ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Mar 29 11:09

Q4 GDP Sinks to 2.2%, Far Short of Trump’s Goal

U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter last year to an annual rate of just 2.2 percent. There are concerns that growth has slowed even more in the first quarter this year as global weakness, fading government stimulus and rising trade tensions take a toll on the economy.

The increase in the GDP, the economy’s total output of goods and services, was revised down from an initial estimate of 2.6 percent growth in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The change reflected weakness in a number of areas. Consumer spending, business investment, government spending and housing all came in lower than first thought.

Economists believe growth has slowed further in the current January-March quarter to around a 1.5 percent rate.

Mar 29 11:06

Accelerating "Eviction Crisis" Parallels The Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis Of The Great Recession

The eviction crisis is worsening to the point that Georgia State University authors feel that protections should be put in place to safeguard renters, such as longer eviction notices and legal protection, according to Market Watch. However, that could make the crisis much worse by homeowners simply refusing to rent their properties out at all. More government intervention (whether it’s designed to protect people or not) will only make a very bad situation worse.

Evictions have become a real visible effect of the volatility in today’s economy. Stable housing is increasingly out of reach for many Americans, as both rentals and homes to own grow more expensive, options dwindle, and wages remain stagnant. But some scholars at Georgia State University, in conjunction with a ProPublica journalist, completed a new study which shows that not all evictions are created equal.

Mar 29 11:05

‘Unwritten Rules’: US Demands Foreign Oil Companies Cut Ties With Venezuela

The verbal demand reportedly exceeds the scope of sanctions established on paper, sources say.

The US has reportedly contacted trading houses and oil refineries around the world and instructed them to curtail their dealings with Venezuela or face sanctions themselves, Reuters reported Thursday, citing three unnamed sources.

According to the sources, the demand is unjust, since the US is asking for the cessation of trade that is not, on paper, prohibited by US sanctions.

Mar 29 10:39

"Medieval" Diseases Flare as Unsanitary Living Conditions Proliferate

Jennifer Millar keeps trash bags and hand sanitizer near her tent, and she regularly pours water mixed with hydrogen peroxide on the sidewalk nearby. Keeping herself and the patch of concrete she calls home clean is a top priority.

But this homeless encampment off a Hollywood freeway ramp is often littered with needles and trash, and soaked in urine. Rats occasionally scamper through, and Millar fears the consequences.

“I worry about all those diseases,” said Millar, 43, who said she has been homeless most of her life.

Infectious diseases—some that ravaged populations in the Middle Ages—are resurging in California and around the country, and are hitting homeless populations especially hard.

Mar 29 10:19

MEDIA Blackout - Dual Citizens Boycott America via Israeli Banks

A year after the probes into Leumi, Hapoalim and Mizrahi Tefahot were made public, the U.S. State Department notably listed Israel as a “major money laundering country… whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking … or other serious crime.”

Bank Leumi was the first to admit to wrongdoing and reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ in 2014 that eventually resulted in the bank paying $400 million in fines to the U.S. government and the State of New York in order to avoid prosecution. According to the DOJ, the agreement marked “the first time an Israeli bank has admitted to such criminal conduct, which spanned over a 10 year period.”

Mar 29 09:30

The EU bows to ‘systemic rival’ China

Let’s start with the essential background for the meeting in Paris on Tuesday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and three EU heavyweights – French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the European Commission (EC) Jean-Claude Juncker.

As imperfect as these figures may be, economic growth for the past 10 years after the 2008 financial crisis – which was a made in the West phenomenon – do tell an enlightening story.

China’s growth: 139%. India’s growth: 96%. the US’ growth: 34%. EU growth: a negative 2%.

Mar 29 09:24

Sears cancels life insurance for 90,000 retirees.

Sears announced this month that an undisclosed portion of the struggling department store chain’s 90,000 retirees would be losing their life insurance benefits.

The retailer sent letters to the retired employees informing them that their life insurance would be axed as of March 15, according to Ron Olbrysh, chairman of the National Association of Retired Sears Employees (NARSE) — and some allegedly didn’t receive their letter until after that date had passed.

