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Is Student Loan Debt Now Dischargeable Through Bankruptcy? It’s Complicated

History was made earlier this month when a New York judge ruled that US Navy veteran Kevin Rosenberg’s $221,385.49 student loan debt balance is dischargeable under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Prior to the ruling, attempting to dismiss student loan debt through bankruptcy was exceedingly difficult, if not altogether impossible. Unlike other kinds of consumer debt, which can be erased after filing for bankruptcy, student loan debt is the only type considered ineligible for dismissal unless certain legal requirements are satisfied. As the US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office explains, “You may have your federal student loan discharged in bankruptcy…

Not Ready For Economic Collapse: Only 41 Percent Of Americans Have $1000 To Cover An Emergency

We better hope that the U.S. economy holds together in 2020, because if there is any sort of major economic crisis much of the country is going to be broke almost immediately.  Today, close to half of all Americans are living on the edge financially.  For many, it is out of necessity, but for others it is a conscious choice.  Way too many people out there see no need to build up a substantial financial cushion because they have a tremendous amount of faith in the system.  They don’t think that things will ever get too bad in this country,…

Pentagram Racks Up $35 Trillion in Accounting Changes in One Year, Larger Than The Entire U.S. Economy

The Pentagon made $35 trillion in accounting adjustments last year alone — a total that’s larger than the entire U.S. economy and underscores the Defense Department’s continuing difficulty in balancing its books. The latest estimate is up from $30.7 trillion in 2018 and $29 trillion in 2017, the first year adjustments were tracked in a concerted way, according to Pentagon figures and a lawmaker who’s pursued the accounting morass. The figure dwarfs the $738 billion of defense-related funding in the latest U.S. budget, a spending plan that includes the most expensive weapons systems in the world including the F-35 jet…

Housing Blues in the Heart of California’s “Wine Country”

California’s “Wine Country” is typically considered to include the counties of Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Solano. We’ll look at the housing markets of the two most expensive, Napa and Sonoma; and at Marin County, sandwiched between the Golden Gate Bridge and Sonoma County. Marin County is not famous for wine, but for its beauty – including the Muir Woods National Monument, Mount Tamalpais, and Sausalito – and for being a high-end cloistered bedroom community of hurly-burly San Francisco. Sonoma County. Back in early August 2018, while the Bay Area Housing market was still considered to be on a trajectory…

Global Auto Sales Recession Expected To Worsen in 2020

Last year, auto manufacturers found it difficult to find buyers for cars in both India and China.   Global sales plunged 4% last year and that pain is expected to continue into 2020. According to CNN Business, a downturn in car sales could crash more than just the auto industry and the ripple effects could be massive. Citing a report by LMC Automotive, CNN said vehicle sales fell to 90.3 million in 2019, a drop from 94.4 million in 2018. The record high for car sales was 95.2 million in 2017. Fears within the industry are that it might have hit…

Trump Says Middle-Class Tax Cut To Be Announced Within Three Months

President Trump told The Wall Street Journal on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that the White House plans to unveil a new tax-cut proposal for the middle class in approximately 90 days. “We’re talking a fairly substantial … middle-class tax cut that’ll be subject to taking back the House and obviously keeping the Senate and keeping the White House,” Trump said. He declined to elaborate more on the specifics of the plan. Trump has been touting the idea of a middle-class tax cut since the 2018 midterm election, and more recently since the 2020 election year has…

The Mainstream Media Admits We Are In “An Auto Recession” – And It Just Continues To Get Worse

Quite a few of the most important sectors of the global economy are already “in a recession”, and yet somehow we are still supposed to believe that the economic outlook for the rest of 2020 is a positive one.  I am not buying it, and I know that a lot of other people aren’t buying it either.  The global economic slowdown that began last year is really picking up pace here in early 2020, and global financial markets are perfectly primed for a meltdown of epic proportions.  Unfortunately, most people simply do not understand how badly the global economy has…

