From James Harkin (Webmaster & Editor of LindseyWilliams.net). Here is a summary of articles of interest from around the world for this week. Please LIKE the Lindsey Williams Online Facebook Page to see stories posted daily regarding the current state of the economy around the world.
Latest News From April 14, 2017 to April 20, 2017:
- In Stark Warning, IMF Finds Over 20% Of US Corporations At Risk Of Default Should Rates Rise
While the market has been generally euphoric over Trump's proposed fiscal agenda (even if in recent weeks it increasingly looks its implementation will be indefinitely delayed), one adverse side effect which has largely been ignored by the market is the impact of rising interest rates not only on sovereign debt, but on record corporate debt loads. Conveniently, this was one of the more notably topics covered in the latest Global Financial Stability report released by the IMF on Wednesday. According to the IMF writes, as corporate leverage has risen, and is now at the highest level since the start either the financial crisis or the dot com bubble, depending on which metric one uses…
- Chaos Coming To A Market Near You This Summer
This month the Fed is adding $23.4 billion in cash to Primary Dealer Trading Accounts in the period April 12-20. This is slightly more than the March addition of $21.9 billion, the smallest add since January 2016. It was a sharp decline from February’s $41.6 billion. You may have thought Quantitative Easing (QE) ended in late 2014, and it did, but the Federal Reserve has continued to add cash to the financial markets every month. It does so via the purchases of mortgage backed securities (MBS). It calls them “replacement purchases.”
- Our Intellectual Bankruptcy: The “Religion” of Economics, UBI and Medicare For All
Here we stand on the precipice, and all we have in our kit is a collection of delusional magical thinking that we label “solutions.” We are not just morally and financially bankrupt, we’re intellectually bankrupt as well. Here are three examples of magical thinking that pass for intellectually sound ideas: 1. Mainstream neo-classical/ Keynesian economics. 2. Universal Basic Income. 3. Medicare for all.
- Paul Craig Roberts – A Walk Through The Destruction Of America’s Once Majestic Paradise
Inlet Beach is an old Florida community in Walton County on the Gulf Coast of the panhandle of Florida. The community circa 1950 originated in federal land dispensed via a lottery to WW II veterans. Winners of the lottery received 1.25 acres in exchange for a $50 filing fee and agreement to construct an 800 square foot block house…
- Another $3 Billion Paper Gold Dump, But Here Is What Is Really Moving The Gold Price
In our April 2nd report (and before) we argued that if gold could close a week over $1250 (later specified as above $1251.50), then we expected a renewed upside surge. Even in early April before that breakout gold had rallied from its late 2016 low by $130. Gold crossed that next threshold as of the weekly close of 4/7, closing that week above $1254. Gold has since moved to the mid $1290s.
- Gold is on the verge of a big breakout
Last night, after Donald Trump bemoaned the strength in the dollar and the gold price jumped in reaction, I shared this chart on twitter. The last time gold tested this key resistance line, I was less optimistic about its ability to overcome it. However, as technicians like to say, the more times resistance is tested the weaker it becomes.
- Analyst: Gold’s Long Correction Is Officially Over
Technical analyst Jack Chan charts the completion of the gold market’s long correction. Our proprietary cycle indicator is now up. The gold sector is on a long-term buy signal. Long-term signals can last for months and years and are more suitable for investors holding for long term. The gold sector is also on a short-term buy signal. Short-term signals can last for days and weeks, and are more suitable for traders that are nimble enough to get in and out of positions relatively quickly. A breakout was confirmed last week, suggesting that the multi-month correction since last summer is now over. This is hugely bullish for gold.
- By 2020 Two-Thirds Of Wild Animals Will Have Been Wiped Out Over A 50 Year Period As Mass Die-Offs Accelerate All Over The Planet
It has been called “the long extinction”. Our planet is in the process of dying, and as you will see below, this process of death and destruction appears to be accelerating. According to a report that was put out by the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London, the number of wild animals around the globe appears to be decreasing at a rate of about 2 percent a year. 2 percent may not sound like a lot to you, but over 10 years that would mean that 20 percent of all wild animals in the world would be gone. And according to that same report, it is being projected that the total loss of wildlife during the 50 year period from 1970 to 2020 will be a staggering 67 percent…
- Stocks & Dollar Crash-Gold & Silver Spike
Market cycle analyst Bo Polny says he may have been wrong in the past about a stock market top, but now the top is in and predicts, “As of March 1st (2017), we believe the stock market, the Dow, the S&P, and all the world markets for that matter, are supposed to have topped and from this point forward, we are supposed to see a very ugly April.” Polny gives another April prediction and states, “Trump’s first 100 days in office ends April 30th. Before his 100 days are up, expect three things: Expect a stock market crash, expect a dollar crash and expect gold and silver, they (Fed) are going to lose control, and you are going to see a sharp spike in the month of April.”
