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How Central-Bank Interest-Rate Policy Is Destabilizing Banks

Broadly speaking, banks operate under the concept of maturity transformation. Banks take short-term – less than one year – financing vehicles, such as customer deposits, and use that to finance long-term – more than one year – returns. These returns range from the most commonly understood loans, such as auto loans and mortgages, to investments in equity, bonds and public debt. Banks make money on the interest spread between what they pay to the owners of the money and what is earned from the operations. Banks also make money on other services, such as wealth management and account fees, though…

Wal-Mart Executive Warns: “Higher Tariffs Will Lead To Higher Prices For Customers”

Wal-Mart gets approximately one-fourth of all the merchandise that it sells from China, and Wal-Mart’s CFO is warning that “higher tariffs will lead to higher prices for customers”.  In other words, U.S. consumers will soon be feeling a lot of pain.  Over the last several decades, major retailers such as Wal-Mart have become increasingly dependent on exports from China, and U.S. consumers have loved the “low, low prices” because those rock bottom prices enabled our society to enjoy a greatly inflated standard of living.  Of course in the process we were mortgaging our own economic future, because we have lost…

On The Edge Of Disaster: 59 Percent Of Americans Are Living Paycheck To Paycheck

Living on the edge, being dragged down by debt, and having little hope for the future is no way to live.  But that is precisely where most Americans find themselves in 2019.  Despite a supposedly “booming economy”, the middle class continues to shrink and most of the country is barely scraping by from month to month.  In fact, a brand new survey that was just released by Charles Schwab discovered that 59 percent of all Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck… Overall, 59 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, according to the survey of 1,000 U.S. adults by…

Bayer Stock Has Now Lost Almost 50% of Its Value Since Merger With Monsanto

Bayer’s purchase of Monsanto was originally seen as a smart one for the German company because of their similar business models based on GMO seeds and pesticides. But now, after the company was just ordered to pay over $2 billion dollars to two cancer victims over the use of Roundup, the controversial Monsanto herbicide, Bayer is reeling, and stockholders are not happy to say the least. The trial is the third such decision against Bayer and Monsanto since groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson won a similar case in August 2018, and it could open the floodgates for billions of dollars in more…

Another one: Fred’s closing 104 stores…

Discount chain Fred’s announced Thursday it is closing 104 underperforming stores as part of an “ongoing effort to rationalize its store footprint.” The new round of closings comes five weeks after the Memphis-based company started “going out of business” liquidation sales at 159 stores and follows an evaluation of store performance and timing of lease expirations, Fred’s said in a statement.  “These additional store closures are a difficult but necessary step in the continued restructuring of Fred’s,” Fred’s CEO Joseph Anto said in the statement. The liquidation of the 104 stores starts Thursday with stores expected to close by the end of June. Mississippi, Arkansas,…

The US Economy is so desperate they’re faking a trade war to sell school supplies, smartphones, and diapers

Going to the store is about to get a lot more expensive. As trade tensions between the U.S. and China escalate, with both sides increasing tariffs on a widening selection of products, American consumers will see higher prices as soon as this summer. Tariffs on goods traded between the U.S. and China have already increased in several stages since early 2018. Now, President Donald Trump has added a 25 percent tariff (up from his original proposal of 10 percent) on another $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, and China hit back with 25 percent duties on another $60 billion worth…

Cash-Strapped Cities Are Turning Citizens Into Ticket Vigilantes

Washington, D.C. plans to join a growing list of cash-strapped cities that turn citizens into ticket vigilantes. According to a Fox5 News article, Bill B23-0288 would allow 80 citizens, ten in each of D.C.’s eight wards to print out parking tickets and citations. These government shills will be tasked with spying on motorists and ticketing them if they park too long or violate parking rules. Reason.com warns, “these new citizen parking enforcers would be accountable to no one.” If you think you had problems with your neighbor(s) before, just wait until they have the power to ticket anyone. Apparently, turning your neighbor…

Economy Alert: Retail Sales and Industrial Production Slump In April

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday in a downbeat report that the United States’ industrial production slumped in April. The Fed’s report also included sharp downward revisions for other important segments of the U.S. economy. According to Market Watch, capacity utilization fell sharply to 77.9% from an upwardly revised 78.8%. Most major market groups reported worse production in April, the Fed said. There were drops in automotive, chemical products and consumer energy products. Excluding autos, manufacturing production fell 0.3%. Data on retail sales was also released yesterday and it had shown a 0.2% decline when economists had estimated a .2% spike.…

