ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

May 24 06:34

75% OF FTC OFFICIALS WORKED FOR CORPORATIONS IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE REGULATING

A new report reveals that two-thirds of Federal Trade Commission officials, tasked with everything from bleach labeling to enforcing net neutrality, either worked for corporations before entering the agency or soon after the end of their term over the past two decades.

May 24 06:15

Baltic Dry Index Leads Stock Prices

May 23 16:34

Auckland Transport, MBIE defend use of Hikvision gear as Chinese face-recognition, surveillance camera maker joins Huawei on US blacklist

Chinese surveillance camera and facial recognition technology company Hikvision will follow Huawei onto Trump Administration's security blacklist within weeks, according to a New York Times report - a move that could put heat on local Hikvision customers such as the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) and Auckland Transport.

The blacklist stops US technology companies supplying banned Chinese companies with components.

*NZHerald now has some stories as pay to view, so to read more, you need to subscribe. They need the money.*

May 23 16:29

Westpac warning: Capital proposals will add $6000 a year to cost of average Auckland mortgage

Proposed changes to increase the amount of capital banks hold could add $6000 a year to the cost of an Auckland mortgage and have a "significant negative impact" on the economy, Westpac bank is warning.

The New Zealand arm of the Australian-owned bank has today made public its submission to the Reserve Bank's proposed capital changes.

Submissions closed last Friday on the RBNZ's proposals which include a near doubling of the minimum common equity banks should hold from 8.5 per cent currently to 16 per cent.

The proposed increase is designed to make banks safer and better designed to handle periods of financial stress by holding enough capital to reduce the probability of a financial crisis in New Zealand to a one in 200-year event.

*Someone knows what's coming...*

May 23 12:25

Vast Majority Of Americans Reject Attack On Iran; Half Expect War "Within Few Years"

War with Iran remains a deeply unpopular prospect among the American people, but a new opinion poll conducted by Reuters and polling organization Ipsos found there's not much optimism concerning the likelihood of getting entangled in a future conflict. The poll released Tuesday found that half of all Americans see the US and Iran being at war "within the next few years".

As of early this week it appeared the White House as well as Pentagon were firmly signaling the US has climbed down the escalation ladder, with statements claiming the US military build-up near the Persian Gulf of the past two weeks had forced Iran to put its planned actions against US troops "on hold" in order to "recalculate".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Netanyahu wants this war, and at double-march speed time.

He cannot wait for Trump to turn around and do something logical here, so I would say that a reasonable "window" for a false flag event, to be blamed on Iran, would be between Monday, Memorial Day, and Thursday, 4 July, which is the US's main patriotic event.

Please understand that I would hate like heck to be right; but this is what I see, looking at, with all the pieces of the puzzle in view.

May 23 12:23

Will Deutsche Bank Fail THIS Summer?

May 23 12:20

Bill Blain: "Xi Is In Much More Trouble Than We Think"

In terms of market action, trade fears really seem to have settled in as the dominant theme on markets. But if markets are simply wondering when there will be a solution, then they may be waiting for the wrong thing. While the mood remains negative as the market waits for a US/China agreement/resolution, maybe the new long-term reality is an increasingly and deliberately bifurcated global economy? The US and its allies vs China. If it sounds familiar – it should in terms of 1945-89. The West won the last Cold War on the same basis – and the economic benefits accrued to the free capitalist states, a theme the Neo-coms are increasingly banding around. You just imagine the scene in the war room: “This is time Mr President..”

May 23 12:01

Blaming Dead Pilots Brought to You by Boeing

The House Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation held an oversight hearing last week on the two recent Boeing 7373 MAX airplane crashes.

Testifying were the heads of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Asking questions and making statements were 39 members of the House – 22 Democrats and 17 Republicans – who during the 2018 election cycle took in a total of $134,749 – or an average of $3,455 each from Boeing in campaign contributions.

Inoculating their interests from responsibility, blame, shame and liability were the Boeing lobbyists and lawyers swarming the Capitol.

