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 March 17, 2017 to March 23, 2017:
- Keiser Report – Health Care ‘Hard Choices’
We discuss the allegedly ‘hard choices’ in resolving America’s problem providing health care. In the second half, Max talks to trends forecaster, Gerald Celente of TrendsResearch.com, about the Fed’s interest rate hike and whether or not Trump’s threatened trade wars will lead to hot wars.
- Great Recession Headed for Greater Depression
Money manager Michael Pento says don’t believe the Fed when it says “the economy is doing well.” It’s not. Pento explains, “As long as the stock market continues to go up, the Fed is going to continue to slowly raise interest rates. So, when the inevitable collapse occurs, and that’s what the Fed does, the Fed is in the business of lowering interest rates, creating asset bubbles, which pile up the level of debt, then raising rates and collapsing the economy. That’s their mantra. That’s their MO (modus operandi) and it has happened over and over again. The occurrences are going to be much more dire as we go through time. So, the Fed is trying to get bullets in the chamber. The Fed is going to raise rates slowly. The yield curve is going to invert. . . . We are going to have another catastrophe in the stock market and in the bond market and in the real estate market and in the global economy.”
- ALERT: Big Money Just Made A Massive Short Bet Against The U.S. Stock Market!
After this week’s Fed decision, big money just made a massive short bet against the U.S. stock market. Smart Money Establishes A Big Short. Jason Goepfert at SentimenTrader: “Last August, “smart money” commercial hedgers in S&P 500 futures were net short about $24 billion worth of the full and e-mini contracts. As stocks declined into October, they covered and went net long. Even as stocks climbed, they added to their positions, ultimately having long exposure worth about $13 billion…
- The Upcoming Trade War Between The U.S. And China Will Be The Biggest In The History Of The Planet
The United States and China are the two largest economies in the world by far, and the upcoming trade war that is about to erupt will be cataclysmic for both sides. The Trump administration and the Chinese government are both gearing up for a prolonged trade war, and this is going to have very severe implications for the entire global economy. During the campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly stated that we “can’t continue to allow China to rape our country”, and he was quite correct about that. Over the past ten years, the U.S. has run a trade deficit of over $2 trillion with China, and as a result of imbalanced trade we have lost tens of thousands of manufacturing businesses, millions of good paying jobs, and hundreds of billions of dollars of tax revenue.
- The Global Famine Begins: UN Announces That The Worst Food Crisis Since World War II Is Happening Right Now
We always knew that this would start happening. Earlier this month, I wrote about the severe economic problems that are plaguing South America, but up to this point I have neglected to discuss the horrific famines that are breaking out all over Africa. Right now there is a desperate need for food in South Sudan, Somalia, northeast Nigeria, Eritrea and Kenya. And Yemen, even though it is not technically part of Africa, is being affected by many of the same factors that are crippling nations all over eastern Africa. The United Nations says that more than 20 million people could die from starvation and disease if nothing is done. When I write about economic collapse, this is the kind of thing that I am talking about, and we are starting to see alarming conditions spread across the globe. Many believe that we could never possibly face this kind of food crisis in the western world, but unfortunately wishful thinking will only get you so far.
- 1961 Prophecy From Evangelist Tommy Hicks Described The Army Of The Last Days That Is Rising Now
More than 50 years ago, God showed evangelist Tommy Hicks what the mighty army of the last days would look like. Hicks was best known for his work in South America, and you can see some old photos of him ministering during the Argentinian revival of 1954 here. According to Hicks, on the morning of July 25th, 1961 he was shown the same vision “three times, exactly in detail”, and what he saw changed the course of his life forever. In this vision God revealed to Hicks that the Spirit of God would be poured out on “the nobodies” all over the world in the last days, and that this incredible army would shake the world for God like we have never seen before.
- First Real Hope for Flint Water as Trump Bestows $100 Million
Under authority granted the agency by the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016, the EPA just issued a $100 million grant to the beleaguered city of Flint, Michigan, to help in the effort at replacing the city’s badly corroded and lead-tainted system of water pipes. Some progressive critics of President Donald Trump have pointed to his proposed budget cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency as proof that he is a terrible president who doesn’t care about ensuring that Americans have clean air and water. However, the recent report from The Daily Caller about Trump’s EPA grant just did threw that narrative into a tailspin.
