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 February 19, 2016 to February 25, 2016:
- Pope Francis Appoints Population Control Extremist to Vatican Post
A scientist who believes the world is overpopulated by 6 billion people has been appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Science. The Holy See Press office made the announcement today that besides being one of four official presenters of the Pope’s controversial encyclical on the environment Thursday in Vatican City, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is to join 80 other scientists who are official advisers to the Vatican on scientific matters.
- Cramer: Fed blind to recession signs everywhere
Everywhere Jim Cramer goes, people ask him if the U.S. is headed into a recession. And then he hears other whispers, saying that the Fed feels the need to raise rates and maybe it will happen in March. “When you look beyond the market's tight linkage to the price of oil, the idea that we could be headed into a recession has become a powerful theme, a whispered undercurrent in this environment that surfaces whenever oil takes a dive,” the “Mad Money” host said.
- 1 in 4 Americans on verge of financial ruin
The rich keep getting richer. The rest of us aren’t so lucky. According to a survey released Tuesday by Bankrate.com of more than 1,000 adults, nearly one in four Americans have credit card debt that exceeds their emergency fund or savings. And that’s partially because many people, in addition to their debt, don’t have a dime in their emergency fund at all: another Bankrate survey released earlier this year found that 29% of Americans have no emergency savings at all.
- Riyadh on the Brink: US Must Prepare for Collapse of its Mideast ‘Lynchpin'
The United States must start thinking of ways to mitigate the damage from the approaching collapse of the current Saudi Arabian monarchy. A codependence between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the US has existed for decades. A scheme in which oil from the Saudis was exchanged for US military might worked well for both. It worked so well, in fact, that the US turned a blind eye to consistent human rights violations in the kingdom, as well as the spread of Wahhabi religious extremism.
- Jim Rogers Warns “Governments Plan Is To Destroy The People Who Save”
“Everybody should be worried.. and be prepared,” warns legendary investor Jim Rogers, as he sees the market “facing a bigger collapse than in 2008,” and the central banks will be unable to kick the can much longer. “This is the first time in recorded history where you have Central Banks & governments setting out to destroy the people who save & invest,” Rogers exclaims and “the markets are telling us that something is wrong – we're getting close.”
- And Now We Have A Services Recession: Markit Services PMI Crashes Into Contraction
Following this week's ongoing demise of the US manufacturing sector, tumbling to its weakest since October 2012, Markit US Services PMI collapsed into contraction at 49.8, massively below expectations of 53.5. This is the weakest level for the last pillar standing in the US recovery since the government shutdown in 2013, and as Markit even admits, “slumping business confidence and an increased downturn in order book backlogs suggest there’s worse to come.”
- Fed's Lacker says still logical to expect rate hikes this year
Ongoing strength in the U.S. job market could give the Federal Reserve justification for multiple interest rate increases this year, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said on Wednesday. Nearly two months of falling global equity prices and mounting concerns over a global economic slowdown have fostered doubts that the U.S. central bank will raise rates anytime soon. “I still think prospects for rate increases this year is the logical” view, Lacker said in a presentation to a business school in Baltimore, adding that economic data did not indicate that a recession was imminent in the United States.
- New home sales fall sharply to 494K – USD extends falls
Sales of new homes fell 9.2% in January to 494K, much worse than predicted and very different to yesterday’s report about existing home sales. New home sales in the US were expected to rise 4.4% to 544K. Also the average home sale price is down: $278K against $292K beforehand.
- Dire Conditions Are Now Spreading Across The Globe
With stocks still struggling and gold surging nearly $30 at one point in today’s trading session, dire conditions are now spreading across the globe.
- Peter Schiff: Obama “Peddling Fiction” As Unemployed Tops 100 Million People
In the video in the link above, President Obama gives one of the most disingenuous speeches he has ever given. Either the man is a pathological liar, or in the alternate universe where he lives, there really is an economic recovery, and unicorns really do run free! Neither of those things helps any of the now 100 million Americans living in REALITY who are not currently working. While all the sane people in our weary nation are bracing for a global economic reset, Obama is flat out “peddling fiction,” as he put it during his State of the Union speech. There is no other way to say it. Period. It’s unconscionable that Obama is STILL out in front of the cameras taking credit for a recovery when 1/3 of our entire nation’s POPULATION is out of work. Listen to him spew his garbage!
