Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 6/21 - Ethics On The Battlefield, Is Detroit Really Making A Comeback?

Thursday, June 21, 2018, 10:36 AM

Economy

Chinese investment in the United States has plummeted 92% this year (Adam)

A number of major deals involving Chinese investors were called off in the first half of 2018 by companies who cited problems with CFIUS. This includes Alibaba (BABA) affiliate Ant Financial's $1.2 billion attempt to takeover Moneygram (MGI), and conglomerate HNA Group's bid for Skybridge Capital, a hedge fund.

What happened when Walmart left (Thomas R.)

Much has been written about what happens when the corporate giant opens up in an area, with numerous studies recording how it sucks the energy out of a locality, overpowering the competition through sheer scale and forcing the closure of mom-and-pop stores for up to 20 miles around. A more pressing, and much less-well-understood, question is what are the consequences when Walmart screeches into reverse: when it ups and quits, leaving behind a trail of lost jobs and broken promises.

How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country (Sparky1)

At the heart of their effort is a network of activists who use a sophisticated data service built by the Kochs, called i360, that helps them identify and rally voters who are inclined to their worldview. It is a particularly powerful version of the technologies used by major political parties.

In places like Nashville, Koch-financed activists are finding tremendous success.

Trade Brawls Get World's Top Central Bankers Worried for Growth (Adam)

A trade war would be a headache for central banks given it would likely deal stagflationary blows to their economies by forcing consumer prices up and demand down. The policy makers would then be forced to decide whether to act to support growth or cap the inflationary pressures, for example by hiking interest rates.

Puerto Rico's new law moves to privatize power grid nine months after Hurricane Maria (Thomas R.)

Customers in Puerto Rico have been paying nearly double compared to those in the U.S. for unreliable service that has resulted in multiple blackouts across the island in the past months, even after post-hurricane repairs. Over 5,000 households in Puerto Rico are living without power since Hurricane Maria.

Ethics on the battlefield (blackeagle)

I would slowly learn that, as Gray put it, ‘destructive human conflict is rooted in flaws within human beings themselves’ – flaws unveiled in Iraq by grievances on a historical timescale we in the West no longer understand. The international architects of the new Iraq, who were being helicoptered from one protected compound to another, moving blindly over the carnage of sectarian and tribal violence below, seemed not to acknowledge this in the PowerPoints on good governance that they showed each other.

Why More Young Married Couples Are Keeping Separate Bank Accounts (Thomas R.)

Some of this has to do with Millennial marriage trends more generally. Compared to previous generations, Millennials get married later in life, and thus significantly more of them live together before marriage. Because cohabiting couples are far more likely than married couples to keep finances separate, a certain inertia develops. “Once you’ve established your relationship norms,” Pepin asked, “why would you change them?”

More Americans living without partners, especially young adults (Thomas R.)

"They feel like they're not financially stable, and so they just don't think that they're ready to enter into a partnership like that," said Kim Parker, director of social trends research at Pew.

"In the past, it seems like young adults sprung right into marriage, whether or not they felt financially ready, and then built a life and built financial stability as a couple," Parker said.

Housing markets across the country show dire warning signs — in West Coast tech hubs, it’s worse (Thomas R.)

For the lowest-earning quarter of American households, real median incomes grew just 3 percent between 1988 and 2016. The median income for adults 25 to 34 grew just 5 percent. As wages for young people and low-income Americans lagged, median rents rose 20 percent faster than inflation between 1990 and 2016 and median home prices grew 41 percent faster.

Heavy Rains Bring Floods To Areas Of Texas Hit By Harvey (Thomas R.)

KHOU television reported that emergency management officials in Orange County say that as many as 15 homes flooded, several of which were still empty after being damaged during Harvey.

The Big Cycle (Jesper A.)

It is reasonable to see the cycles with our past, in my simplistic take here of; the discontinuation with our past (such a view is evidenced in a ‘new’ earth movement involving thinkers such as Graham Hancock). The loss of our Big past. This seeking of our past is helpful and it develops larger sophistication in a world lost in some cases to its own devices. Devices (obvious word-play on decieve and the word ‘vice’ are holding us as in a vise) of opulence and psychological over-reach in face of a more dire future of less.

Is Detroit Really Making a Comeback? (Thomas R.)

Two major conclusions emerged from our data. First, by a number of measures Detroit continues to decline, and even when positive change has occurred, growth has been much less robust than many narratives would suggest. Second, within the city recovery has been highly uneven, resulting in increasing inequality.

Wednesday Cannabis and Metal Explorer Update (DG)

In ABC’s case you are on the geologic trail of Historic Gold Cities in Latin American’d Cordillas, while with MNO.Lz Mining you are beginning to exploit a serious Energy deposit in a stable and friendly jurisdiction. Given your appetite for risk, there is a choice.

The Permian Faces Shut Ins Due To Oil Pipeline Shortage (Michael S.)

The Permian pipeline bottleneck is unlikely to ease for at least one year, Sheffield told Bloomberg, noting that this constraint will continue to affect U.S. oil prices, with WTI at Midland, in the heart of the Permian, likely to trade at a huge $25 discount to the WTI priced at Cushing, Oklahoma.