- 28 heads of state, leaders to attend Belt & Road summit in Beijing
28 heads of state and government leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, have confirmed they will attend the Belt and Road summit in Beijing on May 14-15. On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Chinese President Xi Jinping will host the round table summit of the leaders. Dubbed ‘One Belt, One Road,’ the plan is to revive an ancient trading route stretching from Asia to Europe. Beijing and Moscow have also indicated they have reached consensus on integrating China’s ambitious One Belt One Road plan with Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union. The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held from May 14 to 15 in Beijing.
- Alaska Needs Much Higher Oil Prices To Reverse Its Oil Fortunes
This year marks Alaska’s 40th anniversary of the Trans Alaska Pipeline Systems (TAPS)—an 800-mile-long crude oil route that runs from the North Slope to Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in North America. However, Alaska’s declining oil output in recent years has not only stretched the state’s budget, it has also added a challenge to the functioning of the pipeline—decreased throughput means the pipeline is now about three-quarters empty, and crude oil flows are slower. The peak of oil flow through the pipeline was at 2 million barrels per day in 1988. Last year, throughput was 517,500 bpd, a 1.8-percent increase from 2015. This was the first annual increase since 2002, but still a far cry from the days of peak flow.
- Europe Gets Its Doomsday Scenario
The rise of French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has made a lot of people nervous since, among many other things, she’s in favor of leaving the eurozone, which would pretty much end the common currency. But since polling has shown her making the two-person run-off round but then losing to a mainstream candidate, the euro-elites haven’t seen any reason to panic. Here, for instance, is a chart based on February polling that shows Le Pen getting the most votes in the first round, but then – when mainstream voters coalesce around her opponent – losing by around 60% – 40%. The establishment gets a bit of a scare but remains firmly in power, no harm no foul.
- World Holding Its Breath Watching Turkey, North Korea, and Imminent French Elections
This past week saw a number of geopolitical order-shaking events reverberating throughout the world. After the successful Turkish constitutional referendum results gave Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan near-absolute power there, U.S. President Trump called to congratulate him while the European Union member state heads seethed in frustrated rage at Turkey’s de facto decision to abandon their membership drive for the EU. Erdogan added insult to injury by calling Europe a “dilapidated continent.” Meanwhile, in the Pacific Ocean, tensions of another kind raged as the deteriorating situation between North Korea and the United States escalated to the point that the Chinese warned of possible war on the Korean Peninsula if both sides do not back away from the brink of threats concerning armed conflict. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was in South Korea over the Easter weekend in the beginning of a series of huddles with the American regional allies including South Korea and Japan.
- Mapping the Hourly Wage Needed to Rent a 2-Bedroom Apartment in Every U.S. State
Yes, the American economy is improving, and yes, we’re creating more jobs. But the hourly wages for a lot of these jobs are stagnant at best. According to the Pew Research Center, 30 percent of America’s workforce earns a near-minimum-wage salary—that’s almost 21 million people. As a cruel paradox, rents across the country keep rising. A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition examines how these opposite trends play out regionally. The work maps how much an American worker needs to earn per hour in each state to rent a two-bedroom apartment. It finds that in no state can a person earning minimum wage afford such an apartment at market rent.
- ‘The dominoes are starting to fall': Retailers are going bankrupt at a staggering rate
Retailers are filing for bankruptcy at an alarming rate that's quickly approaching recessionary levels. It's only April, and nine retailers have already filed for bankruptcy since the start of the year — as many as all of last year. “2017 will be the year of retail bankruptcies,” Corali Lopez-Castro, a bankruptcy lawyer, told Business Insider after she attended a recent distressed-investing conference in Palm Beach, Florida. “Retailers are running out of cash, and the dominoes are starting to fall.”