The Biggest Stock Market “Melt Up” In U.S. History Has Pushed Stock Prices To The More Overvalued Levels Ever

Over the past several months, we have witnessed one of the greatest stock market rallies in American history.  The S&P 500 has gone 70 days in a row without a 1 percent loss, and most weeks we have seen one daily surge after another.  If stock prices were exploding because the underlying U.S. economy was performing extremely well, we would have reason to celebrate.  Unfortunately, that is not the case at all.  In fact, last week I shared 12 signs that the economy is actually slowing down substantially.  Instead, this stock market “melt up” is being largely fueled by reckless…

World’s richest 2,000 people hold more than poorest 4.6 billion combined

The world’s richest 2,153 people controlled more money than the poorest 4.6 billion combined in 2019, while unpaid or underpaid work by women and girls adds three times more to the global economy each year than the technology industry, Oxfam said on Monday. The Nairobi-headquartered charity said in a report released ahead of the annual World Economic Forum of political and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland, that women around the world work 12.5 billion hours combined each day without pay or recognition. In its “Time to Care” report, Oxfam said it estimated that unpaid care work by women added at…

To ‘Make America Great Again’ Trump Added a $1 TRILLION Deficit in 2019—Just Like Obama

The Trump administration ran an Obamaesque budget deficit of over $1 trillion in the 2019 calendar year. It was the first budget deficit over $1 trillion in any calendar year since 2012. The budget shortfall from January through December totaled $1.02 trillion, according to the latest report issued by the Treasury Department. That was a 17.1 percent increase over the 2018 deficit, which was a 28.2 percent increase over 2017. The budget deficit for fiscal 2019 (October 2018-September 2019) came in just under $1 trillion at $984 billion. That represented 4.7 percent of GDP, the highest percentage since 2012. It…

944 Trillion Reasons Why The Fed Is Quietly Bailing Out Hedge Funds

On Friday, Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari, who just two months earlier made a stunning proposal when he said that it was time for the Fed to pick up where the USSR left off and start redistributing wealth (at least Kashkari chose the proper entity: since the Fed has launched central planning across US capital markets, it would also be proper in the banana republic that the US has become, that the same Fed also decides who gets how much and the entire  democracy/free enterprise/free market farce be skipped altogether) issued a challenge to “QE conspiracists” which apparently now also…

Retail Carnage Continues: Bose Lays Off 100s, Shutters All Retail Stores

Taking the award for Most Continents Covered While Shrinking Retail Footprint this week is Bose, which will be laying off hundreds of employees to close retail stores across the world. The company plans on closing its entire retail footprint in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia, according to The Verge. It adds up to a total of 119 stores, according to a spokesperson. The closures are slated to happen “over the next few months”. And the company was direct in why it was making the move: it stated this week that its products “are increasingly purchased through e-commerce”. The company has had a brick…

Central Banker Comes Clean

Reuters broadcasts the confession: I do think the growth in the balance sheet is having some impact on the financial markets and on the valuation of risk assets… Here we have the unassailable and unimpeachable testimony of one Robert Kaplan. He, Mr. Kaplan, presides over the Federal Reserve’s Dallas branch office. And so a central bank grandee gives it straight… and stamps our dark suspicions with an official seal. For this has been our claim: The latest stock market fever owes not to trade, not to economics, not to “fundamentals.” It owes rather to a delirious four-month expansion of the…

$1,163,090,000,000: Federal Spending Sets Record Through December

The federal government spent a record $1,163,090,000,000 in the first three months of fiscal 2020 (October through December), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released Monday afternoon. That was up $48,008,200,000 from the $1,115,081,800,000 (in constant December 2019 dollars) that the federal government spent in the first three months of fiscal 2019. While spending a record amount of money in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, total federal tax collections were only the third highest in the nation’s history. Although the $806,512,000,000 that the Treasury collected in total taxes in October through December was $17,651,230,000 more than $788,860,770,000 in total…

