ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Nov 12 08:02

Money Velocity Is Starting To Turn Up Again

Nov 12 05:21

Understanding the Global Recession of 2019

Nov 11 17:37

10 years after the recession, Americans wake up to rising prices

After years of low, low prices, fed by near-zero interest rates in a convalescing economy, Americans are waking up to costlier consumer living. -- Everyday household staples like diapers, toothpaste, shampoo and dishwashing liquid -- not to mention soft drinks, cookies, chocolate, cat litter and autos -- have all started getting more expensive, a trend expected to continue early next year.

Nov 11 09:33

Russia Clashes With Western Oil Buyers Over New Deals as Sanctions Loom

Russian energy majors are putting pressure on Western oil buyers to use euros instead of dollars for payments and introducing penalty clauses in contracts as Moscow seeks protection against possible new U.S. sanctions.

Seven industry sources told Reuters that Western oil majors and trading houses have clashed with Russia's third and fourth biggest producers, Gazprom Neft and Surgutneftegaz, over 2019 oil sales contract terms during unusually tough annual renegotiation in recent weeks.

The development mirrors a similar stand-off between Western buyers and Russia's top oil producer, Rosneft.

Earlier this week, trading sources told Reuters that Rosneft wants Western oil buyers to pay penalties from 2019 if they fail to pay for supplies in the event that new U.S. sanctions disrupt sales.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What concerns me greatly here, is how trade wars can morph into shooting wars.

I would like to hope that both President Trump and President Putin have the horse-sense to understand this, and will act rationally here.

But feel compelled to tell you; with President Trump, sometimes I see his behaviour as exceptionally mercurial, and that will do no one any good, if he puts his imprimatur on what comes down to rash decisions from the White House.

Nov 11 07:56

U.S. Stocks Drop on Global Growth Worries

Nov 10 17:58

Why Are so Few Americans Able to Get Ahead?

Despite the rah-rah about the "ownership society" and the best economy ever, the sobering reality is very few Americans are able to get ahead, i.e. build real financial security via meaningful, secure assets which can be passed on to their children.

Nov 10 12:00

New Home Inventory Forecasts A Recession

Nov 10 10:14

Trump Threatens To Cut Wildfire Funding Unless Cali Ends "Gross Mismanagement Of Forests"

As the wildfires ravaging Northern and Southern California destroy billions of dollars worth of real estate, President Trump reminded the world in a Saturday morning tweet that global warming - which many (on the left in particular) have blamed for the fires - isn't the responsible for the fires. Rather, California's inept forest-management strategies have left the state vulnerable as drought-like conditions have transformed the state's densely packed forests into a bed of kindling, just waiting to be set off by a stray cigarette butt.

In a tweet that seems almost tailor-made to trigger the left, President Trump threatened to revoke the "billions that are given each year" to the state if California doesn't address the "gross mismanagement" of its forests and take more steps to mitigate the fires.

Nov 10 10:02

Clueless Journalist Gets Dragged For Saying ‘America Isn’t At War’ In Election Day Tweet

Klein, the founder and editor-at-large for Vox.com, made the claim in a tweet about the mid term election on Tuesday, opining on why the Democrats took the House of Representatives. Comparing 2018 to 2008 — when Democrats took power amid a war in Iraq and Afghanistan — Klein argued that the Tuesday election was a “pure repudiation” of Trump, since unemployment was so low and America was no longer at war.

The only problem, of course, is that America is still at war in the same places it was in 2008, in Iraq and Afghanistan — albeit with a smaller footprint. And U.S. troops are still fighting and dying there: On the same day as Klein’s tweet, the remains of Army Maj. Brent Taylor touched down at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware; he was killed Saturday in Afghanistan, leaving behind a wife and seven children.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

From his abysmally tone-deaf evaluation that "the US is not at war", This man must be a Common Core graduate, because he demonstrates absolutely zero ability to do any critical thinking about what he doesn't see in the corporate media, and because of it, is a very "useful idiot" for the American Deep State.

Nov 10 09:34

The October Market Breakdown Is Still Valid

Nov 10 09:20

MONTANA JUDGE PUTS BRAKES ON KEYSTONE XL

A Montana district court judge has ordered the suspension of construction work on the Keystone XL pipeline on the grounds that violations were made in the government’s environmental review.

In a press release, the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the staunchest opponents of the project, noted that TransCanada had not yet made the final investment decision on Keystone XL and the latest court ruling might shake its belief that it is still a commercially viable project.

Nov 10 09:02

APPLE'S WAR ON REPAIR CONTINUES: AMAZON NOW BANS REFURB APPLE PRODUCTS FROM THIRD PARTIES

Apple has long understood that hardware products that last a long time result in falling unit sales, as customers opt to keep their old machines instead of buying the latest models; that's part of why the company led the charge that killed every single Right to Repair bill introduced last year -- less repairs leads to more "recycling," which is Applespeak for dropping used units into giant shredders without harvesting any usable parts first.

Every year, refurbishers rescue thousands of used Apple products from the e-waste streams, and every year, Apple finds new ways to frustrate their efforts.

The latest wrinkle: Apple has gotten Amazon to agree to ban the sale of refurbished Apple products except those that come from Apple directly.

Aaron Perzanowski, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University and coauthor of The End of Ownership, told me in an email that this decision is a dangerous infringement of ownership rights.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just what America needed in this rapidly tightening economy; a gigantic, dystopian corporation, ready to cause Americans as much fiscal pain as possible by refusing the right of owners to refurbish.

Nov 10 08:57

REWARD OFFERED IN THE MYSTERIOUS KILLING OF FORMER WORLD BANK ECONOMIST

The police and family of Johan de Leede have announced a new reward for information concerning the mysterious killing of 83-year old de Leede, a retired World Bank economist, in his Fairfax County home around 1 a.m. on March 11, 2016.

Someone shot and killed him from outside a living room window and vanished into the night.

The case is all the more baffling because de Leede was living a quiet life, tending to his garden and sailing at his home on an idyllic stretch of the Potomac River on the Mason Neck Peninsula near Lorton, Va. He was surrounded by a large family.

And so it was on March 11, 2016. Johan de Leede had enjoyed a meal with his wife and house guests that Friday night. Family members said everyone except him had gone to bed around 11:30 p.m. He had settled into a chair in his living room with a banana and a warm glass of milk, his nightly ritual. Around 1 a.m., his wife awoke to the sound of gunfire...

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Whatever he had gained information on, was apparently explosive enough to get him assassinated in his own home.

One has to wonder; what was going south in the world of the World Bank, right around this time?!?

Could it have been the intimate knowledge of what was happening here, and why?!?

Is Jim Young Kim destroying the World Bank?!?
We can only speculate; but someone did NOT want Johan de Leede to share, in any way, what privileged information he may have had.

Nov 09 19:35

Iran's Leadership Must Decide "If They Want Their People To Eat" - Pompeo

Less than a week after US Secretary of State Secretary Mike Pompeo told Fox News Sunday that the "Iranians are responsible for the starvation' of Yemeni civilians" he's again issued hugely provocative words, telling the BBC during an interview that Iranian "leadership has to make a decision that they want their people to eat" in reference to the latest round of US sanctions.

As the interview was with BBC Persian, Pompeo's words were immediately translated from English and broadcast to the Iranian public through BBC's Persian-language publication. Pompeo repeated his theme that Iran is the world's foremost state sponsor of terror and a "destabilizing influence" in the Middle East while ultimately blaming the country's economic suffering on the intransigence of the country's leaders.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That this guy can stand there and lie, while people in Yemen continue to die, due to US/Saudi war crimes, including bombing sorties; the creation of starvation through blockading Yemen's ports, and destroying the water infrastructure, allowing thousands of Yemeni to die of cholera, must be an amazing gift in the wacky world of DC.

Sorry, Mike, but as long as you are going to continue to lie about the situation on the ground, I will stay compelled, as a Christian pacifist activist, to document what the US/Saudi war against Yemen is actually doing. (warning: very graphic images):

Images: Yemeni children dead and maimed for life, courtesy of US-enabled bombing runs

Images: Yemeni children dying from malnutrition, courtesy of US Military-enabled Saudi Yemen port blockade

Images: Yemeni children treated for, and dying of cholera, possibly weaponized

Notice that none of the presstitutes and warmongers on corporate media are not saying a word about the Saudi genocide in Yemen, which is why I must.

Nov 09 19:18

Trump Reportedly Wants To Replace Ross By Year End

Update: Adding to speculation that Ross's time in Trump's cabinet is coming to a close, Bloomberg has reported that Trump has been telling friends that he wants to replace Ross by year's end.

Just two days after President Trump ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Politico is reporting that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross might be the next cabinet official to leave the administration as part of Trump's widely expected cabinet reshuffle.

Trump has reportedly grown frustrated with Ross over reports of his unsavory and ruthless business practices as well as his perceived ineptitude in negotiating trade deals. The president has repeatedly humiliated Ross in front of other administration officials, and accused him of being "past his prime," according to Bob Woodward's book "Fear."

Nov 09 19:05

Hedge Funds Brace For A November 15 Bloodbath

A few weeks ago, we reported that even when the market was hitting all time highs ahead of the historic October bloodbath, hedge fund investors were growing increasingly nervous, and rushed to redeem $15 billion from the space in September, the largest single monthly outflow in years, bringing year-to-date net flows to flat after being stubbornly in the green for much of the year despite what has been another deplorable year for hedge funds.

This was not the first time either: over the last three years, investors had removed over $100 billion from the industry, but performance gains had offset these losses... at least until last month.

And then October came which was not only a "bloodbath across almost every strategy", but was the worst month for hedge funds in 7 years.

Nov 09 18:59

Chinese Company Pays Bondholders In Ham Instead Of Cash As Domestic Defaults Soar

Forget PIK - this is PIG.

Regular readers of Zero Hedge are probably familiar with money-for-oil loans. But one liquidity-challenged pork producer is pushing an absurd twist on that concept that has helped to expose the financial dysfunction at many small- and medium-sized Chinese companies.

Instead of receiving cash, holders of local-currency bonds issued by Zhengzhou-based pork producer Chuying Agro-Pastoral Group Co will be paid with the company's ham, thanks to an agreement reached between the company and its creditors. Assuming the agreement, which was revealed in a security filing on the Shenzen Stock Exchange, holds, the "in kind" payments will only apply to the interest on the bonds, according to the South China Morning Post.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This appears rather bizzare; one has to wonder just how long this business will be paying bondholders with product, rather than currency.

Nov 09 17:37

Wall Street Seems To Believe That Endless Gridlock And Political Turmoil Will Be Good For America

Many had been hoping that the midterm elections would resolve much of the political tension in this country, but instead it looks like things are going to continue escalating quickly. -- And it isn’t going to take very much at all to unleash major civil unrest. The left already hates Trump more than any other president in American history, and one really bad move could set off an explosion of anger unlike anything we have ever seen before. -- My friends, these are dark times, and I have a feeling that they are about to get a whole lot darker.

Nov 09 17:18

Giving Food to the Homeless Shouldn’t Be a Crime

Government has long been characterized as inept. It’s easy to forget that sometimes it can be downright cruel. -- The latest example comes from Missouri, where the Kansas City Health Department is under fire after employees bleached food intended for the homeless because the people supplying it did not have the proper permit.

Nov 09 17:13

Why Are So Few Americans Able To Get Ahead?

Nov 09 16:58

Welfare Generation : 114,637,000 Americans in Households Getting Government Assistance.

The Census Bureau has released new data that strengthens the case for calling the current generation of American children “The Welfare Generation.” -- Among American residents under 18 years of age in 2017, according to the Census Bureau, 51.7 percent lived in households in which one or more persons received benefits from a means-tested government program.

Nov 09 16:46

Debt ceiling set to record high of $22 trillion…

The federal government is set to reinstate its borrowing limit, and a new analysis indicates that it will be a record-high $22 trillion — and then, it won’t provide enough money to fund the government past summer.

Nov 09 16:00

Recession Ahead? Watch Dr. Copper

Nov 09 14:42

December Interest Rate Hike Should Do It?

Nov 09 14:13

THE END OF A SUPERCYCLE

Nov 09 12:57

US Issues New Russia Sanctions Over Profiting on Crimean Resort

he US Treasury Department has announced a new round of sanctions being imposed against targets inside Russia, mostly related to investments in a successful and profitable hotel and resort on the Crimean Peninsula.

US officials are saying they will sanction all who profit from the annexation of Crimea. Crimea was struggling as a semi-autonomous part of Ukraine, and even though infrastructure work is still underway to connect Crimea to Russia, the Black Sea coast is an attractive tourist destination for Russians, and Crimea has a lot of coastline.

Those listed in this latest flurry of sanctions were tied to the Mriya Resort and Spa in the southern Crimean city of Yalta. The high-end hotel location is being funded by Sberbank, one of Russia’s major banks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump, a word, please; The world knows that Russia did not annex Crimea.

Perhaps you are having a difficult spell of SMD, (selective memory disorder), so let me re-orient you to 2014 in my exclusive way-back machine.

This was the year when the duly elected president of Ukraine, Yanukovych, was deposed in a US/World Bank coup, thrown under the proverbial bus, and Poroshenko was installed as President.

You might remember (or most probably don't that even President Barak Obama, made a very public announcement in an interview that the US was definitely a part of that coup.

Obama admits US complicity in Kiev coup

President Obama admits to US complicity in Kiev Coup

You probably do not know, Mr. President, that Crimea had been part of Russia until Russian President Nikita S. Khrushchev, annexed it to Ukraine in the late 50s, as he himself was Ukrainian.

Well, the Crimeans understood very clearly that there was no true, representative in Kiev to whom they could turn. So they did something amazing.

They voted, in a free and fair referendum, to ask the Crimean people if they wanted to stay with Ukraine, or petition the Russian Federation to join it, and overwhelmingly, the Crimean people voted to ask to join the Russian Federation, and their petition was granted.

You may recall, sir, that the US is a signatory to the UN Charter, which guarantees people the right to peaceful-self-determination; this is precisely what the Crimean people did, yet the US government refuses to accept what the Crimean people have done here.

Attempting to punish Russia for something it absolutely did not do, and lying about what really went down, makes the optics on this new sanctioning look really ugly, and punishing countries for what they have not done, is a very ugly way of having to deal with blowback.

Nov 09 12:22

Disregard for world opinion defines the US government

ast week, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn the US embargo against Cuba. A total of 189 member-nations said Cuba did not deserve this embargo, which began in 1961 and has continued unabated to this day. Only two countries – the United States and Israel – voted against the motion. No country abstained.

Cuba’s minister for foreign affairs, Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla, has said the US embargo has cost the small socialist island state upwards of US$933.678 billion, with the losses in the past year amounting to $4.3 billion (twice the amount of foreign direct investment into the island). This embargo, Rodriguez Parrilla said as he put the resolution forward, is an “act of genocide” against Cuba and its people.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Hey, we're trading partners with Vietnam now; why not Cuba?!?

Talk about old grudges writ large.

This ax has ground down far too heavily, and it is high time to engage the Cuban government and people, not push away from it.

Nov 09 12:13

U.S. arms exports up 13 percent over 2017 as Trump champions deals

- U.S. arms sales to foreign governments rose 13 percent to $192.3 billion in the year ending Sept. 30, the State Department said on Thursday, a result of looser restrictions on sales coupled with high-level efforts to close deals.

President Donald Trump wants to make the United States, already dominant in the global weapons trade, an even bigger arms merchant to the world, U.S. officials have said, despite concerns among human rights and arms control advocates.

The largest U.S. arms contractors, who sell ships, tanks, airplanes, missiles and other goods to foreign militaries, include Boeing Co (BA.N), Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), Raytheon Co (RTN.N), General Dynamics Corp (GD.N) and Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N).

The increase came in part because the Trump administration rolled out a new “Buy American” plan in April that relaxed restrictions on sales while encouraging U.S. officials to take a bigger role in increasing business overseas for the U.S. weapons industry

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I never used to believe that the US would tolerate a President masquerading as its Merchant of Death in Chief; now, it appears we have one.

Nov 09 11:50

Using Home Equity as an ATM – Danielle Park

Nov 09 11:37

The American dream shatters: The death of the middle class

Middle-class families, which used to be the backbone of the United States economy are becoming poorer. Despite the constant bombardment of news of a “healthy economy,” 62% of middle-class families struggle to afford a basic middle-class lifestyle.

Nov 09 11:18

High Street in turmoil: 14 shops disappear every day as 'in-home leisure' is blamed for retail crisis

British High Streets are losing shops at the rate fourteen a day and a lack of customers has put the brakes on businesses opening new stores, a report revealed today.

The number of new stores opening in the first half of the year was down by a massive third on the same period last year, said the report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which picked out the increasingly popularity of 'in-home leisure' as a major factor behind the retail crisis.

The growth of internet shopping and higher business rates have combined with the trend of more at-home entertainment to create a perfect storm for the UK's retailers.

Nov 09 10:58

Not Going to Let it Happen': Haley Vows to Stop Russia Lifting DPRK Sanctions

US Envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Thursday that Moscow wants to lift banking sanctions on North Korea put in place to try to curb Pyongyang's nuclear program, but the United States would not let that happen, Reuters reported.

"What they're looking for is to lift banking restrictions… So now we know what their agenda is, we know exactly why they're trying to do it and we're not going to let it happen," Haley said after a closed-door security council meeting on North Korea sanctions, as quoted by Reuters. Russia's envoy was also in attendance at the meeting.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Now, I have to wonder; just what is Ambassador Haley prepared to do to prevent this (which, BTW, would be a very logical thing for the US to do, to express good faith to Kim Jung Un), invade Russia and North Korea all by herself?!?

