ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

May 15 15:06

Widespread layoffs across Disney and Fox...

May 15 14:45

The Social Security Black Hole Has Arrived

May 15 11:47

Trump administration has paid farmers $8.52 billion in aid to offset trade war

As of Monday, the Trump administration has made $8.52 billion in direct payments to farmers through a 2018 aid program designed to counter losses stemming from the trade war with China, a U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesperson said.

Why it matters: President Trump promised aid of up t0 $12 billion, but the program stalled during the month-long government shutdown and major flooding in the Midwest has caused farmers additional pain. A prolonged trade war, which seems to be where the U.S. and China are headed, could force the Trump administration to renew the program.

May 15 11:44

China Calls For "People's War" Against The US, Vows To "Fight For A New World"

While market mood has shifted diametrically from yesterday, with stocks sharply higher on Tuesday following what has widely been interpreted as conciliatory comments from both president Trump and various members of China's ruling elite, one would be hard pressed to find any de-escalation amid the Chinese press commentaries written in the aftermath of the latest escalation in trade war between the US and China.

In a series of editorials and op-ed articles published Monday and Tuesday, Chinese state media slammed what it labeled the Trump administration's "greed and arrogance", called for a "people's war" targeting the US "with precision" as China begins a "fight for a new world."

"The most important thing is that in the China-US trade war, the US side fights for greed and arrogance ... and morale will break at any point. The Chinese side is fighting back to protect its legitimate interests," the nationalist, state-owned Global Times tabloid wrote .

May 15 11:40

Markets Slide Despite Stimulus Hopes After Dire Chinese Data; Yields Plunge

It's about time we had some bad news which, as everyone knows, is great news for central-bank supported, centrally-planned markets.

The global equity bounce following what many misinterpreted as softer rhetoric by President Donald Trump on the trade dispute with China, fizzled on Wednesday despite dismal Chinese data, while fresh Italian debt woes kept BTFDers on the sidelines.

Ironically, China's data miss was not the catalyst for the drop. As we reported last night, in April every Chinese economic metric posted a sharp decline and missed expectations:

May 15 11:39

Latest Trade War Developments

Between Trump tweets and Chinese whispers via state-controlled media, it can be difficult to pinpoint precisely where things stand in the ongoing battle between the world’s two economic superpowers. Saxo's Christopher Dembik says the CNYUSD rate is the best proxy we have. Here’s why.

May 15 11:38

Central Banks Are Buying Gold At The Fastest Pace In Six Years

Earlier this month the World Gold Council published its quarterly report– and it shows that central banks and foreign governments from around the world are buying up gold at their fastest pace in six years.

This is pretty big news, and it says a LOT about the future of the dollar.

Remember, central banks and foreign governments hold literally TRILLIONS of dollars of reserves… and traditionally they do this by buying US government debt.

It sounds strange, but to big institutions, banks, etc., US government debt is equivalent to cash. They use it as a form of money.

May 15 11:37

Is The Market Too Complacent About Soaring Iran Tensions

Are equity markets too complacent about fast-rising Middle East tensions? Perhaps – oil shocks have killed more US economic expansions over the last 40 years than any other single cause. US Energy stocks are a reasonable hedge, given that they handily win the prize for “most neglected group” in the S&P 500 at just a 5.2% weighting versus a 10-year average of 9.3%.

This morning we had a client write in to ask if markets were too complacent about rising Middle East tensions and what that might do to oil prices. It is a fair point:

Investors are glued to one channel – US-China trade talks – and therefore less engaged on other topics.

Iran has recently dialed up tensions in the Middle East as US led sanctions have taken a toll on its economy.

For example, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have launched drone attacks against Saudi Arabian oil industry infrastructure. Also, Tehran has visibly amped up its missile defenses against possible US airstrikes.

May 15 11:37

Lloyd Blankfein Is A Trade Warrior Now

The fallout from the collapse of the trade deal with China has created some unlikely bedfellows among those who have publicly backed President Trump's decision to push for the "great" trade deal that he promised - or walk away.

That dynamic was on full display Wednesday morning when Steve Bannon appeared on CNBC to discuss the importance of Trump's trade fight, and guest host Tom Friedman - yes, that Tom Friedman - said he agreed with the entirety of Bannon's position.