The Robots Are Coming, And They Are Going To Take Over Millions Of Jobs

When we get to a point where literally just about everything can be done more cheaply and more efficiently by robots, the elite won’t have any use for the rest of us at all.  For most of human history, the wealthy have needed the poor to do the work that is necessary to run their businesses and make them even wealthier.  In this day and age we like to call ourselves “employees”, but in reality we are their servants.  Some of us may be more well paid than others, but the vast majority of us are expending our best years…

Buying A Home Is More Affordable Than Renting In Just Over Half Of The US

In ATTOM’s latest annual report on the state of the American housing market, the company, which maintains a popular proprietary service for housing-market data, found that owning a median-prices three-bedroom home is more affordable than renting a similar property in just over half of the more than 850 counties examined. However, there’s a clear split between urban/suburban markets, and their rural counterparts: Typically, home ownership is more affordable than renting in lightly populated markets, while renting is more affordable than owning in major cities and their surrounding suburbs. The annual report used wage data from the BLS, along with recently…

Unstoppable rally: World’s most precious metal rhodium is now 5 times more costly than gold

© Wikipedia The extremely rare, silvery-colored metal rhodium has extended its multi year growth, surging 32 percent so far this month and touching the highest mark since 2008. The metal which is mainly used in autocatalysts for cars has risen 225 percent year on year. It has rallied 12-fold in the past four years, far outperforming all major commodities, on rising demand from the car sector. “Rhodium is subject to crazy volatility,” Anton Berlin, head of analysis and market development at Russia’s Norilsk Nickel, told Bloomberg. The Russian company mines about 10 percent of all rhodium. Tightening automotive emission standards…

12 Signs That The Economy Is Seriously Slowing Down As 2020 Begins

Lost in all of the headlines about Iran and impeachment is the fact that the U.S. economic slowdown which began during the latter stages of last year appears to be accelerating.  The final numbers which will tell us if we are officially in a recession at this moment won’t be released until months from now, but for millions upon millions of Americans it definitely feels like one has already started.  Yes, the stock market has been soaring, but at this point the stock market has become completely divorced from economic reality.  And as you will see later in this article,…

One of America’s largest milk producers just filed for bankruptcy as consumers switch to non-dairy beverages

Americans have a message for the commercial dairy industry and it’s not what these processed milk lords want to hear: Give us raw or plant-based, or we’re not buying it. This growing trend away from pasteurized, homogenized milk recently sent Dean Foods, the largest milk processor in America, into bankruptcy. And not long after that, Borden Dairy, another major milk processor, also filed for Chapter 11. Since processed milk contains none of the enzymes needed to digest it – including lactase, which is necessary to digest lactose – people simply aren’t buying it anymore because they’re tired of feeling ill…

World’s super-rich are hoarding physical gold in secret bunkers

The strategic case for owning gold remains strong, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. They point to such factors as political uncertainty, recession fears and other worries among the global elite. Data from Goldman research showed that owning the physical metal seems to be the global elite’s preferred way to hedge against tail events. Physical buying of gold has increased at a rapid pace in the past three years, statistics showed. “Since the end of 2016 the implied build in non-transparent gold investment has been much larger than the build in visible gold ETFs (Exchange-traded funds),” Goldman said in a note…

The Magna Carta Offered More Property Protection Than Modern US States

Eight dollars and 41 cents. About the cost of a Chipotle burrito. That’s how much Uri Rafaeli owed the treasury in Wayne County, Michigan, for property taxes. To get that $8.41, the county took his house and sold it for $24,500 (or about 3,000 burritos). They kept every penny for themselves. There is a word for this practice: theft. And Wayne County is not the only one winning big on the minuscule mistakes of the little guy: it’s every county in Michigan and in a dozen other states, as well. Home Equity Theft The nation is in the midst of a…

