ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

ECONOMY

Jan 07 08:28

Crude rally continues amid Kazakhstan turmoil

Global prices for crude oil saw a sharp increase on Thursday, extending the gains recorded during the previous session, as bloody unrest continues to sweep Kazakhstan, an OPEC+ oil producer.

The global benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.38% to $82.30 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures also gained 0.38% to trade at $79.76 per barrel. Both contracts were trading at their highest since late November.

The latest increase comes as Kazakhstan – the second-largest oil producer in the former Soviet Union, with a daily output of around 1.6 million barrels – is shaken by violent anti-government protests. The nationwide unrest, which has resulted in numerous deaths, was initially prompted by a liberalization of road fuel prices.

Jan 07 08:04

Press review: Congress takes aim at Russian debt market and why the US wants Kazakhstan

A new bill has been submitted to the US House of Representatives. Apart from imposing restrictions on individuals, it also bans American investors from purchasing new issues of Russian bonds in the secondary market, Izvestia writes.

Talk about American sanctions against Russia's sovereign debt had been going on for several years before restrictions were actually introduced following the ascent of Joe Biden and his administration to the White House, who prohibited US financial institutions from participating in the primary market for the Russian sovereign debt in April. Following the ban, foreign investors started to reduce their portfolios of Russian government bonds, but the trend reversed in September and foreign investment in the sector grew by 20%. Foreign investors flocked to the Russian financial market largely out of confidence that high tensions between Moscow and Washington were over and there wouldn’t be any harsher sanctions. However, doubts have now returned.

Jan 07 07:59

Here's What The Fed's Quantitative Tightening Will Look Like

As we noted last night, the December FOMC meeting minutes included a lengthy discussion of the timing and speed of Fed balance sheet shrinkage (quantitative tightening or "QT"), an unexpected twist which sent risk assets and Treasurys tumbling. The broad message appears to be that QT will start sooner than it did in the previous tightening cycle, and proceed at a faster pace although as the Fed's Bullard (who is a voting member this year) observed, the runoff could be passive, i.e., not involve actual selling but merely be the result of maturing securities held by the Fed.

In any case, in a note from BofA economist Aditya Bhave, he argues that the Fed’s balance sheet policy will remain accommodative for the next several quarters for several reasons:

The Fed has more than doubled its balance sheet during the pandemic.

Therefore it will have to reinvest a larger quantity of maturing Treasuries even while it is shrinking its balance sheet.

Jan 07 07:57

Outgoing Fed Vice Chair Quietly Covered Up Suspicious Trades Made During March 2020 Market Rout

Several months have passed since FOMC members Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan abandoned their posts following a trading scandal that raised questions about senior Fed officials.

Now, Richard Clarida, who is already on his way out the door at the Fed to make room for Biden appointee Lael Brainard, has become the latest senior Fed official to find his way into the ethics officials' rifle sights.

Because according to the NYT, Bloomberg and a handful of other reports, Clarida sold at least $1M of shares in a US-traded stock fund in February 2020 before buying a similar amount of the same fund a few days later, on the eve of a major Fed policy announcement that would trigger an 18-month-plus torrid rally in stocks, bonds and other securities.

Jan 07 06:33

Trade Deficit Jumps 19.4% to Second Highest Level Ever

The U.S. trade deficit soared to $80.2 billion in November, near the record high of $8.14 billion hit in September, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

In October, it had fallen to a revised $67.2 billion. Analysts had forecast a much smaller gap of $71.6 billion.

Imports into the U.S. jumped 4.6 percent to $304.4 billion while U.S. exports slinked up a mere 0.2 percent to $224.4 billion.

The goods deficit jumped 18 percent to a record $98.99 billion. The services surplus grew 12.7 percent to $18.1 billion.

Financial and business services are the biggest U.S. services exports, at $13.8 billion and $18.6 billion respectively. Payments on U.S. intellectual property, at $9.9 billion, hold the third highest. These services export numbers are somewhat distorted by payments between U.S. companies and their affiliates.

Jan 07 06:32

Amazon and Google Deploy Army of Shills to Fight Regulation

Amazon and Google are reportedly mobilizing the small businesses that they claim rely on their platforms to fight antitrust bills that threaten to break up the Masters of the Universe. Incredibly, some small businesses are arguing that bills designed to stop Amazon from copying their products and destroying their business by favoring the platform’s own brand would be a net negative for their companies.

