ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Mar 22 10:20

Democrat Leader On Sound Money: “In 1868 Gold Was $27 An Ounce…Today It Is $1,218…So You Can’t Say Gold Will Protect Us From Inflation”

Proving once again that our elected representatives appear to have absolutely no clue, we turn to Democrat Idaho House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding.

Mar 22 10:00

JEFTA: THE LATEST MASSIVE 'TRADE' DEAL YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF, NEGOTIATED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, WITH ZERO PUBLIC SCRUTINY

As Techdirt has reported, the election of Donald Trump has turned the world of US trade deals upside-down. The US officially pulled out of TPP, although some still hope it might come back in some form. TAFTA/TTIP seems to be on ice, but Trump's choice for US trade representative has just said he is open to resuming negotiations, so it's not clear what might happen there (or with TISA). Against that confusing backdrop, the European Union has been quick to emphasize that it is in favor of trade deals, and is keen to sign as many as possible, presumably hoping to fill the economic and political vacuum left by the US.

Mar 22 08:42

Trump and EU in Standoff Over TTIP Win-Win, Win-Lose 'Game'

EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has said the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal between the EU and the US has hit the blocks because US President Donald Trump - who is against the deal - is one of those who treats such deals on an "I win, you lose" basis.

Malmstrom was speaking in Toronto, Canada, where she is promoting the recently signed — but not yet ratified — EU-Canada trade deal, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Mar 22 08:24

Russia Has Unfair Military Advantage Because It’s Not Bombing Seven Countries, Notes US Smartypants

The Pentagon is forced to spend large sums to bomb defenseless brown people in faraway lands. Meanwhile, Russia and China modernize their armies. That's not fair

Mar 22 08:16

Google's stock rating downgraded as YouTube ad boycott contagion goes global

Google has responded to a contagious YouTube advertising boycott which yesterday prompted a downgrade on Wall Street.

Pivotal Research Group downgraded Alphabet shares from "Buy" to "Hold" based on its response to the boycott, which now includes more than 200 big brands, as well as public sector ad spending. Marks & Spencer and Hargreaves Lansdown became the latest to hit pause yesterday.

The boycott follows a series of reports in The Times demonstrating that Google was running advertisements promoting big brands against jihadi and racist videos on YouTube, the world's second most popular website after Google's search page.

Mar 22 07:17

Stock market extends losses after biggest drop in months

Dow eyes fifth straight day of losses

U.S. stocks are trading lower as investors remained cautious following the prior session’s first sharp slump in months, which some analysts attribute to worries that momentum for President Donald Trump’s pro-growth policies is fading.

The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.28% was off 4 points, or 0.2%, at 2,340, with nine of the 11 main sectors trading lower. Financials and telecoms led the decliners, while utilities and technology stocks were the bright spot.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.39% was off by 54 points, or 0.3%, to 20,610, on track for its fifth consecutive decline.
The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.08% was up 5 points, or less than 0.1%, at 5,798.

Tuesday’s selloff came as issues with the Republicans’ health-care bill prompted investors to question Trump’s ability to follow through on promises of tax reforms and $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, according to Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex. A vote on the bill has been set for Thursday.

>>>

Mar 22 07:10

Dow, Nasdaq log worst day since September as financial stocks crumble

U.S. stocks sank Tuesday as the Dow and the Nasdaq logged their worst daily drops since September, while the S&P 500 also tumbled the most in a single session in five months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.29% fell 237.85 points, or 1.1%, to close at 20,668.01, the biggest percentage decline since blue chips fell by 1.4% on Sept. 13. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.16% posted its steepest fall since Oct. 11, shedding 29.45 points, or 1.2%, to end at 2,344.02, and the Nasdaq COMP, +0.06% had its worst day since Sept. 9, falling 107.70 points, or 1.8%, to finish at 5,793.83.

also:A history-setting trading streak for Dow, S&P 500 just came to a screeching halt
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sp-500-dow-on-verge-of-snapping-109-d...

Mar 22 04:49

Have We Reached A Turning Point For Stocks? Tuesday Was The Worst Day For The Stock Market In 6 Months

The post-election stock market rally is officially over. After hovering near record highs for the past couple of weeks, U.S. stocks had their worst day in six months on Tuesday. For quite some time it has been clear that the momentum of the post-election rally had been exhausted, and a pullback of this nature was widely anticipated.

Mar 22 04:49

Bulls Are Going To Take A Header As New IPOs Are Flooding The Market With Supply And Overwhelming The Demand

The upcoming onslaught of IPOs is going to cause the much anticipated short term pause in the markets, according to Jim Cramer, host of the Mad Money. "I keep thinking back to March of 2014, the last time deals started coming at a fever pitch.

Mar 21 15:37

These Five Charts Explain The Current State Of Stock Market

Both S&P 500 and DJIA are having a longest streak in over 20 years. Both the indices haven’t seen a 1% decline since October 2016. Also, in February, the DJIA recorded its longest “winning streak” since 1987. It closed 2,000 points above its 200-day moving average for the first time ever.

Mar 21 15:21

Light rail train at OIA not dead, mayors say

A deal to bring a light rail train from Orlando International Airport to the Orange County Convention Center may not be dead just yet.

Global Via told Eyewitness News earlier this week that it had suspended its talks with airport officials to bring in the privately funded train.

Mar 21 14:21

Mind-blowing math animation explains why stock market wealth is an ILLUSION that vanishes in a crash

Almost no one really understands the basics of how the stock market works, and they suffer under the illusion that EVERY stock share is worth the same price as the last share that was traded. (If you’re confused why this isn’t the case, you’ve been lied to… watch the animation below to learn the truth that Wall Street doesn’t want you to ever realize.)

Thus, in a rising stock market bubble, people who hold shares that were purchased at far lower prices suffer under the illusion that all those shares are “worth” the current high price.

