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    Daily Digest 8/20 – WH Insists Economy Fundamentals ‘Very Strong,’ Asia’s Future Is Now

    by Daily Digest

    Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 7:09 AM


Trump Says a Recession Isn’t Possible Because Everyone Is Rich (Sparky1)

This doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, nor does citing his 2017 tax cut, which very much did not load consumers up with money. Despite what Trump promised prior to the tax cut’s passage, the bill did not result in soaring wages for workers, the deficit has skyrocketed, and the primary beneficiaries have been corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Meanwhile, growth is slowing, and Americans who aren’t about to board a luxury helicopter are struggling to make ends meet. A study published by the Federal Reserve earlier this year found that 39 percent of Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to cover an unexpected $400 expense.

White House insists fundamentals of US economy ‘very strong’ (Thomas R.)

A case can be made for the White House position. The U.S. job market is setting records for low unemployment, and the economy has continued uninterrupted growth since Trump took office. But growth is slowing, stock markets have swung wildly in recent weeks on recession fears, and indicators in the housing and manufacturing sectors have given economists pause. A new survey Monday showed a big majority of economists expecting a downturn to hit by 2021 at the latest, according to a report from the National Association of Business Economics.

Twitter Shuts Down 200,000 Chinese Accounts Targeting Hong Kong Protests (Sparky1)

Both measures are part of what a senior company official portrayed in an interview as a broader effort by Twitter to curb malicious political activity on a popular platform that has been criticized for enabling election interference in the U.S. and around the world and for accepting funds for ads that amount to propaganda by state-run media organizations.

Asia’s future is now (Thomas R.)

These trends represent a real shift in the world’s center of gravity. Scholar Parag Khanna asserts that the “Asian century” has begun and observes that the region’s rise is not cyclical but structural.2 Emerging Asia’s evolution has reached a stage that requires deeper global acknowledgment. It is upending assumptions—long held in the West, in other emerging economies, and even in Asia itself—about the world’s economic balance.

Conspiracy Theories Might Sound Crazy, But Here’s Why Experts Say We Can No Longer Ignore Them (Sparky1)

Millions of people all over the world—including, by one estimate, half of the U.S. population—believe in conspiracy theories. Today, that figure may be even higher, according to political scientists and psychologists who study the phenomenon. Since researchers have not tracked these trends over time, it’s difficult to determine whether the number of people who believe in conspiracy theories has risen over the years. But experts, and now the FBI, argue an average person’s exposure to them has certainly increased, in large part because conspiracy theories are now more easily disseminated on social media.

Silicon Valley’s Crisis of Conscience (tmn)

Then came Brexit, the 2016 election, and the Great Tech Backlash. “Donald Trump Won Because of Facebook,” a headline in New York declared. A law professor at Stanford published a paper that asked, “Can Democracy Survive the Internet?” Suddenly, a board with several Silicon Valley executives didn’t seem entirely unlike a board with several Atlantic City casino bosses. Even after it became apparent that Facebook posts were fuelling the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar, the company dithered for months before taking decisive action. Clearly, all was not in alignment.

Aramco IPO Could Spell Disaster For Big Oil (Thomas R.)

The shunning of energy shares has reduced the market capitalization of the world’s largest publicly held oil companies. These companies (BP, Chevron, ENI, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Shell, Petrobras, and Total) have an aggregate market cap of $1.3 trillion. (Microsoft is worth almost as much standing alone.) The total climbs to $1.6 trillion if one adds in the other oil producers that are part of the S&P Energy index. This is a relatively modest sum.

Is Renewable Hydrogen A Threat To Natural Gas? (Michael S.)

According to the partners, who worked with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, every 10 kWh of power produce 5 to 6 kWh of electricity equivalent in the form of methane. The efficiency rate of the system is 50-60 percent. More importantly, however, it can recycle carbon dioxide from various sources. This includes the anaerobic digesters such as the one Clean Energy Fuels operates in Vermont.

Earth’s inner core is doing something weird (Thomas R.)

Surface-dwellers know that Earth spins on its axis once about every 24 hours. But the inner core is a roughly moon-size ball of iron floating within an ocean of molten metal, which means it is free to turn independently from our planet’s large-scale spin, a phenomenon known as super-rotation. And how fast it’s going has been hotly debated.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/19/19

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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