Trump Administration Plans to Delay Auto Tariffs by Up to Six Months – Reports

Trump administration reportedly plans to delay auto tariffs, allowing itself a 180-day window to come to a decision as long as it is negotiating with its counterparts in order to avoid more global trade disputes. The White House faces a Saturday deadline to decide whether to slap duties on car and auto part imports over national security concerns. However, according to a source briefed on the talks, an administration official and two foreign officials cited by CNBC, the decision to impose auto tariffs could be delayed by up to six months as the administration risks sparking fresh global trade clashes. US President Donald Trump has been mulling whether to use a…

Out of touch Lyft executive suggests drivers become mechanics after they’re replaced by self-driving robo-taxis

Lyft‘s head of operations has an interesting new metaphor for the ride-hailing drivers that power the company’s service. Speaking at the Smart Cities conference in New York on Tuesday, chief operating officer Jon McNeill compared drivers today, facing an impending revolution from autonomous technology, to the telephone switchboard workers of decades past. “In the early 70s, you couldn’t make a long-distance call because the local phone network had separate hardware from the long-distance phone number, so a human being, an operator, had to literally connect those two networks for you to make a long-distance call,” he said. “There were hundreds…

Widespread layoffs across Disney and Fox…

EXCLUSIVE UPDATED WITH MORE NAMES: Just under two months after the Walt Disney Company officially took control of the majority of Fox’s film and TV assets in a seismic $71.3 billion deal, another round of lay-offs are slicing through Burbank and over on Pico Boulevard. A Disney spokesperson has confirmed to Deadline that people are being pink-slipped but gave no further details. However, sources inform us that the cuts are wide-spread across Walt Disney Studios. At the same time we also hear that the latest round of cuts look to be more extensive that the previous layoffs that have occurred…

‘Stinks to High Heaven’: Calls to Investigate Trump Labor Board’s Gift to Uber Amid Stock Market Struggles

Uber was in serious need of a lift after a “bleak” and “disappointing” stock market debut last week, and President Donald Trump’s National Labor Relations Board gave it just that Tuesday by ruling that the company’s drivers are independent contractors—and thus don’t have the rights of traditional employees. In addition to denouncing the substance of the ruling—which could make it virtually impossible for Uber drivers to form a union and bargain for better pay—labor rights advocates raised questions about the NLRB’s decision to release its memorandum amid Uber’s stock market struggles, particularly given that the document was dated April 16.…

The Chances Of A Recession In The Next Two Years Are “Extremely High”

Chief investment officer Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine Capital sees the chances of a recession within the next two years as “extremely high,” he said on an asset-allocation webcast on Tuesday.  Gundlach says there are obvious weaknesses beginning to become visible in the United States economy. Gundlach says what other economic analysists have also said: there is going to be a recession, but we should all have sufficient time to prepare for it.  We should all be getting better at seeing the writing on the wall at this point.  Gundlach claims there’s only about a 30% chance of a recession in…

AT&T promised 7,000 new jobs to get tax break—it cut 23,000 jobs instead

AT&T has cut more than 23,000 jobs since receiving a big tax cut at the end of 2017, despite lobbying heavily for the tax cut by claiming that it would create thousands of jobs. AT&T in November 2017 pushed for the corporate tax cut by promising to invest an additional $1 billion in 2018, with CEO Randall Stephenson saying that “every billion dollars AT&T invests is 7,000 hard-hat jobs. These are not entry-level jobs. These are 7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year.” The corporate tax cut was subsequently passed…

A decade after the recession, 40% of U.S. families still struggling

Four in 10 Americans sometimes face what economists call “material hardship,” struggling to pay for basic needs such as food and housing, according to a new study from the Urban Institute. Even middle-class families routinely struggle financially and are occasionally unable to pay their bills.  The finding is striking given the U.S. has experienced a decade of economic growth in the decade since the recession ended. The unemployment rate is at its lowest in half a century, and the stock market has enjoyed a decade-long bull run. But for many Americans, incomes haven’t kept up with the rising cost of necessities…

