Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 7/21 - End Is Near For The Economic Boom, Trump Tariffs Could Delay Permian Relief

Saturday, July 21, 2018, 11:20 AM

Economy

The End is Near For the Economic Boom (Thomas R.)

Economies follow cycles. Unlike with seasons or the moon or the ocean tides, the timing of the business cycle is never easy to predict. But at some point, economic activity reaches a temporal peak, then begins to contract until eventually it bottoms out and starts growing once more. A familiar sign that we’re in the waning stage of the growing season, ironically, is that the economy overheats—think of it as an Indian summer: Companies push factories to produce more than their long-term sustainable output, pushing employees to work more overtime. Demand is so strong that inflation starts to increase, leading central bankers to raise interest rates, which causes asset values, including stock prices, to level off or fall. Ray Dalio, CEO of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, writes, “That is why it is not unusual to see strong economies accompanied by falling stock and other asset prices.

Inside the Slow-Motion Disaster on the Southern Border (blackeagle)

Elizabeth Kennedy, a researcher based in Tegucigalpa, has been tracking cases of asylum seekers rejected in the U.S. who returned to their countries in the Northern Triangle and were then murdered. Amid the confusion over the last month about family separations, and debates about who “deserves” asylum and who does not, Kennedy is placing in relief the stark fact of how these stories can and do end. Migrants make a long and treacherous journey and arrive at the U.S. border, either on bridges or by crossing illegally. Many of those from Central America ask for asylum, a right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in domestic law. Some warn they fear certain death and then, upon returning to the countries and people they have learned to fear, that certainty is proven out.

Brett Scott: The cashless society is a con – and big finance is behind it (thc0655)

We can illustrate this with the example of self-checkout tills at supermarkets. The underlying agenda is to replace checkout staff with self-service machines to cut costs. But supermarkets have to convince their customers. They thus initially present self-checkout as a convenient alternative. When some people then use that alternative, the supermarket can cite that as evidence of a change in customer behaviour, which they then use to justify a reduction in checkout employees. This in turn makes it more inconvenient to use the checkout staff, which in turn makes customers more likely to use the machines. They slowly wean you off staff, and “nudge” you towards self-service.

Dead bodies, wild dogs, squatters in government-owned Detroit houses (thc0655)

Ordell and Wardell Belt, twin brothers in their 60s, live in a small frame house without water or heat, but they have a pup, Scandalous, chained up outside for protection. Wardell did time in federal prison for armed bank robbery; Ordell said he was shot by police as a teenager and is too embarrassed today to describe what happened, other than he regrets what he did.

Technological Disruption And The Looming Limits To Growth Endgame (James W.)

I am not here to belittle technological developments, far from it, but it is a useful reminder that exciting and quasi-miraculous technological devices have been around for thousands of years in human history. Yet, just as the robot invented by Philon didn’t stop sophisticated Ancient Greece eventually falling into a Dark Ages, the modern-day equivalent will not prevent the disintegration of our industrial civilisation into a future deindustrial Dark Ages.

40% of people have first memories that are made up, study finds (Thomas R.)

“For this person, this type of memory could have resulted from someone saying something like ‘mother had a large green pram’. The person then imagines what it would have looked like. Over time these fragments then become a memory and often the person will start to add things in such as a string of toys along the top.

Two Whistle-Blowers Say They Were Run Out Of VA Hospital In Jennings, Louisiana (Thomas R.)

“When I would go into the system, it proved they (HBPC employees) weren’t actually seeing patients,” LeJeune stated.

As one example, she noted that one HBPC nurse visited 11 patients in one morning, something which LeJeune said was impossible for a nurse making house calls.

Splitting up California: State Supreme Court takes initiative off ballot (Thomas R.)

The court said it usually allows ballot measures to go to the voters before considering constitutional challenges. But in this case, the six justices said, “significant questions regarding the proposition’s validity” and the “potential harm” of allowing a public vote before those questions are resolved “outweighs the potential harm in delaying the proposition to a future election.”

There are absolutely two Americas. Sometimes in the same state. (Thomas R.)

In 2010, amid a sharp backlash against President Barack Obama, the GOP ousted dozens of House Democrats from small-town and rural districts; the casualties included many who had held their seats for decades, like Rick Boucher, the longtime Democratic representative from the 9th District who Griffith beat. Now the GOP faces the inverse risk: Democrats in November could sweep out 20 or more House Republicans like Comstock from districts centered on white-collar suburbs around the nation's biggest cities where Trump is unpopular.

Trump Tariffs Could Delay Permian Relief (Michael S.)

A long line of other companies are also seeking exemptions, and the Commerce Department has to go through one by one. The agency has granted 267 exemptions and denied another 452, according to Reuters. There have been over 25,000 requests. Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron recently received an exemption on steel used in specific types of equipment for their offshore drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

Watchdog report urges EPA to heighten oversight in wake of Flint water crisis (Thomas R.)

The OIG report points out "oversight lapses" at the federal, state and local levels. It says the EPA didn't implement management controls that could have created more informed and proactive decision-making during the water crisis. The report also claims the federal response was delayed, in part, because the EPA failed to establish clear roles and responsibilities, risk assessment procedures, effective communication, and proactive oversight tools.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 7/19/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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