As my animation video reveals below, that idea is nothing but illusion. In truth, share prices are only transmuted into real wealth when they are SOLD. Yet it is impossible for all the holders of the shares to all sell at the current price for the simple reason that selling shares causes their price to fall.

Mar 21 13:06

Factors That Indicate The Growing Likelihood Of Bursting Of The Housing Bubble In 2017

The next housing collapse is on the horizon. Eventually, home prices must return to normal levels. As can be seen in the chart below home prices are above the pre-crisis levels.

Mar 21 12:50

Poverty In Germany Reaches New Record High

The welfare organisation Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband presented its latest report on poverty in Germany at the beginning of March. According to this study, poverty in Germany reached a new record high in 2015, at 15.7 percent, with 12.9 million people live in poverty.

Mar 21 12:24

Bank of NY Mellon must face $1 billion Commerzbank lawsuit

lawsuit seeking to hold it liable for toxic mortgage-backed securities

Mar 21 11:53

Crisis-hit Venezuela halts publication of another major indicator

has stopped publishing money supply data, depriving the public of the best available tool to ascertain soaring inflation

Mar 21 11:53

The Story of Your Enslavement

Mar 21 11:48

The Collapse of The American Dream Explained in Animation

Mar 21 11:18

The Economy Just Took One Step Closer To Collapsing

Brexit could be invoked on March 29. Retail is collapsing quickly has foot traffic declines rapidly. Bank loan creation has accelerated to the downside. Deutsche banks revenue declines rapidly.

Mar 21 10:35

The Pentagon: Americans Support Increasing Budget of Most Wasteful Federal Department

A Politico and Morning Consult poll, a scientific sampling of 1,992 registered American voters, which was first published on March 8th, asked «Here is a list of federal departments and agencies. For each of the following, please indicate if you think the department or agency should have its annual budget increased, decreased, or kept about the same». Here is what it found:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I do not believe in giving the DOD more money, when they cannot account for the money they have already been given, and they should have to process their spending through a strict audit structure which would make them accountable.

And secondly, the culture of our weapons manufacturers has to change.

That the CEOS of such companies believe it is perfectly acceptable to deliver products that are obsolete, compared to what Russian and Chinese weapons manufacturers are delivering to their countries; and that it is acceptable to deliver products with huge failure rates, which may never work as advertised (like the F-35); and that huge cost over-runs, coupled with horrifically late deliveries are standard operating procedures, can no longer be tolerated.

And instead of fines, when the above-mentioned happens, there needs to be hard jail time for those executives who signed off on those practices; this is the only way this corporate culture will be "inspired" to change, because everything else the US government has tried here, to accomplish this, has been an epic failure.

Mar 21 09:56

Switzerland Follows Iceland In Declaring War Against The Banksters

Iceland has gained the admiration of populists in recent years by doing that which no other nation in the world seems to be willing or capable of doing: prosecuting criminal bankers for engineering financial collapse for profit.

Their effective revolt against the banking class, who drove the tiny nation into economic crisis in 2008, is the brightest example yet that the world does not have to be indebted in perpetuity to an austere and criminal wealthy elite. In 2015, 26 Icelandic bankers were sentenced to prison and the government ordered a bank sale to benefit the citizenry.

Inspired by Iceland’s progress, activists in Switzerland are now making an important stand against the banking cartels and have successfully petitioned to bring an initiative to public referendum that would attack the private banks where it matters most: their power to lend money they don’t actually have, and to create money out of thin air.

Mar 21 09:50

Trump Market Euphoria Impacts Precious Metals Demand: Plummets In West, Surges In East

With the Trump euphoria pushing the broader markets to new all-time highs, it has impacted precious metals demand considerably… especially in February. Precious metals investors believing the White House “Grandiose plans”, of making American great again, have cut back seriously on their precious metals buying.

Mar 21 09:32

EUROZONE TURMOIL: Spain, Italy and Greece owe massive debt of €1 TRILLION to ECB

EURO states owe the European Central Bank (ECB) a staggering €1trillion as they teeter on the verge of bankruptcy amid warnings a debt bubble is on the horizon.

Analysts condemned the "flawed economics of this reckless [EU] experiment" and said the ECB faces a rude awakening as states crumble under the burden of debt.

Market conditions in Eurozone are showing signs of a return to the conditions that sparked the 2011 European debt crisis which first reared its head in 2009.

The ECB uses a system called Target2 to assess levels of debt and the bank's data appears to show it is only a matter of time before the current system breaks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I do not know how long that "matter of time" before the system breaks down completely; but I would imagine that this will come sooner rather than later.

Mar 21 09:07

World stocks seen as most overvalued in 17 years: BAML survey

Bank of America Merrill Lynch's (BAML) poll of investors managing $592 billion worldwide

Mar 21 09:07

No Other Choice: Greek Employees Agree to Get Paid With Coupons

In Greece, which currently has over one million unemployed citizens, firms have started paying workers in kind, mainly with supermarket coupons.

Mar 21 08:48

British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money

Britain’s high street banks processed nearly $740m from a vast money-laundering operation run by Russian criminals with links to the Russian government and the KGB, the Guardian can reveal.

HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among 17 banks based in the UK, or with branches here, that are facing questions over what they knew about the international scheme and why they did not turn away suspicious money transfers.

The Global Laundromat: how did it work and who benefited?
Read more
Documents seen by the Guardian show that at least $20bn appears to have been moved out of Russia during a four-year period between 2010 and 2014. The true figure could be $80bn, detectives believe.

One senior figure involved in the inquiry said the money from Russia was “obviously either stolen or with criminal origin”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Imagine my (complete absence of) shock, in light of the fact that HSBC laundered drug, and terrorist organisation's money as well!!

HSBC escaped US money-laundering charges after Osborne's intervention

It's what HBSC does, and does with impunity, because it is adjudged by the British government as TBTF (too big to fail)!!

And fines won't stop this behaviour on the part of banks. The only thing that will begin to stop it is prosecuting those who sign off on these practices, and having them sentenced to hard jail time.