Even Chuck Schumer has urged Trump not to capitulate and to make sure the US gets the best deal possible. Mitch McConnell, on the other hand, has stuck to somberly reminding the world that a trade war would produce 'no winners'.

May 15 11:36

RaboBank: "Some In The Market Are Starting To Get The Real Reason Behind The Trade War"

The ‘play of the day’ above comes against a backdrop of markets trying to accentuate the positive in the latest US-China trade war deterioration. Indeed, Moody’s has declared a trade deal will still be done and a Bloomberg survey of US economists shows around two thirds think a deal will be signed by year-end, a fifth by 2020, and only 13% don’t see a deal for at least five years. Field Marshall, please take these men and women out and have them shot, there’s a good chap.

May 15 11:34

Global Trade Collapsing To Depression Levels

With the trade war between the US and China re-escalating once more, investors are again casting frightened glances at declining global trade volumes, which as Bloomberg writes today, "threaten to upend the global economy’s much-anticipated rebound and could even throw its decade-long expansion into doubt if the conflict spirals out of control."

"Just as tentative signs appeared that a recovery is taking hold, trade tensions have re-emerged as a credible and significant threat to the business cycle," said Morgan Stanley's chief economist, Chetan Ahya, highlighting a “serious impact on corporate confidence" from the tariff feud.

To be sure, even before the latest trade war round, global growth and trade were already suffering, confirmed most recently by last night's dismal China economic data, which showed industrial output, retail sales and investment all sliding in April by more than economists forecast.

May 15 11:26

'We ALWAYS win!' Trump boasts that he'll prevail over Xi in 'little squabble' as he threatens even more tariffs and tells Americans to buy products 'from someplace else other than China'

Donald Trump predicted Tuesday that the U.S. will notch a trade victory in what he described as 'a little squabble with China.'

Speaking to reporters as he left the White House, the president grinned as he asked: 'You want to know something? You want to know something? We always win.'

And Trump warned that he might stack even more tariffs on a growing pile of anti-China duties in order to put additional pressure on Beijing.

'We're looking at it very strongly,' Trump said.

'This has never happened to China before,' he said of the already painful tariff regime that shows no sign of letting up.

May 15 10:49

Sudan seizes Morocco plane filled with gold

Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces have seized 241 kilograms of gold from a Moroccan plane flying from the country’s River Nile state, which landed in the capital Khartoum.

Major General Othman Mohamed said that only 93 kilograms of the gold on board the plane has an export license, while the legal status of the remaining quantity has not been clarified. The Major General explained: “We must deliver this large amount [of gold] to the Bank of Sudan, and then we will go on with the necessary legal procedures.”

Mohamed did not name the private Moroccan company which had allowed the exportation of the gold, nor did he give further details. However, he pointed out that the status of the company in Sudan is legal and registered.

May 15 10:45

Middle East tensions push up oil prices

Tensions in the Middle East appear to be pushing up the price of oil, with a barrel of Brent crude now costing $71.75, an increase of 1.9 per cent. The cost of a barrel of US crude, meanwhile, is now $62.48, up 2.6 per cent.

The increases came after Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Khaled Al-Falih, announced that a terrorist attack targeted two installations on Tuesday morning which pump oil through a pipeline from oil fields in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province to Yanbu Port on the west coast. The official added that Saudi Aramco will assess the damage and repair the plants. He stressed that Saudi oil production and exports will continue without interruption.

May 15 10:28

The Tariff Issue

Wherever I look at US policy, foreign or domestic, I see only insanity, ignorance, and incompetence.

Take the issue of tariffs, which is Trump’s mistaken approach to bringing the jobs back home. The tariff “solution” overlooks that offshored US production counts as imports when US firms bring their goods into the US to be marketed.

May 15 10:23

Trump Seeks New $15 Billion Subsidy To Protect Farmers From His Own Trade War

President Donald Trump is seeking an additional $15 billion in U.S. subsidies in an effort to protect farmers from the devastating impact of his trade war with China. That’s on top of $12 billion already earmarked for the farmers to help them weather the fallout.

