s Delay

A fierce struggle over automation has erupted at the Port of Los Angeles, as local union officials representing some 12,000 dockworkers demand that one of the world’s largest shipping firms abandon a plan to introduce driverless electric cargo trucks.

Shouting, whistling and jeering, more than 1,200 union members, local business owners and community activists packed a four-hour hearing Thursday before the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners. The board voted to postpone a construction permit for the automated system after an offer by Mayor Eric Garcetti to mediate the dispute.

“The decision before the board may have far-reaching impacts on the pace of automation at our port and could define how the port will compete and sustain jobs into the foreseeable future,” Garcetti wrote in a letter unveiled at the hearing.

Mar 24 09:46

Chips, Electronics Components Exports From Israel to China Nearly Doubled in 2018

In 2018, export of electronic components from Israel to China increased by 80%, according to new data published earlier this month by Israeli government agency the Israeli Export Institute. The report shows that $2.6 billion worth of electronic components were shipped from Israel to China over the past year, most manufactured by only a few companies, among them chipmaker Intel. According to the report, Intel exports most of its Israel-manufactured components to China, where it has several testing and assembly facilities.

Mar 24 09:33

US Completely Invalidates All Of Its Own Arguments About Crimea

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Well the worst Putin Puppet of all time is at it again, this time tweeting that the US must recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel despite the fact that the Israeli occupation of that Syrian land is illegal under international law.

“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”, Trump’s tweetreads.

Russian parliament member Oleg Morozov made a statement in response to Trump’s proclamation, saying that “Russia will never agree to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the Golan. Trump is damaging the international community and the Arab world”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Russia never "annexed Crimea"

What happened was the following.

President Obama admitted that the US had been part of the movement to regime change Crimea, with the throwing under the proverbial bus its duly elected leader, Yanukovich, under the bus, in favor of Poroshenko. President Obama confesses, in an interview on CNN, that the US was behind the Ukrainian coup deal, installing President Poroshenko

At that point, leadership in Crimea understood that there was no legitimate government in Kiev, and did two things at that point.

First, they held a referendum for the Crimean people, asking if they wanted to stay with Ukraine, post-putch, or petition the Russian federation for membership.

Overwhelmingly, the Crimean people, in a very clean vote, observed by local and foreign representatives, to leave Ukraine, and petition the Russian Federation for membership. The Russian Federation accepting Crimea's membership, and all was well.

That is, except for the US huffing and puffing that the Crimean people had no right to peaceful self determination, as stated in the UN Charter, to which the US is I(allegedly) a signatory. The US cannot have it both ways; if they cannot commit to supporting the UN charter, it might as well withdraw its membership to the organization.

There was zero annexation here, but a real-world expression of that freedom for self-determiniation by the Crimean people.

On the other hand, the Golan Heights was seized by Israel, with the citizens of the Golan given no right to any representation whatsoever, except under Israeli edict.

This is an occupation, and an annexation, which is the polar opposite of what happened in Crimea, after the Western-orchestrated Putch put Poroshenko in power in Kiev.

Mar 24 09:20

NYSE Index Suggesting The Top Is In

Mar 24 09:17

U.S. Posts Largest-Ever Monthly Budget Deficit in February

The U.S. posted its biggest monthly budget deficit on record last month, amid a 20 percent drop in corporate tax revenue and a boost in spending so far this fiscal year.

The budget gap widened to $234 billion in February, compared with a fiscal gap of $215.2 billion a year earlier. That gap surpassed the previous monthly record of $231.7 billion set seven years ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

February’s shortfall helped push the deficit for the first five months of the government’s fiscal year to $544.2 billion, up almost 40 percent from the same period the previous year, the Treasury Department said in its monthly budget report Friday. The release was delayed a week by the government shutdown earlier this year.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The cost of war and illegal immigration, not to mention the constant hand-outs to Israel.

