Press "Enter" to skip to content

Nearly 1 In 4 Canadians Feel Crushed By Their Debts

In a country where the average personal non-mortgage debt is $20,000, it’s no surprise about one in four Canadians are feeling overwhelmed by how much they owe, according to a new survey. According to BDO Canada’s first Affordability Index released this week, Canadians struggling the most with debt tend to be younger, earning less, and are dealing with the cost of raising a family while paying down a mortgage. One-fifth of Canadians (20 per cent) without kids say their debt is so overwhelming they don’t know what to do about it, compared to more than one-third of those with children…

ACCEPT ROBOTS and you might get a 4 day work week….

A four-day working week could become commonplace in Britain as automation and artificial intelligence increase workplace efficiency, a new study has concluded. If the benefits of rolling out such new technologies were passed on to staff, then they would be able to generate their current weekly economic output in just four days. The research, by the cross-party Social Market Foundation (SMF) thinktank, found that even relatively modest gains from using robots and AI had the potential to give British workers Scandinavian levels of leisure time. The conclusions of the study will come as a boost to John McDonnell, the shadow…

The Average American Family Spends an EXTRA $4721.50 Between October & December

With October begins a consumer frenzy that lasts all the way through the end of the year. For most families, the final quarter of the year isn’t just about good simple fun. It’s all about trying to pay for all the things that society and marketers have led people – especially children – to expect. On average, an American family spends a mindblowing $4721.50 during the last three months of the year. And we all know that “average” means half of the families spend far more than that. Retailers report that they earn as much as 30-40% of their entire year’s…

Thousands line up for zero-down-payment, subprime mortgages…Borrowers can have low credit scores, but have to go through an education session about the program and submit all necessary documents, from income statements to phone bills

Magdalene Altidor lost her home to foreclosure during the subprime mortgage crisis, but this week she was first in line at a four-day event in Miami where borrowers with poor credit were offered no-down payment, low interest rate loans. “I left home, it was about 4 a.m.,” she laughed. “I’m ready to purchase a home.” The event is one of several being held in cities across America this year, run by the nonprofit, Boston-based brokerage Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, or NACA. “It’s a national disgrace about the low amount of homeownership, mortgages for low- and moderate-income people and for…

SHARE THIS: 101 Reasons Why The Federal Reserve Should Be Shut Down

Donald Trump just made one of the most brilliant moves of his entire presidency.  By accusing the Federal Reserve of “going loco”, he is placing the blame for the coming stock market crash and horrifying economic downturn squarely where it belongs, and he is firing up millions of true conservatives among his base at the same time.  For many, many years, a lot of us have been trying to educate the American people about the deeply insidious Federal Reserve system.  As Ron Paul once so astutely observed, it is actually about as “federal” as Federal Express is.  The Federal Reserve…

What Sears’ Bankruptcy Says About Amazon’s Future

Sears was the Amazon of the 1900s. Sears Roebuck started in 1892 as a mail-order watch catalog. They soon moved into selling almost any consumer goods you could think of in their catalogs. Imagine being able to shop from the convenience of your own home! You could order sewing machines, buggies, clothes, and even guns through the mail, and have them delivered to your door. Of course, brick and mortar physical retail stores were not so happy. Some even went out of business. Sears was cheap, convenient, high quality, and even offered free delivery. In 1925, Sears opened its first…

October Horror On Wall Street: Investors Nervously Watch To See If The S&P 500 Will Bounce Back Above Its 200-Day Moving Average

Is this going to be another October to remember for Wall Street?  As I have explained previously, the month of October has historically been the worst month by far for the U.S. stock market, and it has also been the month when our most famous stock market crashes have taken place. The stock market crash that started the Great Depression in 1929 happened in October.  The largest single day percentage decline in stock market history happened in October 1987.  And most of us still remember what happened in October 2008.  So will we be adding October 2018 to that list? …

40% of American middle class face poverty by the time they reach age 65

Nearly half of middle-class Americans face a slide into poverty as they enter their retirement, a recent study by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School has concluded. That risk has been driven by depressed earnings, depressed asset values and increased health-care costs — causing 74 percent of Americans planning to work past traditional retirement age. Additionally, both private and public pension plans have been allowed to become seriously underfunded. So what can be done? Fundamental changes in the structure of the U.S. economy, combined with increased health-care costs and lack of saving, have created a…

