ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Oct 17 12:45

Venezuela Ditches US Dollar, Will Use Euros For International Trade

Venezuela has just taken the next step in its quest to "free" itself from the tyranny of US dollar hegemony. One year after the country said it would stop accepting US dollars as payment for its (ever shrinking) oil exports (saying the country's state-run oil company would accept payment in yuan instead), Venezuelan Vice President for Economy Tareck El Aissami said Tuesday that Venezuela will officially purge the dollar from its exchange market in favor of euros.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"INVADE!!!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Oct 17 11:40

IMF Issues Dire Warning – ‘Great Depression’ Ahead?

Is another “Great Depression” on the horizon?

It would be easier to dismiss these words from Nouriel Roubini, Marc Faber or other doom-and-gloom prognosticators. Coming from Christine Lagarde’s team, though, they take on a new dimension of scary.

The International Monetary Fund head isn’t known for breathlessness on the world stage. And yet the IMF sounded downright alarmist in its latest Global Financial Stability report, stating that “large challenges loom for the global economy to prevent a second Great Depression.”

Even some market bears were taken aback. “Why,” asks Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse Blog would the IMF use this phrase “in a report that they know the entire world will read?”

Perhaps because, unfortunately, the findings of other referees of global risks – including the Bank for International Settlements – hint at similar dislocations.

Oct 17 10:59

Trump Goes "Postal", Abandons 144-Year-Old 'Unfair' Shipping Treaty With China

“Something has to be done...How can my government be subsidizing China and driving me out of business?”

Those are the words of Jayme Smaldone, who runs a 12-employee housewares company in Rahway, N.J., who first became aware of the problem when he noticed websites selling Chinese knockoffs of his “Mighty Mug,” a desktop coffee cup he designed with an anti-topple base.

And it appears President Trump has listened to Jayme among many others, as The New York Times reports that he plans to withdraw from a 144-year-old postal treaty that has allowed Chinese companies to ship small packages to the United States at a steeply discounted rate, undercutting American competitors and flooding the market with cheap consumer goods.

Oct 17 10:44

Institutional Investors Attempt To Oust Zuckerberg From Facebook, There's Just One Thing...

Four powerful institutional Facebook investors have co-filed a shareholder proposal to remove Mark Zuckerberg as chairman of Facebook following his "mishandling" of several scandals this year.

As Business Insider reports, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Rhode Island State Treasurer Seth Magaziner, and Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella are joining forces to pile the pressure on Zuckerberg, holding over a billion dollars between them.

They have put their names to a proposal, originally filed by activist investor Trillium Asset Management, demanding that Facebook appoint an independent chairman above Zuckerberg

Oct 17 10:42

Bretton Woods II

The last time an event of this magnitude took place was back in 1944, when the U.S. Dollar was crowned as the “gold standard” of currencies.

(Because, by law, back then the greenback really was “as good as gold.”)

It created decades of prosperity unlike anything in history…

And it’s a big reason why people who retired 30-40 years ago didn’t have the same worries we have today…

They were less dependent on the stock market… They retired earlier... And they didn’t come out of retirement to work at McDonald’s and Wal-Mart.

Today, The Dollar is worth 6 times less.

People work just as hard (even more!) but get paid less…

We’re seeing riots in the streets…

And—on top of that—we’re now seeing stand-offs between states and the Federal Government on issues ranging from marijuana, gambling to illegal immigration.

It’s all linked together.

And it all has to do with our derelict dollar.

Oct 17 09:44

Dollar monopoly slips as China & Japan dump US Treasuries

China and Japan – the two main holders of the US Treasury securities – have trimmed their ownership of notes and bonds in August, according to the latest figures from the US Treasury Department, released on Tuesday.

China’s holdings of US sovereign debt dropped to $1.165 trillion in August, from $1.171 trillion in July, marking the third consecutive month of declines as the world’s second-largest economy bolsters its national currency amid trade tensions with the US. China remains the biggest foreign holder of US Treasuries, followed by long-time US ally Japan.

Tokyo cut its holdings of US securities to $1.029 trillion in August, the lowest since October 2011. In July, Japan’s holdings were at $1.035 trillion.