Unfortunately, however, that will only happen when pigs gain the ability to fly; the elite rarely eat their own.

Mar 21 08:46

Dear America: Better Read the Fine Print on Your Credit Card Statement

What will replace the current system after it self-destructs? That's the question.

You know those disclosures on your credit card statements? That it will take 27 years to pay off your balance if you only make the minimum payment each month, and so on?

Mar 21 08:39

THE UPCOMING TRADE WAR BETWEEN THE U.S. AND CHINA WILL BE THE BIGGEST IN THE HISTORY OF THE PLANET

The United States and China are the two largest economies in the world by far, and the upcoming trade war that is about to erupt will be cataclysmic for both sides. The Trump administration and the Chinese government are both gearing up for a prolonged trade war, and this is going to have very severe implications for the entire global economy. During the campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly stated that we “can’t continue to allow China to rape our country”, and he was quite correct about that. Over the past ten years, the U.S. has run a trade deficit of over $2 trillion with China, and as a result of imbalanced trade we have lost tens of thousands of manufacturing businesses, millions of good paying jobs, and hundreds of billions of dollars of tax revenue.
So clearly something needs to be done to balance our trade with China and other countries. But the situation must also be handled delicately, because trade disruptions could bring substantial short-term economic pain.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Trade wars make me nervous, because many times, they are simply preludes to actual shooting wars.

Mar 21 08:27

GREEK POLICE INTERCEPT 8 PARCEL BOMBS HEADED TO EU INSTITUTIONS & COMPANIES

Greek police have reported that they found and neutralized eight suspected parcel bombs at a postal sorting center in Athens on Monday. Last week, two such bombs targeted the German finance ministry and the IMF.

“Eight suspected packages which listed persons in European countries as recipients were located and confiscated today,” police said in a text message to the media.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am very relieved that these weapons were intercepted; unfortunately, however, with Greece in the throes of the agonising austerity into which the IMF has put it, I am very concerned that these bombs may not be the end of this problem.

As I have said many times before on this blog, as a Christian pacifist activist and witness, I abhor, and never advocate, violence; but I can understand how it can happens, when people get pushed against a wall.

And it appears that Greece's financial problems are about to get a whole lot worse this year:

IMF Warns Eurogroup Loan Measures Not Enough for Greek Debt

Mar 21 08:15

Saudi Arabia’s Oil Supremacy Falters

Saudi Arabia is losing its grip on big oil markets it once dominated amid a deep production cut that has reshaped global petroleum trade routes and benefited rivals like Iran, Russia and the U.S.

Mar 21 07:28

Independent Treasury Act of 1920

The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to transfer any or all of the duties and functions performed or authorized to be performed by the assistant treasurers above enumerated, or their offices, to the Treasurer of the United States or the mints or assay offices of the United States, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, or to utilize any of the Federal reserve banks acting as depositaries or fiscal agents of the United States, for the purpose of performing any or all of such duties and functions, notwithstanding the limitations of section 15 of the Federal reserve Act, as amended, or any other provisions of law: Provided, That if any moneys or bullion, constituting part of the trust funds or other special funds heretofore required by law to be kept in Treasury offices, shall be deposited with any Federal reserve bank, then such moneys or bullion shall by such bank be kept separate and distinct from the assets, funds, and securities of the

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is the law that turned over the US Treasury to a private for-profit corporation; the Federal Reserve!

Mar 21 02:28

The Upcoming Trade War Between The U.S. And China Will Be The Biggest In The History Of The Planet

The United States and China are the two largest economies in the world by far, and the upcoming trade war that is about to erupt will be cataclysmic for both sides.

Mar 20 16:02

Did the Fed hint at monster inflation?

We won’t bore you with yet another article about the recent rate hike by the Federal Reserve. This move was widely expected, as the Fed members had been hinting this would happen for several months now.

Mar 20 13:54

"Retailers Are Running Out Of Time": Channel Checks Show 13% Collapse In Traffic

While the market is treading water, with the S&P modestly in the red, offset by some strength in the DJIA, retail stocks are broadly lower, with 83 of 91 components of the S&P 1500 Retail Index trading in the red, led by Tuesday Morning, Caleres, Express, Shoe Carnival, Francescas as BBG notes.

Mar 20 12:08

King Dollar: Three Bearish patterns in a row

Mar 20 11:58

DOLLAR COLLAPSE OR GOLD STANDARD?

Mar 20 11:40

Welcome to the Third World, State Schools Scale Way Back

Readers of a certain age will remember when state universities were a bit spartan but extremely cheap. Middle class families could send their kids to Ohio State or UCLA without taking out a second mortgage, and the kids could focus on classes and fun instead of juggling multiple part-time jobs to cover room and board.

Mar 20 11:26

EUROZONE TURMOIL: Spain, Italy and Greece owe massive debt of €1 TRILLION to ECB

Analysts condemned the "flawed economics of this reckless [EU] experiment" and said the ECB faces a rude awakening as states crumble under the burden of debt.

Mar 20 11:09

Female Privilege

This New York Times article about "The Decline of Men" is well worth reading.

Key takeaways from the article are:

While men still dominate top positions, there is growing polarisation among men. A small minority of men are doing very well, while a large number of men are not.

Mar 20 11:05

Businesses Think They Can Dictate to National Government on Immigration Measures

In yet another sign of impending Statism/Corporatism, businesses are appealing to national governments to relax immigration rules in an effort to increase their profits.

Mar 20 10:24

EUROZONE TURMOIL: Spain, Italy and Greece owe massive debt of €1 TRILLION to ECB

EURO states owe the European Central Bank (ECB) a staggering €1trillion as they teeter on the verge of bankruptcy amid warnings a debt bubble is on the horizon.

Analysts condemned the "flawed economics of this reckless [EU] experiment" and said the ECB faces a rude awakening as states crumble under the burden of debt.

Market conditions in Eurozone are showing signs of a return to the conditions that sparked the 2011 European debt crisis which first reared its head in 2009.

