Daily Digest

Image by Al_HikesAZ, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 4/28 - The Market’s Mirage of Higher Wages, Is Radiation As Bad As We Thought?

Thursday, April 28, 2016, 10:55 AM

Economy

Spy planes catching property tax cheats in Spain with possible Brexit looming (lambertad)

Following elections in December 2015, no government has been able to form and if one isn’t cobbled together by May 2, Spaniards will be returning to the polls on June 26.

British holiday homeowners on the islands could face another tax hike if the Brexit referendum on June 26 is approved.

A Commonwealth In Crisis (jdargis)

Puerto Rico has few political mechanisms to solve its own problem, and the crisis is far beyond the reach of most of the tools that it does have. Raising taxes on a declining and impoverished tax base can’t close its massive deficit. Vague proposals to spur economic growth and industry seem unrealistic given the nature of the challenges ahead, and the island has lost many of the tax incentives that once made it such an attractive destination for business subsidiaries. Puerto Rico has attempted to solve its debt issues by granting itself bankruptcy powers under rules that grant service providers in the states the ability to seek relief, but that decision remains under Supreme Court review and has been opposed in no uncertain terms by the federal government. With even its power of self-determination under review, Puerto Rico has only one real option for assistance: Congress.

The Market’s Mirage of Higher Wages (Tiffany D.)

Profit margins have been on a dangerous wane for some time. In 2014, profit margins for the S&P 500 companies hovered near 9% on a four-quarter, trailing average basis. Today, the same figure has plummeted to nearly 7.5%.

And yet, the S&P 500 remains within a whisper of all-time highs. For investors, like a thirsty man who stumbles through the desert in quest of “water,” that’s the mirage. All that awaits is a mouthful of sand.

Smoke And Mirrors: False Dilemmas In Monetary Policy (Taki T.)

A couple of months ago, Mario Draghi announced that he wants to scrap the 500 euro note, the highest denomination available in the eurozone currency. His reason for doing that, is to help the fight against all the militant jihadists and the vile criminals who mainly use this note to facilitate their various villainies. Also, another added bonus would be that nominal interest rates would be further cut, since the physical storage of cash in smaller notes would become more expensive and impractical.

Why Real Reform Is Now Impossible (Don R.)

Central banks thwart this existential danger to the status quo by rescuing the market every time it approaches the market clearing event level. (see chart) In a market clearing event, risky loans and bets are liquidated, credit dries up, risk soars and the price of assets falls to levels that once again make fundamental sense.

Market clearing events are a necessary part of a healthy credit and asset-allocation system. If the market is never allowed to clear away the dead wood of mal-investments, high leverage, nose-bleed valuations, bad bets and risky loans that should never have been issued, all this dead wood eventually chokes off healthy expansion.

Your Pay Is About To Go Up (jdargis)

If your employer doesn’t like it, they can either raise your pay over $50K, or stop asking you to work extremely long hours without overtime pay.

Beware Of Basic Income (jdargis)

The question we should ask first is whether we have the bargaining power to get a worker-friendly version of basic income. Be aware: conservatives of all stripes also like the basic income. In fact, one of the idea’s biggest proponents in Canada is former Conservative senator Hugh Segal. Milton Friedman loved the idea too. It plays to the right’s utopian libertarian fantasies of “coupon capitalism.” The idea is that the government’s role is reduced to simply giving everyone a cheque or coupon to purchase goods and services plus securing property rights.

50% Of Proved Oil Reserves May Have Just Vanished

According to Professor Michael Jefferson, who spent nearly 20 years at Shell in various senior roles from head of planning in Europe to director of oil supply and trading, “the five major Middle East oil exporters altered the basis of their definition of ‘proved’ conventional oil reserves from a 90 percent probability down to a 50 percent probability from 1984. The result has been an apparent (but not real) increase in their ‘proved’ conventional oil reserves of some 435 billion barrels.”

Another Farm Under Siege: Animal Rights and The War Against the Farmers (Wendy SD)

Benner and his family have learned how to do something that is increasingly difficult in modern times – live off of their 15-acre farm in affluent, crowded Long Island since 1977. "We learned, made, and had our own heat. We made our own food. We made our own clothing. We raised a garden," said Benner, who is 75. In a rational world, this would be considered heroic, especially in our time, where such independence and self-sufficiency and respect for the environment is almost unheard of. We talk about sustainability all the time; the Benners are living it. We talk about keeping animals among us, and finding value in them. He is doing that.

He ought to get a medal, not death threats online and on the phone.

