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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 20, 2018, 02:55:10 pm »


Trump 🦀Now Threatens Tariffs on All Goods from China: $450 Billion

by
Mike Mish Shedlock
22 hrs
-edited
The markets are reeling a bit today and bond yields are falling on news of escalating trade war threats.

China pledged to strike back on Trump's announcement of $200 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods. But before China could even respond, Trump threatened to put a tariff on all goods from China in belief the US Can Win a Trade War With China.

Peter Navarro, a White House trade adviser, said on Tuesday morning that the United States had given China numerous opportunities to negotiate and change policies that have cost Americans millions of jobs, and the Trump administration was now prepared to impose tariffs on $450 billion of Chinese goods in order to force Beijing to bend.

“President Trump has given China every chance to change its aggressive behavior,” Mr. Navarro said in a call with reporters. “China does have much more to lose than we do,” he added, saying that a trade clash would affect China much more than the United States, given China exported nearly four times the value of goods to the United States last year than the United States sent back.

"Winning" Defined

Trump has a peculiar definition of winning. If the US loses less than China, that's called "winning".

US Goods Exports to China


Fred does not have a similar chart for US imports to China.

How can China impose like tariffs? Answer: It can't, directly, on goods as shown by the following Census Department Foreign Trade Charts.

US Goods Trade With China in 2018


US Goods Trade With China in 2017



In 2017, China imported about $130 billion in goods from the US. The US imported $505 billion in goods. The US has a small trade surplus on services.

The charts show China will have a difficult time retaliating if Trump does indeed place tariffs on all goods from China.

Lose-Lose

It is on this lose-lose basis that Trump 🦍 expects to "win".

Note that "winning" will increase costs of all US manufactured goods that use any parts from China. In regards to steel alone, the US has about 140,000 steel production jobs. The US has about 6.5 million jobs that depend on steel.

Winning by Losing

1. A Fed study shows "Tariffs Kill High-Paying American Manufacturing Jobs and Businesses".

2. Auto job losses alone are likely to hit 45,000 as noted in Pandora's Box: Another Look at Steel Tariffs.

3. On June 8, I noted Three US Tire-Chord Makers Threaten to Close Doors Due to Trump Tariffs.

Trump believes China will lose more. This we call "winning".

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

https://www.themaven.net/mishtalk/economics/trump-now-threatens-tariffs-on-all-goods-from-china-450-billion-8DJfbiiFxUqHbdB7-XDhQQ/

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 19, 2018, 05:54:15 pm »

I wouldn't get too excited. Volatility is not a crash.

If we crash, we crash, but I'd be very surprised if this little game of musical chairs is anywhere close to over. We're not even at the beginning of the really interesting part.

If the dollar IS toast, persons like yourself, living on a fixed income, will suffer more than anyone. I don't really want that to happen, because I don't want you to suffer. It'll happen soon enough, no matter what.


Who's excited? If you want to call a chain of events that haven't happened in 4 years "volatility", that's fine with me. I don't own any stocks. The markets are just an exercisie in observation for me.  8)

I understand the negative implications for me of the loss of the Dollar's world reserve currency status. I have made that clear in my posts.

Eddie, I am quite serious in telling you that, going further into poverty due to the US losing reserve currency status, is something I totally accept as the cost of a principled stand. I really do believe that the destruction of our ability to visit murder and mayhem on other countries is worth that cost. Don't you? ???
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 19, 2018, 03:04:22 pm »

Global reserve currency status of the USD  is an artifact. It has nothing to do with US citizens or their wishes or intentions. It isn't even within our control. It's primarily under the control of the FED and the BIS, the owners of which, with a few exceptions, aren't even Americans. So it isn't like US citizens are imposing their will on the rest of the world. That is not a true picture of what's going on here.

And, it's going away, in the fullness of time. No need to do anything, it's just gonna happen. A piece of it gets chipped away every day. There are advantages for us Ugly Americans, sure. But it's not like we voted for our currency to be the reserve currency. And when that advantage is history, like Britain before us, we'll just have to do the best we can with whatever our money will buy. I expect it to buy quite a bit less. That's why I try to save and invest my savings in tangible assets (non-money).

But we might not even get there. I sure don't see some long future with the Chinese Yuan being the reserve currency. Why? Because the **** is going to hit the fan early on in that future period, and global trade might be history anyway. But it's hard to say exactly how the dominoes will fall.

One interesting point Marty Armstrong makes....oil is only 7% of the current world economy in dollar terms. Now, once that critical part of the economy is gone, or becomes greatly reduced, the rest of the economy might not amount to much...but that remains to be seen. Right now oil is NOT a lot of the pie, in money terms. But most of our production of various goods and the way we move goods is tied to oil. It might all collapse, or if we're luckier, it might just shrink, and not all at once.

My guilt level over whatever privilege the USD dollar gives me right now doesn't make me lose any sleep. The Bond Kings made this system what it is, off the death and suffering of regular people who went to war for their countries, at the behest of rich people looking to make a buck. Blame them if you want to turn on your blamethrower.

In fact, the loss of reserve currency status is a particular problem that regular Americans face that the rest of the world doesn't. It'll play hell with all old people and everyone on a fixed income, and I expect it'll create a great deal of hardship when the paradigm does shift. What goes around comes around.


Eddie, I honestly do not believe you have any guilt level in regard to the the US Dollar hegemony, as your "artifact" comment evidences.

I disagree totally that Global reserve currency status of the USD is an artifact and has "nothing to do with US citizens or their wishes or intentions".

The Global Reserve Currency is the CORNER STONE, not an "artifact" of the Imperial BOOT of Repression here and abroad which TOO MANY (Greedy Capitalist) Americans wholeheartedly SUPPORT! If you wish to wrongly believe otherwise, I will not stop you.

Also, the Fed ALREADY plays hell with fixed income regular Americans through their selective inflation poverty imposing measures.

Yeah, it will get a lot worse without Reserve Currency Status. So? Anything that massively interferes with our marauding around the world, as losing reserve currency status will surely DO, is a good thing.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 19, 2018, 02:40:02 pm »


Tue, 06/19/2018 - 13:45

Emerging Market Contagion Goes Global As Fund Outflows Spike Most In Over 4 Years

Despite promises from various foreign officials that just a little more intervention and just a few more billion in bailouts from Lagarde will 'fix' the "short-term speculator-driven" crisis in Emerging Markets (even as Brazil admits failure), things are escalating way beyond the idiosyncratic fears of Argentina and Turkey...

As investors Emerging Markets' anxiety spreads globally with ETF outflow across all EM ETFs soaring to the highest since Jan 2014...

In fact, as Bloomberg reports, outflows from U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds that invest across developing nations as well as those that target specific countries totaled $2.7 billion in the week ended June 15, the most in over a year and more than seven times the previous week.

The 'baby' is being thrown out with the 'bathwater' as even countries with solid prospects for growth and debt financing haven’t been immune to the selloff. South Korea and Thailand, which have current-account surpluses, are among the six-worst emerging currencies this month.

Quote
“The statistics itself reflect worries about emerging markets in terms of the growth outlook, in terms of what the Fed tightening means,” said Sim Moh Siong, a currency strategist at Bank of Singapore Ltd.

“We’re starting to see a blurring of the differentiation between current-account deficit currencies and current-account surplus currencies. That reflects the worries about trade-war jitters.”

The last week has seen derisking everywhere...

Seems like EM stocks have a long way to fall...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-19/emerging-market-contagion-goes-global-fund-outflows-spike-most-over-4-years

Agelbert NOTE: The EM stocks are not the only ones that have a LONG WAY TO FALL...
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 19, 2018, 02:19:08 pm »

How fast can Trumpovetsky bring on  Collapse?  ;D

RE


https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/19/dow-futures-tumble-350-points-as-china-responds-to-latest-trump-threat.html

Dow tumbles as China responds to latest Trump threat

    President Donald Trump shocks China with the threat of additional $200 billion of trade tariffs.
    Beijing responds, accusing the United States of starting a trade war.
    J.P. Morgan believes Washington won't risk upsetting voters or big business.

David Reid   | @cnbcdavy
Published 4 Hours Ago Updated 46 Mins Ago CNBC.com

      
   
U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping leave a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017. Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images

Global stock markets fell sharply on Tuesday after President Donald Trump threatened to impose an additional trade tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Following that bombshell, Chinese stock markets closed sharply lower. The volatile Shenzhen fell almost 6 percent, while the Shanghai Composite neared a two-year low.

European stocks followed suit and by mid-afternoon in London, the pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.7 percent lower with all but two sectors trading lower.

U.S. stocks were next up and shortly after the open, the Dow Jones industrial average was lower by around 300 points, equating to about 1.2 percent.

The NASDAQ and S&P 500 indices also witnessed sharp sell-offs.

The trigger for selling was a Monday night request by Trump to the United States Trade Representative to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs, at a rate of 10 percent.

Trump said Monday night that If China "refuses to change its practices" then the additional levies would be imposed on Beijing.

Trade war will have strong market impact, analyst says 
5 Hours Ago | 00:27

The new tariffs followed an exchange of trade levies announced by both countries last week that is set to affect about $50 billion worth of goods flowing in each direction. Beijing has already reacted to Trump's statement, pledging to retaliate.

"The United States has initiated a trade war that violates market laws and is not in accordance with current global development trends," China's Commerce Ministry said.

Speaking to CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Tuesday, Nandini Ranakrishnan, global market strategist for J.P. Morgan, said the political realities of upcoming midterm elections could force the U.S. government to back away from a full-blown trade war.

"If prices of imported goods are rising for the U.S. consumer at an unmanageable rate, then there is a large part of the U.S. voting population that maybe will feel their money not going as far," she said.

Ranakrishnan added that in addition to harming the spending power of populace, a trade war with China would risk losing the "big, booming friendly to business theme" it has cultivated.

The J.P. Morgan analyst said volatility in equity markets because of "government noise" would continue to be a big theme for 2018.

Strategist on trade tensions: 'Megaphone diplomacy' never works 
5 Hours Ago | 01:24

That view is echoed by equity analysts at ABP Invest. Founder Thanos Papasavvas said in a note Tuesday that trade disputes would have a more significant impact in volatility than what markets were pricing in.

"Markets will not wait for the economic impact; instead, reacting on the back of headlines and the inevitable Twitter messages. This will cause volatility to increase, export-heavy stock markets like the German DAX to fall, and thus impact consumer and business sentiment accordingly," he said.

ABP has claimed that, in 2017, U.S. trade with China was worth $636 billion and almost $720 billion with the European Union.

Papasavvas identified the environment as one in which active managers should look to take advantages of "dislocations in price and risk."


The Dow, which everyone knows is in the Mother of All Bubbles, is off a percent and half. Pardon me if I'm not impressed.

It is clear that the trade war is extremely stupid and a terrible policy. But those expecting immediate financial armageddon are going to be sorely disappointed, I'm afraid.

The trade war is just going to make Trump's supporters happier and happier, as their meager dollars buy less and less. You can't fix stupid, and the current wave of populism has to run its course. When absolutely nothing Trump is trying works and the chickens come home to roost, we'll find another country to invade.

Possibly Venezuela. They have oil. Iran. They have oil. Fire up the drones.


As long the the Almighty Dollar is the world's Reserve currency, that despotic criminal USA behavior will continue.

We did not get our World Reserve Currency “exorbitant privilege” by being the "land of the free". We GOT THAT BY REPRESSION here, there and everywhere, period. Everything the American Imperial Economic Hitmen have done is repression, whether you wish to admit it or not. No other country on the planet, no matter how many they killed for this or that reason, comes close to our level of despotic behavior, except for England and Spain a couple of centuries back, on a much, much smaller scale. 

The phrase “exorbitant privilege” was originally coined in the 1960s by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, then the French Minister of Finance. He was referring to the massive benefits imbuing to the United States for having the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California Berkeley, summarized it thusly:
Quote
It costs only a few cents for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce a $100 bill, but other countries had to pony up $100 of actual goods in order to obtain one.” Commodities are priced in dollars; trade exchange takes place in dollars; current account deficits are priced that way too. Enormous benefits accrue to the USA because of it.


Within a few weeks of the cratering of the US Dollar (caused by China, with cooperation from a few other countries, pulling the plug on all the US debt they and those other countries hold) it will be game over for the US Stock Market. Quickly after that, War Loving Incareration Nation USA will not be able to buy or bop anybody we want to "bring freedom and democracy to" because of Argentina style inflation.

No dollar hegemony = no more wars for dollar hegemony based worldwide repression, period. 

The sooner, the better. 

Discussion 2 (Going Deeper): Phasing out Military Bases

In preparation for this discussion watch the extended interview with Ann Wright (below) and the presentation by David Vine (below).

“At present [2012], the United States, with over 700 foreign military bases, navies in every ocean, a programme to militarize space, and drone bases planned for all regions of the world, is increasingly perceived in relation to its hard power diplomacy, a threat to political independence and stability for many countries.” -Richard A. Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University

May 2018 EXTENDED INTERVIEW: ANN WRIGHT 🕊


http://globalsecurity.worldbeyondwar.org/discussion-7-transition-from-an-offensive-to-defensive-posture/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 19, 2018, 01:24:40 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: David B. is a Canadian home builder skilled craftsman.