The chair of the subcommittee, Rick Larsen (D-Washington) ($7,048 from Boeing in 2018, $101,134 over his career), artfully steered the hearing away from Boeing’s corporate responsibility for the deaths of the passengers on the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines planes that crashed within five months killing all 346 passengers on board.

May 23 11:57

Blaming Dead Pilots Brought to You by Boeing

The House Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation held an oversight hearing last week on the two recent Boeing 7373 MAX airplane crashes.

Testifying were the heads of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Asking questions and making statements were 39 members of the House – 22 Democrats and 17 Republicans – who during the 2018 election cycle took in a total of $134,749 – or an average of $3,455 each from Boeing in campaign contributions.

Inoculating their interests from responsibility, blame, shame and liability were the Boeing lobbyists and lawyers swarming the Capitol.

The chair of the subcommittee, Rick Larsen (D-Washington) ($7,048 from Boeing in 2018, $101,134 over his career), artfully steered the hearing away from Boeing’s corporate responsibility for the deaths of the passengers on the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines planes that crashed within five months killing all 346 passengers on board.

May 23 11:41

How to Avoid Hype-Burn in this IPO Mania

May 23 11:37

Xi Jinping’s Rare Earth Visit Highlights Weak Spot in U.S. Trade Strategy

When Chinese President Xi Jinping unexpectedly toured a rare earth mining facility following the announcement of U.S. sanctions on Huawei, the message was unmistakable: China is prepared to use its domination of raw materials used in virtually all high-tech manufacturing to gain leverage in the trade dispute.

China is the largest supplier of rare earth materials that are used in everything from mobile phones to nuclear power to guided missiles. Xi’s visit highlighted the fact that just as Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE require U.S. technology for their products, U.S. technology and national security manufacturers rely on Chinese rare earths.

May 23 11:24

China: U.S. resembles 'Don Quixote' in seeing other powers as threats

China told the world’s main disarmament forum on Wednesday that U.S. foreign policy was destabilising, baffling and redolent of Don Quixote, the Spanish fictional hero whose misplaced determination leads him on a series of doomed endeavours.

“The Cold War mentality has come back to drive the security strategy and policy of a major power,” China’s disarmament ambassador Li Song told the Conference on Disarmament, a long-stalemated arena for arms talks at the United Nations in Geneva.

“In particular the U.S. keeps saying other countries make it feel unsafe – this is truly baffling,” he said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ambassador Song appears to be correct, in his assessment.

And I would add, that many people, who in the last election, believed that Donald Trump would be better choice as President, are now feeling "getter's remorse"; the man doesn't seem to understand that the word "negotiations" means honest give and take by each side; it is NOT "my way OR THE HIGHWAY"

May 23 11:23

Why America Can’t Solve Homelessness

Even more striking than the scale of need are the shifting demographics of who is eating here and why. The homeless population is getting younger, staffers say, and more likely to have children and full-time jobs. In one hour, over taco salad and Fanta, I meet fast-food employees, a former car salesman who lost his home in the financial crisis and a pregnant 31-year-old whose baby is due the same month her housing vouchers run out.

But the biggest surprise about St. Vincent’s may be the state in which it’s located. Just four years ago, Utah was the poster child for a new approach to homelessness, a solution so simple you could sum it up in five words: Just give homeless people homes.

May 23 10:53

EVEN BEFORE THE RECESSION HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN, SOME LARGE U.S. FIRMS ARE LAYING OFF THOUSANDS OF WORKERS

By Michael Snyder

If the U.S. economy is “booming” and very bright days are ahead, then why are many large U.S. corporations laying off thousands of workers? Layoffs are starting to come fast and furious now, and this is happening even though the coming recession has not even officially started yet. Of course many are convinced that we are actually in a recession at this moment. In fact, according to John Williams of shadowstats.com if the government was actually using honest numbers they would show that we have been in a recession for quite some time. But the narrative that the mainstream media keeps feeding us is that the U.S. economy is “doing well” and that the outlook for the future is positive. Well, if that is true then why are big companies laying off so many workers right now?