Apply more sanctions to both countries?!?

The bag of tricks she has, has already been pretty much emptied, due to a certain, collective tone-deafness by those in the Bowels of Power in DC with regard to both North Korea and Russia.

And as a working choral conductor, I cannot begin to tell you how much I HATE tone-dearness!!

Nov 09 10:53

Hedge Funds Brace For A November 15 Bloodbath

Nov 09 10:52

'Obviously We Have an Economic War Between US and Iran' – Market Consultant

According to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the US will exert relentless pressure on Iran unless the Islamic Republic gives up its 'revolutionary course'. The official gave an ultimatum to Tehran saying that Iran must act like a normal country or see its economy crumble.

Sputnik discussed Pompeo's statement with Andreas Schweitzer, Managing Director of Arjan Capital — an advisory firm for businesses looking to enter the Iranian market.

Nov 09 10:33

FRANCE SUPPORTING IRAN AGAINST US ‘TRADE POLICEMAN’

France has vowed to fulfill plans to defy the US’ sanctions on Iran while increasing the international role of the euro in order to prevent Washington from acting as the world’s “trade policeman”.

France’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, told the British newspaper Financial Times that Europe is planning the formation of a special financial channel to Iran in order to keep trade flowing with the country and assure its own “economic sovereignty”, with the aim of making the euro as powerful as the dollar.

“Europe refuses to allow the US to be the trade policeman of the world,” Le Maire stated in an interview in Brussels, emphasising that Europe must “affirm our sovereignty” in regards to the US sanctions on Iran and its wider economic hegemony.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These sanctions placed by the US, are beginning to blow up in President Trump's face, somewhat akin to the actions of a bad trick cigar.

So, what does President Trump intend to do with those countries who will not observe the sanctions, go to war against them?!?

In withdrawing from the P5 +1 agreement, plus his never-ending sanctions against Russia and China, President Trump has set this country up for some really intense economic challenges, for which I do not believe he has any clue as to how to alleviate.

Just ask any American soybean farmer as China has stopped buy American soybeans:

Their Soybeans Piling Up, Farmers Hope Trade War Ends Before Beans Rot

Rather than punishing Iran, Russia and China, President Trump should be engaging the leadership of all three countries in a positive, constructive way, because if human civilization is going to survive on this planet, that has to come from universal cooperation, one country with the other, and the elimination of war as "the only way" in which DC resolves its geopolitical and financial issues.

Nov 09 09:59

Wells Fargo cuts 26,500 jobs, shutters branches, declares "excess capital" and drops $40.6 billion on stock buybacks

Wells Fargo is America's most scandal-haunted bank, which is quite an accomplishment in a heavily competitive field; now the bank has started closing its branches and cutting jobs (after pressuring employees to commit mass fraud on pain of being fired and blacklisted from the industry).

The company has also declared itself to have an "excess of capital" and has committed to spending $40.6 billion on stock buybacks -- a form of financial engineering that drives up stock prices without improving the company's underlying financials or business. Some of Wells Fargo's largest individual shareholders are its executives, who've effectively just voted to give themselves massive, multi-million-dollar raises.

Nov 09 09:52

Why Doesn’t Iran Build Its Own Airplanes?

I came across this story which reports on Iran’s ongoing problems obtaining civilian aircraft for their airline industry. This specific story is about a recent development where Iran Air is publicly appealing to aircraft manufacturers to try and find ones who won’t be pressured by the U.S. Treasury. The problem of acquiring new civilian aircraft has been an ongoing issue which has been reported on many times, especially over the last few years as Iran has tried to purchase new aircraft...

Nov 09 09:12

DEMOCRATIC HOUSE HURTS SPACE CORPS, NUKE MODERNIZATION, & PENTAGON TOPLINE

The Democrats’ recapturing the House means three major impacts on the Defense Department: The odds are that controversial Trump priorities like new nuclear weapons and a Space Force will go nowhere, defense budgets will go down, and oversight will go up, up, up.

Program winners and losers

The most likely losers are nuclear modernization programs, which leading Democrats like Adam Smith, the prospective House Armed Services Committee chairman, have criticized as unnecessary, excessive, and destabilizing.

Nov 09 06:05

Consumer credit, Employment

Nov 08 18:11

The United States is going broke

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