Amazon rolls out machines that pack orders and replace jobs

Amazon.com Inc is rolling out machines to automate a job held by thousands of its workers: boxing up customer orders. The company started adding technology to a handful of warehouses in recent years, which scans goods coming down a conveyor belt and envelops them seconds later in boxes custom-built for each item, two people who worked on the project told Reuters. Amazon has considered installing two machines at dozens more warehouses, removing at least 24 roles at each one, these people said. These facilities typically employ more than 2,000 people. That would amount to more than 1,300 cuts across 55…

Stock Markets Fall After No Deal in US-China Trade Talks

Stock markets fell on Monday after trade talks between the United States and China wrapped up without an agreement, with economists warning that the escalating dispute over trade and technology would likely hurt economic growth. The CAC 40 in Paris dropped by 0.5% to 5,298 in midday trading while Germany’s DAX gave up 0.7% to 11,970. The FTSE 100 in Britain edged down 0.1% to 7,194. In New York, Wall Street appeared headed for heavier losses upon opening, with the future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.2% at 25,656. The future for the S&P 500 fell 1.3%…

Economic Doom: China Says That There Will NEVER Be A Trade Deal Until The U.S. Agrees To Their Demands

Unless someone backs down in a major way, this trade war is going to last for a very long time, and the Chinese have made it exceedingly clear that they are never going to back down on the core issues.  So that means that the only way out is for President Trump to back down, and with an election looming in 2020, his advisers are telling him that now is the time to be very tough with China.  Bernie Sanders and other top Democrats have staked out positions that are just as tough on China as Trump is being, and…

Where’s the Money? US government records $160.3 billion April surplus

The federal government recorded a $160.3 billion surplus in April as revenues for the month jumped to an all-time high. But even with a flood of tax receipts, the deficit so far this year is running 37.7% higher than a year ago. The Treasury Department reported Friday that the deficit for the first seven months of the budget year that began Oct. 1 totals $530.9 billion, compared to a deficit of $385.5 billion for the same period a year ago. The Trump administration projected in March that this year’s deficit will hit $1.1 trillion, up from last year’s deficit of…

Recession Alert: Credit Card Delinquencies Reach 8-Year Highs

When the average everyday American begins to have trouble paying their bills, it’s most often a sign that the economy is not doing that well and we’ve reached that point.  Credit card delinquencies have now reached and 8-year high, with no reprieve in sight. As Michael Snyder pointed out at The Most Important News, the truth is that you can’t say that we have a booming economy until we have a year when the U.S. economy grows by at least 3 percent, and at this point, we haven’t had that since the middle of the Bush administration. There are all…

It Is Being Projected That U.S. Consumers Will “Pay 40% To 85% More For Vine-Ripe And Other Fresh Tomatoes” By The End Of 2019

It has been quite a year.  In March, catastrophic flooding in the Midwest absolutely crippled thousands of farms and “as many as a million calves” were lost in Nebraska alone.  Then in April we learned that African Swine Fever has wiped out “150-200 million pigs” in China.  To put that in perspective, that is more pigs than the entire U.S. pork industry produces in an entire year.  And now on top of everything else, the price of fresh tomatoes is about to go skyrocketing.  But this time a natural disaster is not to blame.  Instead, it is an action by…

Middle-class wealth still less than before Great Recession

The wealth of middle-class families still has not recovered from the 2007 to 2009 economic crisis, with a lagging rebound in home equity and slow wage growth continuing to widen inequality through most of last year, Fed Governor Lael Brainard said on Friday in a snapshot of soon-to-be-released Fed data. Brainard, in a broad discussion of the middle class’s economic prospects, said the Fed is increasingly concerned about the economic impact if middle-income households continue to struggle in their ability to build wealth, finance homes and educations, and even stay current with their bills. Families in the 40th to 70th…

Nestle to cut 4,000 US jobs…

Nestle SA’s U.S. unit will dismiss about 4,000 workers as it stops delivering frozen pizza and ice cream directly to stores and transitions to a warehouse model that’s becoming an industry standard for Big Food companies looking to trim costs. The company said Tuesday that it’s shutting down its direct-to-store delivery network for products like DiGiorno and Skinny Cow beginning in the third quarter. The change, announced at a shareholder event in Arlington, Virginia, means the elimination of an operation that now includes 230 facilities, 1,400 trucks and 2,000 different routes. The unit was able to reduce costs but ultimately,…