Tesla outsells Mercedes-Benz in US for first time ever

Tesla appears to have hit a major milestone that could signal the electric-car company is about to punch the accelerator. The Silicon Valley upstart outsold long-established German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz during the July-September period in the U.S., Jean Baptiste Su, principal analyst with Atherton Research, says in a report in Forbes. And the company could soon outsell another venerable car maker, he says. Tesla would not confirm Atherton Research’s sales estimates. As the Palo Alto, California, high-tech automaker hits its production stride, it hopes to cement itself among the heavy hitters in luxury vehicles. “When they were just producing the model S…

In addition to student loans; Millennials account for 25% of personal loans opened in 2018, up from 12% in 2015

Millennials — already laden with student loans — are adding a different kind of debt to their balance sheets: personal loans. Those were the findings following an analysis of borrower data from 2015 through August 2018 by LendingPoint, a provider of personal loans. The lender studied 49,545 funded loans in all. Personal loans typically have a set term of three to five years and generally charge a fixed interest rate. People tap them for a range of reasons, including emergencies and wedding finances. You can access them at credit unions, consumer banks and online lenders. These loans are unsecured, but…

Marriott hotel strike leads to mass employee walkouts

Thousands of hotel workers in eight U.S. cities say they’ll remain off the job until a new contract is reached with Marriott International. About 7,700 employees of the world’s largest hotel chain are now walking picket lines in Boston, Detroit, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, as well as two cities in Hawaii. Represented by the labor union Unite Here, the workers are calling for higher wages, rules guarding them against sexual harassment and protections from being replaced by technology. Among other demands aimed at improving working conditions, they are also asking the company to equip hotel staff…

Why the Middle Class Is Screwed

Last December, Congress passed the largest U.S. tax system overhaul in more than 30 years—a $1.5 trillion tax cut, but America’s middle class will see less than a quarter of the savings under the legislation. In 2018, middle-income households—those earning $20,000-$100,000—will see a tax cut of about $930 on average. Just about half of American adults live in middle-class households, down from 61% in 1971 according to the Pew Research Center. For a while now, I’ve been predicting that the middle class would disappear and that we would have only two classes of people in the U.S., the poor and…

What If Your Data Was Valued Like Currency? At This Cafe, It Is

At the Shiru Café close to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, students can get a cup of coffee without spending a dime. The currency here is information. Students can get free coffee if they fill in an online form. They list personal details such as their names, phone numbers, and email addresses alongside less generic information about their program of study and their career ambitions. The café’s business model is to pass this data on to recruiters at companies that sponsor the café, such as JP Morgan, who hold events where they discuss career choices with students. Screens that…

Universal Basic Income Is Silicon Valley’s Latest Scam…The plan is no gift to the masses, but a tool for our further enslavement

In 2016, I was invited to Uber’s headquarters (then in San Francisco) to talk about the failings of the digital economy and what could be done about it. Silicon Valley firms are the only corporations I know that ask for private talks for free. They don’t even cover cab fare. Like Google and Facebook, Uber figures that the chance to address their developers and executives offers intellectuals the rare privilege of influencing the digital future or, maybe more crassly, getting their books mentioned on the company blog. For authors of business how-to books, it makes perfect sense. Who wouldn’t want…

Hurricane knocks out 42 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil output

Hurricane Michael on Wednesday cut 42 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico daily crude oil production and nearly a third of natural gas output, the largest reductions in a year, after companies evacuated staff and shut-in platforms as a precaution. Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday as a fast-moving, Category 4 storm bringing heavy rains and winds of 155 miles per hour (249 kph) to the U.S. southeast. Companies turned off daily production of 718,877 barrels of oil and 812 million cubic feet of natural gas by midday on Wednesday, according to the federal offshore regulator, the Bureau…

Dow drops 600 points as October rout continues, tech stocks lead slide

Stocks sank on Wednesday as a steep decline in tech shares and worries of rapidly rising rates sent Wall Street on pace for its worst day in six months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded more than 600 points lower as Intel and Microsoft fell more than 2.5 percent each. The Nasdaq Composite plummeted 3 percent. The S&P 500 dropped 2.5 percent, with the tech sector underperforming. The broad index was also headed for a five-day losing streak — which would be its longest since late 2016 — and fell below its 50-day moving average, a widely followed technical level.…

Sears, once the world’s biggest retailer, now faces bankruptcy…Unable to keep up with e-commerce, the 125-year-old company hasn’t turned a profit since 2010

Sears, once the largest retailer in the world, is now reportedly facing bankruptcy. The company, which hasn’t turned a profit since 2010 and is $134 million in debt, recently approached several banks to prepare for bankruptcy filing, CNBC reported Wednesday. Shares plunged almost 20 percent on the news, and are set to open at a record low. Sears CEO Eddie Lampert has been pumping funds from his own hedge fund, ESL Investments, into the company for years in an attempt to keep it afloat. Lampert owns a controlling share in Sears, with 31 percent of its stock; his hedge fund…

