• Daily Digest

    Daily Digest 8/19 – China Prepares Trade War ‘Nuclear Option,’ Bay Area Is Booming – And Bracing For Slowdown

    by Daily Digest

    Monday, August 19, 2019, 8:47 AM


‘You have to vote for me’ or stock market will crash, Trump says at rally (Sparky1)

President Donald Trump on Thursday sought to reassure his supporters about the state of the U.S. economy despite the stock market volatility and told rallygoers in New Hampshire, a state that he hopes to capture in 2020, that their financial security depends on his reelection.

“Whether you love me or hate me you have to vote for me,” Trump said.

Fed’s Powell must signal a more aggressive stance on rates at Jackson Hole or stocks will tumble, James Bianco warns (Thomas R.)

It wouldn’t be unprecedented for Powell to try to calm the market during his Jackson Hole welcome speech. He soothed the Street in early January and June in opening remarks at events by signaling the Fed would act more accomodative.

Asset Managers With $74 Trillion on Brink of Historic Shakeout (Adam)

At first, few noticed the trickle of money out of funds run by star money managers into cheaper index products. But now, no one can ignore the flood. The exodus from active funds has sent fees inexorably lower, led to the loss of thousands of jobs and forced large-scale consolidation among firms. That’s pushing the industry, with $74 trillion in assets as measured by Boston Consulting Group, towards a shakeout where only the strongest will survive.

The CEOs of nearly 200 companies just said shareholder value is no longer their main objective (Thomas R.)

The re-imagined idea of a corporation drops the age-old notion that corporations function first and foremost to serve their shareholders and maximize profits. Rather, investing in employees, delivering value to customers, dealing ethically with suppliers and supporting outside communities are now at the forefront of American business goals, according to the statement.

China prepares its ‘nuclear option’ in trade war (Thomas R.)

The third of China’s major as yet unfinished projects in Iran was the build-out of the Jask oil export terminal, which – crucially, particularly in the current security situation – does not lie within the Strait of Hormuz or even in the Persian Gulf, but rather in the Gulf Of Oman. Even before the new US sanctions, the Kharg export terminal was not ideal for use by tankers as the narrowness of the Strait of Hormuz means that they have to go very slowly through it. With the new sanctions in place and tit-for-tat tanker seizures regularly occurring, China would have little choice but to put at least a couple of its own warships into the Gulf to safeguard their passage or stop buying Iranian oil entirely, neither of which Beijing particularly wants to do.

The Bay Area is booming — and bracing for a slowdown (Adam)

Some rank-and-file workers said they already see belt-tightening. Blind, an app for workers to discuss their companies anonymously, conducted a poll for The Chronicle this week asking workers at major tech companies whether their employers were cutting costs. It drew 2,601 responses.

Trump says China talks ‘productive’; Beijing vows tariff retaliation (Sparky1)

The Chinese finance ministry said in a statement that Washington’s tariffs violated a consensus reached between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a June summit in Japan to resolve their disputes via negotiation.

Trump Held Call With Dimon, Moynihan, Corbat as Markets Plunged (Thomas R.)

The three chief executives were in Washington for a previously scheduled meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on banking secrecy and money laundering, according to people familiar with the matter. On a conference call, they briefed the president, who was at his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.

UK faces food, fuel and drug shortages, says contested leaked document (Sparky1)

“Compiled this month by the Cabinet Office under the codename Operation Yellowhammer, the dossier offers a rare glimpse into the covert planning being carried out by the government to avert a catastrophic collapse in the nation’s infrastructure,” the Times reported.

Trump’s Fall 2019 China Tariff Plan: Five Things You Need to Know (edelinski)

Trump’s latest escalation will drive up the average US tariff on Chinese imports from its current level of 18.3 percent to 20.0 percent on September 1. The tariff will then ratchet up to 21.4 percent on December 15. This follows on Trump’s imposition of tariffs that started in January 2018 and continued through May 2019, covering over $250 billion of imports from China alone.

Does An Inverted Yield Curve Always Predict A Recession? (Thomas R.)

“The timetable varies but it is generally within a 24-month period, so while it can be a very early indicator it is one that should be heeded,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. “The most dangerous words in finance are ‘it’s different this time.’ We’ve heard that in the past couple recessions and it hasn’t turned out to be different.”

Amid the Kale and Corn, Fears of White Supremacy at the Farmers’ Market (Sparky1)

The accusations exploded into public view after activists and online sleuths used federal court records and the leaked archives of a far-right message board to uncover a digital trail they say connects the couple who own Schooner Creek Farm to an organization that promotes white nationalism and “white American identity.”

Singapore to Raise Retirement Age With Power Transition Approaching (Adam)

Singapore extended support for older workers in the aging island nation as the current leadership prepares to hand over to a new generation in the next few years.

China Shifts Purchase Priorities From Manufacturing Materials to Food (thc0655)

There is a confluence of events all leading to radical changes just below the surface. China has been burning cash to subsidize industries impacted by U.S. tariffs. Simultaneously Beijing has lowered the value of their currency in an effort to eliminate the tariff impact in the cost of their finished goods. However, as the ideological economic conflict between the U.S. and China continues, Beijing cannot hold their position indefinitely.