The ECB uses a system called Target2 to assess levels of debt and the bank's data appears to show it is only a matter of time before the current system breaks.

At the time several eurozone member states including Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Cyprus were unable to repay or refinance their government debt.

They were bailed out through assistance of third parties including Eurozone countries, the ECB, and the International Monetary Fund.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

The UK had the absolute right idea with its "Brexit" of the EU, and may well have gotten out barely just in time. But as the following article indicates, Europeans may well have to pony up for EU countries' expenses they did not, themselves, sign off on, or create:

EU TAXPAYERS BRACE AS DEEPENING BANKING CRISIS MEANS EURO-TARP LOOMS

Mar 20 10:21

Used Car Prices Crash Most Since 2008

Mar 20 10:18

Farm Credit Implodes, Korean Food Prices Up

Korean government has lost control of food prices in the country as massive bird flu culls of birds raising the prices of chicken and eggs by minimum of 30%, seafood 25% and vegetables up to 75%. The farm credit crunch will result in less acreage planted in 2017 and now department store sales are at record low, is this an indication people are spending more of food in the US and buying less non-essential items?

Mar 20 10:09

EUROZONE TURMOIL: Spain, Italy and Greece owe massive debt of €1 TRILLION to ECB

EURO states owe the European Central Bank (ECB) a staggering €1trillion as they teeter on the verge of bankruptcy amid warnings a debt bubble is on the horizon.

Analysts condemned the "flawed economics of this reckless [EU] experiment" and said the ECB faces a rude awakening as states crumble under the burden of debt.

Mar 20 09:19

Trump Administration Rolls Back Obama Protections On Student Loans

Just days after reports emerged that student loan defaults are soaring, which is undoubtedly due to some combination of, among other things, poor job prospects for the millions of snowflakes who graduate each year with their $200,000 educations in anthropology and the moral hazard created by liberal politicians constantly calling for student debts to be 'forgiven' (a.k.a. forcefully jammed down the throats of taxpayers), the Trump administration has revoked rules put in place by Obama that barred student debt collectors from charging penalty fees on past-due loans.

Mar 20 09:17

Hedge Fund CIO: "The Odds Of Trump Succeeding Are Zero In The Absence Of A New War"

Peel back the patina and you’ll discover that today’s monetary policy, tax policy, foreign policy, trade policy, and regulations of every stripe are levers the elite pull to entrench their interests. Secular stagnation is what we came to call the symptom without identifying this cause. Then came a synchronized global cyclical recovery, which we may now confuse as a Trump inspired break from this stranglehold.

“If I thought our new president could increase budget deficits by another 2% per year, my thesis would crumble. I’d be wrong. But the odds of this are zero in the absence of starting a new war.” He paused, considering the rebound in interest rates, the record equity highs.

Mar 20 08:58

President Trump Set to Sign Bill Allowing States to Drug Test Welfare Recipients

While liberals continue to deny its existence, most Americans are keenly aware that welfare fraud is a real problem that needs to be destroyed.

For years, Republicans in Congress have tried to crack down on welfare abuse, hoping to give states the power to ensure that those receiving welfare benefits are truly deserving of such assistance. Democrats, of course, have fought any and all attempts at accountability.

But now, Congress has just taken a major step in their welfare reform agenda, voting to allow states to drug test individuals seeking unemployment benefits. President Trump is expected to sign the legislation in the coming days.

Mar 20 08:41

'Sell to them or you will lose your job': Call centre employees for big banks reveal upsell pressures

No matter the reason a customer calls a bank's hotline — online banking trouble, stolen credit card, bill discrepancy — call centre employees say their job could be on the line if they can't sell the caller a new product or service.

In emails to Go Public, past and present call centre employees for TD, RBC, BMO and CIBC (none from Scotiabank) said they're expected to use the same high-pressure sales tactics as those their branch colleagues recently revealed to CBC News — and face the same threat of being fired if they fail to consistently upsell customers.

Mar 20 08:40

RadioShack is closing 552 stores — see if your store is one of them

RadioShack, which filed for bankruptcy for the second time last week, is closing 552 of its stores.

The closures will affect 36% of the chain's stores.

Mar 20 08:23

Are the recent interest rate increases really to harm the US economy and Pres. Trump's goals to MAGA?

The Fed raising the rate it pays to the big banks for storing all the excess 'reserves' the Fed has printed up and handed out completely makes a mockery of the idea of a 'rate hike.'

Mar 20 08:16

H-1B Visas Are The Heart Of The Abramoff Scandal

These leaders associated directly or indirectly with lobbyist Jack Abramoff will not be a part of the 110th Congress: Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-CA), Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), Rep. John E. Sweeney (R-NY), Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), and Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH).

For details, use "Abramoff" as a search term in the CQPolitics website. Unfortunately, some leaders apparently did not learn this lesson.

First, as a bit of background, here is how ILW.COM readers may confirm that Microsoft lobbyist Jack Abramoff lobbied for expansion of the harmful H-1B visa program in 1998.

In 1998, Microsoft lobbyist Jack Abramoff lobbied former U.S. Representative - and Majority Whip Tom DeLay's office for expansion of this controversial visa program as shown in disclosures posted at the U.S. Senate Office of Public Records. Here is the process to see them...

Mar 20 07:20

The Global Famine Begins: UN Announces That The Worst Food Crisis Since World War II Is Happening Right Now

We always knew that this would start happening. Earlier this month, I wrote about the severe economic problems that are plaguing South America, but up to this point I have neglected to discuss the horrific famines that are breaking out all over Africa.

Mar 20 07:10

America First? 200,000 Troops Deployed To 177 Nations

Internationally, there are just under 200,000 troops that are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world.

In 2015, Politico estimated that there are 800 U.S. bases abroad, and that it costs up to $100 billion annually to maintain this international presence.