WE’RE HERE TO FORECLOSE, YOUR DIRECT DEPOSIT DIDN’T GO …

C.V. found this one and passed it along, and a big thank you for doing so, for I suspect we might be looking at the next scam. But more of that in a moment when we get to today’s high octane speculation. The story concerns a shut-down of the US Fed’s direct deposit system late last year: Direct Deposits Across America Hang After Fed’s ACH Payment System Suffers Major Disruption The headlines say it all: there was another glitch ex machina in the Federal Reserve’s Automated Clearing House system: pdate: With reports of direct deposits failing to clear still ongoing,…

The Second Great Depression Is Looming in 2020

During the years that former President Obama was in office, I heard a constant string of warnings about the pending financial doom we were facing. The combination of soaring national debt, overregulation of business and industry and the heavier tax burden being placed on the public was surely driving the nation to the brink of financial disaster… or so the narrative went. But what has changed since then? Granted, President Trump has a much better understanding of business than Obama ever did, but many of the same factors which existed during Obama’s years in office, still exist today. The national…

CAPITALISM’S VILLAINS: Meet the Globalist Vultures Feasting on the Remains of America

Recently, Tucker Carlson of Fox News exposed globalist oligarch Paul Singer, an influential Republican Party donor, for using his Wall Street clout to gut a small town in Nebraska. Carlson showed how Singer’s influence to push the merger between retail giants Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shop devastated Sidney, Nebraska and left the town’s economy in complete disrepair: In October 2015, Singer’s hedge fund disclosed an 11 percent stake in Cabela’s and set about pushing the board to sell the company. Cabela’s management, fearing a long and costly fight with Singer, announced it would look for a buyer. At the time,…

U.S. adds 145,000 jobs; unemployment holds at 3.5%

U.S. employers downshifted their hiring in December, adding 145,000 jobs as consumer spending appeared to aid gains in the retail and hospitality sectors. The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate held at 3.5% for the second straight month, prolonging a half-century low. Hiring slipped after robust gains of 256,000 in November caused in part by the end of a strike at General Motors. Still, the job growth has failed so far to put upward pressure on hourly pay. The pace of annual average wage growth slowed in December to 2.9% from 3.1% in the prior month, a possible…

Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe Still Faces a Host of Economic Problems

The death of Robert Mugabe on September 6, 2019, reignited conversations about the future of Zimbabwe. Economist Steve Hanke recently estimated that Zimbabwe’s inflation was at 605 percent, indicating the country is still in a precarious economic situation. Although a successful coup was launched against Mugabe in late 2017, the residual impact of his thirty-seven years in power is still felt to this day, and the government headed by Emmerson Mnangagwa has shown no signs of willingness to reform the Zimbabwean economy. The euphoria following a regime change often deludes succeeding governments into thinking that they will magically right previous…

Black America Before LBJ: How the Welfare State Inadvertently Helped Ruin Black Communities

“We waged a war on poverty and poverty won.”  President Ronald Reagan, 1988 State of the Union Address The dust has settled and the evidence is in: The 1960s Great Society and War on Poverty programs of President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) have been a colossal and giant failure. One might make the argument that social welfare programs are the moral path for a modern government. They cannot, however, make the argument that these are in any way effective at alleviating poverty. In fact, there is evidence that such aggressive programs might make generational poverty worse. While the notion of…

Worldwide Automotive Industry Recession Is In Full Swing: German Car Production Crashes To 23 Year Low

It’s official: the worldwide automotive industry recession is in full swing. Car production in Germany has tumbled to its lowest levels in 23 years, according to Bloomberg. Names like Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler produced 4.66 million cars in German factories last year, which is the weakest number since 1996. The 9% decrease was blamed on waning demand from international markets and estimates are for deliveries to drop to 78.9 million vehicles this year, from 80.1 million in 2019.  Pollution concerns led by Volkswagen’s 2015 diesel-cheating scandal have threatened to dethrone Germany as a global manufacturing powerhouse. Combined with the global…