America’s first robot farm replaces humans with ‘incredibly intelligent’ machines

America’s first autonomous robot farm launched last week, in the hopes that artificial intelligence (AI) can remake an industry facing a serious labor shortage and pressure to produce more crops. Claiming an ability to “grow 30 times more produce than traditional farms” on the strength of AI software, year-round, soilless hydroponic processes, and moving plants as they grow to efficiently use space, the San Carlos, California-based company Iron Ox aims to address some of the agricultural industry’s biggest challenges. Such challenges have also caught the attention of investors, who made more than $10bn in investments last year, representing a 29%…

Remember these tips to avoid financial ruin when SHTF

Preparing for the worst involves more than just stockpiling food, ammunition, and other survival supplies. It also means getting your financial affairs in order so you don’t end up succumbing to fiscal ruin. So what does this actually look like? According to Sara Tipton from ReadyNutrition.com, getting out of debt is one of the first steps. Paying off your credit cards and getting rid of them completely, she says, can make all the difference between simply encountering a “setback” in your life versus having your life flipped upside down. Having an emergency credit card on hand is one thing. But…

Middle Class Erosion: 33 Million Americans Will Not Travel During The Holidays Because They Can’t Afford To Do So

We have repeatedly been told that the U.S. economy is “booming”, but meanwhile the middle class in the United States continues to be hollowed out.  The financial bubbles that the Federal Reserve has created have been a great blessing for those at the very top of the economic pyramid, but most of the country is still deeply struggling.  According to one survey, 78 percent of all full-time workers in the U.S. live paycheck to paycheck, and that doesn’t even include part-time workers or those that are unemployed.  We have also been told that unemployment is “low”, but the real numbers…

Uber gets political, will spend $10M pushing for ‘congestion pricing’ tolls in Seattle, elsewhere

Uber says it plans to spend money lobbying for congestion pricing in Seattle as part of a $10 million push for “sustainable mobility” policies in various cities. The ride-hail app company and its rival, Lyft, have previously expressed support for the idea of tolling downtown streets in Seattle, where Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration is working to develop a proposal. But Uber’s new commitment to actively press for congestion pricing in the city, shared with The Seattle Times last week, could be the biggest boost yet for an effort certain to encounter political roadblocks, including concerns about affordability. Though several foreign cities use congestion-pricing…

The American dream doesn’t exist in many neighborhoods

IT IS a bipartisan cliché in America that all children should have the opportunity to succeed. Last year, President Donald Trump said “we want every child in America to have the opportunity to climb the ladder to success” as he lauded school choice. Last month, while savaging Mr Trump’s economic policies, Barack Obama suggested that “every child should have opportunity”. But a new paper by Raj Chetty an economist at Harvard and his colleagues underlines how far the United States is from offering opportunity to all—and how much where a child is born can reinforce the inequalities that stem from…

Layoffs Coming: Tariffs Cost Ford $1 Billion, Company Will Cut Jobs

The warnings against tariffs were not heeded by the United States government, and they are now coming to fruition.  Ford Motor Company has announced that the Trump Administration’s tariffs on imported Chinese goods and retaliatory tariffs have cost the company $1 billion and they will lay off workers to cover that cost. Trump’s tariffs and the retaliatory tariffs they triggered from the Chinese government are taking a major toll on the U.S. auto industry.  Ford CEO Jim Hackett told Bloomberg last month that tariffs on imported aluminum and steel alone dealt a blow to company profits. “From Ford’s perspective the…

Why Is The Media Warning A Recession Is Expected “By The End Of 2020” That Will Be “Worse Than The Great Depression”?

The mood of the mainstream media is really starting to shift dramatically.  At one time they seemed determined to convince all of us that happy days were here again for the U.S. economy, but now some mainstream news outlets are openly warning that the next recession will be “worse than the Great Depression”.  Do they really believe that this is true, or is there some other purpose behind their bold headlines?  Of course it isn’t exactly difficult to predict that another recession is coming, because the U.S. economy has experienced recession after recession ever since the Federal Reserve was first…

Social media data used to predict retail failure

Researchers have used a combination of social media and transport data to predict the likelihood that a given retail business will succeed or fail. Using information from ten different cities around the world, the researchers, led by the University of Cambridge, have developed a model that can predict with 80% accuracy whether a new business will fail within six months. The results will be presented at the ACM Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp), taking place this week in Singapore. While the retail sector has always been risky, the past several years have seen a transformation of high streets…

