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Daily Digest 10/24 - Volcker Sees 'Hell Of A Mess In Every Direction,' China's Economic Growth Hits 9yr Low

Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 8:54 AM

Economy

Paul Volcker, at 91, Sees ‘a Hell of a Mess in Every Direction’ (Saxplayer00o1, Adam, thc0655, dcm)

Before Mr. Volcker fell ill, he finished his memoir, “Keeping at It: The Quest for Sound Money and Good Government.” The book was supposed to be published in late November, but given Mr. Volcker’s health, its publisher, PublicAffairs, a unit of Hachette, moved its release up to Oct. 30.

Violent deaths of Venezuelans in Colombia more than triple in 2018

More than a million people have left neighboring Venezuela fleeing hyperinflation and food and medicine shortages as the oil-producing nation suffers a severe and social economic crisis.
Colombia’s government has said that if the situation worsens, the number of Venezuelan immigrants in its territory could rise to four million by 2021 and cost about $9 billion in humanitarian aid.

Femsa to lay off 2,000 Venezuela workers amid crisis: union

The move makes Femsa, one of the largest soft drink bottlers in the world, the latest multinational to downsize in the OPEC country, where a fifth year of recession and hyperinflation topping 400,000 percent annually have dented consumer demand and prompted nearly 2 million Venezuelans to migrate since 2015.

China's economic growth hits nine-year low

The reading will likely put pressure on the leadership to provide fresh support as investors grow increasingly concerned about a flood of cash leaving the country, which has seen the yuan and stock markets fall to four-year lows.

In an unprecedented move, the EU rejects Italy’s 2019 budget

There are fears in Brussels that Italy’s fiscal plan will derail the reduction of the country’s debt pile — which is the second largest in the euro zone, totaling 2.3 trillion euros ($2.6 trillion). Within Europe, countries are expected to not run an annual deficit greater than 3 percent of GDP. However, in Italy’s case its debts have led to Brussels requesting that Rome work toward balancing its books.

$276 Billion of U.S. Debt Sales Is Just Another Week Now

The Treasury Department is issuing $276 billion in debt this week

House prices 'falling by over $1,000 a week' in Sydney and Melbourne, Deloitte says

Prices had surged across the country over the past five years as historically low interest rates have driven Australians to load up on debt, while investors had also cashed in.

Three Colliding Problems Leading to a New Economic Disaster (Paul D.)

On Friday, the Dow opened with a big round of buying, then plunged again, then wobbled all day before finally ending 287 points up. This allowed the financial world to spend the weekend relief-boozing instead of planning for The End.

Caravan of 7,000 Central American migrants continues north, defying warnings to turn back (Thomas R.)

The migrants continued towards the border in open defiance of both the U.S. and Mexican governments. On Monday, the U.S. embassy in Honduras released a video urging people to turn back or face detention. In Spanish, a message from the U.S. government says, "Please return to your country."

But the caravan is rumbling forward. CBS News first saw Sergio Caceres on Sunday, when the caravan reached Mexico. He's paralyzed and looking for work and better doctors in the U.S. He said he doesn't even have any shoes, since he gave them to his friend.

China opens mega-bridge linking Hong Kong to mainland (Thomas R.)

Its opening will cut travel time across the delta from several hours to just 30 minutes, something China hopes will bind the region together as a major driver of future economic growth. Heavily regulated traffic using permits issued under a quota system will begin flowing on Wednesday.

Judge upholds verdict that found Monsanto's weed killer caused worker's cancer (Thomas R.)

The judge reversed course Monday and said the jurors appeared to agree with Johnson's expert witness, Dr.Chadi Nahban, who concluded that Monsanto's popular Roundup weed killer caused the groundskeeper's cancer. She said the company presented its own experts who disagreed with Nahban in a debate that was up to a jury to decide.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 10/23/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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12 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Posts: 4225
Central Banks to Increase Gold Buying for First Time Since 2013

Central Banks to Increase Gold Buying for First Time Since 2013

Bloomberg-1 hour ago
Central banks are set to increase their purchases of gold in 2018 for the first time in five years as eastern European and Asian countries seek to diversify their ...
 

The world of easy money transformed Canada into debt nation. That ...

CBC.ca-6 hours ago
This column is part of a series we're calling Debt Nation looking at the state of ... over $2 trillion, with mortgages accounting for almost three-quarters of this debt.

Record China Bond Failures Breathe Life Into CDS-Like Tool

Bloomberg-13 hours ago
Corporate debt investors navigating an expanding minefield of bond ... Defaults have spiraled to a record 66.1 billion yuan ($9.5 billion) this year as China's ...