- Uber Confirms Horrendous Loss in 2016
On Good Friday, when markets were closed and when the entire financial world was tuned out, and when certainly no one was supposed to pay attention, Uber, the most highly valued – at $62.5 billion – and the most scandal plagued tech startup in the world, took the until now unprecedented step of disclosing its audited revenues and losses for the fourth quarter and for the full year of 2016. Rumors of ballooning losses for 2016 had been swirling since last summer. Bloomberg reported in August that Uber had lost “at least $1.2 billion” in the first half. In December, Uber’s loss in Q3 was said to “exceed $800 million,” according to Bloomberg, and its annual loss “may hit $3 billion.” Others chimed in as some of Uber’s dozens of investors who’re getting its financial statements share them in dribs and drabs with the media.
- So Who Are the Debt Slaves in this Rich Nation?
We constantly hear the factoids about “American households” that paint a picture of immense wealth – and therefore a lack of risk for consumer lenders during the next downturn. We hear: “This – the thing that happened in 2008 and 2009 – won’t happen again.” For example, total net worth (assets minus debt) of US households and non-profit organization (they’re lumped together) rose to an astronomical $92.8 trillion at the end of 2016, according to the Federal Reserve. This is up by nearly 70% in early 2009 when the Fed started its QE and zero-interest-rate programs. Inflating household wealth was one of the big priorities of the Fed during the Financial Crisis. It would crank up the economy. In an editorial in 2010, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke himself called this the “wealth effect.” So with this colossal wealth of US households, what could go wrong during the next downturn?
- Millennials Are Homesteading, Buying Affordable Homes, Building Community
While it’s certainly good sport to mock “snowflakes,” not all Millennials are snowflakes. Many are homesteading, buying affordable homes and building communities that get stuff done. I discuss these trends with Drew Sample, who is living them in Ohio. ( hear a 60-second excerpt or listen to the full podcast on Drew’s site.) Although the mainstream media focuses on bubble-priced Left and Right coast homes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, there are perfectly serviceable houses that can be had for $50,000 or less elsewhere in America. Drew just bought one, and rather than go through a bank for the mortgage, he arranged (with the help of a real estate attorney) for a family member to put up the mortgage.
- Man Who Advises Top Sovereign Wealth Funds In The World Says All Hell Is Going To Break Loose In 2017
“Everything leads to gold (in 2017). Gold is the undiscovered asset. Most institutional investors have not been interested in gold because they think the Fed is raising interest rates and the economy is strong. And yet today, what happened? Gold and silver took off. Gold and silver both rose above their 200-day moving averages. With a sudden surge late in the day, Trump came out and said the dollar shouldn’t be so strong. The dollar sold off and gold and silver took off (to the upside).”
- The U.S. and China: Why the Sudden Convergence on North Korea?
In the past, China resisted U.S. saber-rattling against North Korea. Now China is threatening North Korea with military action. What’s going on? Why the sudden convergence of U.S.-China threats of military force against North Korea? China Threatens To Bomb North Korea’s Nuclear Facilities If It Crosses Beijing’s “Bottom Line”.
- Does Your Plan B Include a Second Place to Live If Plan A Doesn’t Work Out?
We all have a Plan A—continue living just like we’re living now. Some of us have a Plan B in case Plan A doesn’t work out, and the reasons for a Plan B break out into three general categories: Preppers who foresee the potential for a breakdown in Plan A due to a systemic “perfect storm” of events that could overwhelm the status quo’s ability to supply healthcare, food and transportation fuels for the nation’s heavily urbanized populace. People who understand their employment is precarious and contingent, and they might have to move to another locale if they lose their job and can’t find another equivalent one quickly. Those who tire of the stresses of maintaining Plan A and who long for a less stressful, less complex, cheaper and more fulfilling way of living.
- A Government of Morons
It has become embarrassing to be an American. Our country has had four war criminal presidents in succession. Clinton twice launched military attacks on Serbia, ordering NATO to bomb the former Yugoslavia twice, both in 1995 and in 1999, so that gives Bill two war crimes. George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and attacked provinces of Pakistan and Yemen from the air. That comes to four war crimes for Bush. Obama used NATO to destroy Libya and sent mercenaries to destroy Syria, thereby commiting two war crimes. Trump attacked Syria with US forces, thereby becoming a war criminal early in his regime.
