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Daily Digest 6/6 - Health Insurance Companies Put In For 2019 Rate Hikes, Consumer Debt Outlook

Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 8:23 AM

Economy

Health insurance companies put in requests for rate hikes for 2019 (New York)

Health insurance companies in New York State have submitted their rate requests for 2019, and on average, the 14 companies are requesting a 24% hike for individuals.

Homeless services face cuts as Monterey County deals faces $36.5m gap

But benefit costs, wage increases and state-level funding changes have caused the county's expenses to rise by 31 percent in the previous five years, more than twice the revenue growth in that period, he said. The pension costs have risen by $13.4 million in the previous three years and are expected to double over the next seven years, he said.

A Template for Fixing America’s Public Pensions

This wasn’t the first time a local government had set its sights on fixing a beleaguered pension system. Lots of other munici­palities have tried and failed. Illinois, which has the worst credit rating of any U.S. state, still owes an estimated $129 billion to its pension, and New Jersey is on the hook for about $115 billion in ­unfunded pension costs, according to its most recent estimate.

Pool of sub-zero euro debt yields shrinks further in May after Italy selloff

The share of euro zone government debt with negative yields fell to 35.5 percent at the end of May from 40 percent at the end of April, Tradeweb data released on Tuesday showed. That marked the lowest share of negative-yielding bonds in the bloc since Tradeweb started collating monthly data in mid-2016.

Consumer Debt Outlook - May 2018 (Lendingtree)

Despite a recent pause in credit card balance increases, Americans are on pace to amass a collective $4 trillion in consumer debt by the end of 2018, according to a LendingTree analysis of the latest Federal Reserve data. Consumer debt includes non-mortgage debts such as credit cards, personal loans, auto loans, and student loans. Collectively, Americans owe more than 26% of their income on consumer debt, up from 22% in 2010.

Argentina inflation rising, growth outlook lower -analysts

Analysts surveyed by Argentina’s central bank raised their median view of full-year 2018 inflation to 27.1 percent in May from 22 percent a month earlier and lowered their economic growth outlook to 1.3 percent from 2.5 percent, a poll showed on Monday.

ECB cut back buying of Italian bonds in May, drawing Rome’s ire

Though May’s purchases were higher than those in recent months, the fall in the ECB’s Italian bond purchases may draw controversy after several Italian politicians suggested the central bank had trimmed its asset purchases of Italian debt to discourage its newly elected populist government from entertaining euroskeptic policies.

How legalized pot is affecting employee drug tests (Thomas R.)

So far, companies in states that have legalized either recreational or medicinal marijuana are leading the way on dropping drug tests. A survey last year by the Mountain States Employers Council of 609 Colorado employers found that the share of companies testing for marijuana use fell to 66 percent, down from 77 percent the year before.

More than half of US housing markets were overvalued in April (Adam)

Of the nation's 50 largest housing markets, 52 percent were considered overvalued in April. CoreLogic determines affordability "by comparing home prices to their long-run, sustainable levels, which are supported by local market fundamentals (such as disposable income)." In March, 50 percent of markets were considered overvalued.

Miles Franklin: Is Japan Going To Walk Away From The U.S. Debt Auction Too? (yogmonster)

Which means that they also hold significant leverage in their trade relationship with the United States. Remember that the U.S. government and treasury simply exist at this point based on their ability to finance spending with paper, with the Japanese representing one of the largest buyers. And while I'm not suggesting it is Japan's first choice to dump treasuries and crash the market, thereby devaluing its own investment, these latest comments in the least signify that reducing it's exposure to U.S. debt has become more than just discussion.

German Healthcare Deficit 300% Greater than Expected Due to Refugees (Thomas R.)

Healthcare costs have been exploding even in Germany. The revisions in healthcare of about two years ago did expand the coverage, but the expanded costs were completely unexpected. That means Germany is also looking to now raise taxes to cover the higher costs due to their legislative reforms. The reforms have brought in more people in need of care and relatives than expected.