Let’s start by talking about Ford Motor Company. On Monday, they announced that they will be laying off approximately 7,000 workers…

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Snyder nails this one on the head.

Right now, I am very blessed to be an entrepreneur with a couple of very happy clients.

May 23 10:39

U.S. IN VENEZUELA: IS STARVATION A WEAPON OF ‘REGIME CHANGE?’

SOURCE: DEEPSTATEBLOG.ORG

The United States is seeking to shut down Venezuela’s emergency food aid program, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The stated goal of U.S. policy is combating the corruption of the Venezuelan government. The unstated reality is that the Trump administration is doing exactly what it accuses the Maduro government of doing: weaponizing access to food.

The emergency food program—known by its Spanish initials, CLAP—is the main food source for an estimated 15% of Venezuelans and a critical supplement for a far larger percentage of the population. Officials in the Maduro government, including top military brass, “are using the CLAP program to steal from it, launder money, and for political control,” the senior Treasury official said. “Corrupt Maduro continue to seek illicit revenue streams, even as the Venezuelan people and economy sink deeper into despair,” said another senior Treasury official, Sigal Mandelker, the undersecretary for sanctions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Weaponizing food, and taking it away from people who really need it to survive, is a really nasty way of attempting to create regime change in Caracas.

In fact, such actions can be described as war crimes against a civilian population.

And right now, the Unhinged, surveilled, State of Amerika, takes the prize for war crimes in the 21st century; against Yemeni kids; Libyan kids; Iraqi kids; Venezuelan kids; and places about which we don't know all over the planet.

To understand that your government is sponsoring war crimes, all around the world, is a very difficult place to which one has to come, in taking this all in.

I, for one, am very frustrated with this government, for having the dubious distinction, of being the #1 perpetrator of war crimes on this planet.

And folks, one of two things will happen because of this; the US government will either have a soviet-style collapse, or start a world war which will devastate the entire planet.

May 23 10:25

THE PENTAGON ASKS TRUMP TO SEND THOUSANDS OF U.S. TROOPS TO THE MIDDLE EAST AS TENSIONS WITH IRAN CONTINUE TO RISE

SOURCE: THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

The more steps that we take toward a war with Iran, the more likely it becomes that somebody will do something really stupid that will actually trigger one. By cutting off Iran’s oil exports, we are threatening to completely wreck their economy, and at this point they feel backed into a corner. And the Iranians have already watched the U.S. invade two countries that they share a border with (Afghanistan and Iraq), and so it is understandable that they are a bit paranoid that it could happen to them too. President Trump keeps saying that he doesn’t want a war with Iran, but the Iranians do not believe a single word any U.S. politician says. Instead, they watch what we actually do very, very closely, and the fact that the Pentagon wants to deploy thousands of new troops to the Middle East is definitely going to freak them out. The following comes from Fox News…

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, just because something is one of the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US and its military could do, is absolutely no guarantee that they won't do it.

And there is a paragraph after the last one I copied, which I don't believe at all; the writer of this article, characterizes Iran's leadership as "insane", and frankly, I wouldn't go there.

I think that the Iranians care as much for their kids, and their country, as we do for our kids and our country. In reading presstv.com (an English language version of Iranian state-approved news), you see kids, young men and young women, competing in both sports, and intellectual combat, like building and programming robots, and mathanasium challenges.

One of the best, highest ranked global universities for computer science, to be found in Iran

They understand that they live in the 21st century, and want their kids to be as competitive and ready, as they can possibly be.

So Mr. President, a word, please: any kind of invasion/attack against Iran, of course, preceded by a "false flag, to be blamed against it, (most probably courtesy of Mossad) is NOT what We the People wanted, when they voted you into office. They hired you to run this country on a peace and prosperity platform; not more endless wars.

And please understand, that if you do this, Israel's Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu will not give a rat's anus, if we wind up with hundreds, or thousand American troops dead or maimed for life.