Oh that it should come to this, Part 11 (Jesper A.)

One way of seeing how the idea on my part to make surrealism and existentialism play a role in this role-playing game we call history of ideas, is that Albert Camus, or Sartre (was only five feet tall and quite ugly) will say as they were stripped of meaning by the second world war, they asked; what now? what possibly is the meaning of meaning at this stage?

The Massive ‘Pig Ebola’ Epidemic Will Give Trump Big Leverage In His Trade Standoff With China (thc0655)

China is both the world’s largest producer and consumer of pork, at around 50% of the world’s pork supply and 20% of the world’s animal protein supply. The global cross-border trade in pork (i.e., total global exports) only constitute 15% of Chinese demand. If the worst-case scenarios come true and nearly the entire Chinese hog herd is affected, then China will need to import massive amounts of U.S. pork, regardless of the state of U.S.-China trade talks.

Designer babies are on the way. We’re not ready (Sparky1)

In March, a World Health Organization committee argued for a moratorium on clinical human genome editing “until its implications have been properly considered.” But no system of global guidance exists to implement or enforce such a ban on the practice. In June, a Russian scientist declared that he plans to proceed anyway.

Oil Rebounds After Economic Data Dampens Recession Fears (Thomas R.)

Oil rebounded in early trading on Friday after data showed that retail sales in the U.S. remain strong, but fears of a global slowdown have not been fully allayed. “The rebound has a corrective look about it on thin volumes, rather than a beachhead for an impending rebound,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, told Reuters. “Overall, U.S. data continues to be a bright spot in a dark economic universe.”

OPEC Turns Bearish On Oil (Thomas R.)

In another worrying sign of a brewing supply surplus, OPEC said that oil inventories in OECD countries rose by 31.8 million barrels in June from a month earlier, rising to 67 million barrels above the five-year average. In other words, just as OPEC+ was meeting to extend the production cuts for another 9 months, inventories were rising, an indication of an oversupplied market.

Russia nuclear monitoring sites lost contact after mystery blast: report (Thomas R.)

There have been reports that Russia has not been fully transparent about what occurred at a military base in the far northern Arkhangelsk region. The initial report from the country’s nuclear agency said that five workers were killed in a rocket engine explosion. The Guardian reported that radiation levels in Severodvinsk, a nearby city, increased 20 times above normal for about a half hour after the explosion.

Iceland bids farewell to first glacier lost to climate change (Adam)

Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson joined the group of researchers and Icelanders at the funeral ceremony.

“We see the consequences of the climate crisis,” Jakobsdottir said. “We have no time to lose.”

Scientists bid farewell to the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change. If more melt, it can be disastrous (Sparky1)

From the ice sheet in Greenland to the towering glaciers in West Antarctica, Earth’s enormous masses of ice are melting fast. And though sea levels have risen and fallen throughout history, scientists say it’s never happened at a rate this fast.

The North Atlantic’s Mystery Spot (Cornelius999)

In NASA’s annual summary of global temperature rise, a field of warming reds and yellows is broken by a persistent cold blue spot in the North Atlantic. Learn what explains that anomaly.

Gold & Silver

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  • Mon, Aug 19, 2019 - 9:59am


    Matt Holbert

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 03 2008

    Posts: 85


    Oh that it should come to this...

    I read the Jesper Andersson piece at Medium and wanted to comment. Unfortunately, Medium requires that a commenter either subscribe to Google or Facebook. I don’t subscribe to either. Medium may be unintentionally eliminating comments as a result. Since it appears that Jesper A may be a PP member, I’ll post my comment here. Jesper, are you familiar with Process Theology/Philosophy? Based on what I’ve read, Process theologians and philosophers have spent a great deal of time — since Alfred North Whitehead — thinking and writing about the topics that you address.

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  • Mon, Aug 19, 2019 - 10:20am



    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2309


    Whale Deaths

    “PORTLAND, Ore. – So many gray whales are dying off the U.S. West Coast that scientists and volunteers dealing with the putrid carcasses have an urgent request for coastal residents: Lend us your private beaches so these ocean giants can rot in peace.
    The number of dead whales washing ashore in Washington state alone – 29 as of this week – means almost every isolated public beach has been used. Authorities are now scrambling to find remote stretches of sand that are privately owned, with proprietors who don’t mind hosting a rotting creature that’s bigger than a school bus and has a stench to match its size.
    “The preferred option is, at all times, that they just be allowed to decompose naturally,” said John Calambokidis, a research biologist with the Olympia, Washington-based Cascadia Research. “But it gets harder and harder to find locations where they can rot without creating a problem. This is a new wrinkle.”
    At least 81 gray whale corpses have washed ashore in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska since Jan. 1. If tallies from Mexico and Canada are added, the number of stranded gray whales reaches about 160 and counting, said Michael Milstein, spokesman for NOAA Fisheries.”

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  • Mon, Aug 19, 2019 - 12:06pm



    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 2095


    Iceland holds funeral for lost glacier

    Iceland holds a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change

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