ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Dec 27 18:36

Interest payments about to skyrocket

Dec 27 17:04

Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ Crushes Spotify Records, But Only Earns Under $66,000

Yet, on December 24th, Carey’s popular Christmas track hit 10,819,009 streams on Spotify. This beats XXXTentacion’s ‘Sad!’, which hit 10.4 million streams on June 19th.

Dec 27 13:55

116-Year-Old JC Penney Now a Penny Stock

Dec 27 13:51

"2019: The Year of the Vanishing Home Buyer"

Dec 27 13:25

Santa Claus Rally Taking Place Here!

Dec 27 12:05

Beware the Bear’s Bull Traps!

Dec 27 11:19

John Rubino – John and I Were Finally Right

Dec 27 10:40

BANKING GIANT HSBC DIVESTS FROM ISRAEL ARMS MANUFACTURER

Human rights groups have claimed a major victory after HSBC, one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world, confirmed that it fully divested from Israeli drone manufacturer Elbit Systems, which sells weapons to the Israeli military used in attacks on Palestinians.

As part of the campaign, over 24,000 people emailed HSBC with concern over its investments in Elbit Systems and other companies selling weapons to Israel’s military. Forty HSBC branches across the UK were picketed monthly to call on HSBC to stop aiding Israel’s brutal occupation and human rights abuse of millions of Palestinians.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well done, HSBC, good on you!

Dec 27 10:35

$114mn down the toilet: Summing up annual shaming report on egregious US govt waste (VIDEO)

A $2.4 million daydreaming study and a very scientific examination of the sex habits of coked-up quails topped Senator Rand Paul’s annual list of maddening government waste, which this year clocked in at $114 million.
Last week, the Kentucky lawmaker issued his fourth installment of the annual ‘Festivus Waste Report,’ which names and shames some of the US government’s most egregious spending choices.

The waste is humorously documented in this year’s report. Some of the examples include the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spending $2.4 million to study daydreaming, and another NIH study, costing $874,000, which researched the sexual habits of quails that were high on cocaine.

As Paul noted, these generously funded projects underline how wasteful spending and misplaced priorities have “helped the federal government place taxpayers on the hook for a debt that is rapidly closing in on $22 trillion.”

Dec 27 10:33

More sanctions please: Russia-EU trade turnover surges by almost 22%

The volume of trade between Russia and the European Union (EU) has been steadily growing since the beginning of 2017 despite mutual sanctions introduced almost five years ago, said Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov.

“Since the beginning of 2017, mutual trade between Russia and the European Union’s countries showed a tendency towards dynamic growth, which consolidated this year,” the envoy told Izvestia newspaper.

He cited statistics that in the first three quarters of 2018, trade turnover between Russia and the EU increased by 21.5 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

Dec 27 09:52

How Government Ruined Higher Education

By Anthony Mueller

The rise of the costs of the American higher educational system began when expansion became the aim of education policy. The new objective was to have as many students as possible in college. Students’ increased ability to pay, which came with easy access to student loans, allowed universities and colleges to raise prices and to invest in areas such as sports and recreational facilities that had little to do with education but made campus life more attractive. Inasmuch as private universities also depend on public subsidies, the whole university system has come under the control of the state and must meet the criteria set by it. The current system puts pressure on the young to go with the crowd. While the costs keep on rising, the benefits fall...

Dec 27 09:38

American economic downturn starter kit

Dec 27 08:29

Dow plunges 500 pts in sharp reversal

Markets in the United States extended losses on Thursday after recording record gains in Wednesday's session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average index plunged over 500 points at session low. At 4:23 pm CET, it lost 2.07% or 480 points. Apple led the losses with a 3.12% drop.

The Nasdaq 100 tumbled 2.41% at 4:26 pm CET, with Tesla, Amazon and Netflix pulling it downward, diving 5.14%,3.72% and 3.31%.

The S&P 500 fell 1.97%, as Baker Hughes sank 5.11%.

More to come...

Dec 27 08:16

Dow surges ONE THOUSAND points in the biggest single-day gain in US history on the first day of trading after the markets took the biggest Christmas Eve plunge ever

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has soared more than 1,000 points for the index's largest one-day point increase in history, a stunning rally after markets took their worst-ever Christmas Eve plunge.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 1,086.25 points, or 4.98 per cent, on Wednesday to close at 22,878.45, while the S&P 500 tacked on 111.11, or 4.73 per cent.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 25.95 points, or 0.40 per cent.