Israel is always eager for other countries to fight their wars for it, so that the costs in blood, and money, will only be absorbed by those proxy fighters, and not Israel.

And there is another question about this potential for further deployment of Americans in the Middle East; what happens when Russia and/or China, decide to come in on Iran's side?!?

Do you remember what happened in Syria, when Russian troops and weaponry got rid if most of the jihadi there (including those paid for by US tax funds?!?)

Sir, please don't back away from asking this of Kenneth McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan; as of an article dated 16 May, at bloomberg.com stated:

US "Evidence" of Iran Threat readied for Release by the Pentagon. The article went on to state:

"The evidence may be released within a day, according to one of the officials, because the White House recognizes it needs to disclose more documentation to skeptical allies, U.S. lawmakers and the public.

These include images of the two dhows, slow-moving vessels that U.S. analysts believe were carrying cruise missiles that are designed to attack land targets and would be fired directly from the boats rather than shipped to other locations, according to one of the defense officials.

The vessels could be easily disguised among the many dhows that transit the Persian Gulf in routine commerce -- unlike the easily spotted speedboats that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has long used to intimidate crews of oil vessels from other nations and occasionally to harass American ships in the Persian Gulf"

Translation; they are "cherry picking" the data, to make it appear that there IS a credible threat from Iran, and that is what will be shown to Congress and to you, President Trump.

And Mr. President, forgive me, but if US lawmakers, the public, and allies may be characterized as being "skeptical", about these claims, please remember the following: The US government flat out lied about "Saddam Hussein's having alleged "weapons of mass destruction", to get the Iraq war going

It was all about the oil, and insuring that it was only sold in US dollars, and Iraq is still one hot, sticky mess from that never-ending war.

Mr. President, you and Congress may state the need for "confrontation", because Israel wants to get this war going quickly, as they are unsure if you are getting "cold feet" about it; but sir, if you do this, it will be another war, based on lies, to create confrontation where there could possibly be collaboration.

US governmental credibility has been well and truly flushed, when you ordered that the US withdraw from the P5+1 Agreement; please don't make this any worse than it already is, as the Middle East is already on the cusp of disaster.

May 23 09:52

PLUNDER – WHAT IS IT & WHO DOES IT?

France is the home of Frederick Bastiat whose philosophy of economics and freedom is noted and summarized below. Obviously, the leaders of France either never heard of Bastiat, or reject his philosophy out of hand.

In 1850, Frédéric Bastiat’s political theory was published in his work The Law. In this work, the Frenchman vigorously challenged what he believed to be a perversion of the real meaning of law and justice and called on his countrymen to seek true liberty that leads to prosperity. In France today, the people’s liberty has been plundered – that’s thanks to socialism – hey AOC; check it out!!!

For the sake of brevity, his work can be distilled down to a few basic points in question-and-answer format:

May 23 09:50

Apple to be more upfront about the impact of iPhone updates

Apple has promised to be clearer and more upfront with iPhone users about battery health and performance, following action by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The competition watchdog said it opened an investigation last year after finding that iPhone owners were not being warned clearly that their phone's performance could slow down following a 2017 software update designed to manage demands on the battery.

The CMA was worried that users might have tried to repair their phone or replace it because they didn't realise the software update had caused the handset to slow down. It also said that people found it hard to access information about the health of their phone's battery, which can degrade over time.

May 23 09:49

Tech trade war: After Huawei, which Chinese firms are next on US enemies list?

If the cold war with China intensifies, more companies with alleged ties to the Chinese government could be prohibited from doing business with American firms.

May 23 09:47

China says trade talks can’t continue unless US addresses its ‘wrong actions’

The latest U.S. actions on trade are preventing negotiations with Beijing from proceeding, China’s Commerce Ministry said Thursday.

“If the U.S. would like to keep on negotiating it should, with sincerity, adjust its wrong actions. Only then can talks continue,” Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng said Thursday in Mandarin, according to a CNBC translation.

