"After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it...." -- William S. Burroughs

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As office tower vacancies continue to rise nationwide, many of these buildings are becoming economically nonviable workspaces, raising the question of what can be done with millions of square feet of underutilized space. Simultaneously, the US housing market faces a severe shortage, leaving investors and lawmakers to ponder whether underutilized office space can be transformed into multifamily buildings. 

Goldman analyst Jan Hatzius uses a discounted cash flow model to show that the current acquisition costs of office towers are still too high for conversion to multifamily buildings, indicating that offices will likely remain underutilized in the medium term. 

Hatzius pointed out that the viable point where office tower conversions would make financial sense would be a further price decline of 50%. 

About 4% of the nation's office buildings could be slated for conversion projects into housing, with the share expected to jump as the office vacancy rate is forecasted to reach 18% in 2033 from about 14% this year. 

Many of these nonviable towers are still overvalued and not cheap enough for conversion because of financing costs. Even with San Francisco's office industry in a meltdown and prices having already tumbled 35% since 2019, these levels are still too high.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY
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US GDP "Grew" $334 Billion In Q4.... That Growth Cost $834 Billion In Debt

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024 - 08:45 PM

Moments ago, two things happened: Biden's Bureau of Economic Analysis released the first revision of Q4 2023 GDP, a number which is completely irrelevant as it looks at the state of the US economy more than 2 months ago as the calendar is now just weeks away from the start of Q2 2024... and bitcoin soared above $60,000, now less than $10k away from a record high. While it may not be immediately obvious, the two events are linked. Let us explain.

First, according to the Biden admin, in Q4 GDP rose 3.2%, a modest drop from the 3.3% reported in the first estimate one month ago, and below the 3.3% consensus estimate.

While we already know this, the BEA reported that the increase in the fourth quarter primarily reflected increases in consumer spending, exports, and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

  • The increase in consumer spending reflected increases in both services and goods. Within services, the leading contributors were health care, food services and accommodations, and other services (led by international travel). Within goods, the leading contributors to the increase were other nondurable goods (led by pharmaceutical products) as well as recreational goods and vehicles.
  • The increase in exports reflected increases in both goods (led by petroleum) and services (led by financial services).
  • The increase in state and local government spending reflected increases in both investment (led by structures) and consumption expenditures (led by compensation of employees).

Comparing the first estimate with the second, we find several notable items, the first being that Personal Consumption actually rose more than expected, growing a 3.0% QoQ annualized (vs 2.8% in the first estimate), and contributing 2.0% to the bottom line GDP of 3.21%, up from 1.91% in the original estimate. Another increase was seen in fixed investment which contributed 0.43% to the bottom line, up from the 0.31% originally estimated; finally government also saw its contribution boosted, rising to 0.73%, or about a quarter, of the final GDP. These improvement were offset by a notable drop in the change in private inventories which declined from an addition of 0.07% to a subtraction of -0.27%.

Ok, none of this matters: the numbers will be revised again next month but by then all markets will care about will be not so much Q1 GDP but rather Q2 and onward. So very stale.

But what does that have to do with the bitcoin spike?

Well, a closer look at the data revealed something stunning: a quick look at the increase in nominal GDP, which rose from $27.61 trillion in Q3 to $27.94 trillion in Q4, shows that the US economy increased some $334.5 billion in absolute nominal dollar terms.

But where did this growth come from? Why debt of course, and a lot of it

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, ECONOMY
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From Trucker-Boycotts To Grid-Down – There's Only One Way To Survive A Food Crisis

Image removed.

by Tyler Durden

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024 - 10:00 PM

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us,

If there is one reality that Americans need to accept, it’s that every system has a breaking point and there are no exceptions. Human beings are built to adapt and this has given us incredible resilience, but it also means we have a tendency to wait too long to fix the parts of our society that are broken. Instead, we let the problems build and fester until, sadly, the final straw falls and everything comes crashing down.

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Sometimes this collapse is by chance and sometimes it’s by design. In either case the catalyst is the same – The public does not prepare and they don’t take action to correct the people creating the crisis until it’s too late.

In our modern era of invasive technology, economic weakness, nuclear weapons and biowarfare, this is an unsustainable model. We can no longer ignore threats on instability in the hopes that they will go away or that governments will defuse the danger, nor can we simply pick up the pieces over and over again after each calamity. There may come a time when the mess is so big we won’t be able to clean it up. People must plan ahead, and they must stop tolerating the notion of passive involvement in the mechanisms that influence their lives and future.

I write often about hypothetical trigger events and breakdown scenarios because a large number of people still need to be educated on how fragile the western world truly is right now. For example, any significant disruption to supply chains and logistics at this time would be devastating for a large number of Americans (or Europeans).

In the past couple weeks alone there has been a rising tide of political discontent among US truckers; the very people that handle over 70% of all freight in our country. They have threatened to boycott a number of Democrat controlled cities (primarily New York City) over a host of issues and complaints including the legal treatment of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.  This boycott may not play out in the near term (watch for talk of boycotts to escalate in November around election time), but the potential is on the table and it’s an important learning moment.  What would happen if the US freight system actually stopped?

US supply chains operate on a “just in time” freight schedule – Meaning, all the grocery stores in your area will carry just enough backstock to serve normal business operations for about a week, when the next fleet of trucks arrive.

The just-in-time structure is the lifeblood of the supply chain, and most American cities would fall into chaos after one week without it. Trains and railway networks handle around 28% of total freight and have struggled through a long state of decline. There is no realistic alternative to trucks

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY
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In a surprising turn of events, recent polling conducted by Harvard-Harris has revealed that voters may prefer Donald Trump over Joe Biden, even in the face of potential criminal convictions. The poll, conducted between February 21-22, surveyed 2,022 registered voters to gauge their sentiments regarding Trump’s legal challenges.

The findings shed light on the resilience of Trump’s support base, debunking the mainstream media’s narrative that criminal charges would deter Republicans. The numbers tell a compelling story:

Webmaster addition:  The voters recognize a political hatchet job when they see one.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Joe Biden wants you to believe that spending money on weapons is good for the economy.

That tired old myth - regularly repeated by the political leaders of both parties - could help create an even more militarized economy that could threaten our peace and prosperity for decades to come. Any short-term gains from pumping in more arms spending will be more than offset by the long-term damage caused by crowding out new industries and innovations, while vacuuming up funds needed to address other urgent national priorities.

The Biden administration’s sales pitch for the purported benefits of military outlays began in earnest last October, when the president gave a rare Oval Office address to promote a $106-billion emergency allocation that included tens of billions of dollars of weaponry for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. MAGA Republicans in Congress had been blocking the funding from going forward and the White House was searching for a new argument to win them over. The president and his advisers settled on an answer that could just as easily have come out of the mouth of Donald Trump: jobs, jobs, jobs. As Joe Biden put it:

We send Ukraine equipment sitting in our stockpiles. And when we use the money allocated by Congress, we use it to replenish our own stores… equipment that defends America and is made in America: Patriot missiles for air defense batteries made in Arizona; artillery shells manufactured in 12 states across the country — in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas; and so much more.

It should be noted that two of the four states he singled out (Arizona and Pennsylvania) are swing states crucial to his reelection bid, while the other two are red states with Republican senators he’s been trying to win over to vote for another round of military aid to Ukraine

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Modernity.news,

In response to a debate about Muslim ‘no-go areas’ in the UK, a Labour MP said there were “millions of white men” who “beat or murdered women this week”.

Yes, really.

Tory MP Paul Scully is being attacked by the media and political class for saying there are ‘no-go’ areas in parts of Birmingham and London with large Muslim populations.

YouTuber Mayhar Tousi commented, “There are definitely “no-go” areas in London and Birmingham. It should not be a controversial comment.”

Blame all white men for that, are you?” she wrote.

Claire's Observations:  Millions?  MP Scully, from where are you getting those numbers, please, because I would really like to look at a valid statistical analysis to prove how very wrong you are.

When women intersect with any fundamentalist culture/religion which denigrates women, they are at risk of physical violence, or worse.  

In the 21st century among a subset of Muslim followers, Imams are still writing tracts about how men should beat their wives, and female genital mutilation is still performed. The numbers for this horrific practice are going up in the UK. 

This state of affairs cannot, and will not change regarding these issues, unless and until the culture itself adapts and assimilates into having a more tolerant view of women, which can only come with time.

And ladies, if there are "no-go zones" in your city; at least for the time being, please don't go there!!!!

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, RELIGION/ATHEISM
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Over 20 Republican attorneys general led by Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach filed an amicus brief to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals expressing their support for Abbott’s efforts to keep the barrier in the river.

Pointing out that the Biden administration has failed in its responsibility of securing the border, the attorneys general argued that Texas has the right to defend itself.

Per The Daily Wire, the brief read in part, “The Constitution guarantees the States’ right to self-defense expressly and as a natural incident of the States’ status as sovereign entities. Here, however, the federal government has sought to disable Texas’s exercise of that right by claiming that it violates a federal law focused on the navigability of the nation’s waterways, a law that does not expressly limit the States’ ability to engage in self-defense.”

Tags: IMMIGRATION/GLOBALISM, WHITE HOUSE
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There are new developments in the Pennsylvania government's legal crusade against Amish farmer Amos Miller, who has been under attack for years because he grows, produces and sells food to the public outside the government control matrix.

Attorney Robert Barnes of Barnes Law LLP shared an update on X explaining that, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, all food is "illegal" – just as illegal as "illegal drugs," by the way – unless it is manufactured in a government-approved facility of the kind managed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

If a farmer in any way defies this by producing food without government approval, such as is the case with Miller, then said food can be destroyed at will by the government, according to the government.

See for yourself in the legal brief that Barnes shared what PA Agriculture says about who is "allowed" to produce food in America, and who is not (i.e., unapproved Amish farmers like Miller who sell, gasp, unpasteurized raw milk).

Tags: CONSUMER RIGHTS / PRODUCT REPORTS, DICTATORSHIP, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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The Palestinian Authority's prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Monday announced the resignation of his government, which rules part of the occupied West Bank, citing the "new reality" that has emerged as a result of the Israel-Hamas war. Israel's military presented a plan for evacuating areas of the Gaza Strip as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said a ground invasion into Rafah was necessary for "total victory". Read our blog to see how the day's events unfolded. 

Tags: PALESTINE, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Myanmar's opposition National Unity Government (NUG) supports the rebel groups that have been fighting the ruling junta since late last year. These groups "have regained almost 60 to 70 percent of the territory," opposition foreign minister Zin Mar Aung told FRANCE 24's Marc Perelman about the ongoing conflict. 

Three years after the coup in Myanmar, the junta is facing an armed rebellion from ethnic groups, backed by the NUG. The junta are "losing on the ground" after already having lost popular support. "[They are] gradually losing practical control on the ground every day," Zin Mar Aung said. 

The National Unity Government claims to control some parts of the country, but has not yet claimed a large city or major military base. "We estimate that almost 60 percent of Myanmar's territory is under the control of the ethnic armed organisations and NUG-controlled areas," she said.

Tags: ASIA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The 18-year-old son of United States Representative Lauren Boebert has been slapped with 22 criminal charges in Rifle, Colorado with five of those being felonies. Among them are four first-degree criminal trespassing of an automobile, so it sounds like he might have been breaking into or entering unlocked cars without permission to steal valuables inside.

Someone stole the mayor of Denver's car and the whole thing was swept under the carpet.

On the evening of February 27, the Rifle Police Department announced on Facebook the arrest and charges filed against Tyler Jay Boebert, who is the oldest child of Lauren Boebert and her ex-husband. He was arrested at about 2:30 pm with the police department saying the area has seen “a recent string of vehicle trespass and property thefts.”

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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U.S. Marines and sailors from the Okinawa-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and troops from Japan's 2nd Amphibious Rapid Deployment Regiment, have begun three weeks of amphibious training amid concerns of Chinese military moves around Japan and Taiwan.

The combined troops will practice recapturing an island during the Iron Fist 24, which is “focused on island defense.

The exercise, which ends March 17, involves 2,100 U.S. and Japanese personnel.

Japan in recent years has strengthened its amphibious capabilities in response to a rapid Chinese military build-up, aggression toward neighboring countries and a promise by Xi Jinping to unify Taiwan, by force, if necessary.

Tags: CHINA, JAPAN, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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An audible gasp was heard on CNN last night as anchor and chief national correspondent John King broke down the incoming Michigan primary election results.

While Biden easily vanquished his Democratic rivals in the Wolverine State, over 100,000 voters let their discontent with the administration's policy towards Israel be known by voting “uncommitted.”

The campaign, led by Rashida Tlaib's sister, had hoped to get 10,000 voters to mark “uncommitted” on their ballot instead of supporting Biden. That 10,000 number about equals the margin Donald Trump unexpectedly won Michigan by in 2016. (RELATED: Tlaib Calls On Michigan Voters To Abandon Biden Over Gaza)

Four years later, Biden defeated incumbent President Trump in Michigan by a margin of 2.78%. Precincts with the highest percentage of Muslims and Arab American voters overwhelmingly supported Biden, with the Democrat receiving 83% of the vote.

Yet, in a stunning twist, Biden suffered a 17-point loss in Dearborn, Michigan, last night – home to the largest concentration of Muslims in the United States.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WHITE HOUSE
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Israel is building a town exclusively for Jewish Israelis. To do so, it is building over homes it destroyed in Umm al-Hiran, a Palestinian Bedouin village in southern Israel.

In January 2017, security forces stormed the village to bulldoze homes and evict inhabitants. They killed a resident, Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan, accusing him of attacking the forces with his car which spun out of control when they shot at it.

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE
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Russia's Investigative Committee is identifying all Ukrainian commanders who gave the order to shoot down the Il-76 plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war for exchange, the agency’s head, Alexander Bastrykin, told TASS in an interview.

"Investigation to identify individuals from among the Ukrainian military involved in this terrorist attack is ongoing," he said.