That would be an additional bill for U.S. taxpayers already shouldering the cost of increased tariffs in the form of higher costs for products and parts from China.

Trump revealed the subsidy figure in a tweet Friday. He suggested the government use the funds to buy agricultural products to ship to other nations for humanitarian aid, though setting up such a system would be extremely complicated. In his most recent budget proposal, Trump proposed eliminating three food aid programs, Politico noted.

May 15 10:20

Bernie Sanders Delivers Online Address: 'We Must Not Go to War With Iran'

Source: Common Dreams

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday came out forcefully against the Trump administration angling the United States into another costly and unnecessary war of choice in the Middle East—this time against Iran—delivering an online address in which he warned that any military action without approval from Congress would be an "unconstitutional and illegal" breach of office.

"Let me be as clear as I can be: a war with Iran would be an absolute disaster," said Sanders in the roughly six-minute speech. "Sixteen years ago, the United States committed one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the history of our country by attacking Iraq. That war was sold to the American people based on a series of lies about weapons of mass destruction. We should remember that one of the leading advocates for that war was John Bolton."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Bernie, Mike and I are with you one thousand percent on this issue, although there are other issues where we may not agree.

May 15 10:17

U.S. senators offer bill targeting Russia-Germany pipeline

A group of Republican and Democratic U.S. senators introduced legislation on Tuesday seeking sanctions targeting the Nord Stream 2, a planned gas pipeline from Russia to Germany under fire from the United States and some European Union countries.

The bill introduced by Republican Senators Ted Cruz, John Barrasso and Tom Cotton and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, seeks to impose travel and financial sanctions on companies and individuals involved in constructing the pipeline.

The legislation reflects continued U.S. concerns over Russian influence in Europe, but the measure is many steps from becoming law. It would need to pass both the Senate and House of Representatives and be signed by President Donald Trump to go into effect.

May 15 10:16

HOUTHIS STRIKE KEY SAUDI OIL PIPELINE AMID GROWING CONCERN OVER NEARING US-IRANIAN ARMED CONFLICT

On May 14, Saudi Arabia halted pumping on its 1,200km-long East-West pipeline after it had been targeted by suicide unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The kingdom’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Falih confirmed the attack on the pipeline, which carries crude oil from the country’s main eastern oil fields to the Red Sea port city of Yanbu in the western part of the country. He described the attack as “an act of terrorism” and said that it “proves the importance of confronting all terrorist organizations.”

The targeted facilities were located in the towns of al-Duwadimi and Afif. No casualties were reported.

The energy minister stressed that Saudi oil production and exports will still continue uninterrupted. Despite this, global oil prices rose after the incident.

May 15 10:04

Crazy Not! Much Higher Gold Prices

Egon von Greyerz discussed “3 Dozen Reasons to Hold Gold” and mentioned price targets of $30,000 for gold and $3,000 for silver. Gold sells for $1,310 and silver sells in the mid-$15s. His numbers suggest that gold could increase by a factor of 20 and silver by nearly 200. For perspective, refer to the table below.

May 15 10:02

China-US trade war heats up: 3 reasons it won’t cool down anytime soon

The truce in the U.S.-China trade war is in tatters.

China said on May 13 that it will impose new tariffs on a range of American goods in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s decision to raise duties on US$200 billion in Chinese imports.

Although trade talks may continue, for now the trade war that Trump began in January 2018 is back on, which will mean more economic pain for companies and consumers in both the U.S. and China.

As an economist who focuses on international trade, I believe there are three reasons the conflict could continue for a long time.

May 15 09:35

The US-China Trade Scuffle Will Kick Off the Great Meltdown

The be-Muellered, bothered, and bewildered American public may find US-China trade talks about as interesting as a rain delay in an Orioles-Chisox game, but the Friday collapse of negotiations may be marked by historians as the day that the global economy died. The Big Box blue-light-special orgy of bargain shopping ran about thirty years, with China exuberantly pumping out cheap consumer goods to feed the US beast-of-Mammon. Americans happily payed for it all with IOUs based on long daisy chains of previous IOUs. Tom Friedman of The New York Times said it would last forever. Alas….

May 15 09:35

The U.S. And China Will Never Return to the Ways Things Were. That World Is Over.