CEOs Can’t Wait to Replace Workers With Robots

Corporate bosses don’t talk about it in public, but among themselves — psssst — they whisper excitedly about implementing a transformative “AI agenda” across our economy. AI stands for artificial intelligence, the rapidly advancing digital technology of creating thinking robots that program themselves, act on their own, and even reproduce themselves. These automatons are coming soon to a workplace near you. Not wanting to stir a preemptive rebellion by human workers, corporate chieftains avoid terms like automation of jobs, instead substituting euphemisms like “digital transformation” of work. Privately, however, top executives see AI as their path to windfall profits and…

Pump & Dump: Uber Prices I.P.O. at $45 a Share, Valuing It at $82.4 Billion

The biggest Silicon Valley initial public offering in years turned out to be less lofty than expected. Uber priced its public offering on Thursday at $45 a share, near the bottom of its expected price range, valuing the ride-hailing company at about $82.4 billion. It raised $8.1 billion from the I.P.O. While the event solidifies Uber’s position as the biggest American technology company of its generation to go public, it will be a disappointment to the investors, executives and cheerleaders who had bigger dreams for it. And it raises questions about whether other money-losing Silicon Valley start-ups poised to list…

Chick-Fil-A Sales Soar Above The Competition

Chick-fil-A is on track to become the nation’s third-largest fast-food chain, behind McDonald’s and Starbucks. The fast-food chain’s sales have tripled over the last 10 years and it reported $10.8 billion for 2018, according to food-service consultancy Technomic Inc., The Wall Street Journal reported. The company has faced repeated boycotts and protests against expansion locations by political interests. The protests stem from comments made by Dan Cathy, company president and son of the chain’s Christian conservative founder, Truett Cathy. Dan Cathy said in July 2012 that he supported the “biblical definition of the family unit” and opposed gay marriage, WSJ reported. The Cathy family…

Climate lunatics plotting new effort to destroy the world economy in order to stop “climate change”

Leftist extremism continues to soar to new heights with the rise of Extinction Rebellion, an international group of far left activists who are now threatening to destroy the global economy to stop climate change. Over 1,100 demonstrators have been arrested in London after 10 days of protesting, obstructing traffic and blocking off access to key areas of the city. Across the pond, Extinction Rebellion protestors recently gathered at Universal Studios. Some even glued themselves to the famous globe sculpture. Apparently, they were trying to call upon Universal/NBC to “take action” on climate change. How motion picture and TV networks are…

Why Are American Communities Dying? A Return to Small Local Economics Is The Only way to Reverse Some Of The Damage And Keep Our Communities Livable

Most Americans who have been around for a while know life is nothing like it used to be. When someone wanted a job one was found with a little bit of searching. Today jobs are difficult to find, especially in small communities. When I was growing up in the 70’s, there were several car dealers in my community. There were three tractor dealers and too many mom and pop stores to count. Today there are two used car dealers and the nearest tractor dealer is twenty miles away. So how is it that we now have more people, but fewer…

Inflation: The Rumors of its Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Speaking at the Grant’s spring conference, Steve Hanke, master monetary economist, described the money creating business in the US as “Pretty much everything is well-behaved.” While the Fed does its best (or worst) to inflate, Hanke is one of the few in academics to understand that the real money-creating machines are commercial banks. Loan dollars become deposit dollars. Lots of lending means the money aggregates increase. Little lending means the opposite. Banks bitten in 2008, are, along with their regulators, twice shy to make the marginal loan. The short summary of Hanke’s remarks in the latest Grant’s Interest Rate Observer,…

The Dow Made A Miraculous 400 Point Recovery, But Now Renewed Trade Fears Are Sending Markets Plunging Once Again

If your head is spinning from the wild fluctuations that have shaken global financial markets, you are definitely not alone.  On Sunday, President Trump angrily threatened to hit China with enormous new tariffs, and it looked like hopes for a trade deal between the United States and China had collapsed.  Overnight, Chinese stocks had their worst session in three years, and many expected U.S. stocks to experience a similar plunge.  But then on Monday we learned that the Chinese had decided to move forward with trade talks this week anyway, and global financial markets started rebounding in a major way. …