Trudeau Imposes Retaliatory Trade Tariffs Against the U.S.

June 18, 2018

It is in the long term interest of Canada to unravel the intertwined economy between the two countries says Dimitri Lascaris

Story Transcript

SHARMINI PERIES: Welcome to the Canada update on The Real News Network. Now, Canada is still reeling from steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. Canadians are particularly miffed by the fact that Trump used a national security clause of the WTO agreement to apply these tariffs. Here’s Justin Trudeau complaining about the tariffs.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU: It would be with regret, but it would be with absolute certainty and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us. I have made it very clear to the president that it is not something we relish doing, but it is something that we absolutely will do. Because Canadians, we’re polite, were reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.

SHARMINI PERIES: Now, both prime minister of Canada and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is leading a global fight against the Trump administration on steel and aluminum tariffs, the tariffs not only against Canada, but they’re also against EU countries and beyond. Here’s foreign minister of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, claiming that in times of tariffs, it helps to have friends in high places. She’s referring to the EU trade commissioner here.

CHRYSTIA FREELAND: The European Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, and I call each other sisters in trade. We sign our e-mails, “hugs.” Yes, we do. We sometimes send each other smiley faces in particularly difficult moments. And that close collaboration has been particularly important as last Thursday approached and it started to look more and more as if the U.S. Would actually go ahead and impose tariffs on steel and aluminum exports from its closest allies. So, we were able to coordinate very closely with the Europeans. The lists that- the retaliation lists that we announced were built in close collaboration. The timing of the retaliation was part of a very close collaborative discussion, and that makes our impact stronger, and that’s a great thing.

SHARMINI PERIES: Chrystia Freeland, foreign minister of Canada, is also seen on US television, here on CNN.

CHRYSTIA FREELAND: And I would just say to all of Canada’s American friends, and there are so many, seriously? Do you really believe that Canada, that your NATO allies represent a national security threat to you? And that’s why the prime minister said, “It is frankly, insulting.”

SHARMINI PERIES: And in Washington DC, where she was receiving an award for being the top diplomat by Foreign Policy magazine.

CHRYSTIA FREELAND: The two-three-two tariffs introduced by the United States are illegal under WTO and NAFTA rules. They are protectionism, pure and simple. They are not a response to unfair actions by other countries that put American industry at a disadvantage. They are a naked example of the United States putting its thumb on the scale, in violation of the very rules it helped to write.

SHARMINI PERIES: On to talk about all of this with me is our correspondent in Quebec, Dimitri Lascaris. He’s also a lawyer and our climate and environmental beat reporter. Thank you so much for joining us, Dimitri.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Thanks for having me back, Sharmini.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, Dimitri. Let’s start off with this whole warfare, trade warfare that everybody is talking about, that was evoked because of the tariffs on steel and aluminum. Your thoughts on how the Canadian- particularly Canadian leadership there, and the government of Canada is responding to this.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Well, I don’t think Canadians are going to draw much sustenance from the use of smiley faces by Canada’s foreign minister. You know, the trade relationship between Canada the United States is probably unparalleled anywhere in the world. There’s approximately six hundred and seventy-four billion dollars of trade in 2017, with the U.S. having an eight point four billion surplus. Each day about four hundred thousand people cross what constitutes the world’s longest international border, many of them to engage in commerce. So, this is a trade relationship which is of profound importance to the Canadian economy.

Let me say, Sharmini, that this is the result of a very concerted, decades long policy of successive liberal and conservative governments to intertwine, ever more closely, the two economies of our country. And that has created a very risky situation for Canada. We have a relatively undiversified set of trade relationships. Our relationship with the United States is the elephant in the room, and this has repeatedly caused the Canadian government to adopt positions that were quite conciliatory to the US government. And that becomes particularly dangerous when the US administration is the one led by somebody like Donald Trump, who is such an unstable leader, such an authoritarian leader, who has shown misogynistic tendencies, fascistic tendencies, complete disregard for human rights. You really don’t want to be in bed, deep in bed with a regime like that. But that’s precisely the situation we now find ourselves in. And even a former U.S. ambassador to Canada has noted, very recently, how dangerous this is for Canada.

Bruce Hayman, ex-U.S. ambassador to this country, said recently that it is in fact in the long-term interests of Canada that there be a trade war, even though it may cause short-term pain, because it will ultimately force Canada to diversify its trade relationships. That’s precisely what we should have done decades ago, and we need to begin that process as quickly as possible. Speaking for myself, if there’s a breakdown in NAFTA, in the long-run that may actually be beneficial to Canadians. But here, the punditry is talking about it as though it’s some sort of a nightmare scenario that must be avoided at all costs.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, now Dimitri, is quite a departure from Justin Trudeau’s initial approach to Trump, when he arrived with the family to visit Canada shorty- visit the U.S. shortly upon the inauguration of Donald Trump. And he’s made multiple visits to the White House and it’s been very friendly and up and up. What do you attribute to Justin Trudeau’s, this anti-Trump campaign that he’s on now.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: I think his hand was forced. I mean, at the end of the G7, we saw something here in this country which we have not seen for decades. In fact, I don’t recall ever hearing or seen anything like this. The president and his close aides referred to the Canadian prime minister as weak, dishonest. They characterized him as a backstabber. And one of them even said that Trudeau deserves a special place in hell. And the Conservative leader, one of the top conservative politicians here- I believe it was Jason Kenney, who was a former minister in the Stephen Harper government, is now the leader of the Alberta right-wing Conservative Party, even he was marveling at the fact that Trump seemed to be much more conciliatory and friendly with the leader of North Korea than with the Canadian prime minister.

This follows, as you’ve noted, weeks- months, I should say, really from the very outset of the Trump administration, of a very conciliatory approach to Trump by Justin Trudeau. For example, the Muslim ban, the highly controversial Muslim ban, and I think fair to say, bigoted Muslim ban, that Trump started from the beginning of his administration to put into effect, did not elicit a peep of criticism from Justin Trudeau, nothing of any substance. When Donald Trump referred to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa by means of an insulting expletive, not a peep of criticism from Justin Trudeau.

You know, when he pulled out of the Iran deal, which was almost universally opposed other than by the state of Israel, there was very modest- I mean, it wasn’t really criticism. It was more of an expression of a reservation to this policy by the Canadian government. This policy of conciliation, this approach of conciliation, is clearly an abject failure. I mean, what happened at the G7 shows that dealing with Trump in that manner is not going to garner his respect, it isn’t going to protect Canada from retaliatory measures. And now, there is a sudden reevaluation of that policy, and as a result of it, this tough talk, or at least tougher talk you’re hearing out of Trudeau has corresponded with a dramatic increase in his popularity rating. It went from forty percent, his approval rating, to fifty-two percent in a matter of a few months, many people attributing that to the fact that he’s finally adopted a reasonably tough stance in the face of the predations of the Trump administration.

SHARMINI PERIES: And one cannot ignore the fact that this is, of course, playing out well in Canada. As you cite, the polls are reflecting that. But he’s also stepping into a year next year where he will have to stand for re-election.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: That is undoubtedly influencing Justin Trudeau. In fact, recent polls show that his party is more or less tied with that of the conservative party of Andrew Scheer. And there is a lot of disenchantment in this country about his failure to follow through with main, very important campaign commitments, for example, on fighting climate change. His purchase of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline cannot be reconciled with his commitment on climate change.

He promised that this would be, or the last election would be the last election in which we use the first-past-the-post electoral system, which results in parties that have a minority of the vote obtaining a majority of the seats in parliament. He’s not reforming the electoral electoral system at all. And there have been other- oh, and also, he’d promised to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, but in fact, has maintained them. So, there have been a whole range of promises that have really put him on thin ice with the Canadian electorate. I have no doubt that that is weighing heavily in the minds of the liberal leadership as the 2019 election approaches.

SHARMINI PERIES: Now Dimitri, one of the agenda items at the G7 summit was a reaffirmation of the commitments of the G7 countries to the Paris climate agreement. And now, partly all of this was derailed by Trump arriving at the G7 and the tariffs and so on. But give us a sense of Justin Trudeau appearing as a climate ambassador as something that he is committed to doing, and reducing emissions, and the contradictions in that appearance of a climate advocate.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: You know, when dealing with the Trudeau administration or government, as is so often the case in Western politics, one must always compare the reality to the rhetoric. The reality is that Canada is on a path to greatly exceed its commitment under the Paris climate accord. And in fact, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, not necessarily an objective source, but nonetheless, what they have to say is something that we should pay attention to when we’re talking about prognostications about future oil use in this country. They just issued a report predicting that the tar sands production will increase by fifty percent ☠️ in the coming years.

What we need to be doing is phasing out the tar sands as rapidly as we can do so, consistently with a reasonably healthy economy. The Trudeau government is running in the opposite direction, and as I just mentioned, not only is it determined to go ahead with building fossil infrastructure to support the tar sands industry. It has failed. It’s now had three years to do it. It has failed to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, which is the ultimate insanity. Why you would subsidize fossil fuels when we need to be keeping them in the ground is simply inexplicable. So, saying at the G7, we want to reaffirm our leadership in the Paris climate accord, or in terms of ensuring its respect, saying that is one thing. There is absolutely no action of any substance to back up that reaffirmation, unfortunately.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Dimitri, Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada just had made a commitment, just a few weeks ago, to buy the Kinder Morgan Pipeline at some five billion dollars. And now, all of this is taking place at the same time when the Pope, trying to enforce his Encyclical about the environment and climate change, is actually meeting with the fossil fuel industry, asking them to curtail the emissions and save the earth. And and the G7 is talking about reaffirming the Paris climate agreement, yet Trudeau’s contradictions are just too much to handle here.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: You know, as we reported earlier this week, Sharmini, the Pope told senior executives of the world’s leading oil companies, including Exxon Mobil and BP, who were at the Vatican to hear his speech, and I’m quoting the Pope, “There is no time to lose.” And it is absolutely imperative that we begin to phase out tar sands. There’s simply no escaping that reality. And not only is Trudeau not doing that, but he’s being urged to even sacrifice Canadian lives by leaders on the Bay Street.

I mean, we had the most remarkable statement by the former governor of the Bank of Canada, David Dodge 🦖, a couple of days ago at a conference in Edmonton, that- he said definitively, “Canadians will die resisting this pipeline.” And then he went on to say, but Justin Trudeau must have the “fortitude,” the fortitude to stand up and complete the construction of this project, which is going to increase by a factor of three. The amount of diluted bitumen coming from the tar sands to the west coast of Canada is going to increase by a factor of seven, oil tanker traffic on the on the west coast of Canada. You know, what Justin Trudeau is doing cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be reconciled either with the Paris climate accord or with the Pope’s exhortations to take action now.

SHARMINI PERIES: Dimitri, are any of these contradictions on the part of Trudeau’s leadership, or lack thereof, when it comes to the climate being realized by all these young people that ended up supporting him in the last election and wanted some serious action on the climate?

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Well, I think the fact that he had a forty percent approval rating after being wildly popular outside of his government, I think that says quite a bit about how the population and particularly young people, who have given him a lot of support the last election, feel about his broken promises, particularly with respect to the climate change. I think he has a bit of an ace- I wouldn’t go so far as to state as an ace in the hole, but it certainly is a card that he can play to strengthen his standing amongst young voters.

And that is, he does appear to remain committed to the legalization, or at least the quasi-legalization, of cannabis in Canada. And so, there is legislation being advanced, and that’s a policy that’s very popular amongst young voters. So, he may be able to rehabilitate his image amongst them between now and the election next year, in large part by pursuing that initiative and fulfilling that campaign promise. But I don’t think anybody’s going to forget entirely how badly he’s betrayed his commitment to be a climate champion.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right. Now, in relation to the climate, again, here. The newly elected premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, had a few things to say about cap and trade this week. Give us the highlights of that statement.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: So, Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, entered into a cap and trade system with its neighboring province of Quebec and with the state of California in January of this year. And Doug Ford, the conservative premier-elect, campaigned explicitly on a promise to take Ontario out of that cap and trade system. The province has raised nearly two point nine billion dollars from the sale of carbon credits, according to a report issued last month. The money goes toward the operation of something called the Green Ontario Fund to pay for climate-friendly programs, rebates for home upgrades and clean technology pilot projects. Ford’s Conservative Party criticized the program because it results in higher costs to consumers for natural gas and gasoline. But Sharmini, that’s exactly what it is supposed to do. And that’s exactly what we should be doing.