He did not mention any U.S. actions specifically, but it’s been a tense couple of weeks between the world’s two-largest economies. President Donald Trump unexpectedly accused China of reneging on a deal earlier this month and announced that tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods would increase to 25% from 10% on May 10. Beijing retaliated with raising levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. products. In the last two weeks, his administration also put Chinese telecom giant Huawei on a blacklist that prevents it from buying from American companies without U.S. government permission.

May 23 09:20

Coulter: U.S. Isn’t Becoming Europe. We’re Becoming Rome

Can we have a quick reality check and acknowledge that what is happening to America is a million times worse than what’s happening in Europe and is of much greater consequence?

May 23 08:45

GOLDMAN AND JPM SET THEIR SIGHTS ON THE “LITTLE PEOPLE’S” MONEY

When Goldman Sachs was negotiating its deal with New York City in 2005 to build its new headquarters building at 200 West Street, one of its requirements was that it have a seat along with the New York City Police Department in a taxpayer-funded spy center to keep the Main Street riffraff under surveillance. Goldman wanted the new surveillance center to be in place no later than December 31, 2009. Curious, isn’t it, that Goldman was prescient enough to think that the pitchforks might be coming out after an epic crash on Wall Street. The spy center was, indeed, built and both Goldman and JPMorgan Chase were given seats, along with the New York Fed, Citigroup and others. (See Wall Street Firms Spy On Protesters in Tax-Funded Center and 60 Minutes Takes a Pass on Wall Street’s Secret Spy Center.)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me unsurprised by these moves.

Why people are investing in the stock market, during these volatile times, is a mystery to me, unless they have inside information which nearly guarantees that such investments are "bullet-proof"; of course, this is information to which both houses of Congress are privy, and because they are not required to put their investments into a blind trust, as is the President.

Let's, for example, look at the financial wellness of The Pel, and her husband: After the historic 2018 midterm elections, Rep. Nancy Pelosi was again confirmed to the role of speaker of the House of Representatives on Jan. 3, 2019.
As a couple, Pelosi and her husband have a combined net worth between -$58.7 million and $72.1 million.
Until 1987, the career politician worked in unpaid roles.

So, after she has made the statement in her news conference today, that "President Trump is after his own interests, not the people's interest", one has to wonder; what sweetheart deals has this lady made, to earn The Pel and her hubby, somewhere +/- $65 million dollars per year?!?

May 23 08:35

AFTER READING THIS ARTICLE ABOUT THE DANGER OF GMOS, YOU WILL PROBABLY NEVER WANT TO EAT GENETICALLY-MODIFIED FOOD AGAIN

Every single day, most Americans eagerly gobble down foods that contain ingredients that have been genetically-modified without ever considering the consequences. Most of us simply assume that the federal government would never allow us to eat GMOs if they were not safe. Unfortunately, it appears that the federal government has completely failed us. The material that I am about to share with you is deeply disturbing, and after reading this article there is a very good chance that you will never want to eat genetically-modified food ever again. But at this point it is almost impossible to completely avoid GMOs, because they are in almost everything. Unless they are specifically designated “organic”, most corn, soy, canola and sugar beets grown in America today have been genetically modified, and almost all packaged foods contain ingredients derived from at least one of those sources.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Playing with the building blocks of life, in the food chain, can be hazardous to your health; and Congress does nothing about this, because they get huge amounts of campaign money from companies like Sygenta and Monsanto, to look the other way.

May 23 08:02

In Money We Trust?

May 23 06:50

Another Breadth Warning For Stocks

May 22 15:27

Apple’s earnings would drop by nearly 30% if China bans its products, Goldman Sachs says

Analyst Rod Hall said in a note that Apple earnings could drop 29% if the company’s products were banned in mainland China.

Apple’s China business accounted for more than 17% of its sales in its fiscal second quarter, coming in at $10.22 billion.