- Here Is The Really Big Shocker With The World Now On The Edge Of Destruction
You have to go back to the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 to find the world as close to nuclear war as today. As tensions surrounding North Korea ratchet up, it’s all too easy to imagine it could lead to a conflict that is part nuclear, part conventional, part chemical, in which millions die and the world’s economy loses trillions of dollars. Is this an invitation to load up on gold? I would wait. The reason I say this is because when I analyze what lies behind the sharp rise in tension, I think the Korean situation is likely to take a turn towards sanity. This could mean additional downside in the metal, any short-term blip notwithstanding. Having said that, the longer term case for gold has strengthened even more.
- China Starting To Resemble Bernie Madoff
Audible.com just released a new show on Bernie Madoff (Ponzi Supernova, available for free to subscribers) that explains how the world’s biggest financial scam was enabled by banks and hedge funds who were making so much money that they chose to ignore obvious red flags.
- The IRS Now Has Moved Beyond Extortion To Outright Theft While the Police Rob Americans Blind
People need to realize what government is. It isn’t there to protect you. All government really is is a criminal enterprise that is the most successful one in each geographical jurisdiction. The only difference between the mafia and government is size. And the IRS is just the largest protection racket in the US. If you pay the IRS its “protection money,” which they call taxes, they won’t kidnap you and put you into a rape camp. That’s the “protection.” But now the US government is so bankrupt financially and morally that it is going beyond an outright mafia operation to straight up robbing people. In the US today both yourself and your property are guilty until proven innocent.
- The Boston Marathon Bombing After Four Years
Today, April 15, 2017, is the fourth anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing, a hoax event performed by crisis actors and tell-tale bright red Hollywood blood. Sheila Casey has done a good job of exposing the hoax just by using the time line and photos of the event. A number of agencies run training programs in which amputees working as crisis actors have a prosthesis afixed to resemble a bone as a remaining piece of a leg or arm. Casey examines the Boston event by timeline. First the crisis actors are assembled. Then the prosthesis is attached. Then the blood appears.
- I Feel Sick, Because The U.S. Is On The Verge Of Making An Extremely Costly Mistake
All day long I have just felt sick. Right at this moment, we are closer to war with North Korea than we have been at any point since the Korean War ended in 1953. If Donald Trump decides to launch a military strike against North Korea’s nuclear facilities, the consequences could be absolutely catastrophic. The North Koreans have already promised to launch nukes at South Korea and at U.S. military bases in the region in return, and they also have vast stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons that they could use as well. To get an idea of the chaos that just a handful of North Korean agents armed with biological weapons could unleash inside the United States, just see this article. A military strike on North Korea could be the spark that sets off a global war in which millions of people die, and so we need to do all that we can to prevent this from happening. My hope is that if people make enough noise that Trump will back down and decide not to attack.
- 9-Year-Old Boy Has A Vision Of An Asteroid Hitting The Atlantic And A Nuclear War Involving The United States
Did God give a 9-year-old boy a vision of the future of America? Last night, my wife pulled me aside and strongly urged me to watch part of an amazing video that she had found on YouTube. I was quite tired at the time, but I agreed to watch it because I could tell from my wife’s expression that she had found something special. And without a doubt, what I am about to share with you does appear to be extraordinary. A grandmother known as “A Daughter of The Highest King” on YouTube came across a dry erase board that her 9-year-old grandson had been drawing on, and the things that he had been drawing were so unusual that she decided to ask him about them.
- Strong Dollar Could Cause Bond Market Crash
Renowned financial expert Martin Armstrong says the biggest risk out there is the effect a strong U.S. dollar has on the global bond market. Armstrong explains, “There’s these people who keep saying the dollar is going to crash. If the dollar crashes, the world is happier and basically celebrating. You have half the U.S. debt equivalent in emerging market debt issued in dollars. If the dollar goes up, they are in trouble. Then you are going to see sovereign defaults. . . . The U.S. is not going to default, but as you start defaults elsewhere outside the country, it makes people begin to get concerned about sovereign debt. Sovereign debt is the worst of all. It’s not secured. If the U.S. government defaulted on its debt, what would happen? You cannot go down to the National Gallery and start lifting Picassos.”