- “This Is Going To Blow Sky High” – Observations On Canada's Housing Market
For months we've been warning about real estate bubbles re-emerging in various markets around the world from Canada to Australia (see “There Are 66,719 Empty Mansions In Vancouver” and “Vancouver Home Sales Crash 40%, As Toronto Home Prices Soar 22%”). And while facts and figures clearly indicate that certain markets are bubbling over courtesy of all the same mistakes that caused the ‘great recession' in 2008, nothing helps to confirm the truly obscene nature of a real estate bubble quite like attending a good ole-fashioned, get-rich-quick real estate expo. As such, below are the musings of one financial market observer who recently attended the Canadian Real Estate Wealth Expo as a joke but walked away convinced the system is about “to blow sky high.”
- Another Senior Russian Official Has Died
Since the day of Donald Trump's election, high-ranking Russian officials have been dropping like flies and today's reports that a top official of Russia's space agency has been found dead brings the total to eight. As we noted previously, six Russian diplomats have died in the last 3 months – all but one died on foreign soil. Some were shot, while other causes of death are unknown. Note that a few deaths have been labeled “heart attacks” or “brief illnesses.”
- Gartman Goes Short: “Something Broke In The Markets Yesterday”
Just when it seemed the follow through from yesterday's selloff would continue, algos may have found the only catalyst they need to lift some offers: in his overnight note, Dennis Gartman writes “we actually ventured to the short side of the market, buying bearish derivatives and by 1:00 in the afternoon, doubling those positions and carrying them “home” through the close of trading.”
- EU Taxpayers Brace As Deepening Banking Crisis Means Euro-TARP Looms
If the ECB scales back stimulus, banks face even greater risk of collapse. But now there’s a new solution. Events are moving so fast in Europe these days, it’s almost impossible to keep up. While much of the attention is being hogged by political developments, including the election in the Netherlands, Reuters published a report warning that the European banking sector may face even higher bad loan risks if the ECB begins to scale back its monetary stimulus programs, something it has already begun, albeit extremely tentatively. The total stock of non-performing loans (NPL) in the EU is estimated at over €1 trillion, or 5.4% of total loans, a ratio three times higher than in other major regions of the world.
- Used Car Prices Crash Most Since 2008
According to NADA Used Car Guide, wholesale prices on used vehicles are getting crushed. Let’s take a look at the details. NADA partially blames late tax refunds for some of the declines in March. While it’s true the IRS slowed claims for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) to combat fraud, late refunds in 2017 cannot possibly explain an eight-month trend. Yet, based on tax refunds, NADA expects a rebound in used car prices in March. With massive incentives on new vehicles, I say, let’s see. Regardless, it’s pretty clear that car sales are slowing, and it takes bigger and bigger incentives to push them out the door.
- We may have just moved closer to a global trade war
Until now, Wall Street investors and foreign leaders had given President Donald Trump's antitrade views the benefit of the doubt, dismissing some of Trump's louder threats to rip up global commercial agreements as mere bluster. That perception changed significantly this weekend, when Trump's Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, seen as among the more moderate members of the administration, held his ground on weakening the Group of 20 nations' long-standing commitment to free trade.
- EU chief Juncker: We'll make an example of Britain that no-one will want to follow
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is not worried about other EU countries leaving the bloc after Britain because Brexit will make them see it is not a good option, he said in a newspaper interview. Asked by Bild am Sonntag newspaper if other member states would follow Britain's example in quitting, Juncker said: “No. Britain's example will make everyone realise that it's not worth leaving.”
- Theresa May to trigger article 50 on 29 March
Theresa May will trigger article 50 on Wednesday 29 March, the prime minister’s spokesman has confirmed. The UK’s permanent representative to the European Union, Sir Tim Barrow, notified the EU on Monday morning that a letter should be expected on that date. May, who was visiting Swansea on Monday, intended to visit Northern Ireland and Scotland before the formal notification was sent by letter on 29 March, Downing Street said.