California Water Law Could Prevent Showering, Doing Laundry on Same Day (Thomas R.)

Gov. Brown signing AB 1668 sponsored by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) and SB 606 sponsored by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), will require California’s urban water districts, large agricultural water districts and municipal governments to develop plans for strict annual water budgets by January 1, 2020; start implementing long-term water use efficiency standards by June 30, 2022; and achieve their assigned water rationing goals beginning in 2027.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 6/5/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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20 Comments

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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California Water Law Could Prevent Showering Washing Cloths

So, do you think it’s time to stop growing alfalfa in California for Saudi Arabia’s cattle yet?

Tude's picture
Tude
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LesPhelps wrote: So, do you
LesPhelps wrote:

So, do you think it’s time to stop growing alfalfa in California for Saudi Arabia’s cattle yet?

We need to look at all our crops (like alfalfa, almonds, grapes/wine, etc) and make smarter decisions...but we won't. The government will just make my backyard garden illegal.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Healthcare Inflation Lies

The ever-lying BLS will tell you that medical care inflation is currently running at 2.2%

The above article will tell you that:

Health insurance companies in New York State have submitted their rate requests for 2019, and on average, the 14 companies are requesting a 24% hike for individuals.

So only off by a factor of 10x for individuals in NY state...which is roughly in line with other states, however with many being vastly higher than that.

Why don't these lies piss off more people?

That's a serious question.

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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Saudi Arabia

In addition to buying alfalfa from California, Saudi Arabia owns land in the desert in Arizona, North of Douglas.  The grass surrounding the Saudi farms is light yellow and arid.  Their farms are bright green circles defined by the circumference of the high capacity irrigation systems that draw water from the same underground aquifers that local residents rely on.

When questioned about this practice, Arizona officials talk about the jobs created.

I’ve changed my opinion about capitalism over the last decade.

BTW, my wife just told me that the Wisconsin Supreme Court just overturned rulings that were keeping a new CAFO from going into production 15 miles from my house.  We are being told that the CAFO may eventually contaminate the wells in our neighborhood.

 

Doug's picture
Doug
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Give Brown credit

He has been a visionary for a long time.  He is merely correctly noting that water is going to be a huge issue in coming years.  Some believe it will be the issue of the 21st Century.  I tend to agree.

We in the Great Lakes basin have dealt with demands for water from the rest of the US, so far with refusal to divert water elsewhere.  We have 20% of the world's surface fresh water here and there are already rumblings of demands for diversions to the midwest, where the Ogallala acquifer is being steadily drained, to the arid southwest where overuse of the Colorado River results in its disappearance south of the Mexican border.

The eight Great Lakes states and two provinces have been managing this incredibly valuable resource for decades.  They are much cleaner now than when I first sailed them in the early 80s, but remain threatened by a host of demands from people and by invasive species.  But, I don't think we've seen anything yet.  This is one issue that could really split America.  There are interests that would go to war for access to the Great Lakes water.  So far there is only one significant diversion out of the basin, the Chicago ship canal.  That one diversion threatens the invasion by Asian carp that would be disastrous to the ecosystem.

Tude is right.  Intelligent management of water resources is absolutely needed.

As Mark Twain supposedly said, 'whiskey's for drinking, water's for fighting.'

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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Great Lakes

I recall seeing pictures of what was once a Great Lake, in China I believe, that is now a large puddle.

I can’t give credit to Brown, until he recognizes the impact of industry and agriculture on water use.  

60 to 80% of the water use in Arizona is agriculture or mining (mostly copper).

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Medicare's Trust Fund Is Set to Run Out in 8 Years. Social Secur

As city of Springfield sees taxes rise, its population falls

Illinois Policy-18 hours ago
The city's fiscal year 2019 budget relied on an increase in its telecommunications tax and an expansion of its hotel-motel tax, while still facing a $4 million deficit.