Dec 27 08:09

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019

By Kai Sedgwick

Another year is coming, filled with fresh optimism and newfound determination to make 2019 the year when cryptocurrencies take over. Having gotten their calls badly wrong for 2018, so-called experts will be hesitant to make bullish price predictions for 2019. That’s probably for the best since there are far more interesting things to focus on than price action. Here are seven trends that should dominate the cryptosphere over the next 12 months...

Dec 27 08:07

Mark Zuckerberg could be 2018's biggest loser — he's already down nearly $20 billion

In the wake of a tumultuous time for the stock market and also for Facebook , CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on track to end 2018 down the most money of any billionaire. Zuckerberg has lost $19.8 billion year to date, according to Bloomberg.

With a current net worth of $52.9 billion, Zuckerberg ranks seventh on Bloomberg's Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world's richest people that is updated at the close of every trading day in New York. On Jan. 1, Zuckerberg had a total net worth of $72.8 billion, according to Bloomberg historical data; that's a 27.3 percent loss year to date.

Dec 27 07:56

Forbes: A Worldwide Debt Default Is Coming

Dec 27 07:44

Why Stocks Are Soaring: A Massive, $64 Billion Buy Order

Last Friday, when stocks were tumbling, we reported "some good news for the bulls" which was lost in the overall chaos over the latest mutual fund liquidation discussed earlier.

And no, we did not anticipate that President Trump would activate the Plunge Protection Team over the weekend: the good news in question was that as Wells Fargo calculated U.S. defined-benefit pensions fund would need to implement a "giant rebalancing out of bonds and into stocks" - in fact the biggest in history - with the bank estimating roughly $64 billion in equity purchases in the last trading days of the quarter and year, prompting the banks to ask if traders are about to make pension rebalancing "great" again.

Dec 27 07:43

Russian Central Bank Buying Gold On The International Market?

For a number of years now and even more so during 2018, the central bank of the Russian Federation, the Bank of Russia, has remained in the spotlight as one of the world’s largest gold buyers, each month adding substantial amounts of gold to its monetary gold stockpiles.

Having bought another 37.3 tonnes of gold (1.2 million ounces) during November, and Bank of Russia now holds 2103 tonnes of monetary gold. On a year-to-date basis (for the 11 months from January to November 2018), the Russian central bank has added an incredible 264.3 tonnes of gold to its monetary reserve assets.

Dec 27 07:42

Putin promises government support for Russian businesses to defy sanctions pressure

Russian businesses facing “external restrictions” can rely on government support while competitors try to hide behind the “political screen,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin to the country's business leaders on Wednesday.

“The support of domestic business, increasing its capabilities is one of the most important tasks, especially today, when Russian companies are facing certain external restrictions," Putin said during the meeting in Moscow.

Referring to Western sanctions, the Russian president stressed that the Kremlin sees foreign players trying to hide behind the “political screen” that they use “in unfair competition, elimination of rivals and division of markets.”

Dec 27 07:41

Africa is about to become the world’s largest free trade zone

South Africa’s and Togo’s parliaments this month ratified the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The total number of countries committing to the deal has thus grown to 49.

Once the agreement comes into effect, it will create a tariff-free continent, covering a single market of 1.2 billion people in 55 nations with a combined gross domestic product of about $3 trillion.

It will constitute the largest free trade area globally, according to South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

Dec 27 07:37

Shocking drone photos reveal inequality across America's biggest cities

A photographer has taken a series of searing aerial photos revealing gross inequality across America where rich and poor live side-by-side.

Johnny Miller, who was born in the States but now lives in South Africa, has captured pockets of disparity across the country.

His photos capture LA's skid row, homeless camps that exist alongside the dizzying luxury of Silicon Valley and RVs housing families priced out of the Bay Area.

Dec 27 07:23

Stealing Money From The Voters: Won’t Last Much Longer.