We need to be deterring people from consuming fossil fuels by raising the cost of these polluting substances. We should not be encouraging fossil fuels consumption by lowering the cost of polluting. And yet, Doug Ford said, right out of the gate yesterday, that the first piece of legislation he intends to put forward is legislation withdrawing Ontario from the cap and trade system. Quebec is alarmed by this, understandably so, and they pointed out that their economy is going strong. In fact, Quebec, where I live, and as part of that system, has full employment and a growing economy. The whole notion that this is injurious to the economy is bogus, frankly, and it seems like nothing other than a sort of right-wing ideology that fits nicely within the agenda of the fossil fuels industry in Canada, which has quite a bit of power.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, Dimitri. I thank you so much for joining us today on The Real News Network and giving us this Canada update. I know there’s so much more to talk about, so I will look forward to having you back next week.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Always a pleasure, Sharmini, thank you.

SHARMINI PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

https://therealnews.com/stories/trudeau-imposes-retaliatory-trade-tariffs-against-the-u-s
Dead on on the trade section of the article. If anything there is an undercurrent of deep anger that is brewing in reaction to the trade file. The second half I  believe is off mark. Its a long time to elections federally.

Traditionally we afford parties two terms just for showing up. Progressives have nowhere to turn as the harder left side is even more in conflict with itself. It opposes trade deals but its rank and file are union members in tariff affected industries. Provincially it has a pro pipeline party in alberta and an anti pipeline one in BC... We shall see. I can't deny Canada is in deep denial and conflict of interest over Fossil fuels.


Agreed.  :(
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 18, 2018, 07:59:53 pm »

Trudeau Imposes Retaliatory Trade Tariffs Against the U.S.

June 18, 2018

It is in the long term interest of Canada to unravel the intertwined economy between the two countries says Dimitri Lascaris

Story Transcript

SHARMINI PERIES: Welcome to the Canada update on The Real News Network. Now, Canada is still reeling from steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. Canadians are particularly miffed by the fact that Trump used a national security clause of the WTO agreement to apply these tariffs. Here’s Justin Trudeau complaining about the tariffs.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU: It would be with regret, but it would be with absolute certainty and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us. I have made it very clear to the president that it is not something we relish doing, but it is something that we absolutely will do. Because Canadians, we’re polite, were reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.

SHARMINI PERIES: Now, both prime minister of Canada and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is leading a global fight against the Trump administration on steel and aluminum tariffs, the tariffs not only against Canada, but they’re also against EU countries and beyond. Here’s foreign minister of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, claiming that in times of tariffs, it helps to have friends in high places. She’s referring to the EU trade commissioner here.

CHRYSTIA FREELAND: The European Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, and I call each other sisters in trade. We sign our e-mails, “hugs.” Yes, we do. We sometimes send each other smiley faces in particularly difficult moments. And that close collaboration has been particularly important as last Thursday approached and it started to look more and more as if the U.S. Would actually go ahead and impose tariffs on steel and aluminum exports from its closest allies. So, we were able to coordinate very closely with the Europeans. The lists that- the retaliation lists that we announced were built in close collaboration. The timing of the retaliation was part of a very close collaborative discussion, and that makes our impact stronger, and that’s a great thing.

SHARMINI PERIES: Chrystia Freeland, foreign minister of Canada, is also seen on US television, here on CNN.

CHRYSTIA FREELAND: And I would just say to all of Canada’s American friends, and there are so many, seriously? Do you really believe that Canada, that your NATO allies represent a national security threat to you? And that’s why the prime minister said, “It is frankly, insulting.”

SHARMINI PERIES: And in Washington DC, where she was receiving an award for being the top diplomat by Foreign Policy magazine.

CHRYSTIA FREELAND: The two-three-two tariffs introduced by the United States are illegal under WTO and NAFTA rules. They are protectionism, pure and simple. They are not a response to unfair actions by other countries that put American industry at a disadvantage. They are a naked example of the United States putting its thumb on the scale, in violation of the very rules it helped to write.

SHARMINI PERIES: On to talk about all of this with me is our correspondent in Quebec, Dimitri Lascaris. He’s also a lawyer and our climate and environmental beat reporter. Thank you so much for joining us, Dimitri.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Thanks for having me back, Sharmini.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, Dimitri. Let’s start off with this whole warfare, trade warfare that everybody is talking about, that was evoked because of the tariffs on steel and aluminum. Your thoughts on how the Canadian- particularly Canadian leadership there, and the government of Canada is responding to this.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Well, I don’t think Canadians are going to draw much sustenance from the use of smiley faces by Canada’s foreign minister. You know, the trade relationship between Canada the United States is probably unparalleled anywhere in the world. There’s approximately six hundred and seventy-four billion dollars of trade in 2017, with the U.S. having an eight point four billion surplus. Each day about four hundred thousand people cross what constitutes the world’s longest international border, many of them to engage in commerce. So, this is a trade relationship which is of profound importance to the Canadian economy.

Let me say, Sharmini, that this is the result of a very concerted, decades long policy of successive liberal and conservative governments to intertwine, ever more closely, the two economies of our country. And that has created a very risky situation for Canada. We have a relatively undiversified set of trade relationships. Our relationship with the United States is the elephant in the room, and this has repeatedly caused the Canadian government to adopt positions that were quite conciliatory to the US government. And that becomes particularly dangerous when the US administration is the one led by somebody like Donald Trump, who is such an unstable leader, such an authoritarian leader, who has shown misogynistic tendencies, fascistic tendencies, complete disregard for human rights. You really don’t want to be in bed, deep in bed with a regime like that. But that’s precisely the situation we now find ourselves in. And even a former U.S. ambassador to Canada has noted, very recently, how dangerous this is for Canada.

Bruce Hayman, ex-U.S. ambassador to this country, said recently that it is in fact in the long-term interests of Canada that there be a trade war, even though it may cause short-term pain, because it will ultimately force Canada to diversify its trade relationships. That’s precisely what we should have done decades ago, and we need to begin that process as quickly as possible. Speaking for myself, if there’s a breakdown in NAFTA, in the long-run that may actually be beneficial to Canadians. But here, the punditry is talking about it as though it’s some sort of a nightmare scenario that must be avoided at all costs.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, now Dimitri, is quite a departure from Justin Trudeau’s initial approach to Trump, when he arrived with the family to visit Canada shorty- visit the U.S. shortly upon the inauguration of Donald Trump. And he’s made multiple visits to the White House and it’s been very friendly and up and up. What do you attribute to Justin Trudeau’s, this anti-Trump campaign that he’s on now.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: I think his hand was forced. I mean, at the end of the G7, we saw something here in this country which we have not seen for decades. In fact, I don’t recall ever hearing or seen anything like this. The president and his close aides referred to the Canadian prime minister as weak, dishonest. They characterized him as a backstabber. And one of them even said that Trudeau deserves a special place in hell. And the Conservative leader, one of the top conservative politicians here- I believe it was Jason Kenney, who was a former minister in the Stephen Harper government, is now the leader of the Alberta right-wing Conservative Party, even he was marveling at the fact that Trump seemed to be much more conciliatory and friendly with the leader of North Korea than with the Canadian prime minister.

This follows, as you’ve noted, weeks- months, I should say, really from the very outset of the Trump administration, of a very conciliatory approach to Trump by Justin Trudeau. For example, the Muslim ban, the highly controversial Muslim ban, and I think fair to say, bigoted Muslim ban, that Trump started from the beginning of his administration to put into effect, did not elicit a peep of criticism from Justin Trudeau, nothing of any substance. When Donald Trump referred to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa by means of an insulting expletive, not a peep of criticism from Justin Trudeau.

You know, when he pulled out of the Iran deal, which was almost universally opposed other than by the state of Israel, there was very modest- I mean, it wasn’t really criticism. It was more of an expression of a reservation to this policy by the Canadian government. This policy of conciliation, this approach of conciliation, is clearly an abject failure. I mean, what happened at the G7 shows that dealing with Trump in that manner is not going to garner his respect, it isn’t going to protect Canada from retaliatory measures. And now, there is a sudden reevaluation of that policy, and as a result of it, this tough talk, or at least tougher talk you’re hearing out of Trudeau has corresponded with a dramatic increase in his popularity rating. It went from forty percent, his approval rating, to fifty-two percent in a matter of a few months, many people attributing that to the fact that he’s finally adopted a reasonably tough stance in the face of the predations of the Trump administration.

SHARMINI PERIES: And one cannot ignore the fact that this is, of course, playing out well in Canada. As you cite, the polls are reflecting that. But he’s also stepping into a year next year where he will have to stand for re-election.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: That is undoubtedly influencing Justin Trudeau. In fact, recent polls show that his party is more or less tied with that of the conservative party of Andrew Scheer. And there is a lot of disenchantment in this country about his failure to follow through with main, very important campaign commitments, for example, on fighting climate change. His purchase of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline cannot be reconciled with his commitment on climate change.

He promised that this would be, or the last election would be the last election in which we use the first-past-the-post electoral system, which results in parties that have a minority of the vote obtaining a majority of the seats in parliament. He’s not reforming the electoral electoral system at all. And there have been other- oh, and also, he’d promised to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, but in fact, has maintained them. So, there have been a whole range of promises that have really put him on thin ice with the Canadian electorate. I have no doubt that that is weighing heavily in the minds of the liberal leadership as the 2019 election approaches.

SHARMINI PERIES: Now Dimitri, one of the agenda items at the G7 summit was a reaffirmation of the commitments of the G7 countries to the Paris climate agreement. And now, partly all of this was derailed by Trump arriving at the G7 and the tariffs and so on. But give us a sense of Justin Trudeau appearing as a climate ambassador as something that he is committed to doing, and reducing emissions, and the contradictions in that appearance of a climate advocate.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: You know, when dealing with the Trudeau administration or government, as is so often the case in Western politics, one must always compare the reality to the rhetoric. The reality is that Canada is on a path to greatly exceed its commitment under the Paris climate accord. And in fact, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, not necessarily an objective source, but nonetheless, what they have to say is something that we should pay attention to when we’re talking about prognostications about future oil use in this country. They just issued a report predicting that the tar sands production will increase by fifty percent ☠️ in the coming years.

What we need to be doing is phasing out the tar sands as rapidly as we can do so, consistently with a reasonably healthy economy. The Trudeau government is running in the opposite direction, and as I just mentioned, not only is it determined to go ahead with building fossil infrastructure to support the tar sands industry. It has failed. It’s now had three years to do it. It has failed to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, which is the ultimate insanity. Why you would subsidize fossil fuels when we need to be keeping them in the ground is simply inexplicable. So, saying at the G7, we want to reaffirm our leadership in the Paris climate accord, or in terms of ensuring its respect, saying that is one thing. There is absolutely no action of any substance to back up that reaffirmation, unfortunately.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Dimitri, Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada just had made a commitment, just a few weeks ago, to buy the Kinder Morgan Pipeline at some five billion dollars. And now, all of this is taking place at the same time when the Pope, trying to enforce his Encyclical about the environment and climate change, is actually meeting with the fossil fuel industry, asking them to curtail the emissions and save the earth. And and the G7 is talking about reaffirming the Paris climate agreement, yet Trudeau’s contradictions are just too much to handle here.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: You know, as we reported earlier this week, Sharmini, the Pope told senior executives of the world’s leading oil companies, including Exxon Mobil and BP, who were at the Vatican to hear his speech, and I’m quoting the Pope, “There is no time to lose.” And it is absolutely imperative that we begin to phase out tar sands. There’s simply no escaping that reality. And not only is Trudeau not doing that, but he’s being urged to even sacrifice Canadian lives by leaders on the Bay Street.

I mean, we had the most remarkable statement by the former governor of the Bank of Canada, David Dodge 🦖, a couple of days ago at a conference in Edmonton, that- he said definitively, “Canadians will die resisting this pipeline.” And then he went on to say, but Justin Trudeau must have the “fortitude,” the fortitude to stand up and complete the construction of this project, which is going to increase by a factor of three. The amount of diluted bitumen coming from the tar sands to the west coast of Canada is going to increase by a factor of seven, oil tanker traffic on the on the west coast of Canada. You know, what Justin Trudeau is doing cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be reconciled either with the Paris climate accord or with the Pope’s exhortations to take action now.

SHARMINI PERIES: Dimitri, are any of these contradictions on the part of Trudeau’s leadership, or lack thereof, when it comes to the climate being realized by all these young people that ended up supporting him in the last election and wanted some serious action on the climate?

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Well, I think the fact that he had a forty percent approval rating after being wildly popular outside of his government, I think that says quite a bit about how the population and particularly young people, who have given him a lot of support the last election, feel about his broken promises, particularly with respect to the climate change. I think he has a bit of an ace- I wouldn’t go so far as to state as an ace in the hole, but it certainly is a card that he can play to strengthen his standing amongst young voters.