Cord Cutting Tops Records in Q1 as Skinny Bundles Get Fatter Price Tags

The flight from traditional pay TV subscriptions reached new records in the first three months of this year, and online TV subscription services did little to provide relief for their operators. Altogether, the industry lost north of 1 million pay TV subscribers in Q1 after shedding 3.2 million subscribers through all of 2018. BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield called these results “the worst multichannel video quarter sub loss quarter in history” in a blog post this week, pointing to it as proof of his forecast of “a notable acceleration in cord-cutting trends throughout 2019.” The biggest loser among the major pay…

The Reality Behind the ‘Surging’ U.S. Economy. A tiny uptick in wages won’t do much to help Americans squeezed by debt and facing rising prices for medicine, child care, housing, and other essentials.

Recent economic reports have President Donald Trump crowing. The big headline numbers do sound encouraging. The unemployment rate is down to 3.6%, the lowest since 1969. Average earnings are finally outpacing inflation, the stock market has been hitting record highs, and the first quarter of 2019 had the fastest annualized growth rate (3.2%) since 2015. And yet most of the gains from our growing economy are still going to those who least need a boost. Stock market rallies, for example, further concentrate wealth among the very richest Americans. The top 1% of Americans own more than half of stocks and…

Hooray! The Green New Deal Will Make Us Happier—By Shrinking the Economy

Sometimes you have to congratulate the progressive left on their ability to turn that frown upside down. When the laws of economics hand them socialist lemons, they turn right around and make leisure lemonade. Specifically, Kate Aronoff at the Intercept has written an article that says the Green New Deal will make us all happier—in part because who needs all that work and economic output anyway? To show I’m not putting words in her mouth, here are some excerpts from the Aronoff piece: But could a plan to curb emissions also make us happier? Could the things we cut back also be…

Trade talks with China collapse: “This has all the makings of a complete disaster that could lead the stock market to crater this week”

Chaos has returned to global financial markets, and it does not appear that there will be an easy fix this time.  For the first four months of 2019, the mainstream media told us over and over again that a great deal of progress was being made on a trade deal with China and that negotiations would soon reach a final conclusion, but now it has become clear that those news reports were fake news.  For a variety of reasons, the Chinese have been slow playing negotiations all along.  Once they got the Trump administration to suspend the implementation of any…

42% of Americans are at risk of retiring broke

The tide might be turning when it comes to retirement savings in America. For the third year in a row, GOBankingRates surveyed adults across the U.S. to find out how much the average person has saved for retirement. From 2016 to 2017, the percentage of Americans with $0 saved increased. But this year, it dropped — dramatically. Not only has the percentage of adults with nothing saved fallen, but the percentage of those with $300,000 or more in a retirement nest egg has increased. How Much Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement? GOBankingRates polled adults across the U.S.…

Slave labor found at second Starbucks-certified Brazilian coffee farm

This story was produced via a co-publishing partnership between Mongabay and Repórter Brasil; a version in Portuguese can be read here. Eight months after slave labor was discovered at the Cedro II farm in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, Starbucks and Nestlé-controlled brand Nespresso — both of whom had quality certified the farm — said they would stop sourcing coffee there. The decision by the two transnational companies came after the publication of the government’s April “Dirty List” of employers — those caught with labor conditions analogous to slavery. The Dirty List is released biannually by what was previously…

Why early retirement IS all it’s cracked up to be

Sometimes, the stuff that people say about early retirement (and early retirees) is terrible. It is assumed that early retirement is the end of productive life and that unless we’re swimming in millions in cold hard cash, early retirement will eat us alive. Today, it is my distinct honor and pleasure to debunk five of the most common of these myths, which also happen to be the ones that I hear most often. As I said in my one-year early retirement performance review, early retirement is all that it’s cracked up to be. It’s a remarkable feeling of control, each…

In 2008 “synthetic CDOs” destroyed the global economy, and now they’re back

“Collateralized Debt Obligations” (CDOs) are a financial derivative that is a kind of bond that pays out based on revenue generated by a pool of assets: for example, a giant hedge fund might buy thousands of homes whose owners went bankrupt and suffered through foreclosure, and then rent them out at the highest possible rent with the least possible maintenance, and this generates thousands of revenue streams. Small slices of the revenue streams from many properties are pooled together into individual CDOs and these are sold to investors: when you buy one of these, you get a little bit of…