- UK downgrading of human rights sets dangerous precedent, says Amnesty
Britain is setting a dangerous precedent by undermining human rights and contributing to a worldwide “culture of impunity”, Amnesty International has said in its annual report on the state of human rights. Plans to scrap the Human Rights Act, the UK’s absence from EU refugee resettlement schemes, proposed new spying laws and the alleged downgrading of human rights as a Foreign Office priority in favour of commercial deals are all cited by the group as evidence of a trend.
- China Is Making a Major Play for American Farms and Farmland
The American farmer is revered in our culture. He—the mythical American farmer is invariably a man—is in many ways a professional embodiment of values, such as individualism and hard work, that are considered part of the national identity. With their backbreaking work, farmers settled the growing West through the 1862 Homestead Act. It’s not a stretch to say that farmers, riding the wave of manifest destiny, built the United States. Today, they continue to feed it.
- The Syrian Ceasefire Has Revealed Russia's Superpower Status
Yesterday’s evening news in Russia was dominated by one story: the announcement by Vladimir Putin on national television that the United and Russia had concluded an agreement to facilitate the start and supervise the implementation of a ceasefire in Syria between government and opposition forces, set to begin on 27 February. The agreement was sealed by a telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama that took place shortly before the broadcast. Putin’s televised address was less than 10 minutes long and it has been rebroadcast in entirety on state television at hourly intervals. Understandably, it has been the number one topic in the Russian print media this morning.
- Don't Show This Chart To Experian: Subprime Auto Delinquencies Hit Highest Level Since 2010
For those unfamiliar, Melinda is Experian’s senior director of automotive finance and she’s never, ever worried. Or at least not that she lets on. “We're not seeing anything that would be a red flag,” she said earlier this month in response to data that showed the percentage of auto loans made to buyers with the poorest credit ratings is growing faster than the rest of the auto finance market.
- The Addict Needs More Drug; Is Permanent Quantitative Easing in Our Future?
Central bankers want you to think they have all the answers. They talk about their policy “tool kits” as if they can just reach in and find the proper solution for any possible economic scenario. But if you peer behind the curtain, it becomes apparent they may not really know what they’re doing after all. In fact, with a recession looming on the horizon, there are some signs of desperation among economic central planners.
- Consumer confidence falls to seven-month low
Consumers confidence fell in February to the lowest level in seven months, as American became a bit more pessimistic about business conditions. Turmoil in stock markets probably also increased anxiety. The consumer confidence index dropped to 92.2 from a revised 97.8 in January, the Conference Board said Tuesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had projected the index to fall to 96.9.
- Richmond Fed Slides Back Into Contraction As New Orders Collapse
With the biggest drop in New Orders since September, Richmond Fed Manufacturing survey dropped to -4 (missing expectations of +2), hovering at its weakest in over 3 years. Across the board the components were weaker with order backlogs and shipments plunging, average workweek and wages dropping, and capacity utilization worst since October. Prices (paid and received) dropped notably as future expectations for wages, workweek, and employees all fell.
- Venezuela Exported 36t Of Its Official Gold Reserves To Switzerland In January
Remarkably, after Venezuela repatriated 160 tonnes in official gold reservesfrom 25 November 2011 until 30 January 2012, it started to slowly export this gold to the world’s largest gold trading and refining hub, Switzerland, in 2015. How much unencumbered official gold reserves Venezuela has left is unknown.
- Safes Sell Out In Japan, 1,000 Franc Note Demand Soars As NIRP Triggers Cash Hoarding
Negative rates may not have found their way to bank deposits in most locales (yet), but that doesn’t mean the public isn’t starting to see the writing on the wall. At first, NIRP was an anomaly. An obscure policy tool that most analysts and market watchers assumed would be implemented on a temporary basis in a kind of “let’s see if this is even possible” experiment with an idea that, from a common sense perspective, makes no sense.
- Four US States Officially in Recession; Data Points to Broader Problems
With four states officially in recession, and economic data continuing to point toward a broader downturn, it’s getting increasingly difficult for officials to sell the illusion of a strong US economy. Peter Schiff has been saying for weeks that the US may already be in a recession. Recently, Jim Grant appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell and echoed Peter’s sentiments, saying the US likely went into recession in late December. And while officials at the Federal Reserve keep insisting the US economy remains strong, some mainstream analysts have started sounding recession warning bells as well. In fact, the number of mainstream economists predicting a recession within the next 12 months continues to rise.