Jan 06 14:08

Kazakhstan Reminds World Leaders Of Costly Fuel Subsidy Dilemma

A deadly uprising in Kazakhstan triggered by a fuel price hike is a powerful reminder of the struggle governments face in trying to limit public subsidies of fossil fuels when expensive energy has stoked inflation.

Most countries have measures in place to shield consumers and companies from the full impact of energy costs and to boost domestic fossil fuel industries. Many have a mix of both.

But policymakers trying to reduce the fiscal hit from vast subsidy bills on strained public finances as is the case in many emerging markets have to balance the risk of social unrest against the need for reform.

“It would have been easier before, when we had lower energy prices, but now that energy prices have surged it is much more difficult,” Mark Mateo at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris said.

“One of the effects of this is social unrest, and that has not just happened in Kazakhstan, it has happened in a lot of other places.”

Jan 06 12:15

Inflation: A Stealth Tax with No Maximum Rate

What’s most critical to understand is that the Fed buys all those Treasury securities with new money created out of thin air. Unlike in earlier times, U.S. dollars aren’t backed by anything at all. Pouring trillions more of them into the economy can’t create enduring wealth, it can only sap the value of money that’s already in circulation. -- Fed-created inflation thus functions as a stealth tax: Rather than taking your money directly and openly, the government reduces the value of your money through the opaque tax we call inflation.

Jan 06 09:06

EXACTLY Why Stocks are Falling

Jan 06 09:06

Could 2022 Bring the Collapse of the Euro?

Jan 06 08:49

The PROOF!

Veteran money researcher Gregory K. Soderberg lays down the PROOF that banks create all money when they issue loans. This fourteen-minute video features admissions from government attorneys, central bank spokesmen, college professors and economists.

Jan 06 07:52

2022: The Year the US achieves Collapse

I have been studying the forthcoming collapse of the USA for 25 years and publishing books and articles on this subject for the last 15, with good results: CCCP 2.0 is developing quite nicely. The 30-year reprieve which the US was granted thanks to the collapse of the USSR has now expired, every effort at imperial expansion since then (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and the “suicide belt” of Eastern Europe) has been a total failure. Meanwhile a reborn Russia, backed by much of the rest of Eurasia, is now turning the tables and ordering the US around in perfectly undiplomatic terms. And now this: Barbara Water of US San Diego recently appeared on CNN to explain that the US is now in a zone of high risk for political violence and civil war.

And what this means is that the US has finally achieved Total Collapse Preparedness. Let us look into the details of this.

Jan 06 07:20

Germany Admits Need For Gas During Transition

Germany will need natural gas throughout the energy transition to renewable sources, the new German government said this week.

"We will need gas throughout the transitional phase," government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said.

The government's plans are to use natural gas as a bridge fuel and gradually wean itself off it by 2045.

Jan 06 07:16

Thousands Of Cops Deployed To Quell Public Anger In China's Locked Down Xi'an Amid Widespread Food Shortages

Tens of thousands of police officers were deployed to China's Xi'an where public anger has exploded among the city's 13 million residents who were left bargaining and bartering for essential foodstuffs amid ongoing food shortages, as the city entered its 13th day of lockdown amid a wave of COVID-19 cases.

As some people took to social media to appeal for assistance as their food supplies ran low, or they were unable to access medical care, others started local trading networks in residential compounds to try to meet each other's needs through bartering.

"Everything is getting bartered in Xi'an," a resident of the city told RFA. "People are swapping stuff with others in the same building, because they no longer have enough food to eat." Another resident said in a video clip that some people were trading cigarettes and iPhones for bags of rice.

Jan 06 07:08

Taibbi: Meet Jed Rakoff, The Judge Who Exposed The "Rigged Game"

On November 27, 2011, a federal judge named Jed Rakoff threw out a $285 million regulatory settlement between Citigroup and the Securities and Exchange Commission, blasting it as “neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest.” The S.E.C. and Citigroup were stunned. Expecting to see their malodorous deal wrapped up, the parties were instead directed “to be ready to try this case” the following summer.

Try a case? Was the judge kidding? A pattern had long ago been established in which mega-companies like Citigroup that were implicated in serious offenses would be let off with slaps on the wrist, by soft-touch regulators who expected judges to play ball. These officials in many cases were private sector hotshots doing temporary tours as regulators, denizens of the revolving door biding time before parachuting back into lucrative corporate defense jobs. A judge who refused to sign the settlements such folks engineered was derailing everyone’s gravy train.

