Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 2/4 - Big Tech No Longer Carrying the Stock Market, The Complete History Of Monsanto

Monday, February 4, 2019, 10:41 AM

Economy

FCC didn’t have the right to repeal net neutrality, court case argues (Thomas R.)

Since the OIO was repealed in 2017, consumers and industry insiders have been concerned that internet service providers could start to limit access to certain sites — for example, AT&T could block its customers from accessing Netflix because it wants to promote its rival streaming service, DirectTV Now. This hasn’t happened yet, but companies are starting to test the waters with AT&T offering a “sponsored data” program for prepay wireless customers and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson trying to discourage states from passing their own net neutrality laws.

Could Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei Put U.S. Cyber-Security At Risk? (greendoc)

In the U.S., the National Security Agency has banned AT&T and Verizon from using Huawei products in America's 5G network. And last month, the U.S. had a top executive from Huawei arrested in Canada so she could be extradited to the U.S. The growing cyberthreat posed by China was stressed in the Worldwide Threat Assessment - a report from the U.S. intelligence community - that was released this week. And all this is part of the backdrop for this week's trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. My guest David Sanger is the author of a book about cyberwar and cyber-sabotage called "The Perfect Weapon." He's a national security correspondent for The New York Times.

Big Tech Is No Longer Carrying the Stock Market (Thomas R.)

By the end of August, their sway over the direction of the S&P 500 exceeded all but two of the index’s 11 sector groupings. As the index pushed to a record high last summer, the rise in those six companies’ shares accounted for half of its gain. They led on the way down too, dragging the broader market lower over the final three months of 2018 and nearly ending the longest bull market on record.

New tax laws can prove tricky for those filing for returns (Thomas R.)

The new tax laws allow you to claim a child tax credit, either $500 or $2,000 depending on the status of the dependent. Deductions for moving and job expenses like uniforms, union dues, and licensing fees are a thing of the past, but in New York things are different. "The states and federal are not seeing eye to eye on eliminating these deductions," Shelton said. "The state picked up the deductions so that makes it interesting and also confusing for the client."

GM plant closings will hit parts suppliers far and wide (Thomas R.)

The dominoes already are starting to fall. A plant that makes seats for the Cruze and another business that does logistics and warehousing work for GM in Ohio will close in March, too. Just three years ago, those two had a combined 800 workers.

Green has compiled a list of more than 50 other businesses whose work is tied to the Ohio assembly plant. But it's difficult to know how many could be forced to cut jobs because many do work for other auto plants and industries.

Hackers From Iran Are Reportedly Stealing People’s Travel And Mobile Data In The Middle East (tmn)

The report comes after the EU’s digital security body stated Iran is likely to ramp up its cyber espionage efforts, particularly in the region. Iran has in the past rejected charges that the country engages in cyber espionage, saying Iranian cyber capabilities are for defense only.

Big Brother's Blind Spot (tmn)

Surveillance is “Orwellian when accurate, Kafkaesque when inaccurate,” Privacy International’s Frederike Kaltheuner told me. These systems are probabilistic, and “by definition, get things wrong sometimes,“ Kaltheuner elaborated. “There is no 100 percent. Definitely not when it comes to subjective things.” As a target of surveillance and data collection, whether you are a Winston Smith or Josef K is a matter of spectrum and a dual-condition: depending on the tool, you’re either tilting one way or both, not in the least because even data recorded with precision can get gummed up in automated clusters and categories. In other words, even when the tech works, the data gathered can be opaque and prone to misinterpretation.

NBC News, to Claim Russia Supports Tulsi Gabbard, Relies on Firm Just Caught Fabricating Russia Data for the Democratic Party (Alex M.)

To justify its claim that Tulsi Gabbard is the Kremlin’s candidate, NBC stated: “analysts at New Knowledge, the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election, told NBC News they’ve spotted ‘chatter’ related to Gabbard in anonymous online message boards, including those known for fomenting right-wing troll campaigns.”