Mar 24 09:16

Italy Defies West As It Officially Joins China's "Neocolonial Project"

With Brussels and Washington helplessly looking on, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister signed a historic memorandum of understanding Saturday morning in Rome that made Italy the first founding EU member, and the first G-7 nation, to officially sign on to Beijing's "One Belt, One Road" economic development initiative - one of President Xi Jinping's signature ventures which many have called China's shadow project to re-colonize the world's poorer nations.

Along with the MoU, the two leaders signed development deals covering everything from port management, to science and technology, to e-commerce to soccer that were reportedly worth up to $20 billion.

Though OBOR (or BRI) has promised to strengthen trade links between the West and East, it has been derided in Washington and Europe as "debt trap diplomacy" and a neocolonial project by Vice President Mike Pence, and others.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What else could they do, bomb Italy to the ground for having defied the US and Brussels?!?

I think that the government of Italy has read the economic tealeaves reasonably correctly, and see this as a far better deal than the one they are getting from the EU

Mar 24 09:12

"It Was Go, Go, Go": Boeing Rushed 737 MAX Design In Race With Airbus

A major decision that Boeing made almost a decade ago has resulted in the greatest threat to the aerospace giant's reputation and the bottom line at the company after two major plane crashes in just under six months.

Back in 2011, American Airlines, who was an exclusive Boeing customer for more than 10 years, was getting ready to defect from the company in favor of purchasing hundreds of new jets from Airbus, according to The New York Times. Airbus had been stealing market share from Boeing for several years, and losing American Airlines would have been a crushing blow, costing billions of dollars in lost sales and thousands of jobs.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Rushing design on as complicated a craft as was the 737, almost guaranteed that something was going to go wrong, and unfortunately, those flaws cost hundreds of lives; I frankly think that Boeing may not be able to recover, because of a cascade of class-action lawsuits against them on this issue.

Mar 24 09:02

Taibbi: It's Official - 'Russiagate' Is This Generation's WMD

Authored by Matt Taibbi, excerpted from his serial book Hate Inc.,

The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it...

Note to readers: in light of news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation is complete, I’m releasing this chapter of Hate Inc. early, with a few new details added up top.

Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.

As has long been rumored, the former FBI chief’s independent probe will result in multiple indictments and convictions, but no “presidency-wrecking” conspiracy charges, or anything that would meet the layman’s definition of “collusion” with Russia.

With the caveat that even this news might somehow turn out to be botched, the key detail in the many stories about the end of the Mueller investigation was best expressed by the New York Times:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The independent media, like WRH, called it from the beginning; a smear job with utterly no substance, to attempt to derail Trump before the 2020 elections.

Yes, there were convictions along the way, allowing Mueller to notch a couple more convictions into his belt; but nothing which ever tied President Trump to Russia.

Mar 24 08:40

Market Mayhem Coming? Here Are the Signs…

Mar 23 11:01

Scott Adams: Sheepinions, Hallucinations, Fake News, Traitors, and Conflaters

“Slaughter Meter” is pinned at 100% if election was held today
Untrue but widely reported “fine people” HOAX and false memory
Golan Heights now being recognized as Israeli territory
Moving the embassy didn’t impact peace discussions
Golan Heights recognition, will it impact anything?
Time is on President Trump’s side and he knows it
NO new sanctions on North Korea, what’s the President’s play?
President Trump’s enemies maneuvered into arguing against…
Free speech
Capitalism
Default back up position of TDS victims shown “fine people” HOAX
Once it’s clear they were hoaxed, what do most say?
Biden signals the weakness of his bid for the nomination
Wikipedia editors (currently) agree, allowed “fine people” hoax info
Steve King, Republican, nice guy, but kind of an idiot
FAKE NEWS PUNCTUATION…changed what he meant
Anderson Cooper last night, still pushing that fake news

Mar 23 10:41

Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory

By Jamie Redman

The cryptoconomy means many things to many people. For example, since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009, some individuals have used digital currencies as a form of agorism otherwise known as counter-economics. These people believe that using bitcoin as a tool to avoid State harassment is one of the technology’s key features with the potential to reduce the manipulation and civil abuses perpetrated by government bureaucracy...