Oct 17 09:30

The Most Important Chart In The Universe

Oct 17 09:14

Trump Confirms Plan, It's All Working

Oct 17 09:10

Google to start charging European smartphone makers to use its app store and apps to 'offset lost revenue' after record $5bn EU antitrust fine

The tech giant will charge smartphone makers a licensing fee for using its popular Google Play app store and also allow them to use rival versions of its Android mobile operating system to comply with an EU antitrust order.

Oct 17 01:30

BNZ lets customers open account with selfie-video

In a New Zealand first for banking, BNZ customers will be able to sign up for a personal account by way of a selfie video.

The new sign-up process, announced today by BNZ, will eliminate the need for customers to visit a branch at all.

Howard Silby, BNZ's chief operating officer for customer, products and services, said customers have been asking for a faster and simpler process.

"We're bringing this process completely into the digital age, giving more people more options, and making it faster and simpler, which is what customers tell us they're after," Silby said.

"All you need is your New Zealand passport and a smartphone, tablet or PC with a camera.

Oct 16 18:26

Is A Year-End Rally Still Possible?

Oct 16 17:24

NZ heading for gas supply gap, warns industry executive

New Zealand is heading into a gas supply gap and will need a new discovery to arrest the production decline it is on now, MPs heard yesterday.

The country has just seven years' firm supply, and production is forecast to start falling away from 2021, according to Patrick Teagle, a New Zealand-based executive for Austrian oil and gas company OMV. Teagle was talking to Parliament's environment select committee.

Government MPs didn't appreciate being told the ban would increase emissions rather than reduce them, that the ban had already halted some investment, and that reduced domestic gas supplies would increase electricity costs for all consumers and sacrifice opportunities to reduce coal use and replace higher-emitting imports – like fertiliser – with lower-emission local production.

Oct 16 17:17

Owner of $24m Waiheke vineyard estate receives pre-auction offer, but holds out

*Greed has NOTHING to do with it...*

The owner of a Waiheke Island vineyard and home valued at $24 million has received an offer before Friday's on-site midday auction - but he remains determined to test the market by still holding the event.

David Parkinson of Te Rere Cove said this morning: "We have an offer subject to funds coming into New Zealand. However, we obviously will not be signing that until proof that the funds are cleared."

One of New Zealand's most expensive properties will still go to auction in two days' time, he said.

Oct 16 15:42

Trump: My Biggest Threat Is The Fed

“My biggest threat is the Fed,” Trump said on Tuesday during an interview with FOX Business’ Trish Regan. “Because the Fed is raising rates too fast, and it’s too independent," he complained.

Oct 16 15:37

Visualizing Minimum Wage in the United States

Oct 16 14:33

US Issues Sanctions Targeting 20 Iranian Entities, Including 4 Banks

Earlier reports stated that on November 4 a new wave of US sanctions will directly hit Iran's oil exports and banking operations and is expected to disconnect the Middle East state from international financial channels.

The US Treasury announced Tuesday that twenty entities, including four banks, will be targeted by new Iran's sanctions.

"This Iran-based network is known as Bonyad Taavon Basij, which is translated as Basij Cooperative Foundation, and is comprised of at least 20 corporations and financial institutions," the release said.

Oct 16 14:29

World Finance Leaders Scramble For A Solution To Escalating Trade War, Rising Rates

The main takeaway from the IMF and World Bank Group annual meeting in Bali, which hosted financial ministers and central bank governors from around the world this weekend, was that global trade tensions were having a profound effect on global growth and need to be solved.

Most of the participants - save for China and Mexico - seemed united and in agreement that trade talks have to continue. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda stated that it was essential to have dialogue on trade while at the same time, the president of Brazil's central bank, Ilan Goldfajn, noted that the trade wars were one of the biggest threats to emerging markets. Indonesia's president Jokowi Widodo said starkly that "winter is coming" for the global economy if there is no solution on trade.

Oct 16 12:56

US weapons sales surge by one-third under Trump’s policies

The United States has sold over $55 billion of weapons during the 2018 fiscal year, a sharp year-on-year increase in the wake of President Donald Trump’s push to encourage more US arms sales.