The Chernobyl Conundrum: Is Radiation As Bad As We Thought? (jdargis)

Most believers in the healing qualities of radiation are suffering from a chronic inflammatory disease: arthritis, asthma or psoriasis, for example. The gas, they argue, alleviates their problems for months, which is why they lay in bubbling radon water offered by some healing spas. In Bad Kreuznach, in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, brave spa guests even trek into the tunnels of an abandoned mercury mine, attracted by the radon-filled air in the mountain. Are they crazy?

Whether or Not He Wins, Bernie Sanders Has Already Changed the Climate Debate (jdargis)

Sanders’ radical brand of environmentalism includes linking climate change directly with the rise of terrorism; refusing all donations from the fossil fuel industry; introducing legislation for a tax on carbon dioxide; advocating a phase-out of nuclear power; and, most recently, proposing a national ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Meanwhile, views that a year ago might have marked him as leftist — rejecting the Keystone Pipeline, say, or opposing drilling in the Arctic — are increasingly mainstream.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 4/7/16

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."

5 Comments

Tall's picture
Tall
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2010
Posts: 564
In the past, wealth came with responsibility
America has become a nation of pervasive economic inequality. It’s no wonder, then, that the 2016 election has witnessed a populist uprising.
 
But class conflict does not flow only from the bottom up. It’s also a top-down phenomenon. Since the 1980s, rich Americans have maximized their share of the nation’s prosperity at the expense of the rest of the country. Adding insult to injury, a growing body of evidence suggests that many rich people today simply do not care about their fellow Americans. The old concept of noblesse oblige has declined among the wealthy to a disturbing degree.
 
To understand how the rich have changed, one needs to understand how the upper classes used to behave.
//
Military experience is (now) rare among America’s political and economic elite.
//
The extraordinarily low rate of charitable giving among the rich offers more evidence. Even though we live in a time of entrenched income inequality, poor Americans actually give a higher percentage of their income to charity than the rich do. 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/25/america-wealthy-cla...

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4066
Atlantic City, America's Worst-Rated Town, Stares at Default

Atlantic City, America's Worst-Rated Town, Stares at Default

Wall Street Journal-1 hour ago

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said in January it appears “inevitable” that Atlantic City would default on debt payments within six months barring major ..

Puerto Rico's Likely Default May 1 Not Fazing House Republicans

Bloomberg-3 hours ago
The territory could still strike a last-minute deal to defer the payments due in three days, but Puerto Rico will likely default on some or all of the debt payments ...

Japan's Abenomics 'dead in the water' after US currency warnings

Telegraph.co.uk-4 hours ago
The Japanese economy is contracting again, caught in a debt-deflation vice. Growth has ... This will ultimately lead to an inflationary spiral, a form of debt default.

China to Consider Starting Trading of Credit-Default Swaps

Bloomberg-15 hours ago
Authorities issued rules on bond default hedging instruments called “credit risk ... time products must focus on specific underlying debt and restricting leverage.

Venezuela's Food Crisis

ABC News-6 hours ago
High prices and chronic food shortages have left many Venezuelans struggling to put food on their tables. Some families are skipping meals and relying more on ...

Venezuela economic crisis means fewer meals, more starch
Curacao Chronicle-4 hours ago

Looting breaks out in Venezuela as electricity crisis worsens

EL PAÍS in English-10 hours ago
As Venezuela's energy crisis worsens, with frequent and sustained blackouts throughout the country, looting has broken out in at least seven states. On Tuesday ...

 

Global health care costs predicted to balloon in 2016

Business Insurance - ‎3 hours ago‎
Led by double-digit increases in the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, global health care costs are expected to jump in 2016, according to a new survey. Medical trends, which are projections of increases in the cost of health services, will rise ...

Aetna CEO: Out-Of-Pocket Costs Causing People To Forgo Care

Hartford Courant - ‎9 hours ago‎
HARTFORD — For all the emphasis on getting physician practices and hospitals to share in the responsibility to reduce unnecessary health care spending, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said those efforts aren't responsible for modest medical inflation ...

 

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1763
Daniel Sheehan's lecture

Daniel Sheehan is a very noteworthy and outside-the-box constitutional lawyer who has written on quite a few topics touched upon here on pp:

  • the role of the elites in controlling society for centuries
  • UFOs
  • JFK assassination as an example of the deep state's effect in politics
  • 9/11 false flag

I think that it is really very good.  It is from a class that he teaches at University of California at Santa Cruz.  This lecture is on the current presidential election process and the role of the elite in controlling the outcome.

 

Edwardelinski's picture
Edwardelinski
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 23 2012
Posts: 309
Zero hedge unmasked folks

Some of you will be unhappy.www.bloomberg.com.news/articles/2016-04-29/unmasking-the-men-behind-zero-hedge-wall-street-s-renegade-blog

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1763

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments