Thought for the day

Pakistan has sought support from Washington to unlock a stalled International Monetary Fund programme that would release $1.1 billion to its strained economy as the country rebuilds after last year's devastating floods, Dawn newspaper said on Thursday.

The IMF and Pakistan signed a $6 billion bailout in 2019, that was topped up with another $1.1 billion last year, but that came with conditions attached, aimed at reducing the budget deficit before the loan is released.

China and the US at sovereign debt war MikeRivero Fri, 01/27/2023 - 07:27

US dollar hegemony has long been a standard feature of the global financial and economic system. But developments in recent years and months (weeks, even) suggests there are more than a handful of countries who are looking to rely less on the US dollar. Instead countries who have long been at the mercy of the US dollar are looking to take their finances into their own hands…and gold is set to play a key role. 

The U.S. and China are reportedly ‘taking steps to renew their engagement and cooperation … however, it is one step forward and 10 steps backwards. 

The long-awaited winter energy crisis has finally hit…but it wasn’t in Europe after all. On Monday, almost the entirety of Pakistan was left without power when a misguided energy saving strategy by the government backfired. Runaway inflation, a severely weakened currency, and rapidly emptying foreign exchange reserves have left Pakistan on the brink of economic collapse.

First, while expressed in abstruse technical language, it shares a perspective with the most radical left-wing critiques of capitalism. Yellen goes 90 percent of the way to proclaiming, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”

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Rand Paul: GOP should give up sacred cow and trim military spending MikeRivero Fri, 01/27/2023 - 07:21

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday pushed Republicans against taking military spending off the table as the party looks for ways to tackle government funding in talks on how to address the debt limit this year.

While speaking at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Paul framed the partisan battle over the nation’s debt limit as an opportunity for Congress to enact significant fiscal reform.

Enormous Lockheed stock buybacks and dividends come at expense of taxpayers MikeRivero Fri, 01/27/2023 - 07:20

The federal government and U.S. taxpayers are effectively underwriting massive returns for Lockheed Martin shareholders, returns so impressive that the weapons firm’s CEO, James Taiclet, boasted about how the company handed $11 billion over to shareholders in 2022 via share repurchases and dividend payments, creating “significant value for our shareholders.” 

The decline of a currency’s world reserve status is often a long process rife with denials. There are numerous economic “experts” out there that have been dismissing any and all warnings of dollar collapse for years. They just don’t get it, or they don’t want to get it. The idea that the US currency could ever be dethroned as the defacto global trade mechanism is impossible in their minds.

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Yellen wanted this to be the best of all possible worlds, but the best world she could conceive of was terrible.

In June 1996, Janet Yellen — then a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, later chair of the Fed herself, and currently secretary of the Treasury — wrote an extraordinary memo to then-Fed Chair Alan Greenspan. Anyone who wants to understand how the world works should read it, and thank Tim Barker, a historian who obtained it via the Freedom of Information Act.

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I took a drive down Mission street and saw tent after tent, person after person sleeping on the sidewalk.

The Tenderloin & SOMA were the same.

FiDi didn't have any tents (probably because the high-end property managers send in power washers at night).

It was beyond sad.