New IRS Data Reveals Winners & Losers Of Wealth Migration Across 50 States

Nearly 7.5 million people moved from one state to another in 2018, boosting the economies of some states while straining the finances of others. The winners of the battle for people and their incomes included states like South Carolina, Arizona, Texas and Florida. Those findings are based on a Wirepoints’ analysis of the latest 2018 domestic migration data provided by the Internal Revenue Service. The stakes are large. A growing population for the winners means an increasing tax base, economic growth and investment. And as baby boomers age and pressure to fund pensions increases, a growing workforce is a windfall. On the other end of…

Why Sweden Ended Its Negative Interest Rate Experiment

Negative rates are the destruction of money, an economic aberration based on the mistakes of many central banks and some of their economists, who start with a wrong diagnosis: the idea that economic agents do not take more credit or invest more because they choose to save too much and that therefore saving must be penalized to stimulate the economy. Excuse the bluntness, but it is a ludicrous idea. Inflation and growth are not low due to excess savings, but because of excess debt, perpetuating overcapacity with low rates and high liquidity, and zombifying the economy by subsidizing the low-productivity…

Truckers’ transportation coalition warns of “super supply chain crisis” as America’s cities may collapse into war zones: food, fuel, medical supplies could all be disrupted

The Executive Director of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) — known as Truckers.com — has issued a stern warning about a “super supply chain crisis” that could severely disrupt trucking and transportation operations that bring supplies to all U.S. cities. James Lab issued a Dec. 17th press release in which he warned of “nationwide riots that will impede truckers’ ability to make deliveries of products for Americans’ consumption.” Those supplies include food, fuel, medicine, ammunition and other supplies on which Americans depend each day. This warning was issued a few weeks before President Trump’s drone strike on Soleimani…

California’s Increasing Weed Taxes are Fueling Crime, Destroying Environment, and Killing Jobs

California — It’s been two years since California began licensing businesses to sell legal marijuana. Unfortunately, however, the legal scene is far outmatched by the black market and the state government is 100% responsible. Instead of reacting to the negative effects of state involvement in the cannabis market, the government of California has doubled down and will vastly increase the burden on legal operations which is certain to create more crime, damage the environment further, and stoke unemployment and business closures. And the state couldn’t care less. At the end of 2019, the Cannabis Advisory Committee warned Gov. Gavin Newsom…

How Long Will It Take For The US To Collapse?

There are a multitude of false assumptions out there on what the collapse of a nation or “empire” looks like. Modern day Americans have never experienced this type of event, only peripheral crises and crashes. Thanks to Hollywood, many in the public are under the delusion that a collapse is an overnight affair. They think that such a thing is impossible in their lifetimes, and if it did happen, it would happen as it does in the movies – They would simply wake up one morning and find the world on fire. Historically speaking, this is not how it works.…

Huge stock market bubble forming with an inevitable 60% plunge, strategist warns

The “everything rally” that has engulfed Wall Street is a classic asset bubble just waiting to burst sometime in 2020, CEO of AdvisorShares Noah Hamman told Yahoo Finance. “It will continue on for a while for as long as we see we have an indication that we could have lower rates ahead, though possibly with a pause, but with an increasing Fed balance sheet,” he said. The “everything rally” refers to assets of all kinds that have been in major rally mode. Hype has risen among investors, thanks to the US Federal Reserve’s rate cuts throughout 2019 and the signing…

The $20 TRILLION threat that could trigger the next financial meltdown

A number of recent reports suggest that the financial risk from climate change could be much greater than previously anticipated, and that entire asset classes could come under fire as temperatures continue to rise. Trillions of dollars of market value could go up in smoke due to climate change. The damage hits the global economy in multiple ways. The first is the most obvious. Physical damage from more powerful natural disasters is on the rise. 2017 and 2018 were the costliest back-to-back years for economic losses related to natural disasters, according to risk and reinsurance firm Aon. But the danger grows worse…