'Status quo' Illinois budget leaves fiscal woes unaddressed: S&P

KFGO News-18 hours ago
... and a structural deficit, dimming prospects for a credit rating upgrade, S&P Global ... voluntary buyout of pensions or retirement benefits to save $423 million.

Medicare's Trust Fund Is Set to Run Out in 8 Years. Social Security, 16.

New York Times-14 hours ago
More than 60 million people are on Social Security, Medicare or both. ... Democrats have for months asserted that Republicans would use the deficit — swollen ...

Junk-Bond Valuations Are Looking More Like the 1997 Bubble and ...

Bloomberg-58 minutes ago
Junk-Bond Valuations Are Looking More Like the 1997 Bubble and the ... Meanwhile, rising benchmark rates have sent investment-grade debt -- an asset class ...

Brazil Steps Up Intervention as the Real Crashes Toward Two-Year Low

Bloomberg-21 hours ago
“Any central bank that tries to intervene in their FX market is only inviting speculators to test the bank's will,” said James Gulbrandsen, a Rio de Janeiro-based ...

Global Growth Set to Ebb as Expansion Shows Age, World Bank Says

Bloomberg-17 hours ago
“We're asking whether the tide is now turning,” Ayhan Kose, director of the World Bank Group's Development Prospects Group, said in an interview.

Inflation Bogeyman Prompts Fuel Subsidies Across Southeast Asia

Bloomberg-16 hours ago
Central banks in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines have already raised interest rates this year to fight inflation and stabilize currencies as the U.S. tightens ...

Greece delays landmark bond issue on Italian market jitters

Nasdaq-1 hour ago
Heavily indebted Greece, shut out of bond markets in 2010 after its debt crisis ... Athens faces debt repayments of about 15 billion euros before the end of 2019, ...

Oil prices move higher as Venezuela supply crisis intensifies

MarketWatch-4 hours ago
Reuters reported in late May that the major oil producers were considering increasing output by 1 million barrels to plug the gap from Venezuela. That sparked a ...

Default Risk in Asia Is Rising as Governments Allow Failures

Bloomberg-12 hours ago
... citing negative surprises such as China Energy Reserve & Chemicals Group Co.'s recent debt failure. The U.S. bank forecasts the amount of defaults on such ...

China Energy's Unkept Promise Jolts Dollar-Bond Investors

Bloomberg-10 hours ago
Asian credit investors tiptoeing around default risks in China learnt the hard ... While China Energy's debt woes are broadly an indication of troubles faced by ...

Mainers urge lawmakers to act as healthcare premiums rise

WGME-18 hours ago
The group "Consumers for Affordable Healthcare" says Mainers can expect to see a nearly 16 percent increase in health insurance premiums next year, which ...

 

Tude's picture
Tude
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LesPhelps wrote:I can’t
LesPhelps wrote:

I can’t give credit to Brown, until he recognizes the impact of industry and agriculture on water use. 

And his love of fracking, and his millions due to his own ties to the oil and gas industry. The guy is just another POS CA politician raping the state for himself and his rich friends. Next up, Gavin. Hopefully I'll be out of this state by then... as  4th generation Californian it pains me to have to flee, but I see no other choice at this point. It's already beginning to resemble a third world country with thousands of poor on the streets and thousands more almost there. I wonder where they will allow the favelas to be built?

VeganDB12's picture
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too scared to get angry yet

Chris I just heard this increase on the news today. I live in NY State and my first thought was "how do I cut my business overhead to cover this and I guess I won't be saving up for my homestead next year".  Fear because the insurers are monopolistic, our state government seems to be willing to sign off on this (liberal, democratic) and my health care costs are so high right now (due to an acute and very costly for the next year or two condition) that I am completely at their mercy.

I say this even though I work in the sick care system as well. These rate increases do not translate into payment increases for small time providers I promise you that.

I am just afraid.  Maybe others are too.

thc0655's picture
thc0655
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What could possibly go wrong?