Shocking New Study Finds That 137 Million Americans Suffered “Medical Financial Hardship In The Past Year”

The healthcare system in the United States is deeply broken, and it is causing massive financial pain for millions of American families.  Previously, I have published articles where I talked about how medical bills are the primary factor in two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies in the United States, and that Americans had to borrow a whopping 88 billion dollars last year to cover medical costs.  This is happening even though more than 90 percent of all Americans have some form of health coverage.  Thanks to soaring deductibles and health insurance policies that are absolutely riddled with loopholes, more Americans than…

I Dare You To Tell Me The Economy Is “Booming” After Reading This List Of 19 Facts About Our Current Economic Performance

After taking an honest look at the facts, I don’t know how anyone can possibly claim that the U.S. economy is “booming”.  I really don’t.  We hear this sort of rhetoric from the mainstream media all the time, but it doesn’t make any sense.  As I discussed yesterday, nobody should be using the term “booming” to describe the state of the U.S. economy until we have a full year when GDP growth is 3 percent or better, and at this point we haven’t had that since the middle of the Bush administration.  And as you will see below, the latest…

Credit Card Charge-Offs Hit The Highest Level In Nearly 7 Years And Credit Card Delinquencies Hit The Highest Level In Almost 8 Years

When people are having a harder time paying their bills, that is a signal that the economy is slowing down.  This is something that we witnessed back in 2008, and it is something that is happening once again right now.  Credit card charge-offs at major U.S. banks haven’t been this high since the U.S. economy was pulling out of the last recession, and the same thing is true regarding credit card delinquencies.  So even though the mainstream media keeps telling us over and over that the U.S. economy is “booming”, the cold, hard numbers are telling us something completely different. …

Subway quietly closed more than 1,000 locations in 2018

Fast food franchise Subway revealed it closed more than double the number of restaurants in 2018 than it previously forecasted, bringing its total to more than 2,300 over the last three years. The sandwich chain revealed its closures in a regulatory filing on Monday, according to the NY Post, that cited 1,108 restaurants closed in the U.S. last year. Subway previously forecasted that it planned to close around 500 locations Opens a New Window.  as part an “aggressive” revitalization plan. Since 2016, the 53-year-old chain has closed 2,331 locations with nearly half of them shuttering last year. In 2017, it had 866…

Homelessness In New York City Is The Worst That It Has Ever Been

The mainstream media continues to try to convince all of us that the U.S. economy is “booming”, but meanwhile the number of homeless people is setting all-time record highs in major cities all over the nation.  The recent article that I published about how wealthy elitists on the west coast are freaking out as hordes of homeless people take over their neighborhoods received a tremendous amount of attention, but nobody has a worse problem with homelessness than New York City does.  According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, approximately 14 percent of all the homeless people in the…

New Report Names Nearly 4,000 Companies Profiting Off of Private Prison Industry

A new report provides information on which corporations are profiting from the private prison industry. The report (pdf), which was released by criminal justice advocacy group Worth Rises, is based on a database run by the organization that lists a total 3,900 companies in 12 sectors that make money off of the prison industrial complex.  The scope of the income taken in by these companies, the report says, is in the tens of billions. Today, more than half of the $80 billion spent annually on incarceration by government agencies is used to pay the thousands of vendors that serve the…

Are You Really Happier with More Money?

The optimal income for life satisfaction in North America is $105,000 per year. That’s according to a 2018 study conducted by researchers at Purdue University on more than 1.7 million people, in every region of the world. Whatever you make beyond that level is not associated with greater life satisfaction. In fact, it reduces life satisfaction. This $105,000 income cutoff is deemed the “satiation point.” Someone pulling in $250K is no happier or satisfied with his or her life than someone making $110,000. The research concluded that people with higher incomes are in fact happier. What wasn’t mentioned in the…

Cartier $7.5bn Owner Fears Prospect of The Poor Rising Up ‘Keeps Him Awake At Night’

