ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

May 21 10:30

Rural Iowans ponder Trump alternatives as China trade war drags on

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg asked a crowd of supporters packed into an Iowa brewery this weekend whether the United States has a plan to win the ongoing trade war with China.

“Nooo,” was the response.

The world’s two largest economies have been locked in a 10-month trade war that has roiled global supply chains and rattled financial markets. U.S. farmers, who helped carry Trump to his surprise 2016 election win, have been among the hardest-hit as China has imposed tariffs on imports of U.S. agricultural products, including soybeans, pork and grain sorghum in response to U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

May 21 10:29

Tesla Buffalo Plant Exporting Most Solar Cells To A "Large Asian Buyer" As Solar Roof Demand Plummets

The "great majority" of solar cells being produced at Tesla’s factory in West New York aren't being used in the company's "Solar Roof", as was pitched to win hundreds of millions in subsidies. Rather, they're being exported and sold overseas to "a large Asian buyer", according to a new report from Reuters.

This unexpected shift in strategy, comes after New York state granted Tesla $350 million to build its factory, along with $274.7 million for equipment and $125.3 million “for additional specified scope costs,” according to Tesla disclosures. The subsidy requires that Tesla employ 1,460 people in Buffalo and spends $5 billion in the state over a decade. The factory employs only about 800 workers now.

While the plan was to mass produce cells for the "Solar Roof", Tesla has only "sporadically" purchased solar cells produced by its partner in the factory, Panasonic.

May 21 09:44

Will S&P 500 Double Top Derail The Rally?

May 21 09:32

Trump Readies The Economy, Transition Coming

May 21 09:15

Socialist Ocasio-Cortez Weighs In on a Billionaire’s Gift to Debt-Saddled College Kids

You can’t count on this, she warned.

Don’t expect handouts.

Don’t get into debt in the first place.

Don’t expect billionaires to bail you out of life.

Oh, and college should be affordable for all — courtesy of the U.S. government.

These were some of the messages and vibes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) shared with today’s young people on her Twitter account in the wake of an extraordinary and surprising gift by billionaire investor Robert F. Smith at Morehouse College over the weekend during its latest commencement.

He’s pledged to take care of all the graduates’ student loans.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No making this lady happy, is there?

May 21 09:10

The Plot Thickens

It seems like every day more twists and turns surface, especially recent history looks like a stockpot full of spaghetti.

You will recall that the gold FDR illegally confiscated from Americans by pretending we were all magically transformed into "Citizens of the United States", and which his Administration used to secure the bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Church's Delaware corporation doing business as "the" United States of America, Inc. back in 1933 ---- all that gold was eventually released when the bankruptcy was settled in November 1999.

We went looking for it, and found that a portion of it was released to the World Bank/IBRD as "abandoned assets". Where was all the rest? Our gold and silver reserves and historical trust assets, our public property deeds, for example?

May 21 08:16

TRADE HARDBALL: CHINA THREATENS TO CUT OFF US SUPPLY OF RARE EARTH ELEMENTS

SOURCE: MIKE MISH SHEDLOCK
China produces 80% of the world's rare earth elements. They are used in weapons, cell phones, hybrid cars, and magnets.

China does not have the means to match the US in the total number or amount of tariffs. But China can strike back in other ways. One critical way would be to cut off the US supply of rare earth elements.

Bloomberg reports Xi’s Trip to Rare-Earths Plant Stokes Talk of Trade Retaliation

Shares in JL MAG Rare-Earth Co. surged by their daily limit Monday after state news agency Xinhua said the Chinese president had stopped by the company in Jiangxi. Official news outlets give regular updates on the whereabouts of top leaders, sometimes leading to share spikes on the belief that companies have been handed official backing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, a word, please; the continued lack of availability of these rare earth elements, will be a bitter pill to swallow by those manufacturers who truly believed that you were going to "Make America Great Again", this time, in the manufacturing sphere.

With the agricultural tariffs, you have already bankrupted American farmers, to nearly the point of utter financial collapse, and sometimes, suicide.

WISCONSIN FARMER TELLS FOX NEWS SUICIDES, BANKRUPTCY RISING IN RURAL U.S. AMID CHINA TRADE WAR

Your attempts to anger China into submission, rather than create a win/win environment in which these trade matters could be reasonably resolved, are hurting your base enormously.

The Chinese culture, even though the Chinese people identify as Communist, at this point in the 21st century, have always been a mercantile people, wanting to trade for reasonable profit.

And if their "unreasonable demands" have hurt the American economy in some way for some time, is there no "gradual" way of reversing this, in the spirit of sweet logic and reason?!?

I would like to hope there would be; because, sir, living on a first-strike target here in the middle of the Pacific, my worst nightmare would be that if a shooting war between the US an China happens, Oahu would be taken out very quickly, due to the number of military bases clustered here on Oahu; these are no secret, sir: they can be viewed on
tripadvisor.com, just where I found them.

Attractions/Activities on Oahu

And Mr. President, if real, moral, reasonable negotiations are not your quite forte, I would respectfully suggest you outsource these to someone from your administration who can "cage the rage, and engage" China in these negotiations, and get them the heck back on track; because President Trump, to an impartial observer, they appear to be absolutely off the tracks right now.

May 21 07:43

BALTIMORE RANSOMWARE NIGHTMARE COULD LAST WEEKS MORE, WITH BIG CONSEQUENCES

SOURCE: ARSTECHNICA.COM
It's been nearly two weeks since the City of Baltimore's networks were shut down in response to a ransomware attack, and there's still no end in sight to the attack's impact. It may be weeks more before the city's services return to something resembling normal—manual workarounds are being put in place to handle some services now, but the city's water billing and other payment systems remain offline, as well as most of the city's email and much of the government's phone systems.

The ransomware attack came in the midst of a major transition at City Hall. Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young assumed office officially just days before the attack, after the resignation of former mayor Catherine Pugh, who is facing an ever-expanding corruption investigation. And some of the mayor's critical staff positions remained unfilled—the mayor's deputy chief of staff for operations, Sheryl Goldstein, starts work today.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just brilliant, Baltimore; you were warned that this was coming, by someone who actually knew what they were talking about, and yet took no measures to protect your city, or citizens.

IF I were a citizen of Baltimore, I would be voting with my feet right now, and "get the heck out of Dodge"; I would be willing to bet you one whole cent, that this is not the last time this will happen in this city, which chose to be unprepared to deal with the issue.

May 21 07:26

OUTRAGE AS TEXAS SENATE PASSES 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL' BILL THAT WOULD HIT PIPELINE PROTESTORS WITH UP TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON

Sparking outcry from indigenous tribes and environmental groups, the Texas state Senate on Monday passed industry-backed Republican legislation that would hit pipeline protestors with a third-degree felony and up to ten years in prison.

"Here in Texas, members of the legislative body are looking to pass laws that harshly criminalize free speech and the right to protest," Juan Mancias, Tribal Elder with the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, said in a statement.

"We will continue to support and fight beside the indigenous communities in Texas to make sure these unconstitutional laws do not stand."
—Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope that this law, as an egregious affront to free speech, peaceful protests, and the First Amendment to the Constitution, is heard at the Supreme Court level, and tossed on its head.

The other issue that has to be considered, is how many times, these protestors have been proven right, in terms of concerns of pipeline leakage or breakage, which was absolutely not sabotage.

Dakota Access Pipeline Leaked

The Indigenous Peoples' War against Pipelines

Friends of Nelson County

Pipeline plagued by by Lawsuits and delays

May 20 15:05

What the Subprime Auto-Loan Fiasco Means.

May 20 12:37

Ford to cut 7,000 jobs…

May 20 11:46

Scott Adams: Predicting, Deutsche Bank, Brennan, China, Iran

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1130473779119869955

Representative Amash…we have a Representative Amash?
Biden…the less media coverage he gets, the more we’ll like him?
President Trump tweet warns Iran to never threaten us again
Public warning, and US public seems to support if needed
Does Iran want to give the US…an excuse to act?
Does Iran want the US to say “all options are open”?
AOC on climate change solutions…”especially the new technologies”
AOC is open to nuclear…especially the new technologies?
AOC is acknowledging risk/reward balance favors nuclear?
Social media sent a message to government…it was received
Simultaneous, well deserved “pat on the back”
Comey’s email to staff…Brennan INSISTS dossier be included?
Wouldn’t Brennan have known intel was from Russian Intel?
Wouldn’t Brennan have known it would affect our election?