I love it when CA politicians and celebrities (our betters) lecture the rest of us on how we should live, act and speak to be more like them!  So, in California they build a huge population in what has mostly been a desert for millenia, mix 100 million gallons of precious water a year with toxic chemicals to make it undrinkable, and pump it down fracking holes to contaminate the ever-depleting ground water. Brilliant!  I give Moonbeam Jerry plenty of credit for that, him and his self-righteousness.

https://www.ecowatch.com/fracking-california-threatens-water-supply-2147086816.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-drought-fracking-exclusive/exclusive-california-used-70-million-gallons-of-water-in-fracking-in-2014-idUSKBN0MU01M20150403

https://www.reddit.com/r/Whatcouldgowrong/comments/8p0qv8/lets_make_a_spherical_water_bottle_to_celebrate/

 

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saxplayer00o1
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Gold update in venezuelan bolivars

Check out the video at the bottom.

 

2 Year Gold Price Chart in Venezuelan Bolivars (VEF)

Date Price (close) Unit Change
06/05/18 103,568,066.70 Ounce 103,555,676.46 835,784.43 %
3,329,790.67 Gram 3,329,392.31
3,329,790,665.07 Kilo 3,329,392,309.69

2 Year Gold Prices in Venezuelan Bolivars (price per ounce)

 

2 Year Silver Price Chart in Venezuelan Bolivars (VEF)

Date Price (close) Unit Change
06/05/18 1,318,432.50 Ounce 1,318,268.52 803,939.92 %
42,388.59 Gram 42,383.32
42,388,589.18 Kilo 42,383,317.22

2 Year Silver Prices in Venezuelan Bolivars (price per ounce)

 

https://www.msn.com/es-ar/video/noticias/las-personas-que-buscan-oro-y-o...

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Water Shortage

I remember my daughter telling me how Atlanta residents were asked to conserve water use as there was a shortage occurring in 2007. The local authorities got the media and local celebrities involved to promote extreme water conservation to insure there was enough water for everyone. In fact, it worked so well that the city's metered water revenue was its lowest in years. The city then reported it was necessary to raise the rates on metered water to compensate for the lost revenue. Of course, this made everyone angry after a genuine effort was made to conserve water.

Just remember that, when things get bad, the government will do everything in its power to sustain itself.

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/22/us/23cnd-drought.html

 

I expect the Health Care Industry to do the same thing (raise rates to sustain itself).

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Buying a new car with a tracking device built in

Most everybody here on PP is aware that a cell phone's location is "known" to the cell phone network at all times.  Insiders, with access to this information, have a fairly close idea where every phone is located.

Less well known is that a cell phone has a GPS function that hackers at the CCC conferece were able to "ping" without the owners knowledge or consent.  This allowed them and down load the location of the phone.  I believer that I remember that they were also able to download a log of the location history for the phone.

I understand that the assassination program in Pakistan relies heavily on cell phone location to send in missile strikes via Predator drones.  If a target makes a single cell phone call, he announces his location to the network and can be targeted for a missile strike from a prepositioned drone hovering high over the area.  One author refers to cell phones as "tracking devices that also make phone calls."

A recent report said that a crime was solved with information from review of the EZPass sensor records of a Bay Area Bridge. This data log recorded the commings and goings of individual cars and documented the passage of the suspects car at a certain time and place, something like a license plate reader.

I have been out looking for cars and find that most have built in "StarLink" communication packages.  The car itself has a cell phone and a cell phone number that can be called remotely.  I am very sure that the car can be "pinged" by those with sufficient expertise and will report its location.  This is slightly less invasive than having an RFID chip imbedded in one's body, but only slightly.

It is not at all hard to imagine that the cellphone embeded in a car will be able to be remotely pinged to log automobile traffic on a specific road.

Ron Paul posts an interview in which he advises that "a cashless society is very, very dangerous."  Everything about you is known by the oligarchy.