May 22 15:19

British Steel COLLAPSE – 25,000 jobs at risk

May 22 14:19

GALLUP POLL: 43 PERCENT OF AMERICANS THINK SOCIALISM IS GOOD

Forty-three percent of Americans think socialism would be a good thing for the United States, while a slim majority — 51 percent — of those surveyed in a Gallup Poll released on May 20 think it would be a bad thing. The figures contrast markedly with a Roper/Fortune survey taken in 1942, in which 25 percent of those polled described socialism as a good thing, 40 percent as a bad thing, and 34 percent did not have an opinion.

May 22 13:44

After 114 years JCPenney is on life support…

May 22 13:44

Walmart CFO and Steven Mnuchin discussed tariffs amid concerns over higher prices for customers

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he has spoken with Walmart CFO Brett Biggs regarding the next round of tariffs on Chinese goods.

Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday that he has been “monitoring the situation [tariffs] very carefully” and spoke with Biggs on what items they can and cannot source.

“We haven’t made any decision yet …” Mnuchin said. “We will be sensitive to consumer items that particularly affect people on fixed salaries.”

May 22 13:41

Fruit of the Loom announces 100 layoffs

May 22 12:54

US aviation experts believe a bird strike sparked the faulty autopilot sensors that caused the deadly Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crash earlier this year

US aviation investigators have reportedly said a bird strike may have been a factor in the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crash in Addis Ababa in March.

The claim from a person familiar with the matter was reported by CNBC on Tuesday and preceded stocks for the aviation company rising 1.2 per cent around midday.

It was previously reported bad data may have activated a system that pushed the nose of the plane down and may have been the reason the aircraft and the same model belonging to Lion Air went down in Indonesia in October 2018.

The American aviation official reportedly thinks the bird strike could have triggered the anti-install MCAS system in the Ethiopian flight 302 crash that killed eight Americans among the 35 nationalities on board.

However the airline said there was 'no evidence of any foreign object damage' as the probe remains open.

May 22 11:20

All Is Well!

May 22 11:01

Why The US Has No High-Speed Rail

May 22 11:01

Amazon is trying to make working in its warehouses like playing a video game

Amazon is trying to make the lives of its warehouse workers a bit less rote.

It's piloting a program in five fulfillment centers around the country where its employees have the option to gamify their workload.

At employee workstations, games with names such as "MissionRacer," "PicksInSpace," "Dragon Duel," and "CastleCrafter" appear on a small screen with retro-looking graphics and keep track of employees' work. The Washington Post was first to report on the existence of the program, which an Amazon representative confirmed with Business Insider.

May 22 11:00

Nothing Elon Musk has done has stopped the bleeding at Tesla — and things look like they're going to get worse

Tesla just raised $2.7 billion but still looks desperate as — once again — financial and legal questions surrounding its survival mount.

Perhaps tellingly, the market couldn't seem to care less about this $2.7 billion — or $2.3 billion net of hedging and fees to be precise. Tesla's stock has fallen by about a quarter over the past month as analysts up and down Wall Street chop their stock-price targets and forward-looking estimates at a steady clip. Wedbush Securities called it a " code red." Evercore said Tesla could justify its current valuation only with "supernatural growth."

May 22 10:59

Microsoft hasn't said a word so far about Huawei's ban in the US, but it removed Huawei laptops from its stores

Microsoft removed Huawei laptops from the Microsoft online store last weekend, likely in response to the US government blacklisting Huawei.

Huawei laptops are still being sold in physical Microsoft stores that still have the computers in stock, according to The Verge.

Microsoft hasn't made an official statement regarding its relationship with Huawei. Business Insider has asked Microsoft for comment, but the company didn't immediately reply. Other outlets have also requested comment from the company to no avail.

May 22 10:59

Home Depot is doubling down on tool rentals in a bid to win over pro builders and drive sales

Home Depot has come a long way when it comes to renting out tools, and it's a sign that the retailer is working hard to woo home-improvement professionals.

"We know that 90% of pros rent tools, but several years ago, only about one out of 10 pros rented from us," Home Depot CEO Craig Minear told investors during the company's earnings call on Tuesday. "Today, that number has improved to one out of four, yet there remains opportunity for further growth as we continue to invest in our tool rental experience."