- White House meeting with Trump was catastrophic for Merkel
There were discernible slights and insults for German Chancellor Angela Merkel at her first meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday. For Donald Trump, it was just another day, full of outrageous behavior and controversy. The grave consequences of rudeness at this rarefied diplomatic level should not be underestimated. But it was nuances of what was said and what wasn’t said at the White House that will have the more far reaching results. Angela Merkel was portrayed by the world media as a put upon woman, a victim of the slights of a misogynist. But she is a mature and substantial politician in her own right. She will know that she came away from this summit with nothing. She is the kind of consensus, liberal politician that Trump holds in the greatest contempt. And she has the most to fear.
- Ukraine says IMF suspends discussion on fresh handout
Ukraine on Sunday said the International Monetary Fund has postponed a board discussion on disbursing a new $1-billion loan tranche after Kiev cut trade links with Russian-backed rebel eastern regions. “The IMF board of directors has postponed for a short period the review planned for Monday of the issue,” Ukraine's finance ministry said in a statement. There was no separate confirmation from the IMF.
- Row Breaks Out At G-20 Over Future Of Global Trade
One day after yesterday's at times painfully uncomfortable first official meeting between Angela Merkel and Donald Trump, it will hardly come as a surprise that during today's G-20 meeting in Baden Baden, Germany- the first for the Trump administration, whose delegation is led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – where the dominant topic is trade, and specifically globalization vs protectionism, that a row would break out over how the post-Trump world will deal with trade.
- Mexicans Flood Into Canada As 2017 Border Detentions Surpass All Of 2016
A couple of days ago we noted that Mexican immigrants were suddenly flooding into Canada to avoid deportation from the U.S. The increase in northern border crossings came, at least in part, courtesy of Canada's decision to lift visa requirements for Mexican ‘tourists' as of December 1st. Per the new rules, rather than a visa, under Trudeau's administration, Mexicans are now only required to have a so-called Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) which can be purchased online for CAD $7. Unfortunately, while Canada's relaxed travel requirements were applauded as an enlightened, progressive alternative to Trump's xenophobic, racist approach to immigration, under the surface, Canada's policies still function much like Trump's proposals. As Mexican immigrants are suddenly finding out, while Canada is happy to host ‘tourists' from our Southern neighbor, getting a work visa can be nearly impossible and Mexicans with a criminal record are not welcome.
- Is Denmark On The Brink?
Iben Thranholm examines political and social events with focus on their religious aspects, significance and moral implications. She is one of Denmark’s most widely read columnists on such matters. Thranholm is a former editor and radio host at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR), at which she created a religious news program that set a new standard for religious analysis in the newsroom. She has traveled extensively in the Middle East, Italy, the United States and Russia to carry out research and interviews. She has been awarded for her investigative research into Danish media coverage of religious issues.
- Headaches Set In for Traders With NYSE Glitch Near Market Close
NYSE Group sowed confusion among traders after a technical error hobbled one of its exchanges on Monday, wreaking havoc on hundreds of exchange-traded funds. NYSE Arca, the largest U.S. listing venue for ETFs, left traders scrambling at the end of the trading day after a system upgrade went awry. An upgraded version of its software that went live on Monday derailed closing auctions for certain securities, a key moment at the end of the trading day. The exchange shifted to backup methods for calculating the closing prices for most names, and went back to using an old version of its software, according to an email to clients. A total of 341 symbols did not complete their closing auctions, the exchange said.
- Venezuela has a bread shortage. The government has decided bakers are the problem.
Facing a bread shortage that is spawning massive lines and souring the national mood, the Venezuelan government is responding this week by detaining bakers and seizing establishments. In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.
- It's Time To Get Painfully Honest: Banks Are Evil
I don't talk to my classmates from business school anymore, many of whom went to work in the financial industry. Why? Because, through the lens we use here at PeakProsperity.com to look at the world, I've increasingly come to see the financial industry — with the big banks at its core — as the root cause of injustice in today's society. I can no longer separate any personal affections I might have for my fellow alumni from the evil that their companies perpetrate. And I'm choosing that word deliberately: Evil.
- ‘Anonymous' Joins Hacker Crusade To Steal Millions From Global Central Banks
Roughly a year ago we wrote about perhaps the most notable bank heist in history in which a group of hackers used Swift, the interbank messaging system, to steal $81 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh. But Bangladesh isn't the only country whose Central Bank has been targeted by a growing number of hackers seeking to score a quick, and massive, loot. As Bloomberg notes, hacks on global financial systems soared in 2016 and claimed Russia, Poland, Uruguay and Mexico, just to name a few, as victims.
