Could You Get By on a Low-Wage Job? (jdargis)
Nearly a third of all working families in the U.S. struggle to pay for their basic necessities every month. For Americans working in jobs that don’t require a college degree—minimum-wage workers at McDonald’s, sales associates at Walmart, those working multiple part-time jobs in retail—the struggle is more pronounced.
A government-affiliated survey released Thursday of purchasing managers’ sentiment in nonmanufacturing sectors like construction, computer software and aviation showed a fairly sharp drop in March. The decline came with sentiment in the manufacturing sector bumping along at weak levels since January and with real estate prices beginning to rise less quickly and overall industrial activity starting to grow less briskly.
The Rise of a Euro-Chino-Russian Superpower (Kevinoman0221)
“In my view, high-level Wall Street players are orchestrating the gold price drop as a means of making people believe everything is in order again… In the short term, the gold price can fall due to manipulation, but in the mid- to long-term, betting on gold is a sure thing because Russia and China are betting on gold as well. They both know that the fiat system hates gold and they know that once the gold market has dried up or if the U.S. threatens them, they can let the gold price explode.”
When it comes to balancing today’s budget, the debt ceiling is a joke, says White. “Congress votes to spend money that is greater than the available tax revenue and then they debate later on whether or not to raise the debt to pay for the spending that they’ve already authorized.”
White believes lawmakers should go back to the way they used to fund policy—votes on government spending had to happen immediately and agreed to that day.
He said Britain and Germany are not in competition with each other to secure a clearing bank because it is possible for Europe to have multiple official clearing banks appointed by the PBOC.
“For example, in Asia, there are clearing banks in many financial centers, including Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore and Taipei. So, the same can happen in Europe,” Carmichael said.
For the previous decade up until last year, physical gold demand had driven the gold bull market. However, ETFs have over this time accumulated a greater and greater share of the market. Thus, last year’s sudden ETF sell-off was enough to drive total global gold demand down 15% year-over-year. Even 28% growth in bar and coin demand – resulting in record-breaking total demand – couldn’t counter the market’s bearish turn. But ETFs are getting back in the game. GLD started adding to its holdings again in February, the first increase since December 2012. And by mid-March, COMEX gold futures contracts had the most net-long positions since November 2012.
As Michael Lewis shows in his new book Flash Boys, the high-frequency trading cancer is deep. It has become systematic and institutionalized, with the exchanges supporting it through practices such as preferential data feeds and developing multiple order types designed to benefit high-frequency traders. These traders have become the exchanges favored clients; today they generate the majority of transactions, which create market data revenue and other fees. Data last year from the Financial Information Forum showed this is no minor blip. High-frequency trading pumped out over 300,000 trade inquiries each second last year, up from just 50,000 only seven years early. Yet actual trade volume on the exchanges has remained relatively flat over that period. It’s an explosion of head-fake ephemeral orders – not to lock in real trades, but to skim pennies off the public markets by the billions. Trade orders from individual investors are now pawns in a bigger chess game.
The causes of the decline, known as colony collapse disorder, are still being studied. But they appear to be a combination of factors that include parasites, infection and insecticides. Underlying all of these problems is the loss of uncultivated fields with their broad assortment of pollen-rich plants that sustain bees. That land has been developed commercially or converted to farming corn, soybeans and other crops.
Gold & Silver
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