Those improvements could come about in the form of continuous investments in rental offerings and ensuring that stores are consistently stocked with enough "brands that pros care about," Minear said.

May 22 10:58

World Ready for US Collapse as Empire Hemorrhages Gold, Oil and Credibility

Some ironies are just too precious to pass by. The 2016 US presidential elections gave us Donald Trump, a reality TV star whose famous tag line from his show “The Apprentice” was “You are fired!” Focus on this tag line; it is all that is important to this story. Some Trump Derangement Disorder sufferers might disagree. This is because they are laboring under certain misapprehensions: that the US is a democracy; or that it matters who is president. It isn’t and it doesn’t. By this point, the choice of president matters as much as the choice of conductor for the band that plays aboard a ship as it vanishes beneath the waves.

May 22 10:53

We're Headed for Civilizational Crisis. US Rivalry With China, Russia, Everyone Else Is a Side-Show

Talk about a graphic display of soft power: Beijing this week hosted the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations.

Organized under the direct supervision of President Xi Jinping it took place amid an “Asian Culture Carnival.” Sure, there were dubious, kitschy and syrupy overtones, but what really mattered was what Xi himself had to say to China and all of Asia.

In his keynote speech, the Chinese leader essentially stressed that one civilization forcing itself upon another is “foolish” and “disastrous.” In Xi’s concept of a dialogue of civilizations, he referred to the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as programs that “have expanded the channels for communication exchanges.”

Xi’s composure and rationality present a stark, contrasting message to US President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign.

May 22 10:32

Why capturing Huawei is no victory in tech war

It’s geopolitical, geoeconomic war. Cold, so far, but now about to descend to deep freeze. The US National Security Strategy unmistakably spells it out. China is a strategic competitor and must be contained, no holds barred, on all fronts: economic, military and most of all, technological.

Enter the current, concerted offensive across the spectrum, from 5G and AI to moves attempting to prevent the coming of globalization 2.0. Add to it maximum pressure all over the world to prevent nations from joining the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the organizing foreign policy concept for China in the foreseeable future and the strategic road map for Eurasian integration up to 2049.

It’s all interconnected; the Trump administration’s trade war, Google blocking Huawei from the enhanced Android OS, the demonization of Belt and Road. It’s all about control of global supply chains and technological infrastructure.

May 22 09:59

How Top-Down Government Fails America’s Poor

By Max Gulker

A well-functioning society should provide a safety net for its members struggling the most. The unavoidable role of luck in market outcomes, the variability of circumstances in which people are born, and the imperative simply to alleviate suffering all speak to this need.

Our debate about safety nets and responses to poverty hinges on a fundamental fallacy — that services are either provided by the government or not at all. This falsely constructed debate diverts resources that could be used to directly help the poor, and often erroneously casts those favoring less government involvement in the economy as not caring about poverty...

May 22 09:31

British Steel collapse: 25,000 jobs at risk as assets liquidated

British Steel has been ordered into compulsory liquidation after talks with the government failed to secure a bailout, threatening the jobs of about 5,000 employees, with another 20,000 jobs in the supply chain.

The steelmaker had requested an emergency $38m bailout loan from the British government following dwindling European sales amid Brexit uncertainty, and an ill-fated decision to sell off excess carbon credits earlier this year.

Just three weeks ago, the government had given a $150m loan to the company.

May 22 09:23

None Dare Call It Nonsense

How many times have you heard “You can’t eat gold” as a reason NOT to own gold? It is nonsense.

You can’t eat gold either during good times or after an economic collapse, but neither can you eat dollar bills, euros, bolivars or hundreds of other devaluing paper currencies.

In good times and in bad times, gold is necessary for wealth protection. A gold market will always exist, and you can exchange your gold (or silver) for the items you need.

Try exchanging Confederate money, Yugoslavian dinars, Hungarian pengos, Weimar Reichsmarks or hundreds of other failed currencies for food in 2019. You might starve.

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