AP Explains: Why Congo’s Ebola outbreak still going strong (thc0655)

Some health experts have warned that the infectious disease could defeat efforts to contain it and become a permanent threat in the turbulent region, which would force already struggling health clinics to adapt their operations. Ebola response workers aim to keep a two-meter distance from those infected and ideally wear head-to-toe protective gear. How local workers would assist with childbirths, treat malaria and carry out other daily activities among North Kivu province’s estimated 7 million people remains to be seen.

More Than 4,000 Jobs on the Chopping Block as General Motors Layoffs Begin Monday Morning (Thomas R.)

This massive cut to GM’s workforce is part of an effort to reduce operating costs by up to $6 billion by the end of 2020, which GM will use to invest in a new generation of electric and autonomous car technology. GM is banking on Cruise autonomous ride-hailing becoming the prevalent mode of transportation.

Brooklyn Prison Has Power Restored After Inmates Go Days Without Lights And Heat Amid Polar Vortex (Thomas R.)

"Disturbing reports have surfaced that the federal government left more than a thousand prisoners without heat, hot water or electricity during subzero temperatures at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn," Cuomo said in a statement. "Prisoners in New York are human beings. Let's treat them that way."

Sanctions on Venezuela’s Crude Hit Oil Market in Vulnerable Spot (Thomas R.)

The deepening turmoil in Venezuela is exacerbating a shortfall of dense crude oil, leaving fuel makers in the lurch and underscoring the limitations of U.S. shale.

On Monday, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil giant in an attempt to prevent the proceeds of crude sales to the U.S. from reaching the government of President Nicolás Maduro.

Oil prices slide after hitting 2019 highs on tighter supply outlook (Thomas R.)

Underlining the lack of excess supply, Jakob cited a rapidly clearing West African crude market and the structure of Brent crude futures, in which the first-month contract is trading near the price of the second month.

Harley-Davidson’s electric scooter concept is more exciting than its electric motorcycle (Thomas R.)

The scooter, though, looks like a thrill! It’s very reminiscent of the electric mopeds that startup Lithium Cycles has been making for a few years, but with the kind of polish that a big company with lots of resources can accomplish. (In the press photos, at least. The prototype Harley-Davidson brought to Aspen is far more gnarly, with exposed wires and mismatched materials.)

Sightings of rare oarfish in Japan raise fears of earthquake and tsunami (Thomas R.)

Traditionally known as "Ryugu no tsukai" in Japanese, or the "Messenger from the Sea God's Palace," legend has it that they beach themselves on shores ahead of underwater earthquakes. But scientists dispute such claims.

The Complete History of Monsanto, “The World’s Most Evil Corporation” (dcm)

Even though PCBs were eventually banned after fifty years for causing such devastation, it is still present in just about all animal and human blood and tissue cells across the globe. Documents introduced in court later showed Monsanto was fully aware of the deadly effects, but criminally hid them from the public to keep the PCB gravy-train going full speed!

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM End-Of-Month Market Commentary: 1/31/19

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."

6 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4280
Pool of govt bonds with negative yields on the rise again

France's 'Yellow Vest' movement has spread to Argentina as anger ...

Yahoo Finance-9 hours ago
... from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), widely blamed for immiserating Argentinians in the world's biggest sovereign debt crisis in the early 2000s.
 

 Pool of govt bonds with negative yields on the rise again

Reuters-1 hour ago

Bond yields across major developed markets have fallen sharply in recent weeks on the back of weak economic data and dovish central bank commentary.

Moody's: Aging Latin American population will put strain on pension ...

Pensions & Investments-26 minutes ago
"In Argentina and Brazil, fiscal pressures are severe, calling for policy action to address rising pension costs and arrest fiscal deterioration," Ms. Maziad added.

 

DennisC's picture
DennisC
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2011
Posts: 358
What's (Not) in Your Wallet?