Bastrykin said that investigators and experts had already identified the type of weapons used to attack the plane. "They are MIM-104A anti-aircraft guided missiles of the US Patriot surface-to-air missile system," the top investigator said. He recalled that the missiles were launched from the village of Liptsy in Ukraine’s Kharkov Region. "Several hundred fragments of the victims' bodies were found at the crash site. The results of DNA tests allowed to make an unequivocal conclusion about the affiliation of the seized body fragments to the crew members, military police officers and 65 Ukrainian servicemen who died in the crash of the plane," the agency’s head added.

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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Remember that story last week about rogue groups with nuclear weapons? Well, sit down, pour yourself a few fingers of your favorite adult beverage, and read this story shared with us by D.P. (with our thanks):

Federal prosecutors in New York said they charged a Japanese Yakuza leader with conspiring to traffic nuclear materials from Burma to other countries.

Now, beyond the alleged fact that we're concerned with trafficking weapons grade nuclear fuels, there's something that really caught my eye in this story, and it probably did yours too, but just in case it didn't here it is:

Federal prosecutors in New York on Wednesday said they charged a Japanese Yakuza leader with conspiring to traffic nuclear materials from Burma to other countries in the belief that they would be used by Iran to make a nuclear weapon.

Webmaster addition:

Tags: IRAN, JAPAN, WMD
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French President Emmanuel Macron wants to send NATO ground troops into Ukraine to defeat Russia.

Only a delusional fool could make such a crass proposal which goes to show that Macron is brain-dead. NATO troops deployed to fight Russian forces would mean an all-out war, which most likely would spiral into a nuclear conflagration.

Ironically, the French leader made headlines a while back when he labeled the US-led NATO alliance as being “brain-dead”. He’s now competing for the same epithet.

When Macron made those harsh remarks about NATO in an interview with the Economist in November 2019, some observers thought that he was being intelligently critical of the transatlantic military organization and how it was no longer fit for purpose in the modern age.

But, no, Macron wasn’t offering constructive criticism of NATO or American leadership. He was simply being a conceited charlatan, trying to promote himself as the “strong leader” of Europe and peddling his hobby horse of building up a European army by appearing to bad mouth NATO.

Tags: FRANCE, NATO, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The Resistance seeks to maintain their calibratory control for attriting Israel, whereas Israel wants to move directly to its ‘Armageddon vision’.

Israel’s dual strategy for Lebanon is to exert pressure through direct raids to instil fear amongst the wider population, whilst deploying diplomatic pressure to purge Hizbullah – not just from the border, but from regions beyond the Litani River (some 23 kms to the north).

Only Hizballah doesn’t budge.

It remains adamant: It will not be displaced from its historic homelands in the south – and refuses to discuss the matter at all.

Tags: ISRAEL, LEBANON, WHITE HOUSE
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The signing of a security agreement between Paris, Berlin, and Kiev does not affect relations with Russia, which are at rock bottom, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik.

"Referring specifically to Russia-Germany and Russia-France relations, I would like to emphasize that, unfortunately, at this stage there is little that could affect them for the worse. They are already at an unprecedentedly low level," she said.

According to Zakharova, "the former partners [Germany and France] have discarded the voluminous baggage of large-scale, mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation [with Russia] accumulated over several generations."

"This is not our decision. For two years we have been watching how NATO countries, including Germany and France playing a particularly active role (with Berlin ranking second after the United States in terms of supplying arms and military equipment to the Kiev regime), have been pumping Ukraine with modern lethal systems, training soldiers, supplying intelligence, and contributing to the escalation of hostilities," Zakharova noted.

Tags: FRANCE, GERMANY, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA
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Macron is clearly styling himself as a statesman who can step into the breach in the mold of Italy’s Mario Draghi, who famously steadied the crisis-stricken eurozone with his pledge to do “whatever it takes.” Indeed, Macron echoed that very phrase on Monday: “We’re determined to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.” The question, then, is: How far is Macron truly ready to go this time? His previous lofty rhetoric on Ukraine, after all, has not been matched by action. Most significantly, can he hope to prevail as a galvanizing Western leader if he fails to carry France with him? All French opposition forces have already rounded on him. Marine Le Pen, on the far right, has pilloried his assertion that Western troops in Ukraine “shouldn’t be ruled out” as toying with “the lives of [France’s] children,” while far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon said it was “madness” to pitch “one nuclear power against another nuclear power.” More mainstream forces, such as the Socialist Party and the conservative Les Républicains, also condemned the French president’s muscle-flexing.

 

The problem with Macron is that he is a bank teller, Napoleon was an artillery officer. And he would do just fine if he would stay away from Russia, but no-o-o, he wanted it all and as a result Russians entered Paris in 1814. Russians do not want to enter Paris--there is nothing much to do there--St.Petersburg will do just fine, but if Macron wants the war with Russia, Russians may oblige. With France's 30 operational tanks and who knows how many... tens of Rafales flying--they will get a very warm reception.

Tags: FRANCE, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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