Rand Falls With Bonds as Budget Clouds S. Africa Rating Outlook

Bloomberg-38 minutes ago

The rand weakened along with bonds as the government's latest debt projections increased the probability of a credit-rating downgrade that would move South .

It's not just Italy — France's 2019 budget is also a concern for Brussels

CNBC-4 hours ago
In the case of France, the 2019 budget plan sees its structural deficit (the ... previous government had implemented, including an overhaul to the pension system.

Kentucky pension crisis: A closer look at what 'Frontline' found

Courier Journal-21 minutes ago
The report recaps how Kentucky's public pension plans that were fully funded in ... officially carrying more than $37 billion in unfunded liabilities – a figure Gov.

 

Edwardelinski's picture
Edwardelinski
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The Pension Gamble

This is a must watch for all public sector workers not only  Kentucky,Jersey,Colorado,Carolina etc.The predators lined up in full force!When you watch the price paid by the trusting innocents, and are compassionate,your blood will boil.Here on the Cape in the supermarket where I shop  we have 2 teachers and a retired assitant vice principle ringing registers over the weekend to make ends meet.On the Vineyard we have had teachers spending the summers in campers unable to afford summer rents...They have lived modestly and within means....

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
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"UBI is not going to create a better world."

Interesting presentation; several points on A.I. by Elon Musk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuRuFj5c0bE 

thc0655's picture
thc0655
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Smells like false flag "bomb" attacks to me

It all sounds a little fishy (again!).  It looks like something a couple of boys in high school would come up with, or a false flag.  I'm not the only one, but the two guys below are persona non grata (according to the MSM, Silicon Valley, and the Deep State) and are not to be believed.  Maybe that's why they've been deplatformed recently (to make some room for antics like this without a critical voice).  I can't wait to see what Caitlin Johnstone has to say.

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/deep-state-rolls-out-staged-bomb-attack-on-cnn-headquarters-just-as-mike-adams-and-alex-jones-publicly-predicted-on-multiple-video-broadcasts_10242018

Exactly as publicly predicted by myself and Alex Jones, the anti-American globalists are now running pipe bombs false flags against CNN. This is not merely similar to what we publicly predicted would take place before the mid-term elections; it is exactly what we publicly predicted would take place. We even named CNN as the most likely target to be selected by the globalist operatives running the operation.

But this one isn't nearly as convincing as 9/11 since no one was even hurt, much less killed.  And George Soros's son (!) has already come out saying it was The Bad Orange Man's fault.  I hope "They" are satisfied with this little prank and don't feel compelled to actually kill some people before Nov. 6.

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

thc0655's picture
thc0655
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Signs of the times in Philly

I just saw this sign in the subway in Philly (America's poorest big city).  People are really scratching and clawing to make it from day to day, adjusting to today's economic conditions.  I can see some benefit for efficiencies and less waste, but since cars that are locked and have alarms deployed get stolen so often here I'm not sure I'd put the keys to my car on the internet (unless I was desperate).

https://www.getaround.com

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Posts: 5928
Not very scary
thc0655 wrote:

It all sounds a little fishy (again!).  It looks like something a couple of boys in high school would come up with, or a false flag.  

Yeah, this one doesn't smell right.  I know that there's a full court press on right now to pin this on "right wing hate groups" or maybe even Trump's utterances and demeanor, but I'm going to wait for better evidence to show up.

Remember, it's not at all uncommon for groups that self-identify as martyrs to write, send or spray paint hate messages to themselves if things get a little slow.  It happens all the time.

So let's look at the evidence we do have:

1) The stamps are not postmarked.  Therefore it did not go through the postal system and was hand delivered.  Great!  That means lots of chances for security footage, especially in NYC which is absoltuely covered in security cams, to say nothing of the lobby of the building it was hand delivered to.  Let's see the tapes please.

Also, look at all that shiny tape covering the address labels.  Lots of chances for prints and fibers on that stuff, both surfaces.

Finally, who writes "from" and "to" anymore?  With this oddity I'd be profiling someone over the age of 60 as a starting point.

2) The use of what is described as a "digital timer."  Now that's just plain dumb (if this were a bomb sent with the intent of going off and doing harm).  I mean think about it.  To have any chance of "success" the amount of time you entered would have to be exactly the amount of time for the package to end up in the target's hands.  No more and no less.  

Even one second after opening this package your target is backing away quickly.  

Conclusion:  Amateur hour front to back.  Or, and more likely, these were not meant to harm anyone and are not even packed with powder/explosive and/or could not have detonated for a variety of reasons.  They were designed to get a reaction.

Now, what was the reaction and cui bono?

Those are my questions.