Today’s the first day in a long time financial markets appear willing to at least consider the reality of the geopolitical situation on the ground for what it is, as opposed to what most people would like it to be. As I’ve noted for months, the “trade war” is just one battle in a much larger, increasingly unstable struggle between the U.S. and China for global power and leverage to shape the next paradigm of world history.

May 15 09:19

Medical Insurance Companies Can Decide Who Lives and Dies

Whistleblower Wendell Potter says the death of a young woman denied care by the insurance company he worked for was a turning point in his life; he says these practices are still taking place under the Affordable Care Act

May 15 09:19

It's time to restore US-Russia ties, Putin tells Pompeo

Russian President Vladimir Putin told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he had the impression President Donald Trump wanted to restore relations between the US and Russia after the Mueller inquiry exonerated him.

“As you know, just a few days ago, I had the pleasure of talking with the US president on the phone,” Putin told Pompeo on Tuesday, as the two met in Sochi. “I got the impression that the [US] president was inclined to re-establish Russian-American relations and contacts to resolve together the issues that are of mutual interest to us.”

May 15 06:33

Your Pension May Be Monetized

May 14 16:52

"We're Gonna Need More Bagholders..."

May 14 11:56

First assessment blames Iran for Middle East ship explosions, official says

An American military team assessing blasts that damaged four commercial ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sunday has blamed Iran or Iranian-backed proxies using explosive charges, a source told Fox News on Monday evening.

Each ship had a 5-to-10-foot hole in it, near or just below the water line, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. A Norwegian-flagged vessel, two Saudi oil tankers and a bunkering tanker flagged in Shariah, one of the UAE's seven emirates, all suffered similar damage Sunday.

The UAE asked the U.S. to help investigate the damage, which Gulf officials have characterized as sabotage. UAE's state media said Sunday there had been "no injuries or fatalities on board the vessels" and "no spillage of harmful chemicals or fuel."

The U.S. has warned ships that "Iran or its proxies" could be targeting maritime traffic in the region, and America has moved additional ships and aircraft into the region.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, there is zero surveillance footage in any of these cases, but the US military has already accused Iran of this?!?

Anyone out there remember the firm accusation of President Bush, when he claimed that Iraq had "weapons of mass destruction"?!?

This accusation is on par with that; if the Iranians had really bombed these ships, with the intention of never having them seaworthy again, they would have left NONE of these ships as mildly damaged as they actually are, and would have zotted the heck out of them.

May 14 11:27

Houthi Drones Attack Aramco Pipeline Booster Stations

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels carried out drone attacks on two Aramco pipeline booster stations, a strike that was intended to disrupt world oil supplies, according to Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih.

Al-Falih told Saudi-funded news agency Al-Arabiya that the attacks targeted two pipeline booster stations between the Eastern province and the city of Yanbu.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Notice that the second set of words in this article are "Iran-backed Houthi rebels"

So, by creating the syntax in this manner the first thoughts should be, "Houthi Rebels are bad, Saudi Arabia is good", in their reckless bombings of what is left of Yemeni schools, hospitals, infrastructure. children, infants, and the medically fragile elderly.

But of course, that is the reality about to where this article dare not go; it's like this reality is Kryptonite, because any disruption of oil supplies will make everything more costly. ]

But a decisions has obviously been made, that all Yemeni people killed and maimed by this genocide, are expendable, anyway; that at least is where Crown Prince bin Salman and President Trump are.

In the immortal words of Tony Soprano "Fuggetaboutit!!", when it comes to a lasting ceasefire, and a negotiated settlement.

That the Butcher of Yemen, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, is getting consistent help from his American allies, under the watch of President Trump, means that Americans - all of us - are complicit in this

slaughter, until the US finally does the right thing and leaves.

This never was our fight to begin with.

And, unsurprisingly, oil jolted up after the news of the drone bombing.

https://www.blacklistednews.com/article/72668/oil-prices-jump-on-drone-attack-on-saudi-aramco.htmlOil prices jump after dron attack on Saudi Aramco.

May 14 11:00

Senior Admin Official: "A Trade Deal Isn't Close; US Could Be In For A Long Trade War"

Despite a flurry of meandering hot-then-cold trade war tweets from President Trump, US futures have been powering higher all morning. But then along came Axios to pour cold water all over the growing trade-deal optimism after the stock market's worst one-day selloff since January.

