Daily Digest 2/14 - WH National Security Adviser Resigns, Is Trump the New Boris Yeltsin?
Like so many, I have felt utterly overwhelmed by the viciousness and rapidity with which what Macy refers to as "The Great Unraveling" is now occurring. Like a mountain climber beginning to slip down an icy slope, I needed to find a way to check my fall, hold fast and resume the climb, even if it meant climbing up into a storm.
Simultaneous to "The Great Unraveling," Macy coined the phrase "The Great Turning" to describe "the essential adventure of our time": the shift from what she calls the "industrial growth society" that is consuming the planet to a life-sustaining civilization.
One senior White House official said that Trump did not fire Flynn; rather, Flynn made the decision to resign on his own late Monday evening because of what this official said was “the cumulative effect” of damaging news coverage about his conversations with the Russian envoy.
This official, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the situation, said Trump does not relish firing people — despite his television persona on “The Apprentice” — and had intended to wait several more days before deciding whether to seek Flynn’s resignation.
Is Trump the New Boris Yeltsin? (Don R.)
Today Trump fills the Yeltsin role in American politics. As Wall St. laughs, Trump begins the process of giving away (read: privatizing) America’s assets to be owned by our new ruling kleptocracy. Inflation is coming…But not because wages go up, but because price gouging and monopoly pricing starts to dominate our everyday lives with no cheap substitutes coming from overseas due to an increasing global level of distrust and illiquidity among trading partners. Leveraged buyouts fueled by bailouts and free money from the central bankers will continue to kill competition in America. Media, energy, pharmaceutical, finance and agriculture will all be controlled by impregnable monopolies (and Warren Buffett).
Executives who have endorsed UBI — a group that includes Y Combinator President Sam Altman and Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes — also say automation would dramatically increase a society's wealth.
"With automation, there will come abundance," Musk said. "Almost everything will get very cheap."
Below Deck (jdargis)
When Filipino cruise workers arrive in U.S. ports with U.S. crew member visas, American laws almost never govern their conditions on board. Nearly all cruise ships are registered outside the United States, often in Panama or the Bahamas. This practice is known as flying a “flag of convenience,” and it began in the 1920s when American ship owners reflagged their ships in Panama to skirt Prohibition. When others learned they could operate under foreign regulations, the trend caught on, and now the most common countries for cruise ships’ flags are also known for their loose labor codes. The cruise industry has argued, for example, that Panamanian law doesn’t require overtime wages and that Bahamian minimum wage doesn’t apply to seafarers.
Who Will Watch the Banks Under Trump? (jdargis)
Appointed in 2009, and guided by the Dodd-Frank financial reform, Tarullo led efforts to strengthen the financial system. The Fed adopted capital requirements significantly more demanding than those laid down by international regulators, and tied them to liquidity rules aimed at ensuring banks would always have enough cash to meet their near-term obligations. It introduced regular stress tests designed to assess banks’ ability to weather a crisis, and demanded that they produce “living wills” describing how they could go bust without causing wider harm.
And while on the surface, this is great news for the future as it suggests companies may finally redirect their spending away from buybacks and dividends and into corporate growth, hiring and capex, it also means that the threshold for disappointment is the lowest it has ever been, and the pressure on both Trump and the Fed to deliver an environment that satisfied America's CEO has never been higher.
NBC News received a statement from the nonprofit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation that reads, “Delays to protecting this already vulnerable pollinator may prove catastrophic.”
Gold & Silver
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