- Deported Mexicans Vow To Flood Into Canada – Immigrating To “The U.S. Is Over…Now It's Canada's Turn”
Canada has been applauded in recent months for its decision to lift visa requirements for Mexican ‘tourists' as of December 1st. Rather than a visa, under Trudeau's administration, Mexicans are now only required to have a so-called Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) which can be purchased online for CAD $7. As one media outlet praised, the move “provides a stark contrast to proposed policies from the US president-elect Donald Trump, who has said he will immediately deport between two and three million illegal immigrants and will build a wall along the US-Mexican border.” Not surprisingly, news of the rule changes in Canada quickly made the rounds in the migrant community with one recently-deported Mexican nationalist declaring that “For those without documents, I think (the United States) is over. Now it's Canada's turn.”
- Why Is Goldman On A Buying Spree For Delinquent Mortgages
Last year Goldman Sachs entered into a settlement with federal and state governments over its role in packaging and selling toxic mortgage-backed securities in the housing meltdown to unsuspecting buyers while subsequently turning around and shorting those very same securities. As part of the settlement, Goldman agreed to provide $1.8 billion in homeowner debt relief to delinquent U.S. borrowers. The only problem with the settlement is that Goldman doesn't actually own any mortgage debt, they prefer to package it up into pretty little bundles, slap a AAA rating on it and sell it to pension funds for a fee instead. Of course, that's not a problem for Wall Street's vampire squid because they've found a whole other way to satisfy the entire $1.8 billion settlement without funding a single penny of that obligation in cash, in fact, they're making money on the scheme.
- The EPA May Have Been in Bed with Big Pesticide for Years
There is, at the moment, a massive lawsuit against the Monsanto company regarding Roundup, its most popular pesticide. The company is being sued by citizens who maintain that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is responsible for their cancers. On Tuesday, the judge overseeing the case unsealed some of the documents that have been filed related to the case, and nobody comes out clean-not the company and, sadly, not the EPA, either.
- Our Political Economy Is Designed to Create Poverty and Inequality
Let me begin by sharing with you the story of an inner-city Cleveland family of seven, two adults and five children all under the age of 11. The family did not own a home. They were renters. As the family grew, it became ever more difficult to find rent. At one point the old car in which they roamed the city in search of rent became their living quarters. Evenings, the father and mother and a newborn slept in the car’s front seat, and the four other children, in the back.
- Rand Paul introduces the most sweeping reform of civil asset forfeiture law in decades
Sen. Rand Paul has long taken the lead in calling for the reform of civil asset forfeiture laws, a controversial police practice in which authorities basically steal the property of citizens without due process and little recourse. Billions have been seized from citizens by the police based on nothing more than suspicion, which many see as a direct violation of the Fifth Amendment. It’s state-sanctioned theft. “Under civil forfeiture laws, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent,” says the Institute for Justice’s Scott Bullock. On Thursday, Sen. Paul reintroduced FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) Act, which specifically addresses victims of civil asset forfeiture who have not been convicted of a crime.
- Associate of Paul Craig Roberts Just Warned This Major Market Is Ready To Collapse
As the world awaits the Fed’s decision on interest rates, today an associate of former Assistant U.S. Treasury Secretary official, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, just warned that this major market is ready to collapse. “There’s so much inventory, and that influx is hitting across all price points, even studios.” – Director at Douglas Elliman. NYC was one of the first markets hit hard in 2007-2008. This Is Beginning To Happen Across The Country. Dave Kranzler: For awhile, any weakness in the NYC housing market was attributed exclusively to the high end. I am on record stating that price dynamic would spread to all price segments. It’s not rocket-science, it’s simple supply/demand/price economics. Studio rents in NYC dropped the most on record in February. This same dynamic is also beginning to happen in many of the other hottest cities across the country…
- Greyerz – The Greatest Bubble In History Is Beginning To Implode
With continued uncertainty around the globe, today the man who has become legendary for his predictions on QE, historic moves in currencies, told King World News that the greatest bubble in history is beginning to implode. Things Are Finally Beginning To Implode. Egon von Greyerz: “So the Fed decision is finally out. The rate increase was a certainty. But the problem is that no one believes the Fed, not even the Fed itself…
- Billionaire banker David Rockefeller dies aged 101
Former Chase Manhattan Chief Executive David Rockefeller has died at the age of 101. Rockefeller died in his sleep at home in Pocantico Hills, New York, on Monday morning as a result of congestive heart failure, according to a family spokesperson Fraser P. Seitel. The businessman, who had an estimated fortune of $3 billion, retired as head of Chase Manhattan in 1981 after a 35-year career.