According to Axios, senior administration officials told senior White House reporter Jonathan Swan that a trade deal with China "isn't close" and that the US "could be in for a long trade war."

Swans' sources said the differences between the two sides "are so profound taut, based on his read of the situation, he can't see the fight getting resolved before the end of the year."

That's a much longer timeline than the three-four weeks Trump touted Monday night, who touted the possibility that the a meeting with President Xi at the G-20 in Japan next month could yield an agreement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Perhaps a slight bit of flexibility on both sides, might work to get these talks moving again; but until that happens, get really ready for a really tough economic time ahead.

May 14 10:55

Peter Schiff: "The Writing's On The Wall" For The Economy

Uber launched its IPO on Friday. It was less than ideal.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is talking about how it wants to tweak its quantitative easing program when the next recession rolls around.

Peter Schiff talked about how these things relate - and the “writing on the wall” for the economy in his latest podcast.

Instead of buying some fixed amount of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities, the central bankers have floated the idea of pegging a yield during the next economic downturn. For example, it would try to hold the interest rate on a one-year bond at, say, 1%. As Peter pointed out, this is essentially price-fixing.

They’re saying, ‘We don’t want the interest rate that is being determined in the market. We want to interfere in the market so that the interest rate is lower than the market would set.'”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mike and I went to our local grocery store for a couple of items; the end price was more than slightly, bone-chillingly jarring.

The price of food is already getting higher, and just threw both of us for a loop.

One of the things you can do, and hopefully with a couple of friends, is get a freezer, and buy in bulk. Freezers are a good place to start taking down your food budget.

I have found myself learning my way around a crock pot, which allows tougher cuts of meat, to cook, and become tender, rather effortlessly

If you know, or learn, how to "slow cook", it is a great release from relying on the microwave to do everything, and will tend to drive your food budget down as well.

May 14 10:39

Boeing Settlement Hinges On How Long Doomed 737 Max Passengers Knew They Were Going To Die

Boeing and its insurers are likely to pay an amount of money to the families of those who died in the 737 Max crashes that is directly proportional to one grim measure: how long the victims knew they were plunging to their deaths. Additionally, as part of a legal fight to determine Boeing's financial liability after the 737 Max crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, passenger's families could be paid compensation based on grief, sorrow, loss of companionship and lost future paychecks.

According to an estimate from Bloomberg, the claims could total as much is $1 billion, and some legal experts believe the final amount could be even more, if evidence shows that Boeing knew about flaws in their planes prior to the tragedies taking place. This idea has already prompted investor lawsuits against the company, claiming it hid safety risks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Boeing used to be a company with a stellar reputation for safety; that there was knowledge on the part of the execs, that there were real, possibly fatal flaws in the design these 737s, is more than a little scary.

Whoever knew about this, and sat on it, should be looking at real jail time, and NOT, thank you very much, in a Club Fed.

May 14 10:33

Will Amazon Put UPS Out Of Business?

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

Amazon's new robot packs 600+ boxes per hour vs humans at under 200. With that announcement comes a $10K offer to quit.

Lights Out Warehouse

Please consider New Amazon Machines Pack 600 Orders Per Hour, Could Replace Thousands of Jobs.

The new machines, known as the CartonWrap from Italian firm CMC Srl, pack much faster than humans. They crank out 600 to 700 boxes per hour, or four to five times the rate of a human packer, the sources said. The machines require one person to load customer orders, another to stock cardboard and glue and a technician to fix jams on occasion.

Including other machines known as the “SmartPac,” which the company rolled out recently to mail items in patented envelopes, Amazon’s technology suite will be able to automate a majority of its human packers. Five rows of workers at a facility can turn into two, supplemented by two CMC machines and one SmartPac, the person said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unskilled labor is rapidly becoming a thing of the past; those with jobs very much at risk, because of these developments, will have to learn how to talk to the "brains" of these systems, and some will simply not be able to do it, or keep up with the rapidly evolving technology.

To get a better, and perhaps, chilling view of a potentially very dystopian future, watch the film "AI", short for artificial intelligence.

