Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 3/9 - U.S. Households See Net Worth Decline, The Writing On The Wall

Saturday, March 9, 2019, 11:53 AM

Economy

US households see biggest decline in net worth since the financial crisis (Adam)

Much of the slide came due to Wall Street’s woes, as the stock market suffered a precipitous decline that started in October and briefly reached bear market status. Equities skidded as investors began to fear that the Fed would keep raising interest rates even as economic conditions began to deteriorate.

United States citizens will need a visa to visit Europe starting in 2021 (tmn)

The United States has been in a dispute with the EU's European Parliament and European Commission over visas for Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus. Travelers in those five countries are the only EU nations that the US requires to apply for a visa.

Pentagon may tap military pay, pensions for border wall (Sparky1)

The development comes as Pentagon officials are seeking to minimize the amount of wall money that would come from military construction projects that are so cherished by lawmakers.

Durbin said, “Imagine the Democrats making that proposal — that for whatever our project is, we’re going to cut military pay and pensions.”

U.S. officials made list of reporters, lawyers, activists to question at border (Sparky1)

“This is an outrageous violation of the First Amendment,” said Bhandari, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. “The government cannot use the pretext of the border to target activists critical of its policies, lawyers providing legal representation, or journalists simply doing their jobs.”

Venezuela plunges into darkness amid widespread outage (Sparky1)

The outage comes as Venezuela is in the throes of a political struggle between Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido, the head of congress who declared himself the nation’s rightful president in January and is recognized by the United States and about 50 nations.

Battle against Ebola in Congo being lost amid militarized response, MSF says (Sparky1)

Ebola responders were increasingly seen as the enemy, with more than 30 attacks and incidents against the Ebola response in the past month alone, she said.

The Experiment, by Robert Gore (thc0655)

As the nineteenth century progressed, primitive factories, mostly in cities, began producing goods of better quality, in more quantity, and at lower cost than had been possible by artisans handcrafting their wares. No doubt conditions in those factories were abysmal—long hours, pittance pay, child labor, dangerous and filthy conditions, and horrible accidents and injuries. All that has been well-chronicled and dramatized, but an important point gets overlooked. Bad as they were, the factories were a better option for those who worked in them than the farms from whence many of them came, or they would have stayed there.

Oh that it should come to this - Part 4 (Jesper A.)

In our last part we saw how a technology interacting with the society could bring about quick change in 1913, so what this amounts to is there is no special way or special interest nor a conspiracy; the systems way is to see that these two systems interacted, end of story. The interaction of the ego we CAN study then, is that of culture which is inspired by culture (see further). We prefer the moralist stories, but the system is not moral nor ethical it just is. A system bulges and wobbles, and slips in different ways. The invention of automatic accounting changed history.

US disaster agency rejects $306M for California dam repair (Sparky1)

California plans to appeal, though it has not yet received a formal memo from FEMA outlining its decision, Lien-Mager said. The state can seek reimbursement for up to 75 percent of the cost and may be submitting more reimbursement requests soon.

Local water agencies are already paying some of the repair costs, and anything not covered by the federal government would be kicked to them.

The writing on the wall: a trillion dollar fund built on oil & gas exploration has just pulled out of oil & gas exploration (ezlxq1949)

The Norwegian Government Pension Fund is the biggest sovereign wealth fund in the world. It has around $850 billion under management and owns 1% of all shares in global stock markets. Many observers view the “oil fund”, as it is often called, as too skewed towards fossil fuel investments, especially considering that the money it invests largely derives from Norwegian oil and gas in the first place.

Bloomberg Launches Alternative To Green New Deal (Michael S.)

The goal of this initiative is the same as the ultimate goal on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ interpretation of the idea for a New Green Deal first suggested by Tom Friedman. In this interpretation, the 100-percent renewable power, zero carbon emission economy will be the result of efforts including investment in renewable power, boosting the grid’s energy efficiency, and building smart grids that distribute affordable power, and investing in things like sustainable farming and new, emission-free, transport.

Your Recycling Might Be Poisoning Poor Communities (CleanEnergyFan)

Thanks to shale oil deposits and the ability to extract them cheaply, the cleanest possible plastics, a byproduct of natural gas, are now available at a cheaper price than the dirty plastics produced by recycling. Anyone would rather use new than used plastics for reasons of safely. Add cost to the equation, and the choice is obvious.

UK weather: February temperature jump was incredible, says climate expert (John J.)

According to the Met Office, the mean maximum temperature in February was at up to 3.5C above the average between 1981 and 2010. This was due to large areas of high pressure over continental Europe that brought warm air from the Canaries and north Africa.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 3/7/19

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."

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saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4296
Global Economy Hits Its Weakest Spell Since Financial Crisis

Global Economy Hits Its Weakest Spell Since Financial Crisis

Bloomberg-4 hours ago
The global economy's sharp loss of speed through 2018 has left the pace of ... Even so, the extent of the slowdown since late last year has surprised many ...Calls for rate cuts are getting louder, but would they be enough to ...
ABC News-13 hours ago
The RBA, with its cash rate at 1.5 per cent, has a bit more room to operate than those central banks with zero, or even negative, interest rate regimes, but not ...