And that is, he does appear to remain committed to the legalization, or at least the quasi-legalization, of cannabis in Canada. And so, there is legislation being advanced, and that’s a policy that’s very popular amongst young voters. So, he may be able to rehabilitate his image amongst them between now and the election next year, in large part by pursuing that initiative and fulfilling that campaign promise. But I don’t think anybody’s going to forget entirely how badly he’s betrayed his commitment to be a climate champion.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right. Now, in relation to the climate, again, here. The newly elected premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, had a few things to say about cap and trade this week. Give us the highlights of that statement.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: So, Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, entered into a cap and trade system with its neighboring province of Quebec and with the state of California in January of this year. And Doug Ford, the conservative premier-elect, campaigned explicitly on a promise to take Ontario out of that cap and trade system. The province has raised nearly two point nine billion dollars from the sale of carbon credits, according to a report issued last month. The money goes toward the operation of something called the Green Ontario Fund to pay for climate-friendly programs, rebates for home upgrades and clean technology pilot projects. Ford’s Conservative Party criticized the program because it results in higher costs to consumers for natural gas and gasoline. But Sharmini, that’s exactly what it is supposed to do. And that’s exactly what we should be doing.

We need to be deterring people from consuming fossil fuels by raising the cost of these polluting substances. We should not be encouraging fossil fuels consumption by lowering the cost of polluting. And yet, Doug Ford said, right out of the gate yesterday, that the first piece of legislation he intends to put forward is legislation withdrawing Ontario from the cap and trade system. Quebec is alarmed by this, understandably so, and they pointed out that their economy is going strong. In fact, Quebec, where I live, and as part of that system, has full employment and a growing economy. The whole notion that this is injurious to the economy is bogus, frankly, and it seems like nothing other than a sort of right-wing ideology that fits nicely within the agenda of the fossil fuels industry in Canada, which has quite a bit of power.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, Dimitri. I thank you so much for joining us today on The Real News Network and giving us this Canada update. I know there’s so much more to talk about, so I will look forward to having you back next week.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Always a pleasure, Sharmini, thank you.

SHARMINI PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

https://therealnews.com/stories/trudeau-imposes-retaliatory-trade-tariffs-against-the-u-s
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 18, 2018, 05:30:23 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Here's a bit of background to explain our current trajectory.


June 14, 2018

Is the Fed Repeating the Mistake of 1936–37?

Jerome Powell has the situation in hand.

Quote
“The economy is doing very well,” the Federal Reserve chairman assured reporters after yesterday’s 0.25% rate hike.


There was more:

Quote
Most people who want to find jobs are finding them, and unemployment and inflation are low…

We think that gradually returning interest rates to a more normal level as the economy strengthens is the best way the Fed can help sustain an environment in which American households and businesses can thrive.


We could lift an objection or three to the chairman’s testimony… but refrain on advice of counsel.  ;D

For instance, that nearly 102 million working-age adults are out of the labor force — a number that hasn’t changed in four years.

Or that median wages have gone nowhere for decades.

Or that the current 108-month “expansion” is the second longest in history… and recession is long overdue.

The Fed nonetheless expects to impose two additional rate hikes this year… for a total of four.

Additional hikes are on tap next year.

And so we wonder… is the Fed repeating “the mistake of 1936–37?”

Six years into the Depression, the American economy was climbing from its sickbed.

Annual GDP growth — real GDP growth — was on the jump.

Unemployment was falling, from its 25% high… to 14%.

The Federal Reserve feared any additional loosening could start an inflationary fever.

And it believed the economic patient strong enough to go on his own steam.

It was time to return to “normal”… as Jerome Powell presently believes.

Christina Romer, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, in The Economist:

In 1936 the Federal Reserve began to worry about its “exit strategy.” After several years of relatively loose monetary policy, American banks were holding large quantities of reserves in excess of their legislated requirements. Monetary policymakers feared these excess reserves would make it difficult to tighten if inflation developed or if “speculative excess” began again on Wall Street.

We cannot help but ponder… do not some of these conditions suggest something of today’s?

The Fed decided to tighten in 1936–37.

But the patient wasn’t as hale as the medical men assumed.

It was soon horizontal again … laid up with a wasting disease.

Real GDP dropped 10% between May 1937 and June 1938.

Unemployment spiked from 14% to 20%.

The “recession within a depression” was America’s third-largest downturn of the 20th century.

The Fed reopened its medical bag of easy money in 1938… and the recession ultimately ended.

But Romer warns that the 1936–37 example “provides a cautionary tale.”

The Fed wanted to return to “normal” — just as today’s Fed.

“The urge to declare victory and get back to normal policy after an economic crisis is strong,” affirms Romer.

The economy was too wobbly to stand on its own in 1936.

Is today’s economy too wobbly to stand additional rate hikes?

First-quarter GDP expanded a glass-half-empty 2.2%.

Annual GDP growth has eked out a mere 2.16% average since 2010.

But comes your objection…

Unlike 1936, the economy is not sunk in depression. The comparison is off.

But here we resort to John Maynard Keynes’ definition of depression:

A chronic condition of sub-normal activity for a considerable period without any marked tendency towards recovery or towards complete collapse.

The long-term U.S. growth rate is roughly 3%.

But it has not grown at 3% since the financial crisis.

Here you have your depression… as defined by Lord Keynes himself.

Regardless, at 2.2% growth, “overheating” would not seem to apply today.

But Jim Rickards argues the Fed isn’t raising rates to break a fever.

It’s restocking its medicine chest for the next recession.

History says rates must climb to 3% or more to tackle the next recession.

The Fed won’t reach its 3% destination until mid-2019 at the going rate — if it arrives at all.

Bank of America has canvassed the entire history of tightening cycles going back over 100 years.

Its conclusion:

Whenever the Fed tightens aggressively… America falls ill:


Sixteen of the past 19 rate hike cycles have ended in recession — 84% of the time.

Be it a financial “event” or general economic malaise, the evidence is overwhelming…

Aggressive rate hikes are followed by trouble.

Will the Fed cause another 1937-like recession… or some financial “event”?

Jim Rickards believes it could.

The Fed is “raising into weakness,” says Jim.

And that it will have to turn around later this year once the business becomes clear.

We hope Jim is wrong… but fear he is not.

We learn one lesson from history:

That we learn little from history.

It is a lesson we could potentially learn once again — the hard way.

Regards,

Brian Maher
Managing editor, The Daily Reckoning

https://dailyreckoning.com/is-the-fed-repeating-the-mistake-of-1936-37/

These ARE the same pundits who went apeshit when the FED lowered interest rates. Remember that?

We all know that BAU is unsustainable, and that de-growth is a positive for the planet. Yet because we are all tied to BAU in some fashion, when the inevitable contractions start to occur, we look around for someone to blame. I'm no exception.

I do agree with the general spin in the alterna-press that the FED will drive us into a recession, or worse. The thing is that de-growth is inevitable, and not in control of the FED or any other human construct. They are the humbug Wizards of Oz in the world. When verbal bullshit
and posturing stops moving markets, they're ****-out-of-luck.

It's amazing they have kept the house of cards from collapsing this long. It won't go on forever.

I think we have a few more years before TSHTF. But it could seize any time.


True, the Daily Reckoning crowd consists of market bears gold bugs with a decided Mises/Libertarian 😈 slant. They are bullish on Oil so I am not particularly fond of them.

That said, the chart they posted is evidence of some very real correlation from casuation.

Here's my analysis of this situation, Eddie. Our system used to work through positive motivation, which is psychology is the ideal way to train a dog (and people too). Negative motivations work, but not as well. You need a giant threat hanging over the trained to keep them doing what you want them to do.

The Fed is not just "the Fed".  They are the mouthpiece for the dollar hegemony, backed by a humongous military plus Wall Street, which herded us in to the Legal Tender Laws corral. It is an error to dismiss the power of the Fed tp ruin the economy.

All that said, since they couldn't positively convince people to invest in the Wall Street Casino as of 2008, they went the negative motivation route. That is, they coerced people seeking yield to go into stocks with crap dividends , simply because bond interest rates were even crappier.

As soon as they did that, almost every rise in the stock market was just herd following due to higher risk yield chasing, NOT fundamentals based.  More on this later. There is a thunderstorm 🌪 going on and I have to shut down.

 

Okay, I'm back and still in one piece.  ;D

What I'm saying is that coercion is the only tool the Fed has since 2008 to keep people buying stocks. Now, they want to use a gradual raising of interest rates based on a flawed view of the REAL economy out there, which is still in a Depression.

The reason the Fed is doing that is to defend the dollar hegemony, period. Every country the US has attacked in the last 30 years has been a country that wanted to stop using the dollar. Most people, for example, think that our beef with North Korea is all about "communism". BULLSHIT. North Korea is only exceeded in counterfeiting  US Dollars by the Fed, which does it "legally" 😈 . The Fed does not like competition. The North Koreans did not print fake, easy to identify, dollars in a back room. No sir, they got the highest quality printing machines and ink dies, equivalent to the ones we have in the USA. THAT was why US money had to be made harder to counterfeit (if you aren't the Fed, of course). I am certain they have kept up with the "metallic thread" innovations as well. Five will get you ten that part of the negotiations with Trumpy included an agreement to stop the dollar presses in North Korea. We are, oh so friendly with people that don't mess with the almighty "dollar".   

The reality is that the valuation of the US Stock Market is  happy talk Fantasy Island. The dollar hegemony is the only thing that keeps it from cratering, even with all the efforts of the Plung Protection Team to game it to the upside.

This is where I part ways with the pundits from the Daily Reckoning. It's NOT simply about interest rate manipulation; it's that, PLUS a consistent consciense free predatory defense of the dollar hegemony, no matter how many people are hurt economically by it.

China knows that. Do you think all this trade war business is just about tariffs? NO, NO, NO! China has the Fed by the short hairs because of all the US debt they hold. The US is trying desperately to coerce China to NOT dump that debt. The tariff game is the stick part of it, but the raising of interest rates is the carrot.

People here are always speculating about the date of a collapse. Well, the total cratering of the dollar will be a sign that a collapse is imminent (weeks or less away). WHY? Because the cratering of the dollar (forget that bullshit about how it would "help" our balance of trade deficit - Most of what we depend, that isn't food, including the metal raw materials feed stock for pickup trucks, ain't made here no more!) would instantly put the majority of Americans well below the poverty line in buying power.

Our police state certainly is NOT going to be nice and "help us out" when the inflation rate goes to the moon, as it will when the dollar craters while the Fed babbles happy talk BULLSHIT about how "inflation is controlled" (when food, housing, transportation, energy, plumbing, internet, health care and breathing are not part of index, of course!).

Our MIC is an oligarchic tool used for the express purpose of coercing everybody they can coerce to tow the dollar hegemony line, period. That MIC has a LOT of problems now keeping their act together. When the MIC can't coerce the rest of the world, it is game over for the almighty dollar.

And, if you think we-the-people will be unscathed within the USA, think again. You cannot, by law, tell those who rent from you to pay you in ollive oil or gold or corn whisky or whatever because the dollar is inflating faster than you are allowed to raise rent prices. You cannot ask your dental patients to pay you in hogs, chickens or MREs. They will say to you, "What part of 'good for all debts public and private' do you not understand about the Blessed Federal Reserve Note?".

Every mechanism that people in business rely on to stay in business in the USA counts on a LOW inflation rate. Up until now, you business folks have done okay while we folks on pensions have been royally forked. That was the Fed plan. They have to steal from somebody (See: legal counterfeiting) so the weakest were selected, of course.

How long the Fed can continue to selectively screw 90% of we-the-people on behalf of the upper class and the dollar hegemony all depends on how successful our MIC is at bullying, threatening, maiming, starving, killing, etc. the rest of the countries in the world in general.

I don't believe that is working too well. In fact, I think it is a BIG FAIL! 

One final thought for you to ponder: The reason the USA hasn't messed with Panama since our pet dictator started competing with the CIA for drug profits is that the official currency of Panama is the US Dollar.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 18, 2018, 01:08:49 pm »

https://www.thestreet.com/markets/global-stocks-retreat-as-u-s-china-trade-war-intensifies-14624186

Stocks Dive Globally as U.S.-China Trade War Intensifies
The escalating U.S.-China trade war has clipped risk sentiment around the world, sending emerging market stocks into a tailspin and lifting the dollar to a six-month high against a basket of its global peers


Martin Baccardax

Updated Jun 18, 2018 7:48 AM EDT

To Think a Trade War's Still Just a Threat Is the Dumbest Thing on Wall Street

The Monday Market Minute

    Global stocks weaken as US/China trade was escalates.
    Emerging market stocks crushed as investors dump shares in the face of surging dollar.
    Wall Street set for weaker open as risk sentiment dims; Treasury yields fall in safe-haven trading flows.
    Euro slump continues following dovish ECB guidance, German government crisis.
    Oil edges lower amid trade concerns, output increase reports ahead of OPEC meeting.

Market Snapshot

Global stocks retreated across the board Monday, with emerging market shares hitting the lowest levels since September, as investors reacted to last week's escalation in the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing that targeted $50 billion in China-made goods for fresh tariffs from the White House.

China's vow to hit the U.S. with levies of "the same scale and strength", including on crude oil, and void any previous deals agreed with the Trump administration hit shares in the region hard, with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index falling 0.51% into the end of the session while Japan's Nikkei 225 gave back 0.78% by the closing bell.

"Following the path of expanding and opening up is China's best response to the trade dispute between China and the United States, and is also the responsibility that major countries should have to the world," said China's state-run Xinhua news agency. "The wise man builds bridges, the fool builds walls."