- America in Totally Unknown Territory
Former CIA Station Chief Scott Uehlinger says the 2016 Presidential Election put “America in totally unknown territory.” Uehlinger explains, “I lived in countries like Azerbaijan, Moldova and Kosovo. These were rough and tumble places where this was my bread and butter. There was always a Prime Minister or a head of state that was using intelligence services to embarrass or frame or destroy members of the opposition party. This is something I have seen time and time again. This is something I have had to collect intelligence on time and time and time again, and I think this kind of gives me a unique perspective into what is going on in the United States right now. I have seen this all before, but we also have to remember that this has never been here before. This is something new for Americans and, unfortunately, it’s not really new for me.
- Woman That Prophesied Trump Would Win Now Warns That A “Great Shaking” Is Coming And Churches Will Fall
If Dr. Patricia Green is correct, America is about to be shaken like we have never seen before. And considering her track record, I would take what she has to say very seriously. She correctly prophesied in advance that Donald Trump would win the election in November. If you are not familiar with this prophecy, you can find it on a video that she published on September 28th right here. She also correctly prophesied Barack Obama’s first election victory in advance, and she did it at a time when Hillary Clinton was expected to get the Democratic nomination. So unlike many other “prophets” that are floating around these days, she has a very long track record of being accurate.
- A Rare Solar Eclipse In 2017 And Another One 7 Years Later In 2024 Will Mark A Giant ‘X’ Across The United States
On August 21st, 2017, something is going to happen in the United States that has not happened since 1918. On that date, a total solar eclipse will be visible all the way from the east coast to the west coast. Incredibly, another rare solar eclipse of this nature will move across the country just seven years later in 2024. If you plot the projected courses of these two solar eclipses on a map, you will find that they form a giant “X” across the continental United States. In the Scriptures, Jesus told us that “there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars” just prior to His return, and many are speculating about what this giant “X” might mean.
- The Debt Ceiling Deadline Has Passed, And Now The Biggest Test Of Donald Trump’s Presidency Begins…
On Wednesday, the temporary suspension of the debt ceiling ended, and so now the federal government is not going to be able to go into any more debt until the debt ceiling is raised. For the moment, the Trump administration can implement “emergency measures” to stay under the debt limit, but it won’t be too long before we get to a major crisis point because the federal government is quickly running out of cash. Already, the U.S. Treasury has less cash on hand than Apple or Google, and that cash balance is going to keep on dropping until the debt ceiling is finally lifted. You may remember that the debt ceiling became a major issue a couple of times during the Obama years. Last time around, Barack Obama and the Republicans in Congress agreed to a horrendous deal which suspended the debt ceiling until several months after the 2016 election…
- 12 Reasons Why The Federal Reserve May Have Just Made The Biggest Economic Mistake Since The Last Financial Crisis
Has the Federal Reserve gone completely insane? On Wednesday, the Fed raised interest rates for the second time in three months, and it signaled that more rate hikes are coming in the months ahead. When the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates, it becomes less expensive to borrow money and that tends to stimulate more economic activity. But when the Federal Reserve raises rates , that makes it more expensive to borrow money and that tends to slow down economic activity. So why in the world is the Fed raising rates when the U.S. economy is already showing signs of slowing down dramatically? The following are 12 reasons why the Federal Reserve may have just made the biggest economic mistake since the last financial crisis…
- Trump’s First War? ‘All Options Are On The Table’ As The U.S. And North Korea Prepare For The Second Korean War
This may be the closest that we have been to war with North Korea since the original Korean War ended in 1953. The North Koreans are feverishly working to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles that could strike the U.S. mainland, and meanwhile Donald Trump has not moved from his position that North Korea will simply not be allowed to have ICBMs. If North Korea does not blink, it means that we are literally counting down the days until we go to war. Unfortunately, North Korean leaders appear to literally be insane and they have shown absolutely no signs of backing off. In 2016, North Korea tested two nuclear bombs and test-fired 24 missiles, and so far this year they have test-fired five ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan.