- The Dow Falls Another 138 Points As Geopolitical Shaking Forces Investors To Race For The Exits
Stock prices just keep on falling, and many analysts are now wondering if a full-blown stock market crash is in our near future. On Thursday, the S&P 500 and the Dow both closed at 2 month lows after Donald Trump dropped “the mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan. It was the first time that one of these bombs has ever been used in live combat, and it is being reported that each of these bombs weighs 22,000 pounds and costs 16 million dollars to make. Of course Trump was trying to send a very clear message to the rest of the world by dropping this bomb, and investors interpreted it as a sign that we are getting even closer to war.
- Tech Stocks Experience Their Longest Losing Streak In 5 Years As Panic Begins To Grip The Market
S&P 500 tech stocks have now fallen for 9 days in a row. The last time tech stocks declined for so many days in a row was in 2012, and that was the only other time in history when we have seen such a long losing streak. As I have stated before, the post-election “Trump rally” is officially done, and the market is starting to roll over as investors begin to realize that all of the buying momentum has completely evaporated. Tech stocks tend to be particularly volatile, and so the fact that they are starting to lead the way down should definitely be alarming to many in the investing community.
- Chinese firm halves worker costs by hiring army of robots to sort out 200,000 packages a day
The machines are cheaper than human workers and are also more efficient and accurate in sorting out parcels, spokesman says. A viral video showing an army of little orange robots sorting out packages in a warehouse in eastern China is the latest example of how machines are increasingly taking over menial factory work on the mainland. The behind-the-scenes footage of the self-charging robot army in a sorting centre of Chinese delivery powerhouse Shentong (STO) Express was shared on People’s Daily’s social media accounts on Sunday.
- The new age of Ayn Rand: how she won over Trump and Silicon Valley
As they plough through their GCSE revision, UK students planning to take politics A-level in the autumn can comfort themselves with this thought: come September, they will be studying one thinker who does not belong in the dusty archives of ancient political theory but is achingly on trend. For the curriculum includes a new addition: the work of Ayn Rand. It is a timely decision because Rand, who died in 1982 and was alternately ridiculed and revered throughout her lifetime, is having a moment. Long the poster girl of a particularly hardcore brand of free-market fundamentalism – the advocate of a philosophy she called “the virtue of selfishness” – Rand has always had acolytes in the conservative political classes. The Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, is so committed a Randian, he was famous for giving every new member of his staff a copy of Rand’s gargantuan novel, Atlas Shrugged (along with Freidrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom). The story, oft-repeated, that his colleague in the US Senate, Rand Paul, owes his first name to his father Ron’s adulation of Ayn (it rhymes with “mine”) turns out to be apocryphal, but Paul describes himself as a fan all the same.
- G7 Fails To Agree On New Russian Sanctions: US, UK Push Rejected By Europe
While eager to show a united front against Russia and Syria, G7 foreign ministers meeting in Italy again failed to reach an agreement over new sanctions against the two nations as a British plan to impose targeted sanctions on military personnel in Russia and Syria, supported by the US, was rejected by European allies. “There is no consensus on additional new sanctions,” Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said.
- Trump Flips On Five Core Campaign Promises In Under 24 Hours
Blink, and you missed Trump's blistering, seamless transformation into a mainstream politician. In the span of just a few hours, President Trump flipped to new positions on several core policy issues, backing off on no less than five repeated campaign promises. In a WSJ interview and a subsequent press conference, Trump either shifted or completely reversed positions on a number of foreign and economic policy decisions, including the fate of the US Dollar, how to handle China and the future of the chair of the Federal Reserve.
- Trump wants health-care before tax reform, but expects both to be done by year end
President Donald Trump said he intends to repeal Obamacare before moving on to tax reform and the rebuilding of U.S. infrastructure. “We're going to have a phenomenal tax reform, but I have to do health care first,” Trump said in an interview that aired Wednesday on Fox Business. Trump and the GOP House leaders last month canceled a planned vote on the American Health Care Act, which was the Republican plan to replace the Obama-era health-care law. In the interview, Trump said his initial August deadline for a tax reform plan will be moved back, but he plans to complete both health care and tax reforms by the end of this year.