    Jim Cramer's Investing Rule 11: Don't Own Too Many Stocks

The threat of even deeper tariffs in the tit-for-tat trade war, which is now targeting 800 Chinese goods with around $50 billion from July 6, has also boosted the value of the U.S. dollar as investors retreat to the greenback as risk sentiment fades. That's taken the U.S. dollar index to a six-month high of 96.91 in overnight trading, a move which is also hammering emerging market stocks, which are sensitive to the greenback's rise as governments are forced to spend more money on servicing dollar-denominated debt.

    Not so good emerging market morning! The MSCI Emerging Markets Future is down again, now at the lowest level since September last year and down 15% from its peak early this year. pic.twitter.com/TjW46ymV2n
    — jeroen blokland (@jsblokland) June 18, 2018

U.S. stocks, as well, are set to open on the back foot Monday, according to early indications from U.S. futures prices, with contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average  pointing to a 204 point decline for the 30-stock average and those linked to the S&P 500  suggesting a 18 point slide for the broader benchmark.

Against the backdrop of ever-increasing protectionism among some of the world's biggest economies, the globe's most-powerful tech firms look to be strengthening ties, with Google closing a $550 million investment with China-based internet giant JD.com (JD) that will both allow parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) to deepen its reach inside the world's second-largest economy and help JD expand into Southeast Asia and Europe by promoting more of its products on Google's shopping platform.

Alphabet is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS.

European stocks opened weaker, with oil and gas stocks leading to the downside, although the declines were offset by a sliding euro, which continues to lose ground against the U.S. dollar to trade at 1.1611 following last week's dovish monetary policy meeting from the European Central Bank and an ongoing political crisis in German that has fractured the ruling CDU/CUS coalition over immigration and could threaten the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index was marked 0.95% lower by mid-day in Frankfurt with benchmarks in Germany and France falling around 1.15% and 1.21% respectively.

TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer weighs in on tariffs.

Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) shares tumbled in Frankfurt Monday after the world's second-largest carmaker said the CEO of its Audi brand was taken into police custody amid an ongoing probe into Germany's diesel emissions-cheating scandal.

VW shares were marked around 2.4% from Friday's close and changing hands at €157.04 by mid-morning in Frankfurt, extending their year-to-date decline to around 6.35%.

Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.3% by mid-day in London, although stocks got some support from a weaker pound sterling, which boosts the attractiveness of stocks that earn their revenues outside of the United Kingdom, as it traded at 1.3244.

    Jim Cramer's Investing Rule 10: Bad Buys Won't Become Takeovers

Global oil prices were mixed to start the week, with investors factoring-in both a slowing of global trade, a stronger U.S. dollar and reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia may be prepared to agree to an increase in output later this week when OPEC members are some of their allies meet later this week in Vienna.

Brent crude contracts for August delivery, the global benchmark, were seen 66 cents higher from their Friday close in New York and changing hands at $74.10 at the start of European trading while WTI contracts for July delivery were marked 25 cents lower at $64.81 per barrel.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 18, 2018, 01:06:46 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Here's a bit of background to explain our current trajectory.


June 14, 2018

Is the Fed Repeating the Mistake of 1936–37?

Jerome Powell has the situation in hand.

Quote
“The economy is doing very well,” the Federal Reserve chairman assured reporters after yesterday’s 0.25% rate hike.


There was more:

Quote
Most people who want to find jobs are finding them, and unemployment and inflation are low…

We think that gradually returning interest rates to a more normal level as the economy strengthens is the best way the Fed can help sustain an environment in which American households and businesses can thrive.


We could lift an objection or three to the chairman’s testimony… but refrain on advice of counsel.  ;D

For instance, that nearly 102 million working-age adults are out of the labor force — a number that hasn’t changed in four years.

Or that median wages have gone nowhere for decades.

Or that the current 108-month “expansion” is the second longest in history… and recession is long overdue.

The Fed nonetheless expects to impose two additional rate hikes this year… for a total of four.

Additional hikes are on tap next year.

And so we wonder… is the Fed repeating “the mistake of 1936–37?”

Six years into the Depression, the American economy was climbing from its sickbed.

Annual GDP growth — real GDP growth — was on the jump.

Unemployment was falling, from its 25% high… to 14%.

The Federal Reserve feared any additional loosening could start an inflationary fever.

And it believed the economic patient strong enough to go on his own steam.

It was time to return to “normal”… as Jerome Powell presently believes.

Christina Romer, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, in The Economist:

In 1936 the Federal Reserve began to worry about its “exit strategy.” After several years of relatively loose monetary policy, American banks were holding large quantities of reserves in excess of their legislated requirements. Monetary policymakers feared these excess reserves would make it difficult to tighten if inflation developed or if “speculative excess” began again on Wall Street.

We cannot help but ponder… do not some of these conditions suggest something of today’s?

The Fed decided to tighten in 1936–37.

But the patient wasn’t as hale as the medical men assumed.

It was soon horizontal again … laid up with a wasting disease.

Real GDP dropped 10% between May 1937 and June 1938.

Unemployment spiked from 14% to 20%.

The “recession within a depression” was America’s third-largest downturn of the 20th century.

The Fed reopened its medical bag of easy money in 1938… and the recession ultimately ended.

But Romer warns that the 1936–37 example “provides a cautionary tale.”

The Fed wanted to return to “normal” — just as today’s Fed.

“The urge to declare victory and get back to normal policy after an economic crisis is strong,” affirms Romer.

The economy was too wobbly to stand on its own in 1936.

Is today’s economy too wobbly to stand additional rate hikes?

First-quarter GDP expanded a glass-half-empty 2.2%.

Annual GDP growth has eked out a mere 2.16% average since 2010.

But comes your objection…

Unlike 1936, the economy is not sunk in depression. The comparison is off.

But here we resort to John Maynard Keynes’ definition of depression:

A chronic condition of sub-normal activity for a considerable period without any marked tendency towards recovery or towards complete collapse.

The long-term U.S. growth rate is roughly 3%.

But it has not grown at 3% since the financial crisis.

Here you have your depression… as defined by Lord Keynes himself.

Regardless, at 2.2% growth, “overheating” would not seem to apply today.

But Jim Rickards argues the Fed isn’t raising rates to break a fever.

It’s restocking its medicine chest for the next recession.

History says rates must climb to 3% or more to tackle the next recession.

The Fed won’t reach its 3% destination until mid-2019 at the going rate — if it arrives at all.

Bank of America has canvassed the entire history of tightening cycles going back over 100 years.

Its conclusion:

Whenever the Fed tightens aggressively… America falls ill:


Sixteen of the past 19 rate hike cycles have ended in recession — 84% of the time.

Be it a financial “event” or general economic malaise, the evidence is overwhelming…

Aggressive rate hikes are followed by trouble.

Will the Fed cause another 1937-like recession… or some financial “event”?

Jim Rickards believes it could.

The Fed is “raising into weakness,” says Jim.

And that it will have to turn around later this year once the business becomes clear.

We hope Jim is wrong… but fear he is not.

We learn one lesson from history:

That we learn little from history.

It is a lesson we could potentially learn once again — the hard way.

Regards,

Brian Maher
Managing editor, The Daily Reckoning

https://dailyreckoning.com/is-the-fed-repeating-the-mistake-of-1936-37/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 15, 2018, 12:23:16 pm »


https://www.rt.com/business/429851-trump-slaps-beijing-with-50/
Trump🦀 slaps China with $50 billion in trade tariffs on imports

15 Jun, 2018

The White House has announced a 25-percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in what it calls a clampdown on unfair trade practices by Beijing.

The US trade representative’s office said it issued a revised China tariff list covering 1,102 separate product categories. The first package of revised tariffs will apply to $34 billion of Chinese imports, on 818 product lines, and will enter into effect from July 6. The second package will target the remaining $16 billion of Chinese goods, on 284 product lines.

Since his presidential election campaign, US President Donald Trump has pledged to cut the trade deficit between the US and China and to curb Beijing’s allegedly unfair trade practices. Trump has also accused China of stealing US technology and intellectual property.

“In light of China’s theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices, the US will implement a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods from China that contain industrially significant technologies,” according to the White House statement.

“This includes goods related to China’s Made in China 2025 strategic plan to dominate the emerging high-technology industries that will drive future economic growth for China, but hurt economic growth for the United States and many other countries.”

The step is expected to escalate trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies. Earlier, Chinese officials warned of mirror measures, pledging to introduce import tariffs on US goods such as automobiles, aircraft, and soybeans.

Beijing said it would swiftly impose retaliatory levies on American imports worth $50 billion. Shortly after China's warning, the White House threatened tariffs on a further $100 billion of Chinese exports.

Since becoming president, Trump has unleashed numerous trade battles, including with countries considered traditional US allies. Earlier this month, Washington introduced 25-percent tariffs on steel imports and 10-percent levies on aluminum imports from the EU, Canada, and Mexico.

In March, the Trump administration imposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Russia, China, and India. The affected nations have appealed to the World Trade Organization (WTO), demanding compensation over what they call a “protectionist measure.”
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 15, 2018, 12:18:05 pm »


https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/06/11/the-g7-summit-collapses/

The G7 summit collapses


June 11, 2018 Posted by Addison dePitt

BE SURE TO PASS THESE ARTICLES TO FRIENDS AND KIN. A LOT DEPENDS ON THIS. DO YOUR PART.

By Alex Lantier, wsws.org


Don Trumpone causes a big rififi among the leading imperialist mafia. The more chaos in the capitalist bloc, a bunch of plutocratic thugs, the better for the world. Merkel’s glaring at Trump is eloquent. Standing behind Trump is bloodthirsty consigliere Bolton.

In an unprecedented event, the G7 talks at Charlevoix in Quebec broke down Saturday, amid bitter recriminations and threats of trade war measures between countries at the heart of the world economy. Insoluble conflicts erupted over Washington’s threats to impose tariff barriers on billions of dollars of imports from the European Union (EU), Canada and Mexico.

The lead-up to the conference had been marked by acrimony, with French President Emmanuel Macron rhetorically proposing to sign a “6 country agreement,” excluding the United States. Photos emerged from the summit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaning over a table, glaring at Trump, who left the summit early, skipping talks on climate change.

The summit issued a final communiqué papering over the conflicts, as is usual in G7 summits, condemning protectionism but making a few criticisms of the World Trade Organization in line with US complaints. The US was expected to sign, but Trump, after listening to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s post summit press conference while en route to Singapore for a summit with North Korean President Kim Jong-un, fired off a volley of tweets that signaled a comprehensive breakdown of the G7 talks.

After Trudeau said that the communiqué criticized protectionism and that Canada would maintain its $16 billion retaliatory tariffs on US goods, the biggest Canadian tariffs since World War II, Trump hurled invective at Trudeau, warning that he “will not allow other countries” to impose tariffs. He accused what are nominally the closest US allies of having targeted the US for “Trade Abuse for many decades—and that is long enough.”

In another tweet, the US president threatened a major escalation of trade war measures with tariffs on auto imports and announced the breakdown of talks: “Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our US farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our US Reps not to endorse the Communiqué as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the US market!”

This is the first time since G7 summits began in 1975—originally as the G5 with the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain and France—that all the heads of state could not agree on a communiqué.

What is unfolding is a historic collapse of diplomatic and economic relations between the major imperialist powers. For the three quarters of a century since World War II, a broad consensus existed internationally in the ruling class that the trade wars of the 1930s Great Depression played a major role in triggering that war, and that trade wars should be avoided at all costs. This consensus has now broken down.
The contradictions of world capitalism identified as the causes of world war by the great Marxists of the 20th century—between international economy and the nation state system, and between socialized production and private appropriation of profits—are exploding to the fore today.
. Explosive conflict and uncertainty dominate the world economy. The United States, the EU and Canada are preparing tariffs impacting untold billions of dollars in goods and threatening tens of millions of jobs worldwide. As the remarks of Trudeau and Trump show, US tariff threats are setting into motion an escalatory spiral of tariffs and counter-tariffs with potentially devastating consequences.

The collapse of the G7 talks cannot be explained by the personal peculiarities of Donald Trump. Rather, this historical milestone is an expression of US imperialism’s desperate attempts to resolve insoluble contradictions of world capitalism. Not only Trump, but prominent Democrats and large sections of the European media and ruling elite are all recklessly calling for trade war measures against their rivals.

Analyzing US imperialist policy in 1929, the year before the eruption of the Great Depression, Leon Trotsky warned: “In the period of crisis, the hegemony of the United States will operate more completely, more openly, and more ruthlessly than in the period of boom. The United States will seek to overcome and extricate herself from her difficulties and maladies primarily at the expense of Europe, regardless of whether this occurs in Asia, Canada, South America, Australia or Europe itself, whether this takes place peacefully or through war.”

The G7 summits were launched to manage conflicts between the major powers as the industrial and economic dominance established by US imperialism in World War II rapidly eroded, and after Washington ended dollar-gold convertibility in 1971. Still unable to catch up to its European and international competitors, the United States has for decades posted ever-larger trade deficits with rivals in Europe and Asia.