There is a scene in the film, where the humans are so furious, about having been pre-empted by robots, doing the jobs they used to to, and in essence, taking over their jobs, that they start torturing some very human-looking like robots to their extinction.

May 14 10:14

Farm Crisis: Soybeans Crash To Decade-Low As Trade War Intensifies

Soybean futures fell 25% in 50 weeks since the inception of President Trump's trade war early last summer.

CBOT Soybeans futures plunged to their lowest level in a decade as China on Monday said it would raise tariffs on $60 billion in US goods in retaliation for Trump's decision on Friday to raise duties on $200 billion in Chinese products to 25% from 10%. The deepening trade war has pushed American farmers onto the verge of disaster.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These people, along with unemployed factory workers, were the essence of his base; he knew, in just what tone, and demeanor, to address their anger and ire about jobs leaving the US, and about farmers who couldn't get a fair deal on their crops.

Now that they believe they have been betrayed by the man they had hoped would save them, what is going to happen now in 2020?!

Unless he is able to get the tariffs stopped and soon, and staunch the economic blood-loss, leading to our farmers' collective financial ruin, he is going to lose this critical part of his base in the next election.

These are people who do not forget betrayal easily.

May 14 10:07

U.S. Readies New Tariffs as Trump Says He’ll Meet China’s Xi

The U.S. prepared to hit China with new tariffs even as President Donald Trump said he’ll meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at next month’s G-20 summit, an encounter that could prove pivotal in a deepening clash over trade.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office Monday released a list of about $300 billion worth of Chinese goods including children’s clothing, toys, mobile phones and laptops that Trump has threatened to hit with a 25% tariff.

May 14 10:04

Burnout Nation

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

The economic and financial stresses will exceed the workforce's carrying capacity in the next recession.

A number of recent surveys reflect a widespread sense of financial stress and symptoms of poor health in America's workers, particularly the younger generations. There's no real mystery as to the cause of this economic anxiety:

-- competition for secure, well-paid jobs that were once considered the birthright of the middle class is increasingly fierce;

-- the pay and predictability of the jobs that are available are low;

-- high-paying jobs are extraordinarily demanding, forcing workers to sacrifice everything else to keep the big-bucks position;

-- the much-lauded gig economy is tracking the Pareto Distribution, as 80% of the income accrues to the top 20%, and those trying to earn a lower-middle class income in the gig economy are working long hours to do so;

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I know that Mike and I are working harder than we ever have before, in terms of hours necessary just to keep WRH alive; it has become a plus-time, full-time vocation for both of us, and the emotional and financial strains of this are definitely affecting us negatively.

May 14 10:00

"White Women Jog and Walk Their Dogs on Streets That [black] Drug Dealers Once Ruled": Atlanta Journal-Constitution Laments Whites Have Made Martin Luther King's Birthplace in Atlanta a Thriving Community

One of the great admissions – well, many actually – of racial reality (and the type of communities black people exclusively create in the absence of whites) is contained in this piece from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. [Atlanta’s gentrification wave washes over historic Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 9, 2019]:

May 14 09:58

Similarities to the dot-com bust?

May 14 09:57

Tariffs: The Taxes That Made America Great

A tariff may be described as a sales or consumption tax the consumer pays, but tariffs are also a discretionary and an optional tax.

If you choose not to purchase Chinese goods and instead buy comparable goods made in other nations or the USA, then you do not pay the tariff.

China loses the sale. This is why Beijing, which runs $350 billion to $400 billion in annual trade surpluses at our expense is howling loudest. Should Donald Trump impose that 25% tariff on all $500 billion in Chinese exports to the USA, it would cripple China’s economy. Factories seeking assured access to the U.S. market would flee in panic from the Middle Kingdom.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What concerns me more than the tariffs, is the uncomfortable understanding about how quickly trade wars can become shooting wars.

and I can guarantee you, we do NOT need a shooting war with China right now.