Mar 23 10:25

MADURO: US WITHHOLDING $5BN OF MEDICAL SUPPLIES IN ‘CRIMINAL’ MEASURE

The US government is withholding US $5 billion which was meant for the purchase of medicines and raw materials used in medical production, President Nicolas Maduro claimed Wednesday.

Speaking from Miranda State, Maduro denounced that US authorities “have ‘kidnapped’ US $5 billion [in] one of the most criminal, brutal, fascist economic measures which has been seen in the economic history of the world.” “Trump is the person responsible,” he added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was a logical, if not horrific, thing Trump has done here; after all, very ill people in a country cannot fight against its overthrow.

Mar 23 10:17

WITH A HARD BREXIT LOOMING, UK INVITES 10,000 FOREIGN TROOPS OVER FOR MILITARY EXERCISES

As the drama over Brexit continues to reach new heights, the U.K. government has raised eyebrows by announcing that it will host 10,000 foreign troops for a massive military exercise beginning the day after Brexit had been set to take place.

The announcement of the exercise has raised the specter of a post-Brexit “martial law” scenario, given that the Theresa May-led government has been examining the possibility of declaring martial law in the country in the event of a no-deal Brexit since at least this January.

According to a government press release, the NATO-affiliated military exercise known as “Joint Warrior” will take place from March 30 until April 11 and will see the U.K. host 10,000 soldiers as well as 35 warships, five submarines, and 59 aircraft and helicopters. Thirteen countries will participate, including the United States, France and Germany, and the exercise will occur in areas spaced throughout Scotland, Wales and England.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If I were a British citizen living in the UK right now, particularly if I had kids, I would be very, very concerned, and see what can be done to get the heck out of Dodge, before the excrement hits the ventilation system.

Mar 23 10:12

PENTAGON: WE’RE BUYING BOEING F-15S TO KEEP 2 FIGHTER MAKERS IN BUSINESS

The decision to buy new Boeing F-15s reflects the Pentagon’s desire to keep two American companies making fighter jets into the next decade — and not the acting defense secretary’s ties to the company, a senior defense official said Friday.

The 2020 budget request contains $1.1 billion to buy eight F-15X jets, a new variant of an aircraft the Air Force last bought nearly a decade ago. The twin-tailed plane was chosen over Lockheed’s cheaper single-engine F-16 in part to keep a second U.S.manufacturer in the tactical-jet business as the Pentagon begins exploring new technologies for a new generation of warplanes, the official said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I certainly hope, for the sake of our military, that these planes won't go down like those Boeing 737 did, and that FAA inspections are in place to make sure that they do NOT go down in flames.

Mar 23 10:02

OREGON BILL WOULD CREATE BANKING ALTERNATIVE FOR CANNABIS INDUSTRY, BYPASS FEDERAL RESERVE

A bill filed in the Oregon House would establish limited state-chartered banks to serve the cannabis industry. Final passage of this legislation would remove a major federal roadblock in front of the developing industry in the state and further nullify federal prohibition in practice.

Rep. Pam Marsh (D) and Rep. Ken Helm (D) introduced House Bill 3169 (HB3169) on Feb. 28. The legislation would create a self-contained, state chartered banking system for the cannabis industry in Oregon.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think that Oregon is doing the right thing here; it will be interesting to see how this bill progresses in its Legislature.

Mar 23 09:30

Iran just struck a hoard of deals with Iraq, and Washington isn’t happy

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has returned from his first-ever trip to Iraq with a raft of agreements for expanded trade, cross-border infrastructure, and pledges of greater cooperation with Baghdad.

Leaders of both countries embraced strengthening ties — something Washington has been watching closely.

Iran is upping its game in Iraq as U.S. influence recedes, deepening ties with its war-weary neighbor and betting on bilateral economic activity to help offset tough sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

Mar 23 09:04

5 Important Stories We’re Paying Attention To

By Simon Black, Sovereign Man

Last week we started a new feature in Notes from the Field – a Friday roll-up of bizarre, often overlooked stories that my team and I think are worth following with great interest.

Based on the positive feedback we received from last week’s article, we thought we’d continue the trend. So here are a few important stories that we’re paying close attention to:

1 - The City of Chicago Paid $113 million in police misconduct cases last year...