- Recession Alert: Government Revenues Suffer Biggest Drop Since The Financial Crisis
On the surface, today's monthly budget statement was disappointing: in March the US Treasury brought in total receipts of $216 billion, below the $228 billion last March, versus outlays of a record $392 billion, resulting in a deficit of $176 billion, more than the $167 billion expected, and $68 billion more than the previous year. For the fiscal year through March 31, the total US budget deficit was $527 billion, compared to $459 billion on year ago.
- Zimbabwe Central Bank To Accept Cows, TVs, Fridges As Collateral
Long before China Huishan Dairy Holdings, China's largest daily farmer, became known as the latest Chinese corporate fraud whose stock crashed 90% in seconds after a Muddy Waters report brought attention to its questionable shadow banking funding, exposing the company as a hollow sham and leading to the prompt departure of four of its directors who hope (in vain) to escape prison time, the company was best known for being the first ever company to do cow-collateralized stock buybacks.
- Tony Robbins, Pitbull And 5 Other Signs That Toronto Real Estate Is About To Crash
If Tony Robbins and Pitbull come to your town to present you with ‘an offer you can't refuse' to buy residential real estate after it's already surged over 200% in the past decade and 30-40% in the last year, that should be all the evidence you need to do the exact opposite. If, however, you're the type of person that doesn't easily pick up on the ‘subtle' market cues then here's a couple more reasons to avoid Toronto real estate at all costs.
- “Worse Than Lehman” – Euro Uncertainty Spikes To Record High
Investors are showing increasing concern before the French presidential elections, with market complacency giving way to extreme cautiousness. As Bloomberg reports, the spread between one-month and one-week implied volatilities on the euro versus the dollar closed at a record high of 6.35 percentage points on Monday, as near-term risks remain subdued and focus is almost solely placed on the chance that anti-euro candidate Marine Le Pen wins the race.
- Saudi Arabia Vs. Russia: The Next Oil Price War
International oil markets could be heading towards a new war, as leading OPEC and non-OPEC producers are vying for increased stakes. The unexpected cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC countries, instigated by the full support of Saudi Arabia (OPEC) and Russia (non-OPEC) has brought some stabilization to the crude markets for almost half a year. The expected crude oil price crisis has been averted, it seems, leaving enough room when looking at the fundamentals to a bull market in the coming months. As long as Saudi Arabia, Russia and some other major producers (UAE, Kuwait), are supporting a production cut extension, financials will be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.
- S&P 500 Chart Indicates A Potential Top Forming
Below looks at the S&P 500 over the past couple of years on a weekly closing basis. The S&P hit a key level around 6-weeks ago and continues to “back off!” The Power of the Pattern applied Fibonacci to the 2016 “weekly closing highs and lows” at each (1), then applied the 161% extension level to them. SPY hit the 161% extension level around 6 weeks ago, at the 238 level and has proceeded to create a series of lower highs, while breaking a steep rising support line at (2). This line was created off the lows at the time of the election.
- Former Fed Analyst: Gold Is “Ultimate Safe-Haven Investment”
From both an economic and political standpoint, it seems the only certainty in the world right now is uncertainty. As Danielle DiMartino Booth says, that’s a good reason to buy gold. Booth worked as an as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. After leaving the Fed, she founded Money Strong, LLC, an economic consulting firm. She also authored Fed Up: An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve Is Bad for America. In a recent appearance on Jay Taylor’s Turning Hard Times into Tough Times podcast, Booth called gold “the ultimate safe-haven investment.”
- The Ticking Debt Bomb
Tick … tick … tick … That sound you hear is a ticking debt bomb. According to the most recent data released by the Federal Reserve, outstanding credit card debt eclipsed the $1 trillion mark in February, increasing 6.2% from a year ago. Credit card debt now stands at the highest level since the 2008 crash, according to Fortune. However, credit cards make up just one component of the debt bomb in America. Student and auto loan debt are also both above $1 trillion and rising. Total consumer credit rose by $15.2 billion in February to $3.79 trillion. The annual growth rate of total consumer debt stands at 4.8%.
- Bank of England Rigging LIBOR – Gold Market Too?