That’s 33 percent more than fiscal year 2017, Trump’s first year in office, when the Pentagon contractors managed to sell almost $42 billion in weapons and military services around the globe, according to the latest report by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

According ding to the report, the Pentagon funded $4.42 billion of the 2018 foreign purchases while an additional $3.52 billion in arms sales was funded by the State Department. The buyers paid for the rest of the sales themselves.

The deals included the sales of a significant number of aircraft and equipment, including Boeing deals to sell surveillance aircraft in Asia and Europe.

Oct 16 11:44

Interesting Data On Buybacks

Oct 16 11:23

Welcome to the G-20 from Hell

The G-20 in Buenos Aires on November 30 could set the world on fire – perhaps literally. Let’s start with the US-China trade war. Washington won’t even start discussing trade with China at the G-20 unless Beijing comes up with a quite detailed list of potential concessions.

The word from Chinese negotiators is not at all bleak. Some sort of agreement could be reached on about a third of US demands. Debate on another third could ensue. But the last third is absolutely off-limits – due to Chinese national security imperatives, such as refusing to allow the opening of the domestic cloud computing market to foreign competition.

Oct 16 10:48

Poland Raises Gold Holdings to Record High in September – IMF

Poland raised its gold holdings to the highest in at least 35 years, data from the International Monetary Fund showed on Monday.

The country increased its holdings by 4.4 tonnes from August to about 117 tonnes in September, a record, according to data going back to January 1983.

Oct 16 10:43

Anatomy Of A Global Rescue

Oct 16 09:19

Bezos says Amazon will work with DoD; says US in ‘big trouble’ without ‘big tech’ companies

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has distinguished his company from other big tech firms in declaring its willingness to work with the United States Department of Defense.

“If big tech companies are going to turn their back on the US Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble,” Bezos cautioned in San Francisco Monday at an event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the tech magazine Wired.

Amazon is bidding for a 10-year contract with the Defense Department known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure project, JEDI, to offer cloud computing services worth up to $10 billion.

“We are going to continue to support the DoD, and I think we should,” Bezos said.

Oct 16 09:11

Natural gas futures SOAR: Supplies BELOW average levels as COLD SNAP to SWEEP across US

NATURAL gas futures soared on Monday as a bitter snap of below-average cold weather was forecast to sweep the United States. Fears are now growing that the US is “starting off the winter with a big hole in our supply” as soaring demand comes at a time when supplies are below the five-year average levels.

Oct 16 08:57

Hungary raises gold reserves tenfold on safety concerns

Hungary’s central bank has announced the country has boosted its gold reserves tenfold to 31.5 tons. The regulator says it wants to improve the security of the nation’s wealth and to reduce risks.

Oct 16 08:07

""Makets"" Recover...In Overnight Session

Oct 16 07:44

How many households qualify as middle class?

Oct 16 04:24

Overview of markets, looks interesting

Oct 15 16:38

Dow 40,000 After “Large Panic Event?”

Oct 15 15:57

How Many Households Qualify as Middle Class?

Oct 15 12:17

On US Naval Blockades and a Hard Days War. Economic Warfare against Russia is not Working

The blockade’s objective was to force the USSR to withdraw nuclear weapons from Cuba that it had placed there in order to guarantee Cuba’s security from American attack. Fortunately the crisis ended a few days later with the missiles being withdrawn in exchange for the US withdrawing similar missiles from bases in Turkey that threatened the USSR, and a US pledge not to invade Cuba. The blockade proved to be not only a dangerous provocation but also a humiliating fiasco for the US. A year later President Kenned was assassinated.

But today the US leadership is threatening another blockade, this time of Russia, as well as threatening pre-emptive strikes to neutralise Russian cruise missiles, not located in Cuba, but in Russia itself. And the same fleet that conducted the Cuban blockade, that took part in the invasion of Grenada in 1983, the 2nd Fleet, has once again been reactivated with all the ships necessary to attempt just such a blockade.