Mar 29 09:22

Ireland and EU Countries Must Seek ECB Approval to Manage Gold Reserves – Draghi

The European Central Bank needs to approve any operation in the foreign reserves of euro zone countries, including gold and large foreign currency holdings, the ECB’s President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.

“The ECB shall approve both the operations in foreign reserve assets remaining with the NCBs (national central banks)…and Member States’ transactions with their foreign exchange working balances above a certain threshold,” Draghi told two Italian members of the European Parliament.

“The purpose of this competence is to ensure consistency with the exchange rate and monetary policy of the Union.”

Mar 29 08:05

EU States Embracing China's Silk Road, Nord Stream 2, Defying US – Journo

European states are seeking independence from both Washington and Brussels, Daniele Pozzati, a Munich-based Italian journalist has told Sputnik, commenting on Italy's decision to join China's Belt and Road initiative, amid Berlin’s spat with Washington over the Nord Stream 2 project.

"With its decision to join China's One Belt and One Road (OBOR) project, Italy aims at making up several years of lost economic opportunities", says Daniele Pozzati, a Munich-based Italian journalist and economic observer.

On 23 March, China and Italy signed a memorandum of understanding in support of Beijing's New Silk Road initiative that aims to link Asia to Africa and Europe.

Mar 29 08:01

‘Just jealous’: Italy responds to criticism for joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Europe and the US should take care of their own debts to China before advising Italy about the risks of joining Beijing’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative,’ said Michele Geraci, undersecretary of state at the Italian Economy Ministry.

Italy has become the first G7 nation to join China’s ambitious plan to revolutionize global trade, making other eurozone majors “jealous” of the move, according to Geraci.

Mar 29 07:59

ALERT: Floods Decimate US Farms - Stockpiles Lost - More to Come

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are going to be food shortages in this country, so by all means let's have millions more hungry mouths pour into the nation across that southern border!

Mar 28 18:51

5 Legal Strategies To Reduce Your Tax Burden

By Nicholas West

While people feel compelled to continue debating various government shutdowns, the reality remains that tax collection is expected to continue uninterrupted. The old maxim that the two great inescapable realities are death and taxes should come as an affront to the liberty minded, however. The mandatory payment of taxes is as unnatural as death is natural, and is a human construct that is a historically recent phenomenon..

Mar 28 18:33

The Consensus Crisis: Conspiracy Theories, The Mandela Effect, Social Media Censorship, and Bitcoin

By Vin Armani

How are the social media backlash against “conspiracy theories,” The Mandela Effect, and Bitcoin all connected?

Over the last twenty years, individuals have become ever more interconnected, particularly through social media. The change in the speed with which we are able to find (and break) consensus has outstripped the consensus mechanisms that evolved along with our species.

The result is our current state, The Consensus Crisis...

Mar 28 15:32

10-year-old girl dies after classroom fight

A 10-year-old girl has died two days after she was injured in a fight with a fellow pupil at her primary school.

RaNiya Wright was found unresponsive by staff at the Forest Hills Elementary School in the South Carolina of Walterboro, after she got into an altercation with another Year 5 student on Monday.

They called the emergency services and RaNiya was taken to hospital where she remained alive, until she passed away on Wednesday.

The other student involved in the fight, who has not been identified, has been suspended from the school, according to NBC News.

“Because this is an ongoing investigation, we ask that the community understands that the information we can share is limited,” district officials said in a statement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Condolences to the child's parents and family; but what I am curious about, is why these kinds of incidents generally happen in US public schools, not at Montessori, Kumon, or Waldorf schools?!?

And what about the moral values of the family of the ten year old who killed her?!? Is killing your schoolmate something that the family of the accused might feel was OK?!?

IF our Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, wants to make education in this country on a par with that of Asia, or Scandinavia, she had better start privatizing education, both for the reason of lowered violence, and better education.

Unionized teachers will scream, because Private school teachers get less money than they do; but the outcomes they provide for their students are, generally, quite a bit lower than those of private schools.