Jan 06 06:26

The world’s largest trade pact is a game-changer for China

With the coming of the new year, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement came into force. Signed at the end of 2020, and ratified by at least 10 of its parties through 2021, the deal constitutes the largest free trade agreement in history, spanning 30% of the world’s GDP and bringing China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) into one bloc, where members enjoy 90% of goods tariff free.

It is not surprising that China has been quick to herald the deal as a massive win for itself, coming at a time when the United States is advocating ‘decoupling’ from Beijing and adopting a protectionist stance.

Despite demanding it single-handedly dictates the future of the Asia-Pacific region, Washington finds itself sitting outside of the group. Even some of its closest allies, including Canberra and Tokyo, have just deepened their economic integration with China even further.

Jan 06 06:18

President Biden Called Elizabeth Holmes "Inspiring", Praised Theranos As "Lab Of The Future" In 2015

While media coverage of the Elizabeth Holmes trial - and its ensuing guilty verdicts - was robust, there was one part of the Theranos narrative that the media seemed happy to tiptoe around.

That is, of course, Joe Biden's involvement in the now-defunct and fraudulent blood testing startup.

Among dozens of investigative reports about Theranos and hundreds of articles, somehow, nobody touched upon the fact that Biden praised Holmes in 2015 for “maintaining the highest standards”, as Breitbart pointed out this week.

Jan 06 06:14

Finally, Bloomberg Admits Renewables Mania Caused Energy Shortages

Between 2017 and 2021, Environmental Progress and I researched and published dozens of articles, testified before Congress, and authored a book, Apocalypse Never, arguing that weather-dependent renewables were making electricity increasingly unreliable and expensive, and making the United States, Europe, and Asia, dangerously dependent on natural gas.

In response, there was an organized and somewhat successful effort by progressive climate-renewables activists to cut off our funding, censor us on Facebook, and prevent me from testifying before Congress.

Jan 06 06:11

Daily Briefing: The Fed Amps Up Aggression--Stocks Plunge Immediately

The U.S. Fed just released its meeting minutes, hinting that it may get more aggressive with tightening the balance sheet and reducing stimulus. That caused stocks to plunge immediately. China just launched a wallet app for its own digital Yuan currency with the aim to expand its usage to more people in the country and, simultaneously, achieve more control over crypto in the country. The digital Yuan is not a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, but instead is issued and controlled by the People’s Bank of China. In the U.S., private-sector job growth increased by 807,000 payrolls in December, which is the strongest growth since May, according to the ADP National Employment Report released Wednesday. However, absenteeism resulting from the Omicron variant is still an imminent threat to non-farm payroll growth. 42 Macro CEO and founder Darius Dale joins to discuss all this as well as his developing macro outlook for 2022. Interviewed by Maggie Lake. Want to submit questions?

Jan 06 06:10

Erdogan Tells Banks To Snoop On Dollar Buyers, "Deter" Clients From Hedging Lira Collapse

How do you know the time is almost up for an authoritarian ruler and his crumbling, hyperinflating economy? When said ruler starting taking sales of his imploding currency personally, and instructs banks to prevent the normal functioning of the market.

And just in case it was unclear, we are of course referring to the latest development in Erdogan's banana republic of Turkey (we only clear this up because this is just as applicable to the banana republics of North America and Europe), where now that the lira is again in freefall mode after the central bank blew billions of dollars on now worthless interventions, authorities have escalated their crackdown on what little is left of the market, and are "keeping tabs" on investors who are buying large amounts of foreign currency while asking banks to deter their clients from using the spot market for hedging-related trades as they scramble to slow the lira’s relentless slide.

Jan 05 14:33

White House official says it's 'hard to tell' if supply chain problems have peaked

A top White House official on Wednesday said supply chain disruptions could continue into 2022 because the omicron variant could impact the supply networks both overseas and in the U.S.

“It’s hard to tell that the supply chain pressures have peaked,” White House Port Envoy Jon Porcari told reporters. “I think what is clear is that the pandemic laid bare what was the underlying reality, which was that the supply chain was stressed even before the pandemic.”

Jan 05 14:04

From Espionage to Tax Evasion — A Deep Dive On Charles Lieber AKA The NanoTech King

By Maryam Henein

“Digital electronics are so powerful that they dominate our daily lives. When scaled down, the difference between digital & living systems blurs, so that you have an opportunity to do things that sound science fiction–things that people have only dreamed about.” Charles M. Lieber

As Ghislaine Maxwell’s show trial winded down, there was scant coverage of Charles Lieber’s trial despite the fact the former chairman of Harvard’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department is the defining influence in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Thomson Reuters even ranked Lieber as #1 in the world’s top 100 chemists for an entire decade from 2000-2010.