Mar 20 07:06

Russian ATMs Spit Out Cash After Malware Attack

Russian daily Kommersant reports that the Bank of Russia detected malware that hides inside ATM’s operating memory which "forces" them to dispense cash to anyone who enters certain code on its keyboard.

Mar 20 07:03

Deutsche Bank Plunges Into Red For 2017 After Dilution, Revenue Warning

After raising capital at a 35% discount over the weekend, Deutsche Bank shares are tumbling once again - back into the red for 2017 - after CEO John Cryan warned that revenue would be "broadly flat" in 2017.

Mar 20 04:48

Stocks Soared on Trump’s $1-Trillion Infrastructure Boom. But that Just Evaporated. Now What?

Wall Street will have to go look for another mirage to hype.

Mar 19 19:27

Oil And Gas States Forced To Cut Education Spending

The oil price slump has put pressure on the budgets of the U.S. oil and coal states that have been struggling with lower energy tax revenues and difficult decisions about which public-sector financing they should reduce. Higher budget deficits have led to cuts across the board, and education has been one of the sectors on the chopping block.

Mar 19 19:22

Politics and Economics, not Religion, Spawned Radical Islam

The phenomena of Islamic radicalism all over the world is directly linked to Wahhabi-Salafi madrassahs (religious seminaries) that are generously funded by Saudi and Persian Gulf’s petro-dollars. These madrassahs attract children from the most impoverished backgrounds in the Third World Islamic countries, because they offer the kind of incentives and facilities which even the government sponsored public schools cannot provide: such as, free boarding and lodging, no tuition fee at all and free of cost books and stationery; some generously funded madrassahs even pay monthly stipends to students.

Mar 19 13:59

Michael Pento: Great Recession Headed for Greater Depression, Stock Market Will Fall at Least 50%

Money Manager Michael Pento predicted the bond market would ultimately collapse in his 2013 book titled “The Coming Bond Market Collapse.” He says the collapse has started and will get worse quickly.

Mar 19 12:43

The Record Year The U.S. Imported Nearly A Half Billion Ounces Of Silver

How many precious metals investors know the year the United States imported a record amount of silver? This figure is so great, there is no other single year in U.S. history that comes anywhere close to this amount. Even more impressive than that, it turns out to be more than double the global annual mine supply that year. It is such an unbelievable amount, its record has never been surpassed to this day.

Mar 19 12:35

The revolution in work calls for an evolution in living

Graham Peebles explores some of the ideas that are being discussed for a radical alternative to the prevailing social and economic paradigm, ones where justice, equality and human dignity replace poverty, competition and waste.>>

Mar 19 08:50

THE ROTHSCHILD AND SAUD FAMILIES FUND BOTH JOHN MCCAIN AND HILLARY CLINTON

On 21 October 2016, I headlined “An Email From Lynn Forester de Rothschild to Hillary Clinton, Against Elizabeth Warren” and reported extensive back-door funding of Hillary Clinton by the Rothschild family.

On 15 December 2016, I headlined “U.S. Gov’t. Is Secretly Allied with America’s Enemies“ and noted that:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why would the Rothchilds be covertly funding candidates who seem, on the surface, so ideologically incompatible?!?

The answer is very simple; both Mc Cain and Clinton are warmongers of the highest order, and bankers love wars, because all sides have to borrow money at horrific interest rates, to keep those wars going.

Mar 19 08:33

ISDS System – Global Super Court For Corporations To Subvert Democracy

The Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) or investment court system (ICS) has a number of iterations. It is a system through which individual companies can sue countries for alleged discriminatory practices. One small example is where the tobacco company Philip Morris sued Uruguay after having enacted strict laws aimed at promoting public health. ISDS is found in international investment agreements, such as the Energy Charter Treaty, TTP, CETA, TTIP and the like.

Mar 19 08:08

Germany vows legal action if Trump taxes imports

Germany could take the United States to court if Washington goes ahead with plans to tax imports, Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said Friday, hours before Chancellor Angela Merkel's first meeting with Donald Trump.

"I'm betting partly on reason and partly on the courts" to prevent a damaging trade war, Zypries told Deutschlandfunk public radio.

Mar 19 08:07

Trump says Germany owes NATO 'vast sums'

US President Donald Trump on Saturday accused Germany of owing "vast sums of money" to NATO, and said Berlin should pay Washington more for defense, a day after meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The two leaders showed little common ground Friday over a host of thorny issues, including NATO and defense spending.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted: "Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!"

Mar 19 08:06

Trump Wins: G-20 Drops 'Anti-Protectionist, Free-Trade, & Climate-Change Funding' Pledge

After delays and hours of discussions amid tensions over 'trade' comments between the United States and the rest of The G-20, it appears President Trump has 'won'. While China was "adamantly against" protectionism, the finance ministers end talks without renewing their long-standing commitment to free trade and rejection of protectionism after US opposition.

The world's financial leaders are unlikely to endorse free trade and reject protectionism in their communique on Saturday because they have been unable to find a wording that would suit a more protectionist United States, G20 officials said.

This would break with a decade-old tradition among the finance ministers and central bankers of the world's 20 top economies (G20), who over the years have repeatedly rejected protectionism and endorsed free trade.

Mar 19 07:46

As Venezuelan "Bread War" Escalates, Maduro Warns Bakers "You Will Pay, I Swear"

As The BBC reports, the Venezuelan government says it will expropriate bakeries which fail to abide by new government regulations aimed at tackling bread shortages.

In a growing row between the government and bakers, officials said that bakeries could face fines if people had to queue to get their bread. Severe shortages of basic goods mean that Venezuelans often have to queue for hours to buy essential items.

The government says the shortages are caused by an "economic war".

Mar 19 07:21

We Kill Each Other For PAPER

Mar 18 13:38

Gorsuch Not a Sure Vote for Trump in Immigration Crackdown

What a great nominee! Stupidity or on purpose!

Top court nominee sided with man who came to U.S. illegally

Judge attacked doctrine that gives executive branch last word

A Mexican immigrant who twice entered the U.S. illegally has one man in particular to thank for being able to live and work in Oklahoma City with his family -- Judge Neil M. Gorsuch.