Do you have your Winston Smith telescreen installed yet?

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
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Carp invasion: fixed!

Doug wrote,

That one diversion threatens the invasion by Asian carp that would be disastrous to the ecosystem.

Ah, but recall one of the mantras of the elites: "technology will always save us." Many of Australia's rivers have been colonised by carp imported for food or the pet trade and which have escaped or were released into our suffering rivers which they are devastating. The National Carp Control Plan is using a combination of biocontrol agents and physical traps to catch and kill them. It promises to be very successful. Carp in the Great Lakes would be no problem.

See, intelligent management of water resources in practice! Another economic growth opportunity to pursue: fish control ! — especially if it can be privatised.

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
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Corporate survival paramount

HappyCamper wrote,

Just remember that, when things get bad, the government will do everything in its power to sustain itself.

Yes, but you're omitting an entire class of player here: when things get bad, the corporation will do everything in its power to sustain itself. Everything.

pat the rat's picture
pat the rat
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sears

How do you spell sears today amazon,the more things change the more thy stay the same

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
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"Do you have your Winston

"Do you have your Winston Smith telescreen installed yet?"

Cell phones work better than 1984 telescreens. You see the screens are fixed inside homes, where as cell phones go everywhere with the citizen. I am sure George Orwell would have referenced cell-phones if he thought they would be invented. Car cell phones would only track the location of your car. A cell phone is likely to be carried on person at all times and thus makes a better tracking survallence device

Not sure if its true, but allegedly cell phones that are powered off, periodically ping cell towers for location tracking. 

"If a target makes a single cell phone call, he announces his location to the network and can be targeted for a missile strike from a prepositioned drone hovering high over the area."

I believes its more complicated than that. Considerable effort needs to be made to determine the targets cell phone. Its unlikely that a target will purchase a cell phone in their name. I believe it takes months of intelligence collection and investigative work to confirm that a particular cell phone belongs to the target.

 

 

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
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So also test if your cell phone monitors you

On vice mag website is an article about how the author tested whether his cell phone monitored equations, by writing down things he didn't need, then saying comments in the presence of cell phones, then watching what new ads popped up the next couple days.

Point being, the ad companies might be using technology that is already deliberately installed, such that trigger phrases can be caught and forwarded.

Which also might explain jumps in battery usage.

Rector's picture
Rector
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Because

1.  The people are not reading this kind of news.  If they consume any news at all, most of it is mountaintopping asinine stories about Trump, politics, crime, human interest, or Hollywood.  If they ARE news minded, they have so much information available to them that this kind of story gets lost and they cannot connect the dots between stories.  There are NO journalists anymore.  Statistics are contradictory and manipulated, truth is relative.

2.  Among those who do connect the dots, a good number see everything through a partisan lens.  This causes them to reject information they don't like or blame things on someone (Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, Muslims, Chrisitians, Jews, the Fed, the NRA).  The rise of partisan "news" has made this phenomenon worse (Fox vs. CNN).

3.  The people feel (correctly) powerless to do anything about it.  Most news stories are reports about past events.  Voting changes nothing.  Protesting changes nothing.  It's too late to fix the system from within and too early to shoot the bastards.

4.  There is a fresh outrage everyday - and the breadth of the decay is breathtaking.  Every single "system" in the US is under heavy stress or failing.

Rector

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saxplayer00o1
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10-year government bond yield flirts with 3% as traders brace fo

10-year government bond yield flirts with 3% as traders brace for ...

MarketWatch-1 hour ago
Peter Praet, chief economist of the ECB, signaled that the central bank, which has been one of the biggest buyers of European bonds, may move to discuss ...

El-Erian Warns Brazil May Be Next Emerging-Market Domino to Fall

Bloomberg-15 hours ago

Mohamed El-Erian hinted at exactly that as the Brazilian real led major currency losses Wednesday, even after the nation's central bank offered $1.5 billion in .

 

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