- Somebody is Lying About Spying, Fed Hikes Rates & Gold Spikes, War Update
Somebody is lying about spying on Donald Trump. The Senate says they see “no evidence,” and yet the New York Times runs a story about revealing information that came from “wiretapping Trump aides.” Respected Judge Andrew Napolitano says British Intelligence did the spying because it has 24/7 access to NSA records. The British Spy agency denies this charged. Bottom line, The Trump Administration is overtly and covertly under attack, and that is clear. Expect a counterattack and soon from the Trump camp.
- How The Federal Reserve Is Setting Up Trump For A Recession, A Housing Crisis And A Stock Market Crash
Most Americans do not understand this, but the truth is that the Federal Reserve has far more power over the U.S. economy than anyone else does, and that includes Donald Trump. Politicians tend to get the credit or the blame for how the economy is performing, but in reality it is an unelected, unaccountable panel of central bankers that is running the show, and until something is done about the Fed our long-term economic problems will never be fixed. For an extended analysis of this point, please see this article. In this piece, I am going to explain why the Federal Reserve is currently setting the stage for a recession, a new housing crisis and a stock market crash, and if those things happen unfortunately it will be Donald Trump that will primarily get the blame.
- Consumer Confidence: Democrats Expect “Deep Recession”, Republicans Look To New Golden Age
UMich consumer confidence rose in the preliminary March print, beating expectations at 97.6 with current conditions surging but expectations stalling somewhat. This exuberance is occurring as real earnings growth slumps. But crucially, the partisan divide is unprecedented. The overall level of consumer sentiment remained quite favorable in early March due to renewed strength in current economic conditions as well as the extraordinary influence of partisanship on economic prospects.
- Minimum wage hikes are causing businesses to cut jobs
In January, 19 US states raised their respective minimum wages. Washington was among the most generous, hiking by $1.53 (bringing it to $11 per hour). Arizona got an increase of $1.95—their “bottom rung” now sits at $10 per hour. In all, 4.3 million workers are slated to receive a hike as they earn less than the new minimum wage in their respective states. Well, that’s what’s meant to happen. Judging by the fallout from recent hikes, it seems things aren’t going according to plan.
- “We Are All Doing It”: Thousands Of Canadian Bankers Admit Lying To Customers To Boost Sales
Several days after shares of Canada's TD Bank tumbled following reports that its employees were engaging in practices similar to those which led to a major scandal at Wells Fargo, which cost CEO John Stumpf his job and led to bonus clawbacks and numerous terminations over the practice of “cross-selling”, employees from all five of Canada's big banks have flooded CBC's “Go Public” whistleblower hotline with stories of how they too feel pressured to upsell, trick and even lie to customers to meet unrealistic sales targets and keep their jobs. In nearly 1,000 emails, employees from RBC, BMO, CIBC, TD and Scotiabank locations across Canada describe the pressures to hit targets that are monitored weekly, daily and in some cases hourly. “Management is down your throat all the time,” said a Scotiabank financial adviser. “They want you to hit your numbers and it doesn't matter how.”
- Amazon is going to kill more American jobs than China did
Amazon.com has been crowing about its plans to create 100,000 American jobs in the next year, but as with other recent job-creation announcements, that figure is meaningless without context. What Amazon AMZN, +0.58% won’t tell us is that every job created at Amazon destroys one or two or three others. What Jeff Bezos doesn’t want you to know is that Amazon is going to destroy more American jobs than China ever did. Amazon has revolutionized the way Americans consume. Those who want to shop for everything from books to diapers increasingly go online instead of to the malls. And for about half of those online purchases, the transaction goes through Amazon.
- This Map Shows US States Renamed For Countries With Similar GDPs
The U.S. economy is so big that all of the individual states are comparable to entire countries… As Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes, not surprisingly – big states like California, New York, and Texas are very similar in size to other formidable economies like France, South Korea, and Canada. Perhaps even more interesting, however, is that even small states are similar to the size of countries.