On September 10, 2001 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld went on CBS Evening News and admitted that the Pentagon (under the Clinton regime) had spent $2.3 trillion but had no idea where the money went. He promised the American taxpayers that the money was well spent but we just didn’t know where it was. And he promised to improve both the bureaucratic and accounting procedures at the Pentagon so they taxpayers would know their money was being well looked after.

17 years after Rumsfeld pledged to improve DOD budgetary controls, Dr Mark Skidmore, who normally worked with state government accounts where occasionally he found that someone spent as much as $300 without getting a receipt, decided to investigate claims that billions and even trillions had gone missing from federal departments.

Dec 27 07:00

Stock Futures Slump After Wall Street's Wild Surge

U.S. stock futures pulled back sharply on Thursday, Dec. 27, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its largest daily point gain in history and the three major stock indexes posted their largest percentage gains since March 2009.

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 290 points, futures for the S&P 500 were down 39 points, and Nasdaq futures tumbled 86.25 points.

The Dow on Wednesday soared 1,086 points, or 4.98%, to 22,878, the S&P jumped 4.96% and the Nasdaq climbed 5.84%. Stocks more than made up the steep losses suffered in a Christmas Eve plunge.

The gains came in a market suffering from extremely oversold conditions, according to many Wall Street analysts. Despite the sharp gains Wednesday, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have declined more than 10% in December.

Dec 26 19:30

When Certainty Frays, Capital Gets Skittish

Dec 26 15:17

Ukraine army’s Chechen allies openly admit having Islamic State links – report

Islamic State-trained militants are fighting alongside a state army in a European country, the Times reports – but that detail is buried in an article talking about how Putin is a common enemy of Ukrainians and Chechens.
Framed as an inside look at what’s driving Chechens to join Kiev’s “anti-terrorist operation” against the breakaway republics in the east of Ukraine, the Times article has a few juicy quotes from one Mansur, a member of a voluntary battalion made up of Chechens.

Putin is our common enemy… He brings only evil.

Author and veteran anti-Putin writer Marc Bennetts echoes the official message of Kiev and its Western allies, calling the eastern Ukrainian rebels “Kremlin-backed” and claiming Moscow is “preparing a full-scale invasion.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope that the Ukrainian government, NATO, which is equipping and training jihadists, and the US government are watching these relationships very closely; it is very possible that the Chechen fighters here have other agendas, perhaps like breaking away from Russia at some point, and declaring itself a republic.

Dec 26 15:12

No pullout of Iraq, it can be base 'to do something in Syria' - Trump on first visit to troops

US President Donald Trump said he's not planning to take American troops out of Iraq as he made his first visit to an active combat zone. His surprise trip also sparked online frenzy after his plane had been noticed over Europe.
Speaking at Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad, Trump defended his decision to withdraw troops from Syria last week.

"I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking. It's time for us to start using our head," the president said. “In fact we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria," he added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am having a Jean-Luc Picard double face-palm, at warp speed, upon reading this.

So, the alleged "pulling out of US troops from Syria" was not so much a withdrawal, as a repositioning of troops in Iraq, for future US campaigns in Syria?!?!?

IF I am understanding this correctly, this...is officially horrible.

Dec 26 14:32

Boom! Santa Came Late!

Dec 26 14:16

The Calm Before the Storm: Jeremiah Johnson, December 26th, 2018

We’re discussing particulars and what is in place now, as we speak. In Northeastern Syria, Special Forces teams as well as CIA and other clandestine service operatives have been deeply embedded since the Obama years. Now the plug has been pulled, and all of the intricate networks that have been obtained in the area are to be curtailed. Whether a shadow-presence will be left there is likely, although conjecture at this point, but Mattis’ reaction and resignation is, most likely at a minimum, twofold:

In consideration of what I just wrote, no Commander-in-Chief is privy to every motion that transpires within a given theater…and tactically, Mattis probably does not agree with the rapidity of the curtailment, from both an operational perspective.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Please, folks, I do NOT want to win the title "Chicken Little for 2019", but please take a look at the what seems like a major convergence of many factors coming to play, simultaneously.