Mar 28 15:11

Brazil Calls on Russian Military to Exit Venezuela if 'Propping Up Maduro'

When responding to US President Donald Trump's statement, saying that Russia "needed to get out of Venezuela," Moscow has emphasised that Russian military personnel is implementing bilateral defence agreements in the Latin American state and will stay there as long as both sides deem necessary.

The Brazilian foreign minister has stated that the Russian military should leave Venezuela if they were "propping up" President Nicolas Maduro.

In an interview with Reuters, Brazilian top diplomat Ernesto Arauijo said he hoped Moscow would recognise that supporting Maduro would "only deepen the collapse of Venezuela's economy and society and that the only way out of the crisis was to hold elections under an interim government led by opposition leader Juan Guaido."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I can visualize Russia's President Putin laughing his head off, at this.

There is truly nothing either President Trump or Brazil's president can do at this time; they absolutely missed the window on this, and Guaido is up the creek,without the proverbial "paddle".

And whoever, in the US government could not see this scenario all the way through, that Russia was, in fact, going to send troops to protect Maduro, should be sacked, and immediately given their notice, and escorted out of this government...permanently.

Mar 28 15:01

US Forces-Korea Warns It’s Ill-Prepared for Collapse of Diplomacy With DPRK

The top US commander in South Korea told Congress Wednesday that US forces on the peninsula wouldn’t be ready if diplomacy between the US and DPRK suddenly collapsed and the military standoff returned. His fears reflected a Western belief that Pyongyang is withdrawing from denuclearization plans, but in Korea, the situation isn’t so clear.

US Army Gen. Robert Abrams, the commander of US Forces Korea, told the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday that, so long as the diplomatic push for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula continues, his forces have enough intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance resources to maintain an adequate defense of South Korea and detect an attack from the North. However, if things got worse and the atmosphere suddenly returned to the hostile tension of the past, "then our stance, our posture is not adequate to provide us an unblinking eye to give us early warning and indicators."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF true, this has to be remedied, and quickly; having some actual, sane, and moral diplomacy would probably help.

The North Koreans gave on a few things on their side, but US foreign policy here seems to have wanted to give nothing in return, which is a really bad place to be, and particularly dealing with the reality that the concept of "face", or personal reputation, is critically important, in Asian cultures.

President Trump's "My way or the highway" attitude may have worked well for him in the corporate sphere, but in terms of face-to-face negotiations, it cannot and will not, work.

His approach to North Korea, has been an epic fail because of that, and I frankly think we may well be on the knife-edge of a military confrontation with North Korea (which most probably means military confrontation against China) if these negotiations cannot be salvaged.

Mar 28 14:46

Many Are Calling For The Media To Be Held Legally Accountable For Relentlessly Lying To The American People About Russian Collusion

Now that the Mueller investigation is over and his report has shown that there was absolutely no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, the focus is rapidly turning to those that endlessly propagated extremely damaging conspiracy theories about the president of the United States. For 675 days, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC engaged in a fake news binge unlike anything that we have ever seen before in all of U.S. history. They relentlessly pushed out news story after news story touting that we would soon have “evidence” that Trump had colluded with the Russians when there was no evidence at all. They kept telling us that “indictments are coming”, that “the noose is tightening” and that “the walls are closing in on this administration” when none of that was ever true.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The monied seldom eat their own, but this is a real opportunity for the Independent Media (like WRH) to let their viewers/listeners that they were right all the time.

Mar 28 14:41

Guaido To Launch Venezuela-wide "Tactical Action" To Topple Maduro

Is Venezuela heating up again or is this just more desperation setting in for the Juan Guaido-led opposition after recent failed efforts to gem up popular support for an anti-Maduro coup?

The US recognized "Interim President" has announced plans for his supporters to launch "tactical actions" starting next week as part of his "Operation Freedom" to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro. The opposition is now telegraphing their regime change maneuvers, in what appears more of a desperate strategy to maintain external and international pressure and visibility on the continuing political crisis in the country, lately felt in a series of major nation-wide electricity outages.

