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Daily Digest 3/8 - Cryptocurrency vs. Dot Com, Separate And Unequal In America

Thursday, March 8, 2018, 11:52 AM

Economy

“Separate and unequal:” 50 years later, a landmark report on US racial inequality still resonates (blackeagle)

Not every aspect of black American life is as bad as it was half a century ago, but the improvements shouldn’t be overstated. There is more widespread participation in politics and access to education has increased. But disparities in employment, wealth, and incomes have stayed the same or deteriorated. Today, “America is a country more divided, with less economic opportunity,” wrote Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz in his section of the new report (pdf).

Spring Home Sales Could Be the Weakest in Years (sign-in required, Adam)

The economy is booming, take-home pay is rising and millennials are getting married and having children. Despite all those homebuying catalysts, real-estate agents said this could be one of the weakest spring selling seasons in recent years.

How to Buy a Gun in 15 Countries (Afridev)

Many Americans can buy a gun in less than an hour. In some countries, the process takes months. Here are the basic steps for how most people buy a gun in 15 of them. Many countries have exceptions for specialized professions, and local laws vary.

Russia’s fortified finances make it easier for Putin to do what he wants (blackeagle)

For now, US investors can still buy Russian government bonds, although it’s always possible that new sanctions could bar them from doing so. Even if that were to happen, Moody’s expects that Russia would be able to finance its spending because of new fiscal rules that have resulted in “very low borrowing requirements.” The government plans to reduce deficits to a level that can be financed domestically, according to Moody’s, and the finance ministry has been on a foreign-exchange buying spree since 2017.

Survey Finds 42% of Americans Will Retire Broke — Here’s Why (Adam)

The 2018 Retirement Savings survey found that 42 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved. If they don’t boost their savings, they’ll likely retire broke because that’s not enough to cover a year’s worth of expenses. On average, adults 65 and older spend almost $46,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

China’s Coming Financial Meltdown (thc0655)

As Anbang’s business became more highly leveraged and its asset-liability maturity mismatch grew, policyholders became more nervous and started demanding their money back instead of extending the maturities on their policies. An insurance version of a run-on-the-bank was beginning. The Chinese authorities moved in to bailout the policyholders and prevent an out-of-control financial panic.

Popping The Bubble: Cryptocurrency vs. Dot Com (Afridev)

Consider for a minute the Internet during its onset, or especially distributed ledger technologies (DLT — a term encompassing all distributed ledger tech: DAG, HashGraph, etc.) today. The Internet threatened and has now revolutionized nearly every industry in existence. Today, DLT has the potential to do the same, disrupting industries from peer-to-peer payments, finance and the Internet-of-Things, to healthcare, contracts, and supply chains. And there is real potential. But the application is not yet there. This thus creates the environment for a massive bubble. Everyone is free to speculate wildly because there is no way to disprove it. Tell me a toaster will revolutionize the automotive industry and I’ll call bullshit. Toaster-like-technologies haven’t done it, so the speculation holds no water. But tell me DLT will disrupt the aviation industry and make a convincing argument…I can’t disprove that.

The SEC wants to regulate bitcoin, and bitcoin doesn’t like it at all (blackeagle)

“Many platforms refer to themselves as ‘exchanges,’ which can give the misimpression to investors that they are regulated or meet the regulatory standards of a national securities exchange,” said the SEC in a statement on its website. “There is no reason to believe that such information [on digital currency platforms] has the same integrity as that provided by national securities exchanges.”

Sorry, Adults, No New Neurons For Your Aging Brains (Adam)

The finding challenges decades of research suggesting that new neurons continue to appear in the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in memory and emotion. It also calls into question claims that both exercise and some anti-depressant drugs could boost the production of new neurons in the hippocampus.

Every Single Cognitive Bias in One Infographic (DennisC)

Cognitive biases have been studied for decades by academics in the fields of cognitive science, social psychology, and behavioral economics, but they are especially relevant in today’s information-packed world. They influence the way we think and act, and such irrational mental shortcuts can lead to all kinds of problems in entrepreneurship, investing, or management.

There is a terrifying outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria right now (blackeagle)

It’s not totally clear why this outbreak is so bad. It could be that rats are finding their ways into more homes in search of food, or that they’re intentionally brought there as a meal (rats are a high-protein source of food). Additionally, the tools for finding the virus have already improved. “When you don’t have the ability to detect the disease, you’re not going to find it,” Lina Moses, an epidemiologist at Tulane University told the Atlantic. Better labs can mean more cases, and perhaps an improved healthcare system, Moses said, but this factor probably doesn’t account for the surge of cases within the country this year.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 3/7/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

7 Comments

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1651
Is anybody watching developments in South Africa?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=422&v=FT3CLYhrCyA

"Welcome to the Hunger Games. And may the odds be ever in your favor."

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5782
Watching South Afrtica? I am...

...not least of which is this awesome idea from the new Finance minister:

‘We will print more money and give it to the unemployed to end poverty in South Africa’, Says new minister of Finance

The South African Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene who made a dramatic return to his former position as head of National Treasury in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet has spoken on a array of issues.