How Are Farmers Affording High Land Prices? (Thomas R.)

There are more farms coming to the market in March and April as we approach planting season, and there’s new interest from investor buyers and groups that are bidding the price up at auctions. Investors are now competing against the neighbor farmer who usually is the unchallenged bidder and then ends up buying the ground. Interest in purchasing recreational ground is also on the rise. We’ve received calls from out-of-state investors who were interested in seeing recreational ground during their stay in Iowa for the Iowa Deer Classic.

Time to Get Real. There Aren’t Plenty of Fish in the Sea and It’s Our Fault (Thomas R.)

Fears that we are taking far too much from our oceans – without making adequate efforts to replace what has been lost – have been building for years. After WWII, the development of sonar technology began to take off and with it, so did the methods used to locate and capture large swaths of fish for consumption. The proliferance of large-scale commercial fishing operations has pushed many species of fish to the brink of extinction, with some conservation experts predicting that our oceans could be empty by the year 2048 if fishing continues at its current rate.

Looking for signs of global warming? It's all around you (Thomas R.)

Evidence is in the blueberry bushes in Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond, the dwindling population of polar bears of the Arctic and the dying corals worldwide. Scientists have documented 28,800 cases of plants and animals "responding consistently to temperature changes," a 2008 study in the journal Nature said.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 6/20/18

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."

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saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 4145
Russia Dumps Treasuries for Gold in Pivot After Sanctions

Russia Dumps Treasuries for Gold in Pivot After Sanctions

BloombergQuint-10 hours ago
Considering the size of Russia's Treasury holdings, its move hardly made a dent in the $14.9 trillion Treasuries market. A bigger question is whether China ...

Retiring Baby Boomers Leave the US With Fewer Workers to Support ...

Yahoo Finance-5 hours ago
States also face mounting employee pension costs that have led them to pare ... State pension funds had $2.6 trillion in assets to cover liabilities of $4 trillion in ...

How to prepare for 'economic armageddon'

NEWS.com.au-4 hours ago
Australia today is experiencing the largest household debt bubble in our nation's history. Many Australians have financially overextended themselves by ...

When the next recession hits, central banks in the US, Japan and ...

South China Morning Post-6 hours ago
While it is too early to fret about another global recession, international investors should be concerned about how ill-equipped the world's leading central banks ...

Venezuela's creditors working on eventual debt restructuring: source

Reuters-16 hours ago
Venezuela's creditors working on eventual debt restructuring: source ... that some Venezuelan sovereign bonds and no PDVSA bonds are covered by so-called ...

Bad debt from cash advances piles up at Japan's megabanks

Nikkei Asian Review-16 hours ago
Bad debt tied to the advances climbed 13% to a six-year high of roughly 140 ... to just under 6 trillion yen among all banks, for an 80% increase in eight years.

Germany made billions on Greece's debt crisis, Berlin confirms

The Local Germany-5 hours ago
Berlin has been one of the main lenders to Greece during its debt crisis. While conservative parties warned that supporting Greece would come at the cost of the ...

Payments crunch pushes Indian power producers to brink of default

Financial Times-13 hours ago

A government drive to move the distribution companies' debt on to the state governments' books helped cut their losses, but they still owed Rs262bn in unpaid ..

Our view: Stress test finds NJ pension funds could be gone in 12 years

Press of Atlantic City-8 hours ago
Unfunded pension liabilities would rise to $101 billion from the current $56 billion, and once fund assets ran out by the end of 2029, the state budget contribution ...

Judge Rules Kentucky Pension Bill Unconstitutional; Appeal Likely

WVXU-17 hours ago
A judge has struck down changes made to Kentucky's pension systems ... ailing pension systems, which have more than $30 billion in unfunded liabilities.

 

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
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Posts: 1888
Orlov: Collapse Prognostication vs Explaining the Mechanisms

Dimitri Orlov in Three Blind Men and the Great Depression

There is no shortage of collapse prognosticators that never tire of prognosticating that a financial calamity is right around the corner. I am not one of them; what I try to do is not prognosticate but explain. I take collapse to be something real—something that my readers can observe for themselves, if they care to look—and what interests me is its inner workings.



That said, when three famous figures simultaneously announce that financial collapse is around the corner, I suppose we should start paying attention. To me, it doesn’t even matter if their opinions are right or wrong, ... What’s relevant is that if enough high-visibility individuals say that financial collapse is around the corner, then, given the reach and the force of their utterances, they no longer function as mere expressions of opinion but as speech acts that transform the state of the world—of the various mechanisms of international finance, in this case, from humming right along to getting ready to seize up.

 

First, let’s listen to Paul Krugman, an economics professor and the winner of a (fake) Nobel prize in economics (unrelated to Nobel but in fact handed out by some Swedish bank).  ....

Our next Blind Man is George Soros. He is a nasty piece of work who has impoverished people around the world with his financial machinations and has worked hard to disrupt and destroy local cultures and societies using his Open Society initiatives. ....