The LIBOR scandal reemerged yesterday as the BBC’s Panorama uncovered a secret recording implicating the Bank of England in the interest rate manipulation saga. According to the BBC the central bank pressured commercial banks during the 2008 financial crisis to lower their settings for LIBOR. In a telephone recording, aired last night in the UK, a senior Barclays manager, Mark Dearlove, can be heard instructing Libor submitter Peter Johnson, to lower his rates. Mr Johnson: “So I’ll push them below a realistic level of where I think I can get money?” Mr Dearlove: “The fact of the matter is we’ve got the Bank of England, all sorts of people involved in the whole thing… I am as reluctant as you are… these guys have just turned around and said just do it.”
- Millennials Are Abandoning the Postwar Engines of Growth: Suburbs and Autos
If anything defined the postwar economy between 1946 and 1999, it was the exodus of the middle class from cities to suburbs and the glorification of what Jim Kunstler calls Happy Motoring: freeways, cars and trucks, ten lanes of private vehicles, the vast majority of which are transporting one person. Ol’ 55 (freeway cars and trucks) (written by Tom Waits, performed by The Eagles). The build-out of suburbia drove growth for decades: millions of new suburban homes, miles of new freeways, sprawling shopping malls, and tens of millions of new autos, trucks, and SUVs, transforming one-car households into three vehicle households. Then there was all the furnishings for those expansive new homes, and the credit necessary to fund the homes, vehicles, furnishings, etc. Now the Millennial generation is turning its back on both of these bedrock engines of growth. As various metrics reveal, the Millennials are fine with taking Uber to work, buying their shoes from Zappos (return them if they don’t fit, no problem), and making whatever tradeoffs are necessary to live in urban cores.
- Is That Armageddon Over The Horizon?
The insouciance of the Western world is extraordinary. It is not only Americans who permit themselves to be brainwashed by CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times and Washington Post, but also their counterparts in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan, who rely on the war propaganda machine that poses as a media. The Western “leaders,” that is, the puppets on the end of the strings pulled by the powerful private interest groups and the Deep State, are just as insouciant. Trump and his counterparts in the American Empire must be unaware that they are provoking war with Russia and China, or else they are psychopaths. A new White House Fool has replaced the old fool. The New Fool has sent his Secretary of State to Russia. For what? To deliver an ultimatum? To make more false accusations? To apologize for the lies?
- Jim Rickards: Implementing Trump’s Economic Plan is “Sheer Fantasy”
Is the so-called Trump Trade about to unravel? Economic analyst Jim Rickards thinks so. The Trump Trade rests on the idea that the president’s proposed policies of lower taxes, infrastructure spending, Obamacare repeal, and decreasing government regulations will juice the economy. As a result, corporate earnings will increase and the stock market will rise with them. Indeed, with Trump’s election, the stock market took off on a bull run. Between Election Day and March 1, the Dow gained 15%, moving from 18,332.74 to 21,115.55. Some have dubbed it the “Trump Bump.”
- Art Cashin – A Great Storm Is Brewing
On this day in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte stood in the hands of captors. Just three years earlier he had been the self-proclaimed Emperor of France, de Facto ruler of most of Europe and the proud father of a new-born son by his second wife. In addition, even his enemies had conceded him a unique sense of governance – his Napoleonic code stands to this day on two continents. But he had an aggressive M & A department that told him to gamble all this for a hostile takeover of Russia. It wasn’t junk bonds that did him in. Instead it was junk weather. When his victorious army found itself forthright but freezing, he was forced to retreat. And even though he fought off old enemies in incredible ways – once they touched French soil he abdicated to save his people.
- Grand Goal Is War
Analyst/trader Gregory Mannarino says war should figure into any investment strategy because one is coming. Mannarino says, “It should be clear to people that we are now at a pivotal moment. . . . Whenever the economy in the United States starts to get shaky, unfortunately, we seem to escalate into new wars, and I think that is where we are going. We have spoken about this in the past. This is their grand goal. War is the goal. War has always been the goal. We are already in it, and I really believe this war started a while ago. It’s now really starting to come into the public light, and now we are in the propaganda war. This is what goes on at the beginning of every major engagement.”
- Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen – April 13, 2017
Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen with his regular short weekly video for readers of Pastor Williams' weekly newsletter.
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