Mar 23 08:58

Boeing 737 Max Case is Latest Example of Why Industry Can’t Regulate Itself

The fatal crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, just months after the Lion Air Flight 610 crash in Indonesia, has led to governments and airlines around the world grounding their Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft amid concerns that, after two crashes killing 346 people, the model is unsafe to fly. Airlines are attempting to cancel their orders of the aircraft, citing public-safety fears. However, the 737 Max is already one of Boeing’s best sellers, with 376 planes delivered and an impressive 4,636 more ordered but undelivered. American, United and Southwest Airlines are among the top users of the model, although it is flown around the world by carriers such as Air Canada, Air China and the European giant Ryanair.

Mar 23 08:55

Which Nations Will Crumble and Which Few Will Prosper in the Next 25 Years?

By Charles Hugh Smith

Adaptability and flexibility will be the core survival traits going forward.

What will separate the many nations that will crumble in the next 25 years and those few that will survive and even prosper while the status quo dissolves around them? As I explain in my recent book Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic, the factors that will matter are not necessarily cultural or financial; being hard-working and wealthy won’t be enough to save nations from coming apart at the seams...

Mar 23 08:47

Italy Officially Becomes First G7 Country to Join China's Belt and Road Project

The signing of the agreement comes during Chinese President Xi Jinping's three-day visit to Italy in an attempt to improve relations with Rome as China is currently engaged in a trade war with Washington.

Italy approved on Saturday China's Belt and Road (BRI) industrial initiative — this move makes the European country the first member of the Group of Seven (G7) powerful economies to join the Chinese project.

Mar 23 08:42

STOCK MARKET COLLAPSE 2019! WORST IN HISTORY

Mar 23 08:22

2.3 Million At Risk of Identity Theft Due to FEMA Negligence

By Sean Walton

FEMA mishandled the personal information of 2.3 million people driven out of their homes by wildfires in 2017 and hurricanes, an Inspector General report released Friday found...

Mar 23 07:50

60 Minutes Australia: Work till you drop

Mar 23 04:43

Take Notice of the Fed’s Big Red Flag

Mar 23 03:58

The U.S. Economy Is In Big Trouble

Mar 22 20:15

Markets dive as key economic indicator raises recession fears

Markets plunged Friday when a closely watched economic measure warned that sluggish global growth could tip the United States toward recession.

All three major indexes saw a steep decline on worries that a recession may finally be on the horizon after a 10-year bull market and economic expansion.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 460 points, about 1.8 percent, when the 10-year Treasury yield fell below the 3-year yield. The so-called "inverted yield curve" is a historic precursor of a recession.

Stocks posted their worst day since Jan. 3.

Mar 22 20:13

Australia's property downturn spells death of the ‘dog box’

Australia's property downturn may finally spell the end of the “dog box”.

As investors flee en masse, property developers are struggling to get funding from banks, with a growing number of apartment buildings being delayed or abandoned altogether.

Non-bank lenders are increasingly stepping in to fill the gap — and the focus is turning away from the 20-storey high-rises and tiny one-bedroom apartments favoured by investors to larger units in smaller-scale developments targeted at owner-occupiers.

“There is a tailwind in terms of the demographics, especially the baby boomers who have more capital, as they make that transition to apartments for lifestyle reasons,” said David Chin, founder of investment advisory firm Basis Point.

Mar 22 13:49

This Could Be It: Key Polish Political Party Comes Out Against Article 13

By Cory Doctorow

With only days to go before the final EU debate and vote on the new Copyright Directive (we’re told the debate will be at 0900h CET on Tuesday, 27 March, and the vote will happen at 1200h CET), things could not be more urgent and fraught. That’s why today’s announcement by Poland’s Platformy Obywatelska—the second-largest party in the European People’s Party (EPP) bloc—is so important...

Mar 22 13:43

France Is the Socialist Future We Should Dread

Op-Ed by Veronique de Rugy

A lot of attention and ink are being poured these days in trying to explain to a generation of voters why socialism always fails. Not only does socialism always fail to deliver the economic goods; it is also a source of massive oppression and pain...