I call him the NanoTech King. The court case, which unfolded a year and a half after his arrest, began with jury selection Tuesday, December 14, and concluded after only six days.

Jan 05 12:44

Catherine Austin Fitts: The Establishment Stole $50 Trillion From Pensions And Doesn’t Want To Give It Back

Jan 05 12:06

Yale Tells Students They Cannot “eat at local restaurants,” Citing COVID Fears

By Logan Dubil

The Ivy League school is implementing new COVID restrictions and delaying in-person instruction until Feb. 7.

The new restaurant policy garnered several negative reactions on social media.

Yale University students cannot eat at restaurants near campus and must comply with “a campus-wide quarantine until Feb. 7.”...

Jan 05 10:31

Why Did the World Choose a Gold Standard Instead of a Silver Standard?

By Ryan McMaken

Among those who support the end of government fiat money, it’s not uncommon to hear and see claims that gold is “the best money” or “natural money” or the only substance that’s really suited to be commodity money. In many of these cases, when they say “gold” they mean gold, and not silver, platinum, or any other precious metal.

Naturally, one can expect to encounter these claims among those who have made a living out of promoting gold and gold-related investments for commercial purposes.

For example, consider Nathan Lewis’s 2020 article at Forbes titled “Gold Has Always Been the Best Money.” Lewis contends that gold and not silver is obviously the best money and its adoption as the metal behind the nineteenth-century gold standard was more or less inevitable and based on the alleged intrinsic superiority of gold as money...

Jan 05 09:50

Authorities Find Hundreds of Amazon Packages Dumped in Rural Oklahoma

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office announced on Monday that almost 600 Amazon packages were dumped on Dec. 31 in a rural area northeast of Oklahoma City, a Facebook statement read.

''Someone had removed the items they wanted and discarded the rest (Apparently the thief isn't much of a reader ... the books that were being delivered were left behind),'' the office said. ''All of the packages were supposed to arrive at their destinations by Christmas. The tracking information shows the packages left the Amazon facility to go to the USPS for delivery, but never arrived.''

''If you're missing a package, please don't call us,'' the sheriff's office added. ''We are working with the USPS and have reached out to Amazon, so someone should contact you soon.''

In November, 300 to 400 FedEx packages were found in an Alabama ravine — allegedly dumped by a former driver, according to CNN.

Jan 05 09:49

(POLL) Most passed up shopping at places due to retailers' social activism

About 88% of people say they have "decided not to shop" at a particular company in the past year based on the company's social position.

That's according to the latest unscientific poll of 796 people at SharylAttkisson.com.

Two (2%) said they chose to shop at a company because of its position on a social issue.

Ten (10%) said they have not made purchasing decisions based on a company's social position.

Jan 05 09:37

All Over America, An Unprecedented Shortage Of Workers Is Forcing Businesses To Shut Down

Our world has become such a bizarre place, and I have a feeling that it will soon become even weirder. -- If you have been waiting for everything to “return to normal”, you can stop waiting, because it simply is not going to happen. -- Our society is being transformed at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking, and global events are only going to accelerate even further as we hurtle through the early stages of 2022.

Jan 05 09:16

What Will Surprise Us in 2022

Jan 05 08:53

The 10 Best Performing Commodities Of 2021

Commodities have been among the most volatile asset classes over the past year

Oil was one of the biggest gainers in the commodities sector in 2021, but not by any means the best

Lithium prices soared 477% since the beginning of the year

Jan 05 08:24

Pending Home Sales Are Crashing

Jan 05 08:24

National Debt To Blow Up In Biden's Face

Unconstrained domestic spending and 20 years of wars have created a $29 trillion national debt that surpasses our country's entire $23 trillion gross domestic product (GDP). That sum threatens to implode the country's ability to project power and protect itself.

President Joe Biden's spending has contributed insult to injury. Since January 2020, he had spent no less than $6.82 trillion, which is larger than the whole U.S. GDP in 1993 when Bill Clinton became President. It is larger than the total national debt on September 11, 2001, which stood at $5.8 trillion. One of Osama bin Laden's plans on that day was to bankrupt the U.S. "We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah," he announced in 2004. Consider that since it began, the War on Terror has cost $8 trillion — slightly above the President's nine-month total.