As I wrote in a previous post today:

"President Erdogan is threatening war against Greece; President Trump is consumed by his demand that the Democrats give him money for the wall between the US and Mexico, so the American Congress is in partial shutdown; Israel is planning a major military campaign against Syria, and/or Lebanon; Turkey has declared its own war on Syria, and most Americans are in a tryptophan coma from too much turkey celebrating Christmas, and won't recover from their slumbers until well after the New Year."

As this article states: "Vladimir Putin reported at a conference packed with journalists that he believes the U.S. and Russia are headed toward a nuclear war. While he said he didn’t wish it, he reiterated that Russia will fight if it has to."

Please, if you are not prepped at this moment, now would be a darn good time to start. This means potable water, extra food, meds, first aid kits, and a bugout kit, if you need to run to a place previously vetted as the most safe and protected.

Find people in your neighborhood with whom you feel safe, with whom you can barter, and create community.

Dec 26 13:47

Leased Cars Are Wrecking Auto Sales

Dec 26 13:22

"Fewer People Can Afford A House": US Home Price Growth Slowest Since Trump Elected

The rapid slowdown in US home price growth is accelerating with Case-Shiller reporting a 5.03% YoY gain in October - the weakest since Nov 2016. Slowing for the 7th month in a row, if printing modestly above expectations of 4.80%, home prices rose 5.03% Y/Y, down from 5.21% a month ago, and confirming that the US housing market is clearly suffering:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Again, the numbers tell the story; we are on, or in, the keening edge of a major recession.

Dec 26 13:20

US Economy Snaps As Richmond Fed Plummets Most On Record

Those seeking an economic indicator of an imminent recession just got one courtesy of the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, which tumbled from 14 in November to -8, crushing expectations of a modest rebound to 15, weighed down by drops in the indexes for new orders and shipments.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No matter how you slice it, the numbers here are .... officially horrible.

Dec 26 12:52

Police harass man for giving away free food in Texas’s poorest city

Part 1) The system isn't gonna fuck itself! - FREE FOOD GIVEAWAY...Given a Ticket!

Dec 26 12:31

The U.S. equity market meltdown in numbers

Dec 26 12:28

North, South Korea hold ceremony for future road and rail links

North and South Korea have held a ceremony for an ambitious project to modernise and reconnect rail and road links, although construction cannot begin without progress in nuclear negotiations.

A nine-car special train carrying some 100 South Korean officials, politicians and five people born in the North, left the Seoul railway station early on Wednesday morning for a two-hour journey to the North's border city of Kaesong.

There, they were joined by a 100-strong North Korean delegation, as well as officials from the United Nations, China, Russia and Mongolia, according to South Korea's unification ministry.

The United States gave their support for the ceremony, South Korean officials said, but work cannot begin while sanctions block the shipment of energy and metal products, as well as other supplies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

For the moment, until those sanctions get lifted, we are talking a symbolic gesture only.

Dec 26 12:25

Trump’s Incoming Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan Pushed Military to Buy Weapons It Didn't Want

By tapping former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan to temporarily replace famed former Marine Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense, President Trump may have found a like-minded advocate for the U.S. weapons industry.

Shanahan is a controversial choice. During Shanahan's two-year stint as Mattis's deputy defense secretary, Boeing has landed a series of lucrative military contracts worth $20 billion, on top of the Chicago company's previous deal to build aerial-refueling tankers and naval fighters for the Pentagon.

Mattis' resignation on Thursday came one day after Trump announced, via Twitter, that the terror group known as Islamic State is no longer a threat and the United States will withdraw all 2,000 of its troops from Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me unsurprised by President Trump's pick here.

Dec 26 09:42

US trade war raises the specter of new Cold War

The year of the Golden Pig is around the corner, but no Eldorado is in sight for Xi Jinping’s China. According to Chinese astrology, the upcoming Lunar New Year, starting on February 5, traditionally brings wealth and economic prowess.

A sudden birth rate surge is usually observed during that rare zodiacal alignment in the world’s most populous nation, with parents eager to take advantage of this good omen, which promises a golden future for their newborn babies.

Yet, this time Chinese middle classes are fretting with anxiety ahead of 2019, amid growing economic uncertainty due to a slowing GDP growth, and an unprecedented trade war with the United States.

In 2018, US President Donald Trump took Beijing’s leadership by surprise, slapping massive tariffs on the world’s second-largest economy, which sent shockwaves through the Politburo.

