Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 8/8 - The Coming Storm, Chicago Looking At UBI Program

Wednesday, August 8, 2018, 10:21 AM

Economy

Wait Until You See The Price Of Gold In Venezuela Right Now

So where does this put gold? At some point, hyperinflation gets so ludicrously out of control that discussing exchange rates becomes pointless. But as of July 30, an ounce of the yellow metal would have gone for 211 million bolivars—an increase of more than 3.1 million percent from just the beginning of the year.

Chicago officials looking at universal basic income program

Chicago is not flush with cash. As of 2016, the city had $40 billion in bills, according to Truth in Accounting.
“It’s obviously bizarre that a city that’s already essentially bankrupt to be piloting a program that mails a bunch of money to everybody,” Cass said.

Large U.S. Employers Eye Changes to Health Care Delivery System as Cost to Provide Health Benefits Nears $15,000 per Employee

Including premiums and out-of-pocket costs for employees and dependents, the total cost of health care is estimated to be $14,099 per employee this year, and projected to rise to an average of $14,800 in 2019. Employers will cover roughly 70% of those costs; employees will bear about 30%.

GM tries new tactic to lower health care costs

A Detroit-based hospital system has signed a contract to provide health care services to thousands of GM employees—a move that comes as more large companies bypass U.S. health insurers.

Debt costs seen rising as Italy casts doubt on fiscal rules

Capital Economics said its forecasts were based on a scenario in which the Italian government implemented only a small portion of its planned reform programme. It said the programme as a whole could cost up to 67 billion euros (£59.77 billion) and bring the deficit to 6.2 percent of GDP.

China and emerging markets face trillion-dollar bond payments

In the next three years, $3.23 trillion worth of bonds in emerging markets will mature, according to Dealogic, with corporate bonds comprising about 90% and sovereign debts around 10%. The total will hit a record $891.9 billion this year and grow to $1.1 trillion in 2019 and $1.2 trillion in 2020. The roughly $1 trillion annual rate is nearly double the tally from three years ago.

How to end Japan’s deflation? Abolish cash

A state-backed digital currency would make it easier for the BOJ and the finance ministry to run “helicopter money” experiments. The BOJ would create new electronic money and give it to the government against a perpetual bond sold by the finance ministry to the monetary authority. The ministry would then credit the electronic money to people’s bank accounts with the proviso that every month that the gift is saved — and not spent — its value will go down by, say, one-twelfth of 1 percent.

CDC: West Nile Virus Detected in 36 States (Thomas R.)

“West Nile virus is in Iowa,” said the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Dr. Ann Garvey in a statement. “This death related to West Nile is tragic and reminds us to protect ourselves and our families from mosquitoes. Until the state’s first hard frost, whether it’s for work or play, being outside means there’s a risk for West Nile virus.”

America's '1%' Hasn't Controlled This Much Wealth Since Before The Great Depression (Don R.)

The fortunes of people like Bezos and those made on Wall Street, in Hollywood and Silicon Valley fuel much of wealth inequality in the U.S., but the issue affects most of the country, the report showed. The incomes of the top 1% grew faster than the bottom 99% in 43 states between 2009 and 2015. In nine states in the U.S., the top 1% represents more than half of all income growth.

Hospital superbugs are evolving to survive hand sanitizers (Thomas R.)

Johnson, Stinear, and colleagues cracked open the research after noting a puzzling pattern in hospital-acquired infections. While healthcare settings were upping their sanitation game with alcohol-based rubs, certain nefarious germs seemed to be in decline—methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, for instance—yet another set of germs seemed to be thriving. Those would be Enterococci bacteria, which are usually harmless occupants of the human gut but can become opportunistic pathogens that lurk in hospitals and pounce on vulnerable patients.

Ten Years After the Crash, We Are Still Living in the World It Brutally Remade (Sparky1)

The mood in America is arguably as dark as it has ever been in the modern era. The birthrate is at a record low, and the suicide rate is at a 30-year high; mass shootings and opioid overdoses are ubiquitous. In the aftermath of 9/11, the initial shock and horror soon gave way to a semblance of national unity in support of a president whose electoral legitimacy had been bitterly contested only a year earlier. Today’s America is instead marked by fear and despair more akin to what followed the crash of 1929, when unprecedented millions of Americans lost their jobs and homes after the implosion of businesses ranging in scale from big banks to family farms.

Angry people are more likely to overestimate their intelligence, study finds

“Individuals with high trait anger have a tendency to overestimate their abilities, i.e. thinking that they are smarter than they actually are. This part of anger is associated with narcissistic illusions,” Zajenkowski told PsyPost.

Welcome to the ‘Man Camps’ of West Texas (Adam)

David Penny, a 57-year-old pump operator who’s originally from Zimbabwe, stays at the Goldsmith camp during his two-week shifts. “It’s a great place to work, but a terrible place to live,” he says, citing the heat, dust, and dearth of grocery stores and restaurants among the negatives. His wife, who lives 370 miles away in Dallas, “would never come out here, and I don’t blame her one bit,” says Penny over lunch at the on-site cafeteria.

Facebook denies seeking users' bank data (Thomas R.)

Some account linking is in place on a relatively small scale at the moment - for example, Facebook users in Singapore who bank with Citi can check balances and view recent transactions.

More widely, Facebook users can connect their PayPal accounts to Messenger to track transactions and shipping updates.

"The coming storm": Entering retirement broke and bankrupt (Thomas R.)

As a result, the rate of bankruptcy among Americans over age 65 has doubled over the period studied by the researchers. "For an increasing number of older Americans, their golden years are fraught with economic risks, the result of which is often bankruptcy," their report noted.

Because one-quarter of the country will be older than 65 by 2050 compared with 15 percent now, the authors predict America will see a "coming storm of broke elderly."

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/6/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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