Jan 05 07:48

Mercedes-Benz Warns 800,000 Customers Of Fire Risk, Says Part Shortage Will Delay Fix 

German newspaper Bild reports Mercedes-Benz has notified owners of its luxury automobiles that a defective coolant pump could spark a fire, adding an immediate recall wasn't possible because snarled supply chains have made the parts unavailable.

Bild reviewed the letter sent to 800,000 Mercedes-Benz customers owners affected by the defect that said: "the risk of a fire could not be ruled out."

The letter explained the parts to fix the defect aren't available because of supply chain issues. It said a recall was not possible until the components could be procured.

Jan 05 07:47

COVID Is Dead. Energy Is The New Crisis

Back to the grindstone with a vengeance today – holidays are over and the Christmas decorations are back in their boxes. Time to get serious about 2022. Time to buy or time to sell?

I am unconvinced many market participants understand just how much the ground has shifted over the last quarter – particularly in relation to Energy pricing. The first few months of 2022 are going to be about the market learning what the new landscape looks like, and how it adapts to a new and changing economic reality. This new year is going to be fundamentally different and more challenging in terms of how to invest “smart” in a new and utterly changed financial market environment.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This has already triggered riots in Kazakhstan.

Jan 05 07:42

Biden To Invest $1 Billion In Producers After Blaming Inflation On Greedy Meat Mongers

Two weeks ago, the White House pinned the blame for rampant, not-so-transitory inflation felt by consumers across the board on the 'greed of meat conglomerates.'

An absurdity which came just four weeks after the world's largest meat producer, Brazil's JBS SA, warned that labor shortages are in fact holding back production.

Meanwhile, Kamala Harris - the woman who's just one heartbeat away from the Oval Office - has no clue what's going on.

"We have to address the fact that we have got to deal with the fact that folks are paying for gas, paying for groceries, and… need solutions to it. So let's talk about that."

Jan 05 07:33

INFLATION IN TURKEY EXPLODES TO 36.1%, BLOWING AWAY ESTIMATES, AS HYPERINFLATION SETS IN

Think 6.8% CPI is high? Think again: this morning long-suffering Turks living in Erdogan's macroeconomic experiment woke up to learn that the country's annual inflation rate surged to 36.1% last month, its highest in the 19 years Tayyip Erdogan has ruled, blowing away expectations of "only" 27.4%, and laying bare the depths of a currency crisis engineered by the president's unorthodox interest rate-cutting policies. Staples such as transportation and food - which took increasing shares of households' budgets during 2021 - rose even faster

Jan 05 07:01

Biden To Spend Billions More To Fight Inflation

On Monday, the White House declared plans aimed at addressing growing prices for meat and poultry, including setting aside $1 billion for minor producers.

The Biden Administration unveiled its action plan to diversify and strengthen the meat-producing supply chain before a scheduled virtual meeting between President Biden and independent farmers and ranchers.

Jan 05 06:54

Sullivan, Nordic Partners Talk Readiness to Impose Costs on Russia Over Ukraine - NSC

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his counterparts from the Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden discussed by telephone each country's readiness to impose consequences on Russia should it escalate tensions with Ukraine, Nation Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said.

"National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke today with his counterparts from the five Nordic countries to consult on ways to strengthen Transatlantic security," Horne said in a news release on Tuesday.

"Mr. Sullivan and his counterparts discussed their readiness to impose severe consequences on Russia if it engages in further aggression against Ukraine."

Jan 05 06:43

Global reach: China expands port and military base network to boost commerce, clout

China is expanding a network of more than 95 port facilities around the world and is working to establish a system of overseas military bases that analysts say will support Chinese President Xi Jinping’s announced ambition for global dominance.

The port network is part of Mr. Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative, a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure and development program that Beijing has been pushing for nearly a decade in an effort to cement its status as an economic superpower and win support in the developing world for China’s brand of communism.

The latest addition to the network will likely be in Cuba, which also is ruled by a fraternal communist regime. China announced on Dec. 24 an agreement with Havana to cooperate on Cuban infrastructure development. No details were disclosed, but the agreement was hailed as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Jan 04 10:15

RECORD 4.5 MILLION QUIT JOBS…

A record 4.5 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. -- This pushed the quits rate to 3%, matching the high from September. -- Workers particularly quit their jobs in the hospitality industry, which had by far the highest quits rate at 6.1% in November, as well as health care. The number of job leavers in transportation, warehousing and utilities also increased.