After the Stalinist bureaucracy dissolved the Soviet Union in 1991, lifting the main obstacle to US-led neo-colonial wars, Washington tried to counterbalance its economic weakness by resort to its vast military superiority.

Over decades of bloody neo-colonial wars that killed millions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and beyond, the United States has sought to establish a powerful military position in the oil-rich Middle East. These wars placed its forces athwart key trade and energy supply routes of its main economic rivals.

Trump’s election and his denunciations of “trade abuse” of the United States by Europe, Japan and Canada marks a new stage in the crisis of world capitalism. Bitter US-EU divisions are growing not only over trade, but over EU opposition to the US policy of threatening Iran with war by ending the Iranian nuclear deal. After decades of economic crisis and neo-colonial war, the danger is rapidly emerging of a 1930s-style disintegration of the world economy into rival trading blocs and, as in that decade, the eruption of military conflict between them.

The contradictions of world capitalism identified as the causes of world war by the great Marxists of the 20th century—between international economy and the nation state system, and between socialized production and private appropriation of profits—are exploding to the fore today.

The European powers have responded to Trump with stepped-up threats of retaliatory measures. Following the summit, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on the European powers to respond “together” in order to defend their “interests even more offensively.”

Historically, trade war has been a precursor to military conflict. Prior to the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron responded angrily to Trump’s threatened sanctions, declaring, “This decision is not only unlawful but it is a mistake in many respects. Economic nationalism leads to war. This is exactly what happened in the 1930s.”

Amid growing tensions with the US, all of the European powers are rapidly rearming. Just one week before the G7 summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel signalled her support for Macron’s proposal to create a joint European defence force, open to British participation and independent of NATO.

The only viable response to the growing threat of trade and military war is the mobilization of the working class internationally in struggle against capitalism and the danger of war. As strikes and class struggle explode around the world—among teachers in the United States, metalworkers in Germany and Turkey, and the broad movement of workers against Macron’s austerity policies in France—the social force that can lead this opposition is coming to the fore. The turn now is to the building of an international, socialist anti-war movement based on the working class.

—Alex Lantier
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 13, 2018, 05:25:08 pm »

Defiant Trump 🦀 Ignites Trade War with Canada and G-7 Allies

June 12, 2018

Citing national security issues to get around WTO rules, Trump ordered tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports from Canada and EU countries.  William Black and Gerald Epstein discusses the implications of these tariffs on the different economies


https://therealnews.com/stories/defiant-trump-ignites-trade-war-with-canada-and-g-7-allies
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 11, 2018, 12:41:11 pm »

Jesus, Take the Wheel
The president alienates our allies and cozies up to autocracies—all in a single weekend.




Yep. :( Great article! 



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 10, 2018, 02:47:58 pm »

But seriously, Trump is going to cut off trade with Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Try to imagine that. Try to wrap your head around the President giving THAT order.

No more trade with our (former) allies. Putin has to be laughing his ass off.

Trump takes hard line with allies at G-7 summit, threatens trade

Yeah, this Trump dude is really going off the deep end!

Something really beneficially "weird" just happened to us. I don't know if this has to do with Trump's trade insanity, but my wife was pleasantly surprised to buy a large piece of Italian Parmesan cheese, that normally costs $14 (for the same weight), for only $8.

Are the Italians dumping Parmesan? I don't know what is going on there but it is nice to pay less for Parmesan.   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 10, 2018, 12:52:18 pm »


Wealth Inequality Just Hit The 1929 Great Depression Levels
http://www.investmentwatchblog.com/wealth-inequality-just-hit-the-1929-great-depression-levels-now-what/

Argentina has been bailed out by the IMF with the biggest ever loan in IMF history. UK retailers are in trouble, more stores are closing down and the press is contributing this to online sales. Consumer credit growth has slowed, savings is declining, this is a recipe for a disaster. Corelogic reports that more than half the homes in the US are overvalued, just like in 2008. Household wealth rises to an all time high, but it is all funneled into the 1%, we are now back to the great depression levels. Ben Bernanke believes the economy will not make it until 2020. China’s new Silk Road is the new world trading system.


It is all wacky.  In Seattle we have affluence and homelessness both increasing at the same time.  A two tier economy evolves where a small number of people, lets say 20%, since the number varies from place to place, are making bank and life is good.  For the 80% life is sucking.  Suicide is up and there is food insecurity.  Jobs don't pay enough in this group there is no security their jobs will exist next year if they do have one.  They may be contract and even know they have a shelf life.

Doesn't matter if you think this is right or wrong.  It can't last
.


Hellfire from above or the economy simply won't abide a social arrangement where the value of money becomes different depending on if you are a 'winner or a looser' in the game. It is not simply about being a lucky dog or not.

This:


Or This:


It is about this:


Bifurcation will lead to collapse and it is well under way.


Bifurcation will lead to collapse and it is well under way.

Perhaps it will lead to revolution but even that is doubtful.

Poor people being forced not to consume scarce resources is not an ingredient for collapse, BAU is.


It seems the "skill" of our propagandist mindforkers is being tested to the limit.


I am in agreement with GO on this issue. :o ;D As GO stated, more or less, the total collapse of civilization is being caused by BAU.




Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 10, 2018, 11:15:17 am »

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/06/09/if-you-inject-a-stream-of-raw-ignorance-into-a-vat-of-gaseous-arrogance-what-does-it-produce/

If You Inject a Stream of Raw Ignorance Into a Vat of Gaseous Arrogance, What Does It Produce?

June 9, 2018 branford perry

HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.

By Jim Hightower

King Donald has the firepower of the federal government at his beck and call, so he is arrogantly using the government power to escalate his personal spat with Bezos. By executive order, he set up a federal task force to conduct a pernicious political inquisition into “our money losing post office,” particularly looking at the “pricing of the package delivery market.”

Answer: Donald Trump’s Executive Order of April 12.

Let’s start with the arrogance. King Donald the First has been in a deep pout over negative articles about him in the Washington Post newspaper, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, King of the Amazon.com empire. Trump has fired off several rounds of angry tweets assailing Bezos, including a potshot claiming that Amazon is ripping off the post office by underpaying for the millions of its packages that the postal services ships.

Well, tweets are one thing, but King Donald has the firepower of the federal government at his beck and call, so he is arrogantly using the government power to escalate his personal spat with Bezos. By executive order, he set up a federal task force to conduct a pernicious political inquisition into “our money losing post office,” particularly looking at the “pricing of the package delivery market.”

This is where Trump’s vast ignorance comes into play. Apparently, he’s blissfully unaware that, far from being a money loser, the U.S. Postal Service has actually been earning about a billion dollars a year in profit. The false claim of “unsustainable” operational losses, repeated in King Donald’s imperious order, stem from a 2006 political ploy by right wingers who want to destroy the public service. They passed a law dictating that USPS pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years into the future — covering retirement costs for workers who haven’t even been born!

This adds a totally hokey “expense” of up to $5 billion a year to the USPS corporate ledger, creating the fake “loss” Trump is now so bombastically citing as the rational for his destructive inquisition.The humble U.S. postal system has 30,000 outlets serving every part of America, employs 630,000 people in good middle-class jobs and delivers letters and packages clear across the country for a pittance. It is a jewel of public service excellence.

Therefore, it must be destroyed.

Such is the fevered logic of laissez-fairy-headed corporate supremist like the billionaire Koch brothers, along with the right-wing politicians who serve them. This malevolent gang of wrecking-ball privatizers includes such prominent Trumpteers as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, (a former Wall Street huckster from Goldman Sachs) and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, a former corporate-hugging congress critter from South Carolina. Both were involved in setting up Trump’s shiny new task force to evaluate and restructure the “operations” of our U.S. Postal Service. It’s like trusting two foxes to remodel the hen house.

Indeed, Trump himself merely wanted to take a slap at his political enemy, Amazon King Bezos, by jacking up the prices the postal agency charges to deliver Amazon’s packages. The cabal of far-right corporatizers, however, saw Trump’s temper tantrum as a golden opportunity to go after the postal service itself. So, instead of simply addressing the matter of package pricing, the task force was authorized by a trumped-up executive order with an open-ended mandate to evaluate, dissect and restructure the people’s mail service — including the real one.

Who’d buy the pieces? For-profit shippers like FedEx and UPS, of course, but here’s some serious irony for you: The one outfit with the cash and clout to buy our nation’s whole postal infrastructure and turn it into a monstrous corporate monopoly is none other than… the Amazon Kingdom, of course.

Sometimes public policy inadvertently turns bad, but when it’s based on ignorance and arrogance, policy inevitably goes bad. To help stop the gross greed of these privatizers, become part of the Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service: www.AGrandAlliance.org.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jim Hightower is an American populist, spreading his message of democratic hope via national radio commentaries, columns, books, his award-winning monthly newsletter (The Hightower Lowdown) and barnstorming tours all across America.


Exactly right!

Here is a Trump Administration 🦍 MAGA method cartoon metaphor:



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 07, 2018, 04:46:35 pm »

June 7, 2018

Authored by Sven Henrich via NorthmanTrader.com,

Quote
I’ll leave you with one consideration.

FAAMG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google) now have a combined market capitalization of $3.8 trillion, larger than Germany’s GDP of $3.7 trillion.


Quote
Germany is only the 4th largest economy on the planet.

I submit that the concentration of market cap in just a few hands is very much distorting the underlying fundamental reality and exposes markets to event risk should these few stocks roll-over and correct.

The narrowing in leadership is evident in the data. The most recent rally on $NDX has come with 40% of the index components tinkering below their 200MA while many of the big boys are ramping from new high to new high.

This type of divergence has spelled eventual trouble in the past:

Full reality based article with numerous eye opening charts: 😎

Bull Rebuttal
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 03, 2018, 05:33:25 pm »

THIS is what the Deep State that put Trump 🦀 into power wants to return to

Quote
The work conditions in the slaughterhouses, other factories and various mines are another example. Work assignments in these settings were reduced to simple, repetitive tasks that any unskilled immigrant could learn quickly.  The problem was that a worker typically repeated the same simple task for twelve hours, six days per week.  These long hours doing repetitive work with dangerous machinery contributed to many industrial accidents, rendering individuals unable to hold their jobs.  In 1914 alone, 35,000 workers were killed and 700,000 injured in industrial accidents. (Zinn, 1995) Jane Addams (1961, p. 132) tells of her observations in Chicago:

“During the same winter three boys from a Hull-House club were injured at one machine in a neighboring factory for lack of a guard which would have cost but a few dollars.  When the injury of one of these boys resulted in his death, we felt quite sure that the owners of the factory would share our horror and remorse, and that they would do everything possible to prevent the recurrence of such a tragedy. To our surprise they did nothing whatever, and I made my first acquaintance then with those pathetic documents signed by the parents of working children, that they will make no claim for damages resulting from “carelessness….

Quote
In fact, it was a common belief that poverty was handed down from one immoral generation to the next.  A February 17th, 1854 article portrayed people living in poverty and scrounging for basic needs as dishonest and criminal.  “…There are ten thousand children in this City alone, who are either without parents or friends, or are trained systematically by their parents to vagrancy, beggary and crime: not only shut out utterly and hopelessly from all moral influences, but exposed day and night to the contamination of crime…” (New York Times, 1854).

https://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/settlement-houses/women-settlements-and-poverty/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 03, 2018, 04:54:19 pm »


Fairness in our system has always been very elusive. I'll talk about healthcare, because it's something I know a lot about, for obvious reasons. That's only part of the social welfare system, but it's the biggest part, other than SNAP.

//
Now, with resources dwindling, the tide is going out on social services in general. The preferential treatment has been much reduced.  The states reduce their pay-out by screwing both providers and recipients in a thousand different small ways, while privatization enriches the middle men who line up for the conduit schemes that privatization creates.

It's now completely possible for a doctor to go bankrupt because the state simply does not pay him in a timely manner for services they actually solicited him to perform. And patients who are supposed to get the benefits are sh it-out-of-luck if no more doctors sign up to be providers.  But that's a win for the uber-conservative Koch-bought state legislators.

It's all very complicated, and seriously fu cked-up.


You know, yo could take this and with a minimum of work turn this into a blog post, a first person chronicle of the health-care wars in the US. Like Ambrose Bierce at Shiloh.



Remember what the secret sauce was!  A rising tide lifts all boats.  The idea pushed was that everybody goes up a notch so inequality was fine because technology would make life fair so humans did not have to.  It would be fine to just worry about ourselves and fu ck and eat.  The natural laws of the universe would make life fair.


Everybody does it so I should too.  That was what uncle Miltie was saying.  Everyone was so shocked by the lunacy of saying greed was good that he sold his pet rock to the entire world.  Seriously, I was there too.  Everyone was pondering if greed was good or not and in that confusion the neo-liberal revolution swept the world.  Milton created a vacuum between everyones ears and nature abhors a vacuum.