Gorsuch, the nominee President Donald Trump is betting on to be his Supreme Court tie-breaker, wrote a 2016 ruling permitting Hugo Rosario Gutierrez-Brizuela to stay in the U.S. and, his lawyer hopes, within a few years become a citizen.

“Without it we were done," said Timothy Cook, the attorney. Had the decision gone the other way, Gutierrez-Brizuela would have been promptly deported, he said.

Mar 18 12:07

Globalists Fail Again As Indian Gold Demand EXPLODES!

When Mohdi withdrew the most popular bank notes from India, many industry insiders believed the motive was to stifle Indian gold demand since much of the gold trade in India is conducted in cash.

But the Plan Backfired: Indian Gold Demand Has Gone Through the Roof:

Mar 18 11:07

Child Poverty In Britain Reaches Highest Level Since 2010 – Figures

Child poverty has soared in the UK under successive Conservative-led governments, with up to 30 percent of British children now classed as deprived, a third of these from families currently in work, new figures show.

Mar 18 10:55

Is yours on the list? Struggling J.C. Penney announces 138 store closures across the country and 5,000 job losses

For the first time on Friday, J.C. Penney listed the 138 locations it will shutter in the coming months as the retailer seeks to cut costs and improve its profitability.

Like other department stores, J.C. Penney Co. is hurting as more people shop online instead of heading to the mall.
The closures are part of the company's previously announced plans to focus on its best-performing stores.

About 5,000 jobs will be cut due to the closures, J.C. Penney said.
The company had about 105,000 full and part-time employees last year.
Nine stores will close in Texas, the most of any state. Eight will close in Minnesota and seven will be shut in both Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Liquidation sales at the 138 stores will start next month, and most of the stores will be shut by mid-June, the company said.
The closings will leave J.C. Penney with a total of about 900 stores.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is NOT about "online shopping"; this is about America's middle class having no money with which to shop, period, end of discussion.

Mar 18 10:55

Is yours on the list? Struggling J.C. Penney announces 138 store closures across the country and 5,000 job losses

For the first time on Friday, J.C. Penney listed the 138 locations it will shutter in the coming months as the retailer seeks to cut costs and improve its profitability.

Like other department stores, J.C. Penney Co. is hurting as more people shop online instead of heading to the mall.
The closures are part of the company's previously announced plans to focus on its best-performing stores.

About 5,000 jobs will be cut due to the closures, J.C. Penney said.
The company had about 105,000 full and part-time employees last year.
Nine stores will close in Texas, the most of any state. Eight will close in Minnesota and seven will be shut in both Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Liquidation sales at the 138 stores will start next month, and most of the stores will be shut by mid-June, the company said.
The closings will leave J.C. Penney with a total of about 900 stores.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is NOT about "online shopping"; this is about America's middle class having no money with which to shop, period, end of discussion.

Mar 18 10:30

It's Time To Get Painfully Honest: Banks Are Evil

I don't talk to my classmates from business school anymore, many of whom went to work in the financial industry.

Why?

Because, through the lens we use here at PeakProsperity.com to look at the world, I've increasingly come to see the financial industry -- with the big banks at its core -- as the root cause of injustice in today's society. I can no longer separate any personal affections I might have for my fellow alumni from the evil that their companies perpetrate.

And I'm choosing that word deliberately: Evil.

Mar 18 10:25

Trump’s One Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Boondoggle. Handing Over Public Assets to Private Corporations

Donald Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan is not an infrastructure plan and it won’t put $1 trillion of fiscal stimulus into the economy.

It’s basically a scheme for handing over public assets to private corporations that will extract maximum profits via user fees and tolls. Because the plan is essentially a boondoggle, it will not lift the economy out of the doldrums, increase activity or boost growth. Quite the contrary. When the details of how the program is going to be implemented are announced, public confidence in the Trump administration is going to wither and stock prices are going to plunge. This scenario cannot be avoided because the penny-pinching conservatives in the House and Senate have already said that they won’t support any plan that is not “revenue neutral” which means that any real $1 trillion spending package is a dead letter. Thus, it’s only a matter of time before the Trump’s plan is exposed as a fraud and the sh** hits the fan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF this information is true, I am disappointed beyond what language can convey.

Mar 18 09:36

DEEPENING EU BANKING CRISIS MEETS EURO-TARP AND TAXPAYERS

Events are moving so fast in Europe these days, it’s almost impossible to keep up. While much of the attention is being hogged by political developments, including the election in the Netherlands, Reuters published a report warning that the European banking sector may face even higher bad loan risks if the ECB begins to scale back its monetary stimulus programs, something it has already begun, albeit extremely tentatively.

The total stock of non-performing loans (NPL) in the EU is estimated at over €1 trillion, or 5.4% of total loans, a ratio three times higher than in other major regions of the world.

On a country-by-country basis, things take look even scarier. Currently 10 (out of 28) EU countries have an NPL ratio above 10% (orders of magnitude higher than what is generally considered safe). And among Eurozone countries, where the ECB’s monetary policies have direct impact, there are these NPL stalwarts:

Ireland: 15.8%
Italy: 16.6%
Portugal: 19.2%
Slovenia: 19.7%

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, what happens when these toxic loans come due, and cannot be paid, nearly simultaneously?!? These numbers look like the beginning of the end for Europe's "Loanmageddon".

Mar 18 09:07

Deepening EU Banking Crisis Meets Euro-TARP and Taxpayers

Events are moving so fast in Europe these days, it’s almost impossible to keep up. While much of the attention is being hogged by political developments, including the election in the Netherlands, Reuters published a report warning that the European banking sector may face even higher bad loan risks if the ECB begins to scale back its monetary stimulus programs, something it has already begun, albeit extremely tentatively.