Haha.  It's always a revenue problem, not a spending problem, and someone else is at fault too.

Cuomo Blames Trump Tax Plan for Reduced New York Tax Collections - https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cuomo-blames-trump-tax-plan-185801569.html

“They are investors, they have accountants, they are making informed decisions,” Cuomo said. “This is going to be the tipping point and people will now be making a geographical change.”

Cuomo, a Democrat, ridiculed members of his political party who are calling for higher state taxes on the rich, saying the top 1 percent of earners already account for about 46 percent of state income-tax revenue.

“Tax the rich, tax the rich, tax the rich -- and then the rich leave. And then what do you do?” he asked. “It would be the absolute worst thing to do right now. At the same time, you don’t have the ability to reduce taxes on the rich because that would just expand the shortfall.”

Gonna be a lot of pissed off (non) pensioners at some point: https://www.statedatalab.org/state_data_and_comparisons/detail/new-york

Maybe the solution is to entice some of the folks from CT and MA to make the short trip to NY with the selling point being you are moving up the bottom 10 states list to number 42.  Win win.

 

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 468
NY Taxes
 

"Maybe the solution is to entice some of the folks from CT and MA to make the short trip to NY with the selling point being you are moving up the bottom 10 states list to number 42.  Win win"

NY & MA already put a squeeze on CT businesses. NY offers any CT business that relocates to NY with no state taxes up to ten years. I believe MA has a simular program. Lots of big companies in CT left. Recently GE Moved its HQ from Fairfield,CT for Boston, MA. Lots of Banks, Insurance & other Financial companies left CT for NY or other states. CT put the squeeze on companies trying to avoid squeezing CT residents who already dealing wiht soaring propery taxes.

A lot of residents started leaving CT starting back in 2009. Do to CT high taxes & regulations on companies the State never recovered from the great recession. In the past 18 monthes Homes that been on the market for years (some since 2008) are finnally selling off as NY are moving into CT since CT taxes are slightly lower than for NY residents in Westchester and Putnum. However CT elected another big tax governor and CT has to close a $6.6B+ debt. Its very likely that taxes in CT will be going up significantly soon. A lot of NY'ers that though they dodged a bullet by moving to CT have only chained themselves, since once taxes go up more companies will leave & no one is going to want to buy overpriced homes in CT.

I believe CT will likely increase its sales & income tax to about7%, increase the gasoline tax, & add new taxes for everyday consumbles: Groceries, Prescription Drugs, Clothing, Telcom\Cable, & Electricity. Pretty much everything they can do to nickel and dime residents for. In addition, Cities & towns continue to increase property taxes to cover soaring state worker people & healthcare costs.

Edwardelinski's picture
Edwardelinski
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 23 2012
Posts: 346
Westchester County stripped of triple AAA status last year

On general obligation bonds due to serious finanacial stress.They have to retroactively repay back wages to the union workers creating a budget shortfall.Talk of selling off municipal parking lots to close the gap.They already surrender close to 14% of income to NY state alone.To the rest of the country allowing only a 10 grand write off sounds like cry me a river,but,in the town where my sister lives property taxes average 25 grand.Most counted on the write off and the repricing of homes on the downside is already reflecting that fact.As a result,property taxes will have to be lowered,creating less revenue for NY state.Similiar stories on Long Island as well.On the other side,many have no idea what they are going to be hit with in April.As corrupt as Cuomo is,he is telling the truth.The slow circling drain continues... 

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 6062
Don't Cry for NY
DennisC wrote:

Haha.  It's always a revenue problem, not a spending problem, and someone else is at fault too.

“They are investors, they have accountants, they are making informed decisions,” Cuomo said. “This is going to be the tipping point and people will now be making a geographical change."