- Violent threats against the president are OK now?
Turn on TV or browse your newsfeeds on social media, and you will be bombarded with polemics about the sky falling and credible threats of violence against conservative figures. The FBI investigated a threat to kill Milo Yiannoupolis for the audacity to want to speak on a college campus. Threats against former Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder’s wife caused him to withdraw himself from consideration. Multiple intimidatory remarks haunted members of the Trump-voting Electoral College. President Trump has been the target of declarations of violence on a near daily basis. And yet, when it comes to this constant flow of threats, there seems to be little outrage from the nation’s leading journalists and pundits.
- Are Collapsing Pensions “About To Bring Hell To America”?
The toxic dollar is bringing hell in a handbasket. Along with the student loan debt bubble and other major financial factors, the looming pensions crisis is bound to be the death of us all. Because it’s based on a future promise to pay, it has long been a benefit dangled to solve strikes and union disputes – because, in the end, it is just more debt, whether private or public. With tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities, the weight of an avalanche remains dangling over our heads. An aging population is cashing in on needed retirement benefits while the younger generations must support multiples that are unsustainable financially.
- Intelligence Sources Reveal: Obama Used British Agents For Trump Wire Tap Surveillance
While President Obama has vehemently denied issuing direct orders to the Justice Department or other domestic agencies to monitor President Trump during the 2016 election campaign, it is common knowledge that the National Security Agency has the ability to access video and audio from any number of devices in real time. In fact, according to Edward Snowden and documented in the recently released Snowden motion picture, U.S. spy agencies can simply flip a switch to watch or listen in on anything going on in a particular room by turning on a particular device’s cameras and microphones.
- Canada Flagged For Recession By BIS
As if Canadians needed more proof that the country’s real estate is in a bubble, and that this misallocation has spread to other sectors of the economy, the Bank of International Settlements released its latest quarterly confirming what any critical observer can see: binging on debt is rarely a good idea. Canada’s debt-to-GDP gap is widening and even the central bank of central banks is concerned. The BIS uses its credit-to-GDP analysis as an indicator and predictor of troubling economic waters. They claim successes in predicting financial crises in the United States, England and a few other economies. Generally speaking, according to the BIS, when a country’s credit-to-GDP gap is higher than 10% for more than a few years, a banking crisis emerges which is followed by a recession.
- China Is Again Selling US Treasuries As Foreign Central Banks Liquidate $45BN
After December's brief dead cat bounce, in which foreign central banks bought $18.6 billion in US Treasuries, breaking a streak of 12 consecutive months of selling, in January they resumed their liquidation. According to the just released TIC data, foreign official institutions, which includes mostly central banks, but also sovereign wealth funds and various other official entities, sold another $44.9 billion in Treasuries, in line with the aggressive selling seen for most of 2016. Curiously, the sales by foreign central banks were largely offset by purchases by private holders, mostly corporate institutions and foreign retail investors, who bought $37.9 billion in the month, the most since last March when they acquired $41 billion. Combining the two, foreigners sold a total of $7 billion in TSYs in January.
- The Fed Just Gave Gold The Green Light To Move Higher
On March 1st the US economy gave the Fed an inflation scare. That's when the Fed's favorite inflation measure, the PCE Price Index, reported a breakout higher. Most Fed officials scrambled to announce they were flipping from dove to hawk. But that was then. Yesterday morning however, the CPI release calmed the Fed enough so that they stuck to their pre-March 1st original plans. The real news yesterday was that, after all that huffing and puffing from Fed officials for the last couple of weeks, in the end, aside from the quarter-point rate increase which was widely expected, not much really changed. That gives gold the green light to push higher.
- Steve Cohen Developing A.I. To Replace Expensive, Talentless Traders
Steve Cohen, the infamous billionaire hedgie who plead guilty to insider trading back in 2013 and paid a record $1.8 billion penalty, has never been shy about offering up his opinion on the lack of real trading ‘talent' in New York. Speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference last May, Cohen said “Frankly, I’m blown away by the lack of talent…It’s not easy to find great people but we whittle down the funnel to maybe 2 to 4% of the candidates we’re interested in…talent is really thin.” And while we would be the last to argue that there's a huge pool of people in New York truly worthy of Cohen's coveted 8-digit salaries, we might suggest that in his particular case the pool of applicants may be somewhat limited to the select few people willing to risk jail time for their employer….but that's just pure speculation.