Powell: Fed not in 'any hurry' to change rates amid global risks - tv

Reuters-13 hours ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Sunday the U.S. central bank does “not feel any hurry” to change the level of ...

 

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saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4296
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thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1788
"Now is the time of monsters"

https://internationalman.com/articles/now-is-the-time-of-monsters/

...In 1929, the Italian Antonio Gramsci was in a fascist prison, writing about what he considered to be a new interregnum – a Europe that was tearing itself apart. He anticipated civil unrest, war between nations and repeated changes in the lines of geographic possession.

At that time, he was attributed as saying, “The old world is dying and the new world struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters.”

And, of course, looking back from our vantage point in the twenty-first century, we have no difficulty in confirming that he was correct in his prognosis. The world war that followed brought forward the worst traits in mankind. The sociopaths of the world came centre-stage. By the time the dust had settled, tens of millions were dead.

What we do have difficulty with is recognizing that the same pattern is again with us. National leaders and their advisors are spoiling for war, building up weaponry, creating senseless proxy wars in other nations’ backyards and playing a dangerous game of “chicken” with other major powers.

This will not end well. It never does. Once the shoving-match has begun, it only escalates. At some point, whether it’s the false-flag assassination of an Archduke, as in World War I, or the false flag invasion of Germany by Poland, as in World War II, we can always count on some excuse being created to justify diving headlong into war.

It’s also true that, when empires get into economic trouble that’s too far gone for any viable solution, a trick that’s always employed by political leaders to keep the citizens from removing them from their seats of power, is to start a war. A people will, if they believe their homeland is in peril, accept the “temporary” removal of their freedoms.

Even in the United States, the famed “Land of the Free,” political leaders have routinely imprisoned dissidents in times of warfare. People tend to get behind their leaders in wartime, no matter how undeserved that loyalty might be.

And so, now is the time of monsters, as Mr. Gramsci rightly stated. A time of uncertainty, when countries are in turmoil and would-be leaders are jostling for power with existing leaders. An interregnum.

Troubled times tend to bring out all the crazies – all the sociopathic-types that would find it hard to succeed in stable, prosperous times.

In such times, the average person becomes worried that things are not going to turn out well. That’s perfectly understandable. Unfortunately, most people lack both the imagination and the courage to cope with how the times are impacting their lives. They instead rely on others to provide a torch that might help them escape from the darkness.

Not surprising then, that every snake-oil salesman in town sees an opportunity to offer big promises – promises that he has neither the ability nor the inclination to fulfill.

At such times, the people of a country tend to become polarized, placing their faith in one political party or another, hoping that their party will “make the bad stuff go away.”

In the US we see, on the liberal side, promises for “free health care for all,” a guaranteed basic income, housing for those who cannot afford it, and an endless stream of promises that, if the government were to implement them all, they will not be able to pay for them, even with 100% taxation from those who presently pay tax.

On the conservative side, we see promises such as “Make America Great Again,” with tax rebates that do not rejuvenate the economy, breaks for firms that have expatriated, but do not fool them into returning, claims to cut budgets, only to increase them, and promises to eliminate debt, only to expand it.

We see presidential elections in which one of the two leading candidates is a textbook narcissist, whilst the other displays all the traits of sociopathy.

And we see a waitress elected to Congress by a substantial margin, raised to the status of heroine merely for promising all things to all people, whilst offering no plan as to how that might come about. Record numbers of candidates pour into the political arena, seeking a last grab at power prior to systemic failure.

To be fair, the US is by no means alone in delivering incapable people with nonsensical solutions to the higher offices.

In the UK, each leading party states emphatically that a hard Brexit would be a disaster, yet neither party can come up with a working alternative. What they cando, as in America, is point fingers and shout invectives at each other.

In France, riots have become a weekend staple, whilst the disconnected president essentially says, “Let them eat cake,” serving only to create further fury on the street.

To be sure, the problem begins at the top. But it doesn’t end there. It sifts down to the proletariat, who, unable to come up with constructive solutions, create their own monsters, trashing the shops and burning the cars of people who had no hand in creating the problem.

But surely this is just a one-off phase, in which the best and brightest are temporarily pushed offstage, but will soon return, yes?

Well, unfortunately, no. Historically, a period such as this one is followed by one of increased madness. Historically, the next step is societal breakdown. Riots, secessions and revolutions become commonplace, accompanied by economic collapse.

Out of these events come the worst monsters of all. It’s in the wake of such developments that the people of any country then turn away from those that made the empty promises and toward those who promise revenge against an ill-defined group who are characterized as having caused the problems.

That’s when the Robespierres, the Lenins, the Hitlers – the greatest monsters – are swept into power. They invariably deliver the same message – that they’ll seek out the aristocracy, the gentry, the patricians, and strip them of their positions and possessions.

Invariably the way that this shakes out is not that the average man rises up, taking his “fair share” of the spoils. Instead, the leaders take the spoils and the proletariat are reduced to an equality of poverty...

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