- Major blow for Brexit campaign as US rules out UK-only trade deal
The United States has ruled out a separate trade deal with UK if it leaves the European Union, in a major blow to Brexit campaigners. President Obama’s most senior trade official said that America is “not in the market” for a free trade deal with Britain alone, and warned British firms could face crippling Chinese-style tariffs outside the EU.
- PMI Plunges – The Last Time US Manufacturing Was This Weak, Bernanke Hinted At QE3
On the heels of weakness in the rest of the world's PMIs, US Manufacturing just printed 51.0 (missing expectations of 52.4) and tumbling to its lowest since October 2012… followed rapidly by Bernanke hinting at QE3. While Markit does ‘blame the extreme weather', it notes however that “every indicator from the flash PMI survey, from output, order books and exports to employment, inventories and prices, is flashing a warning light about the health of the manufacturing economy.”
- An Alarm Goes Off Threatening The “Strong U.S. Jobs” Myth: Withheld Income Taxes Are Stalling
Of all the indicators that the Fed has presented to justify its rate hike mentality and to validate that the US economy remains on a growth path despite clear recessionary signals from both the manufacturing sector and the dramatic tightening in financial conditions in recent months, Yellen's preferred metric also happens to be the most lagging one: nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate, both of which supposedly signal the collapsing slack in the labor market and a jump in wages that has been “just around the corner” for years.
- Paul Craig Roberts – The Frightening Truth About What Is Really Happening In The United States
With continued uncertainty in global markets, today former U.S. Treasury official Dr. Paul Craig Roberts covers the frightening truth about what is really happening in the United States.
- You Are Here
It's definitely different this time… The 2008 analog lines the current trajectory up with August 2008 right after Treasury Secretary Paulson told the world reassuringly that: “Our economy has got very strong long-term fundamentals. And you know, your policy-makers and regulators here – we're very vigilant.” And we all know what happened next…
- Oil rig count collapses for 9th straight week
The US oil rig count tumbled 26 to 413 this week, according to driller Baker Hughes. It's the lowest level since December 2009. The total count of oil and gas rigs fell 27 to 514, as only one gas rig was shut down. Last week, the oil rig count fell by 28, while the combined count of oil and gas rigs dropped 30. This was the third straight week of a sizeable drop in the rig count, each by at least 26. It's the biggest three-week drop in a year.
- Higgins says unaccountable forces are running EU
Unaccountable forces removed from democratic control are today in control in the European Union, President Michael D Higgins has declared in one of the most pointed speeches of his term in office.
- Marc Faber Just Accused Central Banks Of Halting The Decline In Global Stock Markets
On the heels of the recent rally in world stock markets, today legendary Marc Faber spoke with King World News and just accused central banks of halting the decline in global stock markets. Marc Faber: “I believe that stock markets around the world will end the year lower, but it will depend on how much money the central bankers will print. You don’t know how far these mad professors will go. They can launch QE4 with $500 billion a month, and in theory they could buy the whole stock market…
- Global leaders must act now as fresh downturn looms, warns OECD
Global leaders must take “urgent” action to stop the world becoming stuck in a low-growth trap, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The OECD slashed its growth forecasts across the board on Thursday as it urged policymakers to deploy a “full set of tools” to prevent another slowdown. Higher investment, loose monetary policy and structural reforms would all be needed to boost the recovery and ward off the financial stability risks “plaguing” the economy, it said. The OECD slashed its growth forecasts for all major economies apart from China, which the think-tank said was also facing challenges.
- Pope Francis Rips Capitalism, American Immigration Policy at Mexican Border
Pope Francis, apparently desperate to reach out to the Catholic Church’s growing base in Latin America, spent the day slapping Americans in the face from across the US-Mexico border. In Ciudad Juarez, one of the most violent cities in the Western Hemisphere thanks to the drug cartels, the pope walked up a ramp covered in flowers toward a cross “erected… in memory of migrants who have perished trying to reach the United States just a stone’s throw away,” according to Reuters.
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