Guaido said via Twitter that such tactical actions are to begin April 6, which will involve "freedom cells" set up across the country rising up in mass protest when the order is given.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Forgive me, but I am not holding my breath that Guaido's "revolution" will have a ghost of a chance, against Russia's in-country troops here, plus the Russian S-300 defensive missiles.

And why the hell is he broadcasting this, so that Maduro's government knows precisely when and where these "tactical actions" will happen?!?

And you have to remember; not a lot of Venezuelans really like this guy, and know precisely how this horrific condition in their country was made to happen, primarily because of the US's crippling sanctions, and theft of Venezuela's money in other banks around the world.

Mar 28 13:52

Inverted Yield Curve Points to Recession?

Mar 28 12:56

Jamie Dimon Laments the Plight of the Poor While His Bank Pays 0.02% on CDs

JPMorgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, gave a CNN interview last week in which he said that the U.S. economy is “fundamentally anti-poor.” Two weeks before that, Dimon boasted in an OpEd for CNN that was co-authored by his fellow Board Member, Mellody Hobson, that the bank was doing all kinds of wonderful things to address the wealth gap among African Americans in the U.S.

Under Dimon’s tenure as top dog of JPMorgan Chase over the past 13 years, the bank has excelled at settling its crimes on the cheap, launching a big public relations offensive, then being charged with more crimes, settling on the cheap, and spending more on its public relations offensive to massage both the bank’s and Dimon’s reputation.

Mar 28 12:54

Wow Air ceases operations, leaving passengers stranded

Icelandic budget carrier Wow Air has ceased operations and canceled its flights, leaving passengers stranded on both sides of the Atlantic.

The airline announced the closure in a statement posted to its website on Thursday. It advised passengers to book new flights on other airlines, and said some may be eligible for compensation.

Wow Air CEO Skúli Mogensen told Icelandic state broadcaster RUV that negotiations to save the airline went on until the early morning in Iceland.

"As is normal, people believed we would get the investment," Mogensen told RUV. "We have been very transparent, but it didn't happen."

Mar 28 12:13

The Financial Panic of 2019?

Mar 28 11:26

Seattle is Dying

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Very long, but a portrait of the current United States.

Mar 28 11:01

The Japanification Of The US In One Chart

While it’s fashionable to talk about the Japanification of Europe, the real story could be the Japanification of the US. Admittedly, the US doesn’t have as acute an aging population challenge or a current account surplus like Japan or the euro area, but it does have an inflation challenge.

Now with the Fed signalling a potential end to its hiking cycle and an actual end to its balance sheet reduction (QT tapering!), we are back to unconventional monetary policy territory. Markets are taking note – the market-implied real neutral rate or r* is approaching zero, a far cry from the 2% levels before the 2008 financial crisis. The equivalent in euro is actually below zero (see chart).

Mar 28 11:01

Software Won’t Fix Boeing’s ‘Faulty’ Airframe

That design decision meant the 737 MAX would tend to pitch up while accelerating or when the aircraft experienced a high angle of attack – the angle between the wing and the direction of flight. The proposed solution to the pitch-up problem—and a means of achieving flightworthiness certification—was a software system called MCAS.

Critics assert the engine placement effectively made the 737 MAX series a fundamentally different aircraft with different handling characteristics requiring new operational software and pilot training. The re-certification process Boeing sought to avoid for competitive reasons would have been lengthy and expensive.

In essence, these critics say, Boeing’s response to the challenge posed by Airbus was bumping passenger safety to a middle seat in economy class while financial considerations were upgraded to First Class. Boeing denies this

Mar 28 10:58

The Biggest Short & The Spectacular Long

Mar 28 08:43

Study Estimates the Green New Deal to Cost $93 Trillion — That’s a Conservative Estimate

By Robert P. Murphy

Both fans and foes of the so-called Green New Deal (GND) agree that it is a wildly ambitious set of proposals, which—by design—will involve the federal government spending boatloads of money. In fact, the GND is so expensive that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has cited the inflationary doctrine of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) to deflect the issue; we don’t need to worry about the cost of the Green New Deal, so the argument goes, because the Federal Reserve can create an unlimited number of dollars.