Johann Rupert, the multi-billionaire owner of luxury jewellery company Cartier, who has a $7.5 billion fortune, lets the world in on some of his greatest fears. He worries that robots will one day be replacing workers and that the poor will rise up to bring down the rich. It was while he was speaking at the Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit in Monaco, that Rupert told his fellow elite that he can’t sleep at the thought of the inevitable upheavals that must take place within our system regarding wealth gaps – no, these do not have to be violent upheavals,…

Judge signs off on homeless shelter on ‘Billionaires’ Row’ in New York City

A Manhattan judge on Monday gave city officials the green light to open a controversial homeless shelter in the ritzy “Billionaires’ Row” neighborhood. State Supreme Court Justice Alexander Tisch rejected arguments from the West 58th Street Coalition and other opponents that the former Park Savoy Hotel doesn’t meet current safety standards and is unsafe in case of fire. Tisch ruled that while the only way out is through the lobby and the stairwell may be too narrow for both tenants and first responders at the same time, “these are all aspects for which the City and its agencies are supposed to be…

Unlike Real Insurance, Social Security “Insurance” Creates Greater Risk for the Future

Every time the Social Security trustees issue their annual report, some people notice that the system’s huge unfunded liabilities (currently, a $42.1 trillion cumulative shortfall) are inherently unfair to future Americans. That threatens its status as the “third rail” of politics, which electrocutes anyone who tries to touch it. So Social Security’s army of defenders go on the attack. And one of their greatest weapons is that the program has been promoted as insurance program ever since it started and taking away insurance sounds like a bad idea. In a sense, Social Security does act as a form of mandatory…

Wealthy Elitists Freak Out As Hordes Of Homeless People Take Over Their Neighborhoods All Over The West Coast

The elite are very “tolerant” of the homeless until they start showing up in their own neighborhoods.  Even though the mainstream media keeps telling us that the U.S. economy is “booming”, the number of Americans living on the streets continues to grow very rapidly, and this is particularly true in our major west coast cities.  More than half a million Americans will sleep on the streets of our cities tonight, and they need help, care and shelter.  Sadly, as economic conditions deteriorate that number is likely to double or even triple.  Of course many among the elite are all in…

Amazon posts record $3.6 billion profit in first three months of 2019

Amazon announced record first quarter profits on Thursday, more than doubling the amount made during the same period last year. The international e-commerce and tech company is controlled by CEO Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest person in modern history, with a net worth that currently exceeds $150 billion. It pulled in $3.6 billion in profit in the first three months of the year out of $60 billion in global sales. This was up from $1.6 billion in profits out of $51 billion in sales in the first quarter last year. While Amazon retail sales are growing more slowly than in the…

Social Security fund to go into the red in 2020; will be completely bankrupt by 2035… governments will desperately find a way to kill off populations around the world

According to the 2019 annual report published by the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees, the Social Security fund will go in the red in 2020 and could potentially go bankrupt by 2035. If nothing is done to boost revenue or re-configure how the money will be distributed, then countless retirees, disabled persons, widows, and surviving children will be left with little to no funds to help them navigate through the most uncertain times in life. The sad part about this shortage is that Social Security is not welfare; this trust fund is not dependent on tax money. Workers…

Homes Are Unaffordable for Wage Workers in 71% of U.S. Counties

ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), today released its Q1 2019 U.S. Home Affordability Report, which shows that median home prices in the first quarter of 2019 were not affordable for average wage earners in 335 of 473 U.S. counties analyzed in the report (71 percent). The report determined affordability for average wage earners by calculating the amount of income needed to make monthly house payments — including mortgage, property taxes and insurance — on a median-priced home, assuming a 3 percent down payment and a 28 percent…

A “Nightmare Come True”: Amazon Launches Freight Brokerage, Slashes Prices By 30%

In what is being called a “nightmare come true” for freight brokers and carriers, Amazon did what it traditionally does every time it enters a new market, and took its own digital freight brokerage platform live while undercutting prevailing market prices by 26% to 33% in the latest deflationary race to the pricing bottom in order to grab market share, according to FreightWaves. Late last week, Morgan Stanley equities analyst Brian Nowak had predicted this was going to happen, stating: “We see AMZN’s 1-day Prime shipping raising consumer expectations and increasing the cost to compete in e-commerce. Over the long term, we…

INDIA: The new dumping ground for corporations

About 200 American companies are seeking to move their manufacturing base from China to India post the general elections, a top US-based advocacy group has said, observing that there is a fantastic opportunity with firms looking at alternatives to the Communist giant. The US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum’s (USISPF) President Mukesh Aghi said that the companies are talking to them about how to set up an alternative to China by investing in India. Aghi said that USISPF’s recommendation to the new government would be to accelerate the reforms and bring transparency in the decision-making process. “I think that’s critical. We…

Homeless rising across America….