- Balance Of Student Loans In Default Soars To Over $137 Billion
Last week we noted a survey from LendEDU which found that 31% of college co-eds spend at least some portion of their student loan debt proceeds to fund week-long hedonistic, binge drinking trips to Cancun and Daytona Beach for spring break. And, just to add insult to injury, 24% said they spend those taxpayer-subsidized loan dollars on drinking at school and 7% even splurge on drugs (see “31% Of College Students Spend Their Loans On Spring Break”). In light of those findings, it probably shouldn't be terribly surprising that, according to new data published by the U.S. Department of Education, $137 billion of federal student loans were in default as of December 2016, a 14% year-over-year increase.
- Idaho House Votes Overwhelmingly To End Income Taxation Of Precious Metals
By an overwhelming 56-13 margin, the Idaho House of Representatives today voted to end all Idaho taxation on precious metals, e.g. gold and silver coins and bars. Bill sponsor Representative Mike Moyle (R) and the entire Republican caucus voted for the measure. If the Republican-controlled Idaho Senate follows suit and Governor Butch Otter (R) signs the bill, Idaho citizens will better be able to use gold and silver as a form of savings which protects against ongoing devaluation of America’s currency. Backed by the Sound Money Defense League, Idaho Freedom Foundation, Money Metals Exchange, and grassroots activists, HB 206 expands Idaho’s existing sales tax exemption to end Idaho income taxation of sales of “precious metals bullion” and “monetized bullion.”
- Jones Bootmaker woes leave 1,145 jobs at risk
There are hopes a buyer can be found for Jones Bootmaker as it stands on the cusp of falling into administration, placing 1,145 jobs at risk. The private equity owner of the 160-year old brand, Alteri Investors, has filed a notice to appoint administrators amid tough business conditions for the chain, which trades digitally and from 103 stores and concessions. The decision is designed to give it some breathing space from creditors seeking to recover debts from the footwear and accessories retailer while it seeks a new owner.
- Trumpcare: Different Plan, Same Problems
With his widely followed, and positively reviewed, address to Congress last week, President Trump showed how easy it could be to unite Washington around a big-budget centrist agenda on health care, immigration, taxes, infrastructure and the military. But the continued accusations surrounding his campaign’s alleged Russian connections, and the President’s conspiratorial responses, have insured that the battle lines have only hardened. However, anyone with even a casual concern with ballooning government debt should take notice just how easily both parties in Washington would agree to vastly expand the gushing red ink if a political truce can be brokered. Those fears should galvanize around the newly-issued Republican replacement for Obamacare. If such a monstrous bill could successfully navigate Congress, we would find ourselves stuck deeper in a deficit deluge than we can possibly imagine.
- Ancient Babylonian Banking and Our Modern Financial System
Ancient Babylonia is known as the “cradle of civilization,” because it helped develop many important parts of our modern society, from laws (Code of Hammurabi) to advancements in astronomy and architecture. It also helped establish rules and procedures that have influenced modern day banking institutions. A quick look back at Babylonian finance provides insights into the basics of how our financial systems work today.
- Gold Surges Most Since Brexit After ‘Dovish' Fed Hike
With the focus overnight on the Rutte ‘win' despite the surge in populist angst, and headlines from The Fed, PBOC, BoJ, and BoE sending global stocks to record highs, one might be forgiven for not noticing that Gold is surging (most since Brexit) following Janet's decision to raise rates for the 3rd time in 11 years – far outperforming other assets classes. The Dollar continued to get pounded overnight as China unexpectedly tightened policy…
- Brexit Bill granted royal assent giving PM power to trigger Article 50
Theresa May has been given the legal power to start Brexit talks after the Queen granted royal assent to the Article 50 Bill. Speaker John Bercow told MPs that the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which was passed by MPs and peers on Monday, had received its final sign off, prompting cheers from the Conservative benches. Mrs May has said she will invoke Article 50, the legal mechanism for withdrawal from the EU, by the end of the month in what will be a “defining moment” for the country.
- Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen – March 17, 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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