Mar 28 07:22

75 years on from D-Day, is it time Germany liberated itself from the US?

Germany is being pressurized to act against its own economic interests – and put those of US business first.

Wolfgang Kubicki, deputy leader of the opposition Free Democrats (FDP), called last week for the US Ambassador to Germany to be expelled for acting like a “high commissioner of an occupying power.” And it isn’t hyperbole.

We're coming up in a few months time to the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, which began the liberation of western Europe by Allied forces from the Nazis. Who would have thought that in 2019, we'd have a high ranking German politician from a party, known for its strong support of the Atlantic Alliance, calling for the American Ambassador to his country to be booted out for interfering in his country's affairs?

Mar 28 07:18

Putin may hold separate meeting with UK business executives at SPIEF - spokesman

Russian President Vladimir Putin may hold a separate meeting with representatives of the UK business within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) that will be held on June 6-8, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Rossiya-1 television on Sunday.

He said this was a request from UK business people. "They came out with the initiative to have a separate segment within the framework of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum - a meeting of Putin with representatives of the British business. And this is very important," Peskov told the program "Moscow. Kremlin. Putin".

On March 20, President Putin met with UK entrepreneurs having business in Russia. The Russian leader took the opportunity and invited representatives of the UK business community to take part in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Besides, he said British business could participate in the implementation of Russian national projects.

Mar 28 06:37

WHERE ALL THE MONEY GOES

You pay taxes. I pay taxes.

Everyone you know pays taxes.

But the Super Rich?

They don’t and their money is untouchable.

This excerpt from the film “The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire” shows how it works.

Mar 28 06:14

Can Anything Stop the Next Global Recession?

Mar 28 05:25

Recession? Yes, But Not Yet

Mar 27 14:15

Animation: The Biggest Economies in 2030

Mar 27 13:44

"Recap & Release" - Trump Unveils Plan To End Govt Control Of Fannie, Freddie

After months (or years) of on-again, off-again headlines, President Trump is expected to sign a memo on an overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this afternoon, kick-starting a lengthy process that could lead to the mortgage giants being freed from federal control.

Mar 27 12:58

Let’s talk about food SHORTAGE: US grain bins collapse under catastrophic Iowa floods

After millions of dead calves in Nebraska, now thousands of tons of grain lost in Iowa! Flood waters are causing havoc in some mid-western states – Iowa; Illinois; Missouri; Kansas; South Dakota; Minnesota; and Nebraska – and have resulted in an estimated $3 billion in damages so far. The video below by Iowa resident Gracie Newman shows just a fraction of the losses that have been incurred as a result of the unprecedented flooding.

Mar 27 12:56

Peter Schiff was right again

Mar 27 10:41

Tech Experts: What You Post Online Could Be Directly Impacting Your Insurance Coverage

What insurance policy holders do in their daily lives may not be so private.

If you’re posting any information publicly online, your insurance company could be using it to determine your coverage, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Thursday.

Posing in front of a great white shark and dangling your feet out the side of a helicopter — those types of pictures may get you likes on Instagram, but only dislikes from your insurance company, which could consider it dangerous, tech experts say.

“Especially for claims, they look into social media, looking to see if someone’s driving a motorcycle without a helmet or posting pictures drinking and smoking,” said Duarte Pereira, senior VP of FitechGelb.

Mar 27 10:34

Hedge Funds Are Buying Oil Again

Mar 27 09:01

Even Sponsors of the Green New Deal Can’t Bring Themselves to Vote for It

By Myron Ebell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has scheduled a floor vote on the Green New Deal resolution for the week of March 24. Democrats were caught off guard when Senator McConnell said in February that he wanted to have a vote on the resolution and have been trying to figure out what to do ever since. It appears that they have now settled on a strategy: They or nearly all of them will vote “present.” This includes the sponsor of Senate Resolution 59, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), and its eleven co-sponsors. Six of the co-sponsors are running for president...

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