Daylight seeps through holes in the ceiling as 22-year-old Royon Rene Burbank walks across the sagging floor, the dirt below visible through gaps where rotten boards have given way. A single mother working two jobs yet still unable to afford rent in New Orleans, Burbank lives with her toddler son in a house that was gutted to the studs and abandoned after Hurricane Katrina. “I called child protection services on myself,” she said. “I didn’t want myself to get in trouble or lose my kid. I didn’t want to put him in harm’s way. I had to call them and…

Krugman Needs a Lesson on Why Truckers Are Paid Less Now than in the 1970s

One of the first lessons I give my economics students in the principles courses I teach or in my MBA classes is the famous Diamond-Water Paradox, or what economists historically have called the Paradox of Value. Why are diamonds more expensive than water? Why are professional athletes paid better than teachers or soldiers? When I present these paradoxes in the form of test or homework questions, my students often miss them, not understanding the difference between measuring at the margin and total measurement of something. For example, I sometimes present a quote which I saw posted in a teachers’ lounge…

Bad Credit Card Debt Is on the Rise: Red flags are flying in the credit-card industry after a key gauge of bad debt jumped to the highest level in almost seven years

Red flags are flying in the credit-card industry after a key gauge of bad debt jumped to the highest level in almost seven years. The charge-off rate — the percentage of loans companies have decided they’ll never collect — rose to 3.82 percent in the first three months of 2019, the highest since the second quarter of 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence. And loans 30 days past due, a harbinger of future write-offs, increased at all seven of the largest U.S. card issuers. There’s been a “degradation” in credit quality for certain customers, according to Richard Fairbank,…

America’s crippling debt: Every man, woman & child owes Uncle Sam $220,000

Much has been said about the spiraling US government debt which is apparently much higher than the official figure of $22 trillion. The indebtedness of the American financial system, which includes corporate borrowings, consumer loans along with debts being added by state and local governments, has now reached a breathtaking $72 trillion, according to the numbers compiled by the US Federal Reserve. Over the past 40 years, the US Treasury has been borrowing at a rocketing rate with the state debt soaring from less than five trillion dollars during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, to $29 trillion when George W. Bush took…

Nearly 102 Million Americans Do Not Have A Job Right Now – Worse Than At Any Point During The Last Recession

Wouldn’t it be horrible if the number of Americans without a job was higher today than it was during the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009?  Well, that is actually true.  As you will see below, nearly 102 million Americans do not have a job right now, and at no point during the last recession did that number ever surpass the 100 million mark.  Of course the U.S. population has grown a bit over the last decade, but as you will see below, the percentage of the population that is engaged in the labor force is only slightly above the…

3M Crash May be the Shape of Things to Come

Shares of 3M Co. plummeted toward its biggest one-day decline in over 30 years, after the industrial, health-care and consumer products company reported missed profit and revenue expectations, slashed its full-year outlook, and said it was cutting 2,000 jobs…. The percentage decline was second only to the 26% plunge on Oct. 19, 1987. That is the day referred to as Black Monday, with the Dow registered its biggest-ever one-day crash with a 22.6% tumble.MarketWatch 3M stock took its worst cliff-dive in thirty years today because its revenue plummeted this past quarter. Its stock had been on the rise all year…

Work till you die: McDonald’s teams up with AARP to Hire 250,000 Seniors…

Summer’s a busy time at McDonald’s—and the fast food chain is finding that teen workers aren’t as reliable as it would like in early morning shifts. So it’s focusing on the opposite end of the age spectrum for its seasonal hiring blitz. McDonald’s and AARP are teaming up to help fill roughly 250,000 jobs this summer. The company will also work with AARP on a five-state pilot program to match low-income American seniors with jobs. The jobs will range from cashier to shift manager, depending on the skills of the older workers. Many of the positions will be listed on…