May 20 11:12

The U.S. Ultimatum on Huawei Is Backfiring

The U.S. is putting pressure on its many partners across the world to follow its lead and ban Huawei from their national telecommunications networks, with the Trump Administration channeling the Bush one in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by strongly implying that they are “either with us or against us.”

Unlike back then, however, few countries are going along with the U.S. pressure; probably because they understand the huge difference between joining an anti-terrorist military coalition and an anti-Chinese trading one.

Building off of that observation, Huawei’s services are inexpensive and high-quality, which is the exact opposite of what the competition is providing, whether American or otherwise, and it makes sense for countries to purchase its technology in order to help them modernize their telecommunications infrastructure in preparation for the global 5G revolution.

May 20 11:06

Russia, China to Open Arctic Sea to Trade, Cutting Asia-Europe Shipping Route by 5,000 Miles

Speaking at China’s second Belt and Road conference in Beijing featuring 37 heads of state, Russia President Vladimir Putin unveiled the intention to unite Russia’s Northern Sea Route with China’s Maritime Silk Road. This announcement should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the close strategic friendship between both countries since the 2015 announcement of an alliance between the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union and Belt and Road Initiative. This extension of the Maritime Silk Road represents a powerful force to transform the last unexplored frontier on the Earth, converting the Arctic from a geopolitical zone of conflict towards a new paradigm of mutual cooperation and development.

May 20 10:49

California's Housing Bubble's So Bad, 100s Forced To Live On Boats 

California's housing affordability crisis is getting worse. Affordability in San Francisco is now at 10-year lows, and only one in five households can afford to purchase a median-priced single-family home in the Bay Area. The crisis has driven many people onto the water, living on makeshift boats, outside marinas, and wealthy communities.

The floating homeless population in wealthy Marin County, just across the Golden Gate Strait from San Francisco, has doubled in the last five years to over 100. The community of 200 barges, sailboats, and other vessels comprise of people who are employed but can't afford to live on land, jobless folks, the homeless, and some people who are mentally ill. Boat life for them isn't easy:

"It's not a free ride. It's a lot of effort to be out here," said Kristina Weber, who moved onto a 54-foot vessel she purchased for $15,000 because she couldn't afford to rent in Sausalito.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We have a lot of that here in Hawaii.

May 20 10:48

John Deere Slashes Production Amid A 1980s Style Farm Crisis Collapse In Midwest 

With the entire US agriculture sector facing a 1980s style farm crisis downturn and record debt levels, demand for new tractors is set to collapse as farmers hang on to old Deere & Co. equipment, reported Bloomberg.

Heavy flooding in the last several months across the Midwest, a deepening trade war with China, depressed commodity prices, skyrocketing fuel costs, declining land values, and massive debt loads have squeezed farmers so much that Deere slashed production last week to deal with the downturn.

May 20 10:34

Gold Suppression: It’s Not a Question of IF but to WHAT EXTENT

First of all, let me say that gold price suppression (“fixing,” “rigging,” “manipulating” or however else you want to think about it) is not just a conspiracy theory.

It’s a well-documented phenomenon, with real actors and real ramifications.

In 2014, Barclays was fined nearly $44 million for failing to prevent traders from manipulating the London gold “fix.” Late last year, a former JPMorgan trader pleaded guilty to manipulating the U.S. metals markets. Remember the gold futures “flash crash” of 2014?

May 20 10:16

The Ultimate Investing Checklist

May 20 10:14

Ford says it's going to lay off 7,000 people worldwide

Ford is cutting 7,000 white-collar jobs, or about 10% of its salaried staff worldwide, as part of a cost-cutting effort it says will save the company about $600 million a year.

Ford says workers will begin to be notified of cuts starting Tuesday, and the terminations will be completed by the end of August. About 2,400 of the jobs cuts are in North America, and 1,500 of the positions were eliminated through a voluntary buyout offer.

May 20 09:53

Germany spent a record £20BILLION last year on migration and integrating its million refugees, report reveals

Germany spent a record £20 billion (€23 billion) last year trying to integrate more than one million refugees and tackle the causes of migration abroad, a Government report showed.