Nene was infamously removed by Zuma in December 2015, just 19 months into the job, on the basis of a promise he would head up a new African regional centre of the Brics Development Bank. His axing at the time – to make way for then little-known MP Des van Rooyen – caused a massive tumble in the rand, and came to be known as “Nenegate”.

Nene says he is coming back to fight poverty in South Africa.

The minister of Finance says he will do this by forcing the reserve bank to print more money and give it to the poor, especially the unemployed. Billions if that is possible.

“South Africans continuing to be poor when we can print more money to ensure that everybody has it. Our people are poor because there is a shortage of money in the country. It’s not the shortage of jobs that makes people poor, it is the shortage of money. We have paper and ink, so we will print more money and give it to the poor, and make all of them billionaires if that is possible.” Nene said.

The minister did not say how much more money will need to be printed. But he did reveal that this plan will be executed in in the next two months or so, and that every South African will be rich.

Why didn't the Fed think of this sooner!?!  Just print up billions, nay trillions!!, and give them to everyone, they'll all be rich!

Okay, to be fair the Fed did print up trillions, but they gave them to the 0.1%.  Close enough, I guess, they did get rich after all.

Maybe it will work to try the same thing by giving those same billions/trillions to the poor?  

/sarcasm off

Of course this will end in disaster.  Same as the Fed plan, just more quickly for several reasons.

My advice to anyone in South Africa, black or white, with the means to do so is to leave now.  The country is ruined for a long, long time.

 

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 5530
outrage

So this article about money printing struck me as a facebook-style "artificial outrage" generator.  I read it, and boy did I feel the outrage.  Then I took a step back and asked, "but is it real?"

Here's an article from bloomberg from a few weeks back.  I don't treat bloomberg as any sort of oracle, but  there is no mention of a money-printing scheme.  One would think that even a bloomberg reporter might have noticed if the new finance minister had suggested this was going to be one of his policies.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-26/nene-named-south-african-finance-chief-mabuza-deputy-president

Likewise, one would also expect the ZAR to have gone right into the toilet moments after the appointment was made.  It did drop today, but just -0.74%.  I could be accused of putting too much faith in markets to sniff stuff like this out...but the ZAR is a pretty big currency in Africa, and I don't think this sort of thing would go unnoticed.

Barnbuilder's picture
Barnbuilder
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 7 2014
Posts: 89
SA

I am watching with horror.  This will end badly, probably in a genocide that the MSM will not cover due to it not being politically correct.  The level of violence now (Murder, Rape, and Robbery) is already the worst in the world.  I predict a replay of the Rhodesia/Zimbabwe story.  The whites will be massacred and those who live will flee. The country will see a tremendous drop in agricultural output.  There will be pleas by pop musicians and Hollywood celebrities to donate to feed the population.  There will be massive inflation and a once successful country with many problems will become a failing country with many problems.  Chris is spot on. Any South African of any race would do themselves and their family well by emigrating to wherever they can find refuge.

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 880
I might add

Thanks, Dave, for a bit of better perspective. I might add that the recent article Chris posted indicated that Nene was fired inappropriately to make way for a golden boy. Being brought back, it looks a lot like a slander campaign by the South African version of the swamp. Gotta remember that every city, and especially state government in the USA has this level of battle and slander, with an underlying cause of corruption, favoritism, and nepotism. Here in Portsmouth Va, it currently involves the favored Democrats who had a falling out with back-stabbing, undermining, and so on. In the backdrop, you have a too-high fatality rate within the Portsmouth jail system (but hey! the excuse is that they all died in the hospital, so it's OK!)

So SA has that level of corruption; they can be expected to have that level of slander too.

Definitely worth keeping an eye on (thanks, Chris, THC)... but NOT worth panic for me here in the USA.

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4192
California health insurance premiums could soar, analysis projec

Credit card debt surpasses $1 trillion in the US for first time

ABC News-16 hours ago
U.S. consumers' total credit card debt exceeded $1 trillion for the first time, according to a new study by the personal finance website WalletHub. Consumers took on an additional $92.2 billion in debt last year, the highest single-year amount since 2007. The average U.S. household owes $8,600 on credit cards, WalletHub ...

Treasury to Sell $158 Billion in Debt

Wall Street Journal-20 hours ago
The U.S. Treasury Department will auction $158 billion in securities next week, comprising $28 billion in new debt and $130 billion in previously sold debt. Details (all with minimum denominations of $100):. Monday: $51 billion in 13-week bills, a reopening of an issue first sold on Dec. 14, 2017, maturing June 14, 2018.

California health insurance premiums could soar, analysis projects

San Francisco Chronicle-16 hours ago
Prices for insurance will continue to rise after that, Covered California's analysis predicts. California is among 15 states that are expected to see premiums jump 35 percent by 2021, compared with current rates. Nineteen states could see premium hikes of 50 percent. And 17 states could see a whopping 90 percent increase ...

 

dhoulden's picture
dhoulden
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 14 2014
Posts: 2
Gun Purchase

Why would you only talk about hand guns when referring to Canada.   

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