Our final Blind Man is a woman: IMF chief Christine Lagarde, behind whose oompa-loompa complexion I have been able to discern a keen intellect. Speaking at the St. Petersburg economic forum, Lagarde spoke of the three clouds that are darkening the economic horizon.

The first dark cloud is the simply gargantuan sovereign debt of $162 trillion, or 225% of global GDP—an all-time record. ... Lagarde’s second dark cloud is financial fragility; if the US tightens up the dollar supply by raising rates, capital will be drained out of the developing economies. In fact, the Federal Reserve is doing just that and has raised the federal funds rate again just last week; expect a July snowshower.

Lagard’s third, “biggest and darkest cloud” is the erosion of confidence “by attempts to challenge the way in which trade has been conducted, in which relationships have been handled, and the way in which multilateral organizations have been operating.” This is, of course, again all Trump’s fault. Whatever the problem, be it tariffs, Brexit, migrants, austerity, or a dangerous lack of confidence, all three great minds agree that Trump is to blame.

And in Imperial Collapse Markers

When the Soviet collapse occurred, the universal reaction was “Who could have known?” Well, I knew. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with a surgeon in the summer of 1990, right as I was going under the knife to get my appendix excised, waiting for the anesthesia to kick in. He asked me about what was going to happen to the Soviet republics, Armenia in particular. I told him that they would be independent in less than a year. He looked positively shocked. I was off by a couple of months. I hope to be able to call the American collapse with the same degree of precision.

...

This hindsight makes it possible for us to spot certain markers that showed up then and are showing up now. The four that I want to discuss now are the following: 



1. Allies are being alienated

2. Enmities dissipate

3. Ideology becomes irrelevant

4. Military posture turns flaccid



All of these are plain to see already in the American collapse. As with the Soviet collapse, there is a certain incubation period for each of these trends, lasting perhaps a year or two, during which not much seems to be happening, but when it is over everything comes unstuck all at once.

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
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Russia dumps treasuries for gold

I'm going to call bullshit on this article.

Definitely, the Russians dumped treasury bonds.  But they (for the most part) didn't run out and buy gold with the proceeds.  I know this because of...math.

Gold costs around $40 million per metric ton right now.  Russia's gold reserves went up by 52 tons this past quarter  That's 40 x 52 = $2.1B spent on gold.  Their treasury bill stash dropped by $47B dollars, March -> April.  http://ticdata.treasury.gov/Publish/mfh.txt

So was Russia really "dumping treasuries for gold?"

That would be a no.  Russia $47 billion in treasury bonds, and bought $2.1 billion in gold.  96% of their treasury stash went to buy "something else."

Of course if Russia HAD dumped $47B in treasuries for gold in one month, the gold market might well have just seized up, but that's another story.

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
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Joined: May 4 2014
Posts: 571
What investments give the best returns?

Watching the world business activity and given a, what I perceive to be a general "uncomfortable trust" in financials, perhaps Russia is starting to focus  on nuts and bolts instead of dollars and gold, to name only a few:

http://www.newsweek.com/russian-submarines-modernize-and-multiply-and-we-need-catch-us-admiral-988923

https://www.azernews.az/region/119735.html

https://financialtribune.com/articles/world-economy/57369/russia-needs-to-invest-heavily-in-infrastructure

Being somewhat land locked, rolling stock may be the best investment they could make given there location. NG is up in price and will probably be the focus in the upcoming years as liquid fuels become more costly and Russia has positioned itself well to sell both to the east and west, but mainly the east. Given that most of the world population increases over the next decade will be in the China, Indonesia, India triangle. Canada pushed through its west coast pipeline project to meet the east's future demand. With Trump's trade restrictions, there is every chance that the US may just be shut out of access to these same areas if their isolationist mentality continues.

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4145
US state reforms not enough to solve pension problem -Fitch

US state reforms not enough to solve pension problem -Fitch

Reuters-20 hours ago
Illinois is struggling with an unfunded pension liability that has climbed to $129 billion after years of skipped or actuarially inadequate annual state contributions ...

Some states “stress test” public debt, Illinois not participating

Illinois News Network-13 hours ago
Illinois owes at least $130 billion in unfunded public pension debt. The pensions are funded by tax money and investment returns. When the market tumbled in ...

Treasury to Sell $206 Billion in Debt

Wall Street Journal-17 hours ago
The U.S. Treasury Department will auction $206 billion in securities next week, comprising $142 billion in new debt and $64 billion in previously sold debt.

Japan's interbank lending rate slides under zero

Nikkei Asian Review-16 hours ago
TOKYO -- A benchmark interbank rate has fallen below zero for the first time since its 1995 creation as the Bank of Japan stays the course on negative interest ...

China Moves to Quell Systemic Bond Risks After Default Wave

Bloomberg-11 hours ago
... in the $11 trillion bond market from spiraling into a broader systemic collapse. ... Central government officials at the highest levels determined that debt-laden ...

Study: Almost half of diabetics skip care because of high cost

CNBC-15 hours ago
According to a new survey by UpWell Health, True Cost of Diabetes, 45 percent of diabetics have skipped care because of affordability issues. A similar number ...

 

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