Mar 22 10:49

GERMANY CRISIS: Manufacturing falls to 79-MONTH LOW - Merkel feeling Brexit pressure

The index measuring activity in the manufacturing sector fell to a 79-month low of 44.7 in March, according to IHS Markit, a figure well below what economists had expected. It marks its lowest figure since August 2012. A reading below the 50.0 mark indicates contraction. Exports from Europe’s largest powerhouse have been dented from disputes between the United States and China, as well as ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

Mar 22 10:33

The Obama Legacy

I’ve asked dozens of friends and acquaintances if there is any limit on how much federal, state and local governmental entities can take from their citizens. Most look at me with a blank stare. Most have never given it a thought.

Clearly the thought has not crossed the minds of many in Congress. We hear some, those that are proudly labeling themselves as “socialists,” righteously telling us the rich need to pay their “fair share.” The most vocal are calling for a 70% to 90% tax rate on the “rich.”

These pontificating self-righteous paragons of nothing certainly have not considered the question of whether there is a limit on how much government can take from its citizens.

Prior to 1913 the limit on the federal government was effectively set by denying it most tools for taking citizens’ earnings. America’s first totalitarian socialist president, Woodrow Wilson, pushed through the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. This allowed the Feds to tax our individual income.

Webmaster's Commentary: 
Mar 22 10:03

Media Blackout as Israel’s Largest Banks Pay Over $1 Billion in Fines for US Tax Evasion Schemes

Israel’s three largest banks — Hapoalim Bank, Leumi Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank — have all been ordered to pay record fines, which collectively are set to total over $1 billion, to the U.S. government after the banks were found to have actively colluded with thousands of wealthy Americans in massive tax-evasion schemes.

The scandal, though it has been reported on in Israeli media, has garnered little attention in the United States. The media black-out has been so surprising it was even directly mentioned by the Times of Israel, given that similar revelations about other banks and offshore tax-evasion schemes — such as those contained within the Panama Papers — led to global protests and even the resignations of some world leaders.

Mar 22 10:02

Community Rallies To Defend Community Garden

The largest community garden in Baltimore is aiming to make Baltimore more sustainable and push the city toward zero-waste, but it is under threat of demolition by the city

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"How DARE you grow your own food! How DARE you! How dare you DARE to dare! You will buy your food from corporations, AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!"

Mar 22 09:27

Oil profits grease Trump administration’s move to recognize Israeli annexation of Golan

Washington last week gave another sign that the Trump administration is moving towards declaring the Golan Heights to be Israeli sovereign territory. At the heart of the move are huge anticipated US-Israeli oil profits.
In an annual human rights report, the State Department referred to the Golan Heights as “Israeli-controlled,” dropping the international norm of citing the contested area as “Israeli-occupied.” The change in wording is significant.

The Golan Plateau is considered to be Syrian territory under international law, according to UN resolutions. Israel has occupied the strategically important area overlooking the Jordan Valley since the 1967 Six Day War. In 1981, Israel formally annexed the land, but the self-declared claim has never been recognized internationally.

Hence, the normative term “Israeli-occupied Golan” in UN terminology, not “Israeli-controlled.”

Mar 22 09:15

FBI joining criminal investigation into certification of Boeing 737 MAX

The FBI has joined the criminal investigation into the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX, lending its considerable resources to an inquiry already being conducted by U.S. Department of Transportation agents, according to people familiar with the matter.

The federal grand jury investigation, based in Washington, D.C., is looking into the certification process that approved the safety of the new Boeing plane, two of which have crashed since October.

Mar 22 08:48

Russia Buys 1 Million Ounces Of Gold In February – Become Your Own Central Bank

Russia continues to add to its gold reserves and added another 1,000,000 ounces in February or 31.1 metric tonnes. Most analysts believe this buying will continue and may intensify in the coming months. Since 2007, we have clearly said that this would happen as currency wars deepen.

Mar 22 08:39

$2,000 Palladium Is Not Out Of The Question

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