Our military doesn't have the troop strength; the weaponry; the manufacturing; or the money to insure a positive outcome to a war with China (and/or Russia)

May 14 09:52

Apple Needs A 14% iPhone Price Hike To Offset Higher Tariffs: JPM

One of the companies that has been hit the hardest following the latest escalation in trade war between the US and China, and which not only is reliant on Chinese consumers to purchase its products and services on the mainland, but also produces iPhones in China and is thus subject to a double whammy of anti-American sentiment and higher export tariffs, is Apple, with its shares sliding -11% since the start of last week and 5% on Monday, on fresh worries relating to escalating trade war and the imposition of tariffs on imports from China, as well as on concerns over the consequences of the recent Supreme Court decision allowing a lawsuit against Apple practices in the App store.

In a note published this morning, JPMorgan writes that while it is difficult to precisely attribute the magnitude of the share price decline between tariffs and the lawsuits, "it is fair to say that the majority of the share price decline is driven by tariff
concerns."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Understanding this, is going to cause people to look for cheaper alternatives, at least for the time being.

May 14 09:49

Ron Paul Warns Losing Income Tax Privacy Is A Real Danger

Authored by Ron Paul via The Unz Review,

Last week the New York Times published some of President Trump’s 1980s and 1990s tax returns information. The information detailed President Trump’s financial difficulties during that time. While you would not know it from reading some media reports, this is old news. In fact, President Trump openly discussed his financial difficulties on his popular reality television show.

What should be of great concern is the possibility that the person who leaked the returns - who the paper says has legal access to President Trump’s tax records - is an IRS employee seeking to undermine the president. This would hardly be the first time an IRS employee has leaked confidential information because he disagreed with the taxpayer’s politics. In 2014 the agency had to pay the National Organization for Marriage 50,000 dollars after an IRS employee gave names of the group’s donors to the group’s opponents.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Whoever did this should be handed their hat, and immediately sacked; this was just a really vindictive thing to do.

But the reality is, it could happen to ANYONE the government really dislikes, and wants to see driven from their job.

May 14 09:13

How Amazon Destroys Millions of New Items it Can’t Sell

Amazon destroys millions of brand-new items including televisions, books and nappies it cannot sell, an investigation has revealed.

Lorry-loads of goods, many still in their packaging, are dumped in sprawling landfill sites or incinerated. The shocking waste was revealed by undercover investigators who secretly filmed in one of the multi-billion-pound company’s enormous warehouses.

Reporters posing as Amazon workers discovered an area called the ‘destruction zone’ where they covertly filmed staff loading pristine toys, unused kitchen equipment and flat-screen TVs into skips to be transported to dumps.

Later, cameras fitted to a drone tailed a truck crammed with expensive consumer goods from an Amazon warehouse to a waste disposal centre and on to a landfill site.

May 14 09:12

Farmers get impatient with Trump's trade war: 'This can't go on'

The escalated tariffs don't hit agricultural products directly, since most were already facing a 25% tariff imposed by China last year. But the news still sent commodity prices plummeting.

"The President of the United States owes farmers like myself some type of plan of action," John Wesley Boyd Jr., a soybean farmer in Baskerville, Virginia, told CNN's Brianna Keilar on Monday.

"Farmers were his base. They helped elect this president ... and now he's turning his back on America's farmers when we need him the most," he added.

May 14 09:09

Disney takes full operational control of Hulu

The Walt Disney Company has taken full operational control of Hulu, The Walt Disney Company and Comcast Corporation announced on Tuesday.

NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast, owns 33% of Hulu right now. The companies said in a press release that as early as January 2024, Comcast can require Disney to buy NBCUniversal's interest in Hulu, and Disney can require NBCUniversal to sell that stake to Disney for its fair market value at that future time. Disney has guaranteed a sale price that represents a minimum total equity value of $27.5 billion.

The deal also includes an agreement for both corporations to fund Hulu's recent purchase of AT&T Inc.'s 9.5% interest in Hulu.

May 13 17:45

Kentucky Taxpayers On The Hook An Estimated $1.5B for Their “Information Highway to Nowhere”

By B.N. Frank

Activist Post reported less than a month ago about how Google has to pay $4M to Louisville, KY to remove fiber, repair damage, and repave roads after its failed project. According to a recent article from ProPublica, Kentucky residents are on the hook for a different high-speed internet fiasco...

May 13 17:28

The Japanisation of Europe is evident.

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