 

 

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Posts: 5928
Maddening...
Edwardelinski wrote:

This is a must watch for all public sector workers not only  Kentucky,Jersey,Colorado,Carolina etc.The predators lined up in full force!When you watch the price paid by the trusting innocents, and are compassionate,your blood will boil.Here on the Cape in the supermarket where I shop  we have 2 teachers and a retired assitant vice principle ringing registers over the weekend to make ends meet.On the Vineyard we have had teachers spending the summers in campers unable to afford summer rents...They have lived modestly and within means....

The whole "heads we win, tails you lose" angle of the pension industry is maddening beyond words.  Honest, hard working people with their heads down trusted the fiduciaries to at least try todo the right thing.  Big mistake.

The fiduciaries took home fat paychecks for "managing" the pensions, made promsies they knew to be impossible, and never even blinked.

Really unpleasant stuff.

 

Edwardelinski's picture
Edwardelinski
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Posts: 336
You Should Read

Public pensions for sale part 3 over at The Intercept.Talk about a Chicago gaslight...

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
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Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 143
I was an investment officer for 2 public pension plans...

in the 90's. At the first plan, I realized that the investment board was paying one of our investment managers 50k per month for an assignment that had ended at some point in the past. I alienated myself by pointing this out to those above me. It did not stop. The deputy attorney general assigned to the board would not do anything about this bit of fraud but he did spend an inordinate amount of time delving into $7.00 that was missing from the petty cash fund in the office. This was around the time that KKR was playing the Oregon and the Washington Boards against one another for which one could invest the most with them -- after years of dismal returns. We're talking 100s of millions of dollars. It was also the time when I realized that I should be doing something else with my life.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Posts: 5928
That's fascinating...
Matt Holbert wrote:

in the 90's. At the first plan, I realized that the investment board was paying one of our investment managers 50k per month for an assignment that had ended at some point in the past. I alienated myself by pointing this out to those above me. It did not stop. The deputy attorney general assigned to the board would not do anything about this bit of fraud but he did spend an inordinate amount of time delving into $7.00 that was missing from the petty cash fund in the office. This was around the time that KKR was playing the Oregon and the Washington Boards against one another for which one could invest the most with them -- after years of dismal returns. We're talking 100s of millions of dollars. It was also the time when I realized that I should be doing something else with my life.

Matt, that's fascinating.  I'd love to hear more about your experience there.

When I presented to a group of pension managers a couple of years back and asked about their investment decisions and processes, a large number reported that they brought in consultants and mainly followed their advice.  

I bet that's a very difficult position to fill without some heavy conflict of interest.  Do you know if/how they avoid that?

Also, seemed like a great dodge for the people "managing" the portfolio - they get to follow the consultant's advice which means they are both fulfilling their fiduciary duties and evading any direct responsibility if things go south.  "Well, on the advice of our expert consultant we did X but that advice turned out terribly.  We're hiring a different consultant next year, obviously."

Is that how it works or do I have that all wrong?

thc0655's picture
thc0655
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Data dribbles in

Appears non-functional (and juvenile).  Maybe we'll get definitive word later.

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
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Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 143
Chris, Here are a few thoughts on pension management...

It's true about the consultants. In the real estate portion of the portfolio, we -- at both Washington and Alaska -- even had an outside real estate consultant in addition to the consultant for the entire plan. I tried to get the Alaska plan to just engage a handful of real estate consultants for a one or two day brainstorm once each year rather than engaging one consultant for a three year or so contract. I couldn't get any traction with the idea. The consultants produced reports and showed up at the handful of board meetings held each year. Well-meaning and intelligent folks -- but rather formulaic. It should be noted that in addition to the consultants, there were a few advisers (non-voting members at WA) to the Boards. While the WA board engaged non-voting members from Washington state, Alaska's advisers would fly in from New York or Boston for each meeting. I don't remember either group offering anything of note. I suppose this was a CYA mechanism for the Boards.

There had been some finger pointing in the early-mid 90s between plans and their real estate managers. The plans were trying to micro manage the outside investment managers by approving each and every property purchase. I insisted at Alaska that all decisions with respect to buying properties would be delegated to the managers. As a consequence, the performance of the portfolio was all in their hands. No finger pointing.

Essentially, my job with the second plan (Alaska) was simply to "grade" proposals to manage $700 million -- in $100 million chunks. Lots of wining and dining. In fact the whole thing was about wining and dining.

I did not get a sense that there were conflicts of interest at these two plans. However I am aware that there has been a great deal of conflict of interest with plans like Calpers.

Of course, one of the most important things is the unrealistic rate of return expectations for almost all public plans. I expect that property taxes in particular will soar in most states and jurisdictions. All a part of the great unraveling... 

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