The amount increased by nearly 11 percent compared to £17.5 billion (€20.8 billion) spent the previous year, the document prepared by the Finance Ministry pointed out.

May 20 08:46

Gas Prices Are Up But People Don't Care

May 20 08:45

Banks Sending Bearish Message To Stocks

May 20 04:21

TIMES OF ISRAEL: "STOP MEL GIBSON'S NEW ANTI-SEMITIC MOVIE, IF NEEDED BY ERECTING NEW LAWS"

The Times of Israel ran a column on Thursday calling for the US to pass new laws to stop Mel Gibson's new comedy movie "Rothchild" staring Shia LaBeouf from being released.

May 20 04:03

The Bulls Are Betting On A "Long Shot"

May 19 16:42

What the hell happens when buybacks end

May 19 14:07

Toxic Mess

May 19 13:32

After Trillions Printed Under QE, Politicians Now Say Deficits Don’t Matter

By Avi Mizrahi

When quantitative easing (QE) was introduced, it was likened to a drug, with central banks making an emergency injection of money to resuscitate the global economy. Now it seems that some politicians have gotten addicted to this drug, going as far as to claim that government deficits don’t matter and the money printing can just continue unabated...

May 19 11:09

Credit card interest rates are soaring

May 19 10:08

The Banking Game

Pretend that you are ten again. You and your little playmates are out on the playground or roaming the neighborhood after school and you decide to play a game. It's called "Banking".

So you choose one of your friends to be "The Banker" and you all agree that he can cut up pieces of construction paper and stamp them with his "Special Stamp" and put spots on the pieces of paper --- 1 Spot, 5 Spots, 10 Spots, 20 Spots, and so on.... and from then on, you will all have to use this "Money" and you will have to give pieces of this Money valued at "20 Spots" to another playmate playing the role of "The Government" if you want to access the playground equipment in the school yard.

If you don't have enough of The Banker's Money to give to your pal playing The Government, you can't swing on the swings or play on the monkey bars or slide down the slide anymore, because you are "too poor".

May 19 09:53

UNDERSTAND INFLATION

May 19 07:37

THE NORMALIZATION AND INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF FRAUD

SOURCE: CHARLES HUGH SMITH
Normalizing and institutionalizing fraud undermines the foundations of the economy and the financial system.

I am indebted to Manoj Samanta (twitter: @flation_debate) for the insightful concept the commoditization of fraud. The first step in the commoditization of fraud is to normalize fraud as Business as Usual (BAU) to the point that it's no longer viewed as "wrong," destructive or an aberration of evil-doers but as an accepted way to maximize gain and offload risk onto others.

The last step in the process is to institutionalize fraud within central banking and government policies.

How is selling shares in a money-losing corporation at outlandish valuations not the commoditization of fraud? The fraud has been normalized into a game of hoping that greater fools will be so enamored of the normalized fraud that they'll take the IPO shares off your hands at ever-higher valuations until the fraud breaks down.

May 18 16:46

About That Roaring Stock Market

May 18 12:10

How Central Bank Interest Rate Policy Is Destabilizing Banks

By Justin Murray

Broadly speaking, banks operate under the concept of maturity transformation. Banks take short-term – less than one year – financing vehicles, such as customer deposits, and use that to finance long-term – more than one year – returns. These returns range from the most commonly understood loans, such as auto loans and mortgages, to investments in equity, bonds and public debt. Banks make money on the interest spread between what they pay to the owners of the money and what is earned from the operations. Banks also make money on other services, such as wealth management and account fees, though these are relatively small compared to the maturity transformation business...

May 18 10:04

What does risk-off actually mean?

May 18 09:52

An Ar?tic oil field could hold Russia’s biggest discovery in 30 years

A major oil development project could soon unfold in the Yenisey River delta, where vast oil reserves lie beneath permafrost near the area where the great Russian river runs into the Kara Sea.

Russia’s state mineral extraction agency Rosnedra now confirms that the resource estimates of the Paykha fields amount to as much as 1.2 billion tons, the newspaper Kommersant reports. That’s one of the biggest estimates ever made for a Russian oil field.

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