Mar 18 09:04

Moscow and Beijing join forces to bypass US dollar in world money market

Russia’s central bank opened its first overseas office in Beijing on Thursday, marking a small step forward in forging a Beijing-Moscow alliance to bypass the US dollar in the global monetary system. It was part of agreements made between the two neighbours to seek stronger economic ties since the West brought in sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis and the oil-price slump hit the Russian economy.

Mar 18 09:02

Israel only country to escape proposed State Department budget cuts

Israel would be the only country to escape the Trump administration's proposed deep cuts in foreign aid, the State Department said Thursday. The proposed budget from the White House includes slashing the State Department budget by up to a third, cuts that would mostly target climate change, democracy promotion and health programs, and numerous foreign aid projects.

Mar 18 08:50

Moscow and Beijing join forces to bypass US dollar in world money market

Russia’s central bank opened its first overseas office in Beijing on Thursday, marking a small step forward in forging a Beijing-Moscow alliance to bypass the US dollar in the global monetary system.

It was part of agreements made between the two neighbours to seek stronger economic ties since the West brought in sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis and the oil-price slump hit the Russian economy.

The opening of a Beijing representative office by the Central Bank of Russia was a “very timely” move to aid specific cooperation, including bond issuance, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism measures between China and Russia, said Dmitry Skobelkin, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

SOMEONE in the previous administration should have thought that this would be one way that Russia and China would react to the absolutely stupid anti-Russian sanctions for something it absolutely didn't do, which was the "alleged annexation" of Crimea (forgetting that the people of Crimea held two referendums to ask their people if they wanted to leave Ukraine, post-2014 putsch, and join the Russian Federation.)

But then again, I have learned, through many frustrating decades of many US governmental Administrations, that the pathological inability to think a scenario through to its logical conclusion seems to be a very stringent requirement for going to work for it.

Mar 18 08:24

Israel only country to escape proposed State Department budget cuts

Israel would be the only country to escape the Trump administration's proposed deep cuts in foreign aid, the State Department said Thursday.

The proposed budget from the White House includes slashing the State Department budget by up to a third, cuts that would mostly target climate change, democracy promotion and health programs, and numerous foreign aid projects.

In all, $17.3 billion would be cut from the State Department budget, which is about $50 billion. Congress is highly unlikely to approve the White House proposal, however, so the impact is still unknown.

Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, said U.S. aid to Israel, which totaled about $3.1 billion this year, would not be touched under the Trump plan. Israel gets more U.S. aid than any other nation.

Aid to every other country will come under review, he said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Characterise me as completely unsurprised by this.....

Mar 18 08:22

Mike Krieger: "Forget Russia, Donald Trump Works For Wall Street"

The evidence is overwhelming and indisputable at this point. Donald Trump is a phony, who has given his administration over to Wall Street crooks even more enthusiastically than his predecessors, and his predecessors were very enthusiastic.

I’ve written about this many times, and I warned throughout the campaign that my biggest fear was Trump is far too cozy with the finance industry, fake populist statements aside. His latest hire for the number two position at the Treasury Department once again proves the point.

As David Dayen reports in his excellent article at The Intercept, Donald Trump Isn’t Even Pretending to Oppose Goldman Sachs Anymore:

Mar 18 08:20

The Crumbling American Superpower

A Wall Street-driven agenda of globalization of US manufacturing and out-sourcing of production has left America a hollowed-out, crumbling Superpower. Since the 1980’s the United States has significantly under-invested in both new infrastructure and in renewing old. As US multinational corporations moved their factories overseas to cheap labor production in Mexico, then in Asia, especially China, and elsewhere, they found tax loopholes that allowed them to walk away from supporting the country that as recently as the 1960’s was the world industrial economic leading nation. Today US corporations hold $2.4 trillion in overseas profits that they keep abroad to avoid US taxes.

The result of all this neglect is that over the past three decades since the end of the 1980s, federal funding of major infrastructure projects such as dams has dropped by half, from 1 percent to 0.5 percent of GDP.

Infrastructure Report Card......

Mar 18 07:29

You’re Now Twice as Likely to Achieve the ‘American Dream’ in Canada

The study, authored by Raj Chetty, professor of economics at Stanford University, defined the concept as the ability for children born in the bottom fifth of income distribution to reach the top fifth. In the U.S. the likelihood of that is 7.5%, whereas in Canada children born in that group are twice as likely to rise to the top — at 13.5%. In the U.K. the likelihood of achieving that move from the bottom fifth to the top fifth is 9% and in Denmark it is 11.7%.

Mar 17 19:25

Protection for student loan defaulters rolled back

Not good! Wait til youread the interest rates. Are debtors prisons next?

March 17 (UPI) -- The Trump administration rolled back guidelines that barred debt collectors from charging high interest rates on past-due student loans.

Mar 17 16:41

Cutting the EPA’s Budget Could Save American Consumers and Businesses Hundred of Billions of Dollars

The biggest economic benefits from Trump’s EPA budget would come from the complete elimination of funding for implementing the “Clean Power Plan,” the Obama administration’s scheme to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity generating sector. The plan would have cost consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in increased energy costs and inflicted even further damage on America’s coal mining sector.

Estimates of the costs of the Clean Power Plan vary, with the EPA itself claiming it would cost virtually nothing while industry estimates say it would cost consumers as much as $214 billion in higher energy costs by 2030. Energy Ventures Analysis, a consultant group that receives much of its income from the energy industry, has said that replacing otherwise perfectly good electricity generating capacity with Clean Power Plan compliant capacity would cost as much as $64 billion.

Mar 17 16:37

Trump Jobs Boom: IBM to Hire 2,000 Vets After Meeting with Prez

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, who serves on Trump’s business advisory board, is to announce the new plans on Friday.

The company intends to open 20 new P-TECH schools in the U.S. and will retrain and certify the veterans over a four-year period, Axios reported.

Many of the veterans will be trained in the use of IBM’s software programs used by law enforcement, cybersecurity, and national security agencies.

