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Daily Digest 9/16 - How Rich Chinese Use Visa Fixers to Move to the U.S., Plastics Won’t Save Oil

Saturday, September 16, 2017, 11:10 AM

Economy

Harvey, Irma, Gold and Bad Options (garyc)

Problems with no easy solutions are always costly. More spending creates larger deficits, which means more borrowing and more debt. Each existing dollar (euro, yen, pound) is devalued and currencies purchase less as debt increases. Prices rise. Butter no longer costs $0.37 per pound as it did in the 1930s. Gasoline no longer costs $0.25 per gallon as it did in the 1960s. The DOW has exceeded 22,000, unlike its peak of 1,000 about 50 years ago.

Amazon Is Going to Wipe Out the Supermarkets (tdabate)

Amazon’s first act was to address Whole Foods’ biggest weakness — high prices — head-on. It cut prices by as much as 43% on its first day of owning Whole Foods. Amazon generated hundreds of millions of dollars of free publicity by doing this.

“Price was the largest barrier to Whole Foods’ customers,” according to Mark Baum. Baum is a senior vice president at the Food Marketing Institute, a trade group. “Amazon has demonstrated that it is willing to invest to dominate the categories that it decides to compete in.”

If You Think Basic Income is “Free Money” or Socialism, Think Again (Afridev)

First, saying basic income is socialism is as absurd as saying money is socialism. It’s money. It’s all it is. What do people do with money? They use it in markets. In other words, basic income is fuel for markets. Markets are a wonderful invention that serve to calculate via a massively distributed computer comprised of people, what goods and services should be made, using what, going where, by whom, of what quantity, etc. It’s an incredible act of decentralization built upon supply and demand signaling.

How Rich Chinese Use Visa Fixers to Move to the U.S. (Adam)

Post-Brexit, mid-Trump, borders appear to be tightening, but China’s visa fixers still sell a world of limitless possibilities. They’ve turned some of the world’s most forbidding bureaucratic machinery into a kind of consumer good for China’s rising wealthy class. “No other country in the world comes anywhere near the Chinese market in terms of the network of agents,” says Philadelphia attorney Ron Klasko, who heads the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s EB-5 committee. At least 1,000 migration agents are registered in China, and industry participants say there are many more unofficial ones. “Some operate at an exceedingly high level,” Klasko says, “and some do not.”

Hugh Hendry Closes Shop Amid “Almost impossible” Environment For Small Funds (Adam)

"What if I was to tell you I wasn’t bearish on anything? Is that something you would be interested in?
It wasn’t supposed to be like this and it is especially frustrating as nothing much has gone wrong with the economy over the summer. If anything we feel more convinced that our thesis of a healing global economy is understated: for the first time in an age all parts of the world are enjoying synchronised economic momentum and I can’t see it ending for some time. It’s just that our substantial risk book became strongly correlated over the short term to the maelstrom of President Trump and the daily news bombs emanating from the Korean Peninsula; that and the increasing regulatory burden which makes it almost impossible to manage small pools of hedge fund capital today. Like I said, it wasn’t supposed to be like this…"

Energy

Plastics Won’t Save Oil (michaelk)

Petrochemicals are Big Oil’s big hope for the future—the distant future. Petrochemicals are used in thousands of products, with the biggest group among these being single-use plastic products. The bad news for oil is that green initiatives around the world are mounting and many of them are targeting precisely this group of products.

Environment

UVic scientist says peak contamination levels from Fukushima disaster are now known (westcoastjan)

The disaster created concern over the potential impact on marine life and human health, but UVic chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen said contamination never reached a level where it was a significant threat to marine or human life in this area of the North Pacific. According to Cullen, radioactive isotopes from Fukushima were first detected in June 2012 and the highest levels reached offshore B.C. in 2015 and 2016.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 9/15/17

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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