Oct 15 11:11

THE PENTAGON’S PUSH TO PROGRAM SOLDIERS’ BRAINS

The Biological Technologies Office, created in 2014, is the newest of DARPA’s six main divisions. This is the office headed by Justin Sanchez. One purpose of the office is to “restore and maintain warfighter abilities” by various means, including many that emphasize neurotechnology—applying engineering principles to the biology of the nervous system. For instance, the Restoring Active Memory program develops neuroprosthetics—tiny electronic components implanted in brain tissue—that aim to alter memory formation so as to counteract traumatic brain injury. Does DARPA also run secret biological programs? In the past, the Department of Defense has done such things. It has conducted tests on human subjects that were questionable, unethical, or, many have argued, illegal. The Big Boy protocol, for example, compared radiation exposure of sailors who worked above and below deck on a battleship, never informing the sailors that they were part of an experiment.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF DARPA actually achieves these goals, how will it not be sought to "pacify" an angry public, sick and tired of wars, manipulated events and information, and the offshoring/outsourcing of American jobs, all created in order that the monied become even more wealthy?!?

We cannot forget that there is a very dark, ethical "underbelly" of this kind of research, and the implications may well lead to a very dystopian future for all citizens of this country.

Oct 15 10:49

Yemen on brink of 'world's worst famine in 100 years' if war continues

UN warns that famine could overwhelm country in next three months, with 13 million people at risk of starvation.

If war continues, famine could engulf the country in the next three months, with 12 to 13 million civilians at risk of starvation, according to Lise Grande, the agency’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.

She told the BBC: “I think many of us felt as we went into the 21st century that it was unthinkable that we could see a famine like we saw in Ethiopia, that we saw in Bengal, that we saw in parts of the Soviet Union – that was just unacceptable.

“Many of us had the confidence that would never happen again and yet the reality is that in Yemen that is precisely what we are looking at.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ms. Grande is obviously naive enough to believe that the war will stop, just upon the wails and screams of various human rights organisations and NGOs around the world.

What she refuses to understand, is that this is precisely the outcome the Butcher of Yemen (aka, Prince Mohammed bin Salman) wishes to see happen.

I think of another way of putting it is "Victory by Attrition", which means the Butcher doesn't care HOW the people of Yemen die, he just wants them to die, either by starvation; direct bombing runs; destroying the water infrastructure; and poisoning Yemeni people with potentially weaponized cholera.

And the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika, lead by its Merchant of Death in Chief, is doing everything it can do, particularly selling him arms with which to massacre as many children, women, and medically fragile elderly as possible.

THIS, friends, is why the "Khasshogi Incident" will be forgotten; anything which gets in the way of selling American weapons will be obliviated, as I believe you will see in the coming days, possibly as soon as the end of the week.

That's why Pompeo is headed Riyadh this week, President Trump says Mike Pompeo going to Saudi Arabia this Week to "stategize conformities" as to how this assassination will be spun, and to not let one scintilla of logic, or real evidence, dare to rear its ugly head, to combat the soon to be well-crafted spinning of this story.

Oct 15 10:24

Violence, Public Anger Erupts In China As Home Prices Slide

Naturally, as long as the housing bubble keeps inflating and prices keep rising, there is nothing to worry about as the population will keep spending money buoyed by illusory wealth appreciation. It is when housing starts to drop that Beijing begins to panic.

Fast forward to today, when Beijing may be starting to sweat because whereas Chinese property developers usually count on September and October to be their “gold and silver” months for sales, this year has turned out to be different. As the SCMP reports, not only were sales figures grim for September, but the seven-day national holiday last week also brought at least two "fangnao" incidents – when angry, and often violent, homeowners protest against price cuts offered by developers to new buyers.

Oct 15 10:24

Saudi Stocks Crash Most Since 2016 As Riyadh Threatens US With "Very Strong" Retaliation

Saudi Arabia warned on Sunday it would respond to any "threats" against it as its stock market crashed the most since 2016 after President Trump's warning of "severe punishment" over the disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

On Saturday, Trump said the U.S. could take “very, very powerful, very strong, strong measures” against the country if its leaders are found responsible for the Saudi citizen’s fate. The kingdom, which denies its involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, announced it would retaliate against any punitive measures with an even “stronger” response, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing an official it didn’t identify.