Jan 04 10:14

Small Caps Could Be In Trouble In 2022

Jan 04 09:17

US Trade Deficit Widens 17.5% in November

Jan 04 07:51

China Paralyzes By Panic As Millions Struggle To Buy Groceries

Jan 04 07:39

Food Costs Likely To Rise as Farmers' Expenses Shoot Up

Famine is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse for good reason; hunger was an unwelcome companion for most of human history. The threat it poses declined in recent decades because of innovations in agriculture and increasing prosperity. But the largely policy-inflicted economic disruptions of the past two years partially reversed progress made towards feeding the world and alleviating poverty. Now, with food prices on the rise, there's a danger that hunger will follow.

"I want to say this loud and clear right now, that we risk a very low crop in the next harvest," Svein Tore Holsether, the CEO and president of fertilizer giant Yara International, warned in November. "I'm afraid we're going to have a food crisis."

Holsether worried about the rising cost of energy and especially of natural gas, which is needed to make ammonia from which urea, a key fertilizer component, is synthesized.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jan 03 12:00

The Dollar is About to Crash

Jan 03 11:40

The Hidden Agenda Behind Biden’s Insane Gas Mileage Requirements (The point is to reduce car ownership)

The Biden administration considers it their right and duty to punish you for buying the car you want if it doesn’t do what they like. -- The free market being an intolerable affront to them. Can’t have supply and demand determined by … supply and demand. That would be even worse a thing than free association. -- The administration will say they are “saving you money on gas” via their “rules.” Which is true in the same way that “ruling” you must live in a small apartment in the city “saves” you the bother of having to cut a lawn. They do not say anything about the cost of the apartment — including the diminishment of your personal space — and your control over it.

Jan 03 11:18

How inflation creeps up on you...

Jan 03 11:13

How Inflation Could Crash The Economy In 2022

Jan 03 10:08

The War on Cash & the Dollar

Jan 03 09:58

2022: The Year of Breakdown

If we look at the fragility and instability of essential systems, it’s clear that 2022 will be the year of breakdown. Let’s start by reviewing how systems break down, a process I’ve simplified into the graphic below.

1. Regardless of whether it was planned or not, all systems are optimized to process specific inputs to generate specific outputs. Each system is pared down to maximize efficiency as the means to maximize profits. This efficiency in service of maximizing profits requires trade-offs that only become visible when some key part of the system fails.

The system that ships containers around the world offers a useful example. Shipping containers revolutionized shipping and reduced costs by commoditizing containers (all standard sizes), container ships (specifically designed to carry thousands of containers and container ports with specifically designed cranes, docks and truck lanes / queueing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If only we were building container ships instead of warships...

Jan 03 09:37

Thefts of car part quadruple across US

A growing number of thieves have been stealing catalytic converters off cars amid the troubled US economy. They contain an array of precious metals, which fetch hundreds of dollars at the scrapyard, but can be dangerous to remove.

A catalytic converter can fetch as much as $300 thanks to the precious metals inside – platinum, palladium, and rhodium – whose value has skyrocketed over the past two years. While the cost of replacing the $1,000 emissions-controlling devices is usually covered by insurance, it puts the car owner on the sidelines while they wait for the part to arrive. Supply chain shortages mean the wait could be as long as six weeks.

Jan 03 08:21

China vs EU on debt conditions

Jan 03 07:56

50 Things That Americans Should Be Stockpiling For The Chaotic Year Ahead

Welcome to 2022! Or as many on social media are saying, welcome to “2020 too”. During the waning months of 2019, I repeatedly warned that I had such a bad feeling about what 2020 would bring, and of course it turned out that all of our lives were completely turned upside down that year. I didn’t issue a similar warning for 2021, but now I have such a bad feeling about 2022. So many of the long-term trends that I have been warning about for ages are starting to come to a crescendo, and I am encouraging everyone to do whatever they can to get prepared for some extremely troubled times.

Jan 03 07:52

Is The Hysteria Justified? Omicron Measures Threaten Economy

The US is ringing in the new year with a surge of COVID cases as the Omicron variant proceeds to sweep through the country at a rapid rate.

The nation witnessed 497,151 new confirmed cases on Saturday, bringing the national count to 54,743,993 as numbers have persisted in reaching new records in the past month.

In terms of the death toll, 1,235 have been registered, bringing the count to 825,536 - beating last month's previous record.

This comes after a study by Columbia University showed that Omicron-fueled cases could peak to roughly 2.5 million by January 9, with others estimating the surge to go to 5.4 million.

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