Yes, the informed decision is that paying the state up to 8.8% of your income (top bracket), up to 4.75% sales tax, and then also paying some of the most ridiculously high property taxes on top of that is not a winning proposition.  People with access to the internet can become informed that other states will grab a skinny fraction of those amounts which, for a typical house in an expensive disctrict can be the equivalent of having a kid in college forever (with yearly property taxes = tuition).

Can't blame Trump for any of that.  Nor for the obviously decrepit NY infrastructure decaying all over the state but especially the NYC region.  That's on you NY.

I'm a little salty at NY because they have some of the most feared anti-gun laws, so draconian that even an off duty LEO from out of state has no rights to own or carry.  Automatic big trouble for everyone if you happen to be found with a gun.  You may not even transport a handgun through NY (even if locked in a case in a locked trunk without any ammo anywhere to be found) without a valid NY license.

Why do I care?  

Because NY is between me and most of the rest of the US so it complicates travel greatly and, I've heard, I would even be at risk if a plane I was on was diverted to NY for emergency reasons and I was legally transporting by airline, as I did when I went to Nevada for the Front Sight training.  Your plane is diverted, you land in NY, pick up your luggage and - oops! - you are now a NY felon.

So I figure that any state which is that interventionist and rigid deserves no sympathy from me as their utopia fails to pencil out.

More broadly, the high-tax, crumbling Northeast US region is in a bunch of trouble going forward.  They haven't had any fiscal discipline in a very long time.

In my own town, there's a rabble of well-meaning people who want to place a new library in town.  The old one still works fine, and could easily be fixed up for another 50-100 years of service.  But these folks want a new, gleaming library at a cost of more than $750/ft sq, which is standard government building math.  I have no idea what they are building it out of, but you'd think it was solid marble from the proposed cost.  If the new police station is any indication, it will be a disappointingly ordinary mix of drywall and drop ceilings for 4x the cost anybody in their right mind would pay as a private citizen.

More broadly, who thinks we need libraries like we used to?  Well, the grey haired boomers in the audience supporting this beast of an idea, is who.  They argue that there are state funds that "will be lost" if we don't plow ahead with this idea.  Any questioning of either the cost or the need is met with Green meme derision. "You heartless cad!  A library is a self-evident good!"

Oh...it will require another property tax override to burden our already ridiculously high tax rate with another special project...I'm looking at Tennessee and elsewhere.

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 468
Re: Anti-Guns & Taxes!

Chris Martenson Wrote:

"I'm a little salty at NY because they have some of the most feared anti-gun laws"

But you live in MA which has even worse gun laws than NY! MA pretty much banned semi-auto rifles and semi-auto handguns. I never quite understood why you choose MA to relocate to. Even staying in CT (going to rural CT) would have been a better option in my opinion. Or moving to NH. But FWIW, NH is going to become another high tax anti-gun state, since it now complete surrounded & under seige from MA & VT. The only safe harbors are states south of the Mason-Dixon line, and rural states like Idaho, Alaska, & Montana.

Chris Martenson Wrote:

"Your plane is diverted, you land in NY, pick up your luggage and - oops! - you are now a NY felon."

Yeah, I won't transport any firearms on a commerical plane. Not work the risk! Best option is to let a license gun shop transport to another license gun shop in the area your traveling to.

But then again I stopped flying, Considering that its pretty much mandatory to get irradiated by those full body scanners. I recall a few years ago that a malfunction Body scanner was outputing 10 times the permtted annual dose and it was operating that way for over a year. Great way to increase your cancer risks!  These days I only drive, and if its beyond driving range, I don't go!

Chris Martenson Wrote:

"Oh...it will require another property tax override to burden our already ridiculously high tax rate"

Your probably going to hate me, but my property taxes dropped 60% for 2019. Going out to a nice dinner is now more expensive than my annual property taxes. Yet the roads are excellent, Already have a nice library, brand new YMCA. Seems like the more tight-wad your local gov't is, the better everything is.

Chris Martenson Wrote:

"I'm looking at Tennessee and elsewhere."

PM me if you want a recommendation.

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