"The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether through economic sanctions, political pressure or repeating false accusations," the kingdom's statement said. "The kingdom also affirms that if it is (targeted by) any action, it will respond with greater action."

Oct 15 10:23

‘Shaking the Tree’: Trump Call to Quit WTO a Blessing in Disguise Says Bloc Head

US President Donald Trump claims the World Trade Organization (WTO) is biased toward China, resulting in soul searching by member states to remake the bloc’s mandate and methods.

Trump has long claimed that the World Trade Organization (WTO), the intergovernmental body that regulates international trade, favors China, since the country joined the organization in 2001.

"If they don't shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO," Trump said in an August 30 interview with Bloomberg. It's not clear what topic under discussion led Trump to make the remark.

Oct 15 10:22

Iran Found New Partners for Oil Exports Despite US Sanctions - Vice-President

Iran has explored multiple ways to sidestep US sanctions after Washington vowed to bring the country's oil exports down "to zero" and punish any country that continues to buy oil from the Islamic Republic.

Tehran has found new partners ready to buy Iranian crude oil in spite of the impending reinstatement of US energy sanctions next month, Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri said, according to the IRIB broadcaster.

"While some countries have stopped buying oil from Iran, we have found new partners. Furthermore, we have engaged in talks with our existing partners," Jahangiri said. According to the official, even those countries which have stopped imports are looking for workarounds which would allow them to continue to import energy indirectly.

Oct 15 09:58

Why Can't It Work "This Time?"

Oct 15 09:38

Oil Jumps After Saudi Official Floats "Trial Balloon" Op-Ed Envisioning "Oil Weapon" Devastation

WTI Crude prices are up around 2% in the early Sunday trading after Saudi Arabia appears to be now attempting to go on the offensive and is lashing out as it does damage control in the aftermath of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's alleged murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul nearly two weeks ago.

What likely sparked the risk premium was the fact that Turki Al Dakhil, who heads the Saudi state-owned Arabiya news network, wrote in an article that U.S. sanctions against Saudi Arabia could wreak havoc on the global economy by taking oil prices to $200 a barrel and more. Faisal bin Farhan, a senior adviser to the Saudi embassy in Washington, said on Twitter that these comments didn’t represent the Saudi leadership.

Oct 15 08:19

Why It’s Worth Holding Gold Bullion in Your Portfolio

“We have interest rates going up at a clip that’s much faster than certainly a lot of people, including myself, would have anticipated. I think the Fed is out of control.”

Central banks are independent, in theory. But that won’t stop the president of the US from giving his full and frank opinion on their performance.

Oct 15 07:53

Kenyans Say Chinese Investment Brings Racism and Discrimination

Before last year, Richard Ochieng’, 26, could not recall experiencing racism firsthand.

Not while growing up as an orphan in his village near Lake Victoria where everybody was, like him, black. Not while studying at a university in another part of Kenya. Not until his job search led him to Ruiru, a fast-growing settlement at the edge of the capital, Nairobi, where Mr. Ochieng’ found work at a Chinese motorcycle company that had just expanded to Kenya.

But then his new boss, a Chinese man his own age, started calling him a monkey.

It happened when the two were on a sales trip and spotted a troop of baboons on the roadside, he said.

“‘Your brothers,’” he said his boss exclaimed, urging Mr. Ochieng’ to share some bananas with the primates.

Oct 15 07:26

Britain's £406bn debt timebomb: FTSE big guns are sitting on DOUBLE their debt in the run-up to the financial crisis, sparking bond fears

Britain's biggest companies are sitting on a debt 'timebomb' of £406billion – almost double the amount held in the run-up to the financial crisis a decade ago.

Analysis by The Mail on Sunday found debt at companies in the FTSE 100 index of Britain's leading firms, which stood at £236.4 billion in 2008, has risen to extraordinary levels thanks to years of easy credit and low interest rates.

City experts warned that the debt binge could come back to haunt firms after stock markets around the world tumbled last week amid concerns that rising US interest rates will drive up the cost of borrowing and potentially trigger a wave of defaults.

Oct 14 19:02

Kiss Idaho Goodbye: Another Major Land Takeover

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