I remember discussions about 'greed is good' and women in particular, being the caring creatures they can be sometimes; had big problems with the idea.  You can see a couple of them at the beginning of the video.  Notice the blankness of their attention.  Yet sadly while women did have big problems with being self-centered, they did not rebel against their daddies.

The most evil selfish ignorant fu cks of all time got their hooks into the national legislatures and changed the world by proclaiming greed is good so we should all get greedy and change the world.  Get with the program or let it pass you by.  That was the message.  A message that said no not just to succeeding generations but no even to their own children.  All for them and none for you.  That is how selfishness and the sanction of inequality works.  It can go only one way.

I remember a guy, an expert with a leaf blower who mowed lawns.  He imagined he was going to expand with half a dozen Mexicans working for him so he could buy 'property' because that was the big thing to do at the time.  Greed was out there unabashed and unashamed.  It was good don't you know.  Build the housing bubble so it could pop.  Which it has twice since the summer of Uncle Miltie.  Now the leaf blower works for Mexicans.  He has no property.

I wish Milton were still alive so someone could torture him.  Turn him into a project of 'free enterprise' while he screams and begs for it all to end.  But regardless, the pain inflicted on the world could never be balanced even if he were tortured for a thousand years.

Donahue did no good sucking up to this pig.  By sucking up he sanctioned the message of the bully.

"Don't you ever stop and think that maybe........................................

No Phil he did not and you helped him by not calling him out.  I suppose those were the rules, but did you want to call him out? 

I ask the wind.




All this began to happen long before the Milton Friedman greedball (the clever CROOK who got the US Government to withhold income taxes WITHOUT paying us interest for having that money for one year before tax time) rode the crest of the Chicago school of empathy deficit disordered "economics" tsunami.

It actually began with the Calvinist "Christians" after the Civil War. Mass production and industrialization promised to give people more leisure time and a high standard of living due to gigantic leaps in production efficency. So, the elites masterminded a "religion based" propaganda effort to demonize leisure time and snactify the "work ethic". It was pure and unadulterated bullshit. The elites are THE most leisure worshipping, routine "sabatical" excusing, time wasting, long vacation loving, bankers' hours protecting, parasitical lazy bastards in human society. They knew that machines would give the workers more time off. That would allow the workers time to think.

The elites did not like that idea. The workers might figure out how they were being gamed so profits from productivity gains went to a tiny group of oligarchs that were then happily shaping the Gilded Age massive corruption and horrendously high accidental death rate in US industrial production factories.

The promise of a better life for all was there right after the Civil War. The Calvinists went to work in pulpits all over the Country to provide cover for the one way transfer of wealth to the oligarchs due to machine productivity gains.

The EXACT SAME THING happened about a century later, but without the "religion" excuse and more with a con about "greed is good", when automation promised massive productivity gains as Reagan slithered into office.   

The bottom line here is not greed or even the Calvinist "work ethic" (for anybody that ain't rich 😈) sanctimoneous bullshit propaganda. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THE OLIGARCHS ARE BOUND AND DETERMINED TO MAKE SURE WE-THE-PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE TIME TO THINK!

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 31, 2018, 05:07:23 pm »

Liquidity Crisis Coming: Here, There, Everywhere 


by Mike Mish Shedlock

May 31, 2018 14 hrs-edited

Jim Puplava thinks a liquidity crisis is on the horizon. I agree, adding that the problem is global.

Please pay attention to Jim Puplava at Financial Sense. He says a Liquidity Crisis Looming.

In total, index funds represent $7 trillion of U.S. stock funds that have no active manager. All buying and selling are done automatically.  :P Active management has gone out of fashion, Puplava noted, and as this sea change occurs, the market's ability to price companies diminishes.

Ownership of stocks in the S&P 500 is concentrated with three companies; Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street. They represent about 88 percent of the S&P 500  :o , and if we include Schwab and Fidelity, over 90 percent of the S&P 500 is basically now in the hands of five companies.  

“It's really mindless investing,” Puplava said. “The crux of the problem is that mutual funds own more bonds that seldom trade than ever before, but they're still promising to pay out investors within seven days of redemption, a promise they may not be able to fulfill in the next downturn or crisis.”

Global Problem

The problem is global.

Central bank actions explain most of what you need to know. Italian bonds provide a good example.

Despite the recent, massive selloff in Italian bonds, 10-year Italian bonds still trade at roughly the same yield as US 10-year bonds.

Is there no default risk? No eurozone exit risk?

Of course there is. But those bonds trade where they do because the ECB is engaged in QE to a far greater extent than the the Fed ever did. How nuts is that?

88% of the S&P is with Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street. How nuts is that?

Close to $7 trillion in bonds trade with a negative yield. The figure was close to $10 trillion at one point. How nuts is that?

According to LCD, covenant-lite loan now account for a record 75% of the roughly $970 billion in outstanding U.S leveraged loans.

Covenant-lite agreements vary, but they allow things like paying interest with more debt rather than cash or skipping repayments entirely for periods of time. How nuts is that?

Totally Nuts

This is totally nuts, across the board.

Puplava calls it "mindless". I suspect he would be the first to admit that he seriously understated the concern.

My "totally nuts" position is also too mild, but I also struggle for the precise words.

Crisis Looms

A global liquidity crisis looms. It is entirely central-bank sponsored.

Just don't expect me, Puplava, or anyone else to tell you precisely when the crisis will hit. But it will. And when it does, don't fool yourself into believing that you can necessarily escape in time. 

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

https://www.themaven.net/mishtalk/economics/liquidity-crisis-coming-here-there-everywhere-9UqU-2UheEup1Ia98aQx0A/

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 31, 2018, 11:57:08 am »


US barking up the wrong trade tree

By Stephen S. Roach | China Daily | Updated: 2018-05-31 07:36

The author, a faculty member at Yale University and former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, is the author of Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China.

The good news is that the United States and China appear to have backed away from the precipice of a trade war. While vague in detail, a May 19 agreement has defused tension and created room for further negotiation. The bad news is that the framework of negotiations is flawed: A deal with any one country will do little to resolve the US' fundamental economic imbalances that have arisen in an interconnected world.

There is a longstanding disconnect between bilateral and multilateral approaches to international economic problems. In May 1930, some 1,028 of the US' leading economists wrote an open letter to Herbert Hoover, then US president, urging him to veto the pending Smoot-Hawley tariff bill. Hoover ignored the advice, and the global trade war that followed made a garden-variety depression "great". Incumbent US President Donald Trump has put a comparable spin on what it takes to "make America great again".

Politicians have long favored the bilateral perspective, because it simplifies blame: you "solve" problems by targeting a specific country. By contrast, the multilateral approach appeals to most economists, because it stresses the balance-of-payments distortions that arise from mismatches between savings and investment. This contrast between the simple and the complex is an obvious and important reason why economists often lose public debates. The dismal science has never been known for clarity.

Such is the case with the US-China debate. China is an easy political target. After all, it accounted for 46 percent of the US' colossal $800 billion merchandise trade gap last year. Moreover, China has been accused of egregious violations of international rules, ranging from allegations of currency manipulation and State-subsidized dumping of excess capacity to cyber-hacking and forced technology transfer.

Equally significant, China seems to have lost the battle in the Western arena of public opinion - criticized by Western policymakers, a few high-profile academics, and others for having failed to live up to the grand bargain struck in 2001, when it joined the World Trade Organization. A recent article in Foreign Affairs by two senior officials in the Barack Obama administration says it all: "(T) he liberal international order has failed to lure or bind China as powerfully as expected." As is the case with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Syria and Iran, strategic patience has given way to impatience, with the nationalistic Trump administration leading the charge against China.

The counter-argument from multilateral-focused economists like me rings hollow in this climate. Tracing outsize current-account and trade deficits to an extraordinary shortfall of US domestic savings - just 1.3 percent of national income in the fourth quarter of 2017 - counts for little in the arena of popular opinion. Likewise, it doesn't help when we emphasize that China is merely a large piece of a much bigger multilateral problem: the US had bilateral merchandise trade deficits with 102 countries in 2017. Nor does it matter when we point out that correcting the supply-chain distortions - caused by inputs from other countries that enter into Chinese assembly platforms - would reduce the bilateral US-China trade imbalance by 35-40 percent.

Flawed as it may be, the bilateral political case argument resonates in a US where there is enormous pressure to ease the angst of the country's beleaguered middle class. Trade deficits, goes the argument, lead to job losses and wage compression. And, with the merchandise trade gap hitting 4.2 percent of GDP last year, these pressures have only intensified during the current economic recovery. As a result, targeting China has enormous political appeal.

So, what can be made of the May 19 deal?

Beyond a ceasefire in tit-for-tat tariffs, there are few real benefits. US negotiators are fixated on targeted reductions of about $200 billion in the bilateral trade imbalance over a two-year time frame. Given the extent of the US' multilateral problem, this is largely a meaningless objective, especially in light of the massive and ill-timed tax cuts and federal expenditure increases that the Trump administration has enacted in the last six months.

Indeed, with budget deficits likely to widen, the US' savings shortfall will only deepen in the years ahead. That points to rising balance-of-payments and multilateral trade deficits, which are impossible to resolve through targeted actions against a single country.

Chinese negotiators are more circumspect, resisting numerical deficit targets but committing to the joint objective of "effective measures to substantially reduce" the bilateral imbalance with the US. China's promise to import more US agricultural and energy products borrows a page from the "shopping list" approach of its earlier trade missions to the US. Unfortunately, the big-wallet mindset of China reinforces the US narrative that China is guilty as charged.

Even if the stars were in perfect alignment and the US was not facing a savings constraint, it stretches credibility to seek a formulaic bilateral solution to the US' multilateral problem. Since 2000, the largest annual reduction in the US-China merchandise trade imbalance amounted to $41 billion, and that occurred in 2009, during the depths of the global financial crisis. The goal of achieving back-to-back annual reductions totaling more than double that magnitude is sheer fantasy.

In the end, any effort to impose a bilateral solution on a multilateral problem will backfire, with ominous consequences for US consumers. Without addressing the shortfall in domestic savings, the bilateral fix simply moves the deficit from one economy to others.

And therein lies the cruelest twist of all. China is the US' low-cost provider of imported consumer goods. The Trump 🦀 deal would shift the Chinese piece of the US' multilateral imbalance to higher-cost imports from elsewhere - the functional equivalent of a tax hike on US families. As Hoover's ghost might ask, what's so great about that?

Project Syndicate

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201805/31/WS5b0f3585a31001b82571d494.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 30, 2018, 12:05:38 pm »

War Erupts Between Trump's🦀
Two Top Trade Advisors 😈 👹  Over China

by Tyler Durden

Wed, 05/30/2018 - 10:14

Commenting on the latest, surprise escalation in the US-China trade ceasefire war, in which Trump unexpectedly announced 25% tariffs on up to $50BN in Chinese imports, prompting a fresh round of outrage and confusion in Beijing which was confident it was done with Trump's "flip-flopping", we observed that "the latest move by Trump signals the more hawkish wing of Trump’s trade team is trying to amplify its hard line, after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said this month that any talk of a trade war was suspended for now."

“Mnuchin’s ‘trade war on hold’ comments look to have been repudiated,” said Derek Scissors, a China analyst at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “It may be the administration has shifted somewhat to appease the Congress on the lifting of the ZTE sanctions.”

Which, we concluded, begs the question:

is China trade hawk dragon Peter Navarro back in Trump's good graces, and if so, is the countdown to Mnuchin's resignation officially on?

Then just moments later, none other than Peter Navarro himself confirmed that there may be another major battle behind the scenes, when in a rare public rebuke of Steven Mnuchin, Navarro - who the media recently relegated to D-grade advisor status when he was excluded from China talks after reportedly exploding at Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross two weeks ago - called Mnuchin's claim that the trade war with China was "on hold" an "unfortunate sound bite" and admitting that there’s a dispute that needs to be resolved.



“What we’re having with China is a trade dispute, plain and simple,” Navarro said in an interview broadcast Wednesday with National Public Radio. “We lost the trade war long ago" with deals such as Nafta and China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, he said.

"That was an unfortunate sound bite," says WH adviser Peter Navarro of Steven Mnuchin saying a trade war with China is "on hold." It's on hold no longer, though Navarro calls it a "trade dispute." More in this thread.https://t.co/m7oPSJWcTA @MorningEdition @npr

— Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep) May 30, 2018
Navarro also said that "we can stop them from putting our high tech companies out of business" and "buying up our crown jewels of technology.... Every time we innovate something new, China comes in and buys it or steals it."

Earlier this month, Mnuchin shocked markets and sent stocks surging after he said in a weekend televised interview that the prospect of a trade war with China was "on hold." It turns out, Mnuchin was merely saying whatever someone had told him to say.

The latest controversial remark from Navarro, who refuses to go gentle into that good night, came just days before U.S.  Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is scheduled to meet with his counterparts in Beijing to discuss ways to reduce the U.S.’s trade deficit with China, and - as noted earlier - follows Trump's surprise announcement that the U.S. is moving ahead with plans to impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports and curb investment in sensitive technology.