Mar 17 16:11

ECB Trapped in its Own “Doom Loop” as Inflation Surges

Trying to keep a financial system and a currency union from collapsing upon each other.

Mar 17 15:15

More Hedge Funds Shut Last Year Than Any Time Since the 2008 Crisis

Fees fell in 2016 as investors pulled cash from firms

Funds with more than $5 billion manage 70% of industry cash

Mar 17 14:19

How Auto Sales Are Getting Crushed in Houston

First oil & gas, then construction, then new vehicle sa

Mar 17 11:56

Jim Willie Issues ALERT: Path to Global Currency Reset Begins HERE AND NOW

Something BIG is Afoot in Shanghai.
The Chinese Have CHANGED THE GAME Suddenly. The Jig Is Up.

Mar 17 11:10

Americans Are Loving What President Trump Is Doing For The US Economy

There is no doubt the US is rocking and rolling with all of the changes President Trump is making in America.

Mar 17 10:36

House Budget Committee votes in favor of a requirement that able-bodied adults must hold a job in order to qualify for Medicaid.

GOP proposals would overhaul Medicaid dramatically, starting with job requirement

Mar 17 09:50

As Venezuelan "Bread War" Escalates, Maduro Warns Bakers "You Will Pay, I Swear"

With its people resorting to eating flamingos, the Venezuelan government has decided to find yet another thing to blame for the collapse of the socialist utopia - the bakers!

As The BBC reports, the Venezuelan government says it will expropriate bakeries which fail to abide by new government regulations aimed at tackling bread shortages.

In a growing row between the government and bakers, officials said that bakeries could face fines if people had to queue to get their bread. Severe shortages of basic goods mean that Venezuelans often have to queue for hours to buy essential items.

The government says the shortages are caused by an "economic war".

Venezuela does not produce wheat and relies on imports bought in by the government which it then sends to mills where it is ground and then distributed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is desperation on the cusp of madness by the Maduro government.

But please remember: US sanctions against the country have been significant in creating the turmoil in which we find Venezuela today.

And just this last February, the Trump administration sanctioned Venezuela again:

The Trump administration announced sanctions against Venezuela’s vice president on Monday, calling him a drug “kingpin” in its first moves against the country’s leftist government, which President Trump railed against during his campaign. Vice President Tareck El Aissami, according to a Treasury Department statement, was being sanctioned for “playing a significant role in international narcotics trafficking.” The sanctions mean that Mr. El Aissami, 42, will be blocked from financial dealings with Americans and will have any American assets frozen. Such actions against officials in the government of President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela are nothing new in a long and fraught relationship between Washington and Caracas. But the accusation that Mr. El Aissami, the next in line for the presidency, is a drug trafficker is certain to set a new, more hostile tone in relations. “This can be seen as the opening salvo of the Trump administration in dealing with Latin America’s deepest crisis,” said Michael Shifter, the president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a policy group in Washington. “It is hard to imagine that, with this decision, Washington will now be inclined to offer many carrots to the increasingly authoritarian regime.” Since taking office, Mr. Trump has come under increasing pressure by Republicans and some Democrats to take a tougher stance on Venezuela, which has suffered an economic collapse punctuated by food and medicine shortages and soaring crime, even as its government has taken a harsher stance against dissent.

And I have to ask; is this simply a political smear to cast doubts on the ethics and credibility of the 2nd in line for the presidency, should Maduro be forced to step down, or is there actual, verifiable proof on these charges?!?

And President Trump, a word here, please: the American people are looking for verifiable truth these days, rather than hatchet-job accusations.

Mar 17 09:39

Another "Recession Dead Ahead" Indicator Just Hit

During the FOMC press conference this week, Janet Yellen was pushed by Bloomberg's Kathleen Hays to explain why she hiked rates amid what was evidently not a surging economy.

While Q1 looks to be the weakest economic growth period for a rate hike since 1980...

Today we got some more weakness-confirming real-time 'hard' data confirming the facts that the US economy is anything but as strong and resilient as Yellen proclaimed it.

Industrial Production has never declined on a 24-month basis without the US economy being in recession...

Mar 17 09:38

NASA swerves serious cash cuts – but Earth climate probes, asteroid snatcher face axe

Funding was cut by $200m, and the total going to America's space agency is $19.1bn per year. Even so, NASA has had to cancel some popular programs. The mission to catch and bring an asteroid back to Earth for examination has been scrapped, as too are plans for a lander on Europa, although the Europa Clipper probe will still pay a visit to Jupiter's watery moon.

In a statement, NASA acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot said that while those two programs were being cut, the initial research carried out will still be used – notably the solar electric propulsion systems that were designed to bring an asteroid to Earth.

The planetary science budget has actually increased, so NASA can spend more on investigating other planets and moons. But the Earth science budget was cut 13 per cent, meaning the space agency will have to pull out of the climate-studying DSCOVR satellite system, and has cancelled other satellites due to study the Earth's ecosystem.

Mar 17 09:33

Famous short seller: Beware the debt ceiling

Mar 17 09:19

So many open jobs for truck drivers! It’s another bogus skills shortage story.

Today we learn about all those open jobs for truck drivers, waiting for lazy Americans (or more immigrants) to fill them. It is another bogus “skills shortage” story, revealing much about how America is changing.

Mar 17 09:18

Experts say US shale oil output growth will not bring down oil prices for long

The growth of shale oil production in the United States will not cause a prolonged decline of oil prices and does not make the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) strategy to reduce oil production pointless, according to experts interviewed by TASS. In their opinion, in the coming weeks oil will return to $55 per barrel, which is in the interests of both American and Middle Eastern producers...
Russia cuts oil production by 160,000 barrels per day by mid-March, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Friday. Russia will maintain the oil production cut figure of 300,000 barrels a day until the agreement expires and intends to reach this level by the end of April, Novak said. "We stipulate reaching the target figure of 300,000 barrels per day. As soon as it is reached, I think it will be maintained until the end of the agreement," the minister said... http://tass.com/economy/936202

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