Dec 26 09:37

World’s biggest gold mine nationalized in Indonesia

It’s done. After two years of often fraught negotiations – and a last-minute environmental hiccup – the government and US mineral giant Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) have finally concluded an agreement effectively nationalizing Indonesia’s most prized mining asset in the mountains of easternmost Papua.

Issuing subsidiary PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) with a special mining permit (IUPK) to replace the firm’s current contract of work was the last step towards state-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum) taking a 51.2% controlling interest in the Grasberg, one of the world’s most profitable gold and copper mines.

Dec 26 09:35

Malaysia puts Goldman Sachs in the dock

Malaysian authorities filed criminal charges against three subsidiaries of Goldman Sachs this week in connection with the US investment bank’s involvement in a sprawling scandal that saw billions embezzled from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The move has shaken confidence in the Wall Street firm.

Dec 26 09:29

Transition Into Economic Night

The economic world is always changing, but the 2018-2019 period will mark an important transition. Consider credit market debt, interest rates, stock indices, individual stocks, and several ratios.

TOTAL CREDIT MARKET DEBT per the St. Louis Fed.

That measure of U.S. debt increased exponentially from 1951 to 2007 at a rate of 8.8% per year. However, the rate from 2008 to 2017 has been only 2.6% per year. A sixty-year trend changed during the 2007-08 financial crisis. As suggested by others the U.S. reached debt saturation. The economy has not recovered since the crisis. The graph of credit market debt supports that thesis.

Dec 26 09:10

It's Not Just A Trade War; And It's Not Just China...

It’s not just a trade war: behind that, hides a tech-war – and behind that, lie the plans for a full-spectrum arms race – from space to cyber.

As one US current commander put it:

“fields of data and information … that’s what modern war runs on. “What are the missions we do in space today? Provide information; provide pathways for information; in conflict, we deny adversaries access to that information”.

So, the new arms-race is as much about retaining and advancing US tech-leadership in chip evolution, quantum computing, big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for weaponry – as it is just about tech lead in the economic sphere: i.e. dominating civilian industry standards for the next generation of those smart electronic gadgets – that we all will buy.

Dec 26 08:32

Trump reorienting American policy to compete with China: Academic

US President Donald Trump is reorienting American policy toward building up the domestic economy in order to compete with China, an American writer and academic says.

James Petras, a retired professor who has published on political issues with particular focus on Latin America, the Middle East and imperialism, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday.

“Trump has shifted US priorities from engaging in wars particularly in the Middle East, Afghanistan and perhaps elsewhere, that he is concerned about putting US federal funds in domestic programs, his immigration programs and also aware that the wars were going in the wrong direction as far as he was concerned,” Professor Petras said.

Last week, Trump declared victory against Daesh terrorists in Syria and announced to pull out American troops from the country, saying that US troops cannot stay in Syria "forever.”

Dec 26 08:30

Third Of Americans Considering Leaving US To Live Abroad, Study Finds 

About one-third of natural-born Americans are ready to call it quits, pack up their stuff and move outside of the US -- at some point in the future, according to Study Finds, a website that seeks out research released by universities and established companies then summarizes it for the general public.

Researchers Dr. Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels and Dr. Helen Marrow published their new report on November 28 in the International Migration Review.
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They analyzed data collected in 2014 and discovered that people who do not feel “very strongly” about their national identity were most likely to live abroad.

Dec 26 07:43

Americans Just Blew $850 Billion on Christmas But Here's Why That May Not Actually be a Good Sign

Even though Americans blew through $850 billion dollars at Christmas, this may not actually mean that the economy is on the upswing. All the problems there before the holiday didn’t just go away and all the new debt isn't going to help matters.

Dec 26 07:09

The Nine Biggest Takedowns of Food Stamp Fraud in 2018

Trump administration officials have been making efforts throughout the year to keep people from relying on food stamps and other forms of welfare, but they have also made strides in taking down criminals committing food stamp fraud for financial gain.

The food stamp program is a federally-funded program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and federal investigators with the agency are most often the ones who catch those engaged in fraudulent activities.

Sometimes, these investigations can occur at the state level because state agencies are responsible for administering welfare programs such as food stamps.

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