The renewed tariff threats could stop the planned talks and jeopardize a deal, the WSJ reported on Wednesday, citing sources in both countries. A team of U.S. officials was scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Wednesday. Asked about potential Chinese retaliation, especially on American farm goods, Navarro said “we’re ready for anything.”

As for the implications of this growing trade advisor war in Trump's inner circle, two weeks ago Bill Blain wrote that "Mnuchin’s Name Is Now High On The Trump Deadpool List" and come to think of it, it has been a while since Trump fired anyone...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-30/war-erupts-between-trumps-two-top-trade-advisors
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 25, 2018, 02:04:40 pm »

Well YEAH. And they are broke because, instead of the Fed using the printing press to pay off student loans and fund a nationwide infrastructure building program to bring the USA into a clean energy economy with jobs for everyone, they 😈 handed 16 trillion or so to their bankrupt bankster crook PALS!

The USA is STILL in a Depression (going 10 years now). There has never been any "recovery" whatsoever.

BUT, as long as the media just talks about the stock market that a tiny percentage of the American public actually benefits from, the LIES that there is "no inflation" and that there is "low unemployment" FEED the cognitive dissonance mindfork which continues to totally screw the most vulnerable and an entire generation of people who just wanted to live a normal life with a normal job.

You are correct. Which is worth a cookie, or at least a pallet's worth of "thoughts n' prayers" left over from the Texas school shooting.

And don't forget the missing $21 trillion gone missing from the Pentagon. Posted here by me, RE and others. If you mixed it, worth a Google.

The days of "a normal life with a normal job" are gone, to be replaced with round after round of extraction and immiseration until we're broke and gone.


True. Yes, I had read about the 21 trillion (see: Disguised MILITARY dictatorship).  :(
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 24, 2018, 09:49:15 pm »

Auto Sales Collapse Ford To Stop All Production of Cars - Economic Collapse News

208,663 views
 

Silver Report Uncut

Published on Apr 27, 2018

Economic collapse news.  Ford has announced its plan to scale back it's business.  That plan includes ending the production of all cars.  For over a years sales have continued to decline so the Major auto manufacturer is going to focus it's efforts on what works trucks and suvs.  When numbers are massaged to display strong sales this is the end result....pop!
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 24, 2018, 09:11:21 pm »

Quote
Why is Karl Marx so revered in academia? They think of capitalism as evil.

Justin Schwartz, works at Law Office of Justin Schwartz

Answered May 11, 2018

As somebody who has been fired from two academic jobs, one in philosophy, one in law, at least in part because I’m a Marxist, I think your impression of the reverence for Marx in academia is mistaken. In general, you will not find a lot of Marxists in prestigious or even other departments. After I lost one job and was looking for another, I heard from a reliable source that an academic department looking at my credentials decided not to consider me because “we already have a Marxist.” Needless to say, no one would say that about a liberal or a conservative.

Marx is none the less widely respected as a thinker because he is an important thinker, someone who is acknowledged to have brought the importance of economics to society and of conflict to society and politics to the forefront of social thought.

Your second sentence suggest that hating capitalism or thinking that it is evil is a disqualification for somebody being or deserving reference or even respect. You don’t say why that is, although, since I’ve been around the block, I can fill in the blanks. I would just like to call to your attention the fact that this is an undefended assumption. Evil is not necessarily a word that Marxists would use it, but bad, definitely. It wasn’t always bad, all things considered, given the alternatives, but today, there is no justification for a system where a tiny minority owns almost all the property and everyone else has virtually nothing and must scramble to survive. We can do better.

https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Karl-Marx-so-revered-in-academia-They-think-of-capitalism-as-evil
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 24, 2018, 08:48:26 pm »



Eighties Babies Are Officially the Brokest Generation, Federal Reserve Study Concludes

By JORDAN WEISSMANN

MAY 23, 201810:40 AM

Right after the Great Recession, it was a little hard to tell who had it worse: Millennials or Gen X. On the one hand, those of us in our twenties and early thirties faced the dire prospect of starting our careers amid the worst economy in modern memory. Graduating back then felt a bit like leaping off a high dive only to realize someone had drained the water out of the pool. But at least most of us hadn’t gotten caught up in the housing bubble. Gen Xers, in contrast, had just watched their home equity get demolished and had children to worry about, making the prospect of unemployment all the more terrifying.

A decade later, though, it appears Millennials are in the much deeper financial hole. In a new study this month, economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis examined whether Americans are now wealthier or poorer than previous generations were at their age. It turns out that older households (those headed by someone born before 1960) are a bit better off than those their age had been in the past, while younger households (those headed by someone born after 1960) are generally worse off. And 1980s babies are in the most dire shape of all: As of 2016, the median net worth of those born around the Reagan years was 34 percent lower than what past trends would predict for their age group. Those born in the 1970s, the GenXers, were just 18 percent behind.

The brokest generation
 
Jordan Weissmann/Slate
Why are younger families so far behind the curve? According to the Fed report, the problem is not what they’re earning, nor their savings habits (the researchers find that, contrary to popular belief, Americans born in the ‘80s actually put away money at higher rates than Boomers or Gen Xers did at their age). Instead, the problem boils down to “houses and debt.” Americans born in the 1960s and ‘70s were up to their necks in mortgage debt when the housing bust hit, and their net worths plummeted with housing prices. But now that home values have recovered, their finances are healing. “Families whose heads were born in the 1980s are different,” the report states. Loaded down with student debt, auto loans, and credit card balances, less than half own homes and relatively few hold assets like stocks, meaning they’ve missed out on the runup in asset prices of the last few years, and it’s possible they’ll never be able to build wealth fast enough to match previous generations.

 
Technically, ‘80s babies don’t have the heaviest debt burden ever; they’re still behind the standard set by those born in the ‘70s. But the difference, again, is that Gen X levered up to buy actual assets. Millennials are paying for their diplomas. The Fed staffers hold out a sliver of hope that, as the most educated generation yet, those born in the ‘80s will earn enough to dig themselves out of the pit they’re currently in. But otherwise, it’s possible they’ll “become members of a lost generation for wealth accumulation.”

Here, I’d just like to end on a personal mea culpa. A few years ago, I co-wrote an article for the Atlantic that asked whether Millennials would ever buy houses or cars quite the way their parents did, and spent a bit too much time focusing on cultural explanations for their changing consumer habits rather than focusing on the obvious financial challenges my cohorts were facing. It was titled “The Cheapest Generation.” In retrospect, a more appropriate title would have obviously been the “The Brokest Generation.”1


https://slate.com/business/2018/05/millennials-are-in-a-deep-financial-hole-compared-to-past-generations.html

Well YEAH. And they are broke because, instead of the Fed using the printing press to pay off student loans and fund a nationwide infrastructure building program to bring the USA into a clean energy economy with jobs for everyone, they 😈 handed 16 trillion 💵or so to their bankrupt bankster crook PALS!

The USA is STILL in a Depression (going 10 years now). There has never been any "recovery" whatsoever.

BUT, as long as the media just talks about the stock market that a tiny percentage of the American public actually benefits from, the LIES that there is "no inflation" and that there is "low unemployment" FEED the cognitive dissonance mindfork which continues to totally screw the most vulnerable and an entire generation of people who just wanted to live a normal life with a normal job.

The FED DID THIS! May they REAP what they have sown!


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 22, 2018, 04:51:25 pm »


Trump Shuffle: China Runs Rings Around Trump's Trade Policy by Standing in Place

May 22, 2018

by Mike Mish Shedlock -edited

"Trump can always put tariffs back on," Mnuchin says. Can't China do the same?

The illusion of Trump's alleged trade victories is a sight to behold.

On Sunday, I commented China Trade Deal "Success": Details None.


Nonetheless, the market gapped up on Monday as if there was some sort of deal, even though China said there was none.

On Monday we had this meaningless revelation: Treasury Secretary Says U.S., China Have Suspended Tariffs, coupled with an equally meaningless vague threat by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the "President can always put tariffs back on".

Let's Sum Up the Success  ;)

The US put tariffs on China
China retaliated with tariffs
Trump took US tariffs off
“We’re putting the trade war on hold,” Mr. Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”
There is no specific timetable for the next steps in the negotiations, Lawrence Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said on Monday.

Loss of Leverage

The New York Times reported U.S. Suspends Tariffs on China, Stoking Fears of a Loss of Leverage.

Excuse me for asking, but precisely what leverage was that?

Will the Truce Will Boost Exports

CNBC makes this claim Trade truce with China could boost US beef, soybeans and other agriculture products.

Yes, it will, compared to the tariff-tariff setup. But to win that deal, both sides had to cancel tariffs.

Tariff cancellation is of course a good thing, but essentially we are back to square one.

"There's a relief for American farmers here because we were headed towards a situation where the Chinese were going to block imports of U.S. goods," said Derek Scissors, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and chief economist at the China Beige Book. However, the latest developments are just "a restoration of the status quo."

Trade Wars are Good and Easy to Win  


Please recall ...


Quote
Donald J. Trump 🦍✔@realDonaldTrump
When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!
6:50 AM - Mar 2, 2018 99.8K 51.2K people are talking about this

China Calls US Bluff

Let's get to the heart of the matter: China Called the US Bluff.

China’s propaganda machine took a victory lap after the talks, proclaiming that a strong challenge from the United States had been turned aside, at least for now. “Whether in Beijing or Washington, in the face of the unreasonable demands of the United States, the Chinese government has always resolutely fought back, never compromised, and did not accept the restrictions set by the other side,” the official Xinhua news service said in a commentary on Sunday.

China’s success partly comes from its ability to stick to a single strategy in trade. Even as Beijing has shown a willingness to talk and make peace offerings in the form of multibillion-dollar import contracts, it has held fast to its refusal to make any commitment for a fixed reduction in its trade gap with the United States. The trade imbalance between the countries has actually widened since Mr. Trump visited Beijing in November and oversaw the signing of import deals on everything from beef to helicopters.

Beijing also has not bent on its Made in China 2025 initiative, an industrial modernization program that Washington and American business groups complain forces foreign companies to share their best technology while potentially creating state-sponsored rivals.

White House trade officials have more expertise with trade law, but China has a small but cohesive team of negotiators who report directly to Liu He, a vice premier and nearly lifelong friend of Xi Jinping, the country’s top leader. Policy decisions that once took a month can now take as little as a day, said a person with a detailed knowledge of the process who insisted on anonymity because of the political sensitivity of the issue.

By contrast, the United States has shifted its demands and struggled to send out a consistent message.

US Consistent Message Playbook

Compare China's trade negotiation strategy to Trump's.

Sep 27 2017 - CNN: Nationalist trade adviser Peter Navarro sidelined
Feb 25: WSJ - Trump Set to Promote Trade Hawk Peter Navarro
May 16 - LA Times: White House trade advisor Navarro said to be excluded from China talks due to Mnuchin rift
May 16 - Bloomberg Top Trump Adviser Navarro to Take Part in China Talks After All
May 17 - CNN: Peter Navarro and Steven Mnuchin feuded at Beijing trade talks​
This set of events ending in a feud is fitting for a Saturday Night Live skit.

The feud culminated with an agreement to agree at some unknown point in time about matters unknown.

"There is no specific timetable for the next steps," said Kudlow.

Time to Celebrate

So here we are. Both sides canceled tariffs. The US won nothing more than vague commitments.

Yet, compared with a disastrous trade war, this set of events was a huge success. It was the best we could hope for.

Let's celebrate!   



Related Articles (links at article link)

ZTE Back From the Dead After Trump Reverses Sanctions

Dear Europe: Grow a Backbone on Something Important, Defy Trump on Sanctions

What's Trump's Real Trade Target: China or Europe?

Trump Hardball: Europe Pressured to Cancel Russia Pipeline to Avoid Trade War

Trumpian Hardball: Nowhere Close to NAFTA Deal but Progress in China


Mike "Mish" Shedlock

https://www.themaven.net/mishtalk/economics/trump-shuffle-china-runs-rings-around-trump-s-trade-policy-by-standing-in-place-IcQVfhjHsk2tOislBrlFSw/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 21, 2018, 05:54:43 pm »

 


Truthdig

May 21, 2018

The Coming Collapse

By Chris Hedges —  Every day the foundations of our institutions decay more, but American society is emotionally unable to grasp the mortal danger that approaches.

SNIPPET:

The system is designed so we can never free ourselves from debt.

However, the next financial crash, as Prins points out in her book “Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World,” won’t be like the last one. This is because, as she says, “there is no Plan B.” Interest rates can’t go any lower. There has been no growth in the real economy. The next time, there will be no way out. Once the economy crashes and the rage across the country explodes into a firestorm, the political freaks will appear, ones that will make Trump look sagacious and benign.

Full article:

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-coming-collapse/

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 18, 2018, 06:35:19 pm »



Economic Update: Another Gilded Age  💵 🎩 🍌

Friday, May 18, 2018

By Richard D. Wolff, Truthout | Audio Segment 🔊

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/44514-economic-update-another-gilded-age

 

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