The Global Distortions of Doom Part 1: Hyper-Indebted Zombie Corporations

It’s funny how unintended consequences so rarely turn out to be good. The intended consequences of central banks’ unprecedented tsunami of stimulus (quantitative easing, super-low interest rates and easy credit / abundant liquidity) over the past decade were: 1. Save the banks by giving them credit-money at near-zero interest that they could loan out at higher rates. Savers were thrown under the bus by super-low rates (hope you like your $1 in interest on $1,000…) but hey, bankers contribute millions to politicos and savers don’t matter. 2. Bring demand forward by encouraging consumers to buy on credit now.Nothing like 0% financing to incentivize consumers…

China to Pump $175 Billion Into Its Economy as Slowdown and Trade War Loom

China is signaling that it is worried about its economy. Troubled by slowing growth, persistent debt problems and President Trump’s trade war, the Chinese government has taken steps in recent months to shore up its economy. It has pared back a high-profile campaign to tackle debt. It has restarted big infrastructure projects, a traditional economic engine. It has even censored bad economic news. On Sunday, Beijing went one step further. The People’s Bank of China, the central bank, pulled a financial lever that will effectively pump $175 billion into the economy. The government is aiming to help small and midsize…

Ron Paul Is Warning That A 50% Stock Market Decline Is Coming – And That There Is No Way To Stop It

Is Ron Paul about to be proven right once again?  For a very long time, Ron Paul has been one of my political heroes.  His willingness to stand up for true constitutional values and to keep saying “no” to the Washington establishment over and over again won the hearts of millions of American voters, and I wish that there had been enough of us to send him to the White House either in 2008 or in 2012.  To this day, I still wish that we could make his classic work entitled “End The Fed” required reading in every high school…

Mall Vacancies Hit 7 Year High As Rents Plunge

The epidemic of falling rents at shopping malls across the United States has been well duly documented here over the past year. In June, we wrote about an abandoned Macy’s that had been turned into a homeless shelter. Just days ago we followed up on the trend of malls falling victim to the “Amazon effect” in areas like Detroit. Today, we note the latest confirmation that the trend of dying malls across the entire U.S. isn’t stopping anytime soon. According to a WSJ report, the average rent for malls in the third-quarter fell 0.3% to $43.25 a square foot. This…

Amazon eliminating monthly bonuses & stock awards to help pay new raises for warehouse workers

Amazon is eliminating monthly bonuses and stock awards for warehouse workers and other hourly employees, apparently to help pay for raises. The internet retail giant pledged earlier this week to raise pay to at least $15 an hour. Bloomberg spoke to sources familiar with Amazon’s pay policies who say that before this week’s much-publicized minimum pay increase, workers used to be eligible for monthly bonuses that might add up to hundreds of dollars each month, and they could receive potentially valuable stock awards. Sure would be interesting if the workers of Amazon.com decided to unionize. From Bloomberg: The company informed…

The Retail Apocalypse Picks Up Speed As Sears, JCPenney, Brookstone And Mattress Firm Spiral Toward Bankruptcy

Over 20 major retailers have filed for bankruptcy since the beginning of last year, and in 2018 we may break the all-time record for annual store closings that was established just last year.  We are in the midst of the worst retail apocalypse in American history, and it appears to be picking up speed as retail giants such as Sears, JCPenney, Brookstone and Mattress Firm spiral toward bankruptcy.  We live at a time when the middle class is being systematically destroyed, and so the truth is that U.S. consumers simply do not have as much discretionary income as they once…

Largest US Mattress Retailer Planning To File For Bankruptcy In The Coming Days

It has long been speculated that Mattress Firm, the US mattress retailing giant, was in a solvency crisis, largely as a result of an aggressive expansion strategy in recent years coupled with the spectacular collapse of its parent, Steinhoff International Holdings NV following an accounting scandal in late 2017 and has been struggling to restructure the debt of some subsidiaries with its creditors. Now, according to Reuters, Mattress Firm, the largest U.S. mattress retailer, is planning to file for bankruptcy as soon as this week as the firm struggles to exit costly store leases and shut some of its 3,000…

“Not Every Mall Is Going To Survive” – Epidemic Of Vacant Stores Plagues Detroit

In the age of e-commerce — particularly the Amazon effect — shopping malls across the nation are experiencing challenging times  The Detroit Free Press toured shopping malls across Metro Detroit to gauge their health. What it found was that an epidemic of shuttered storefronts, and liquidating department stores continues to plague much of the city’s economic zones. “We are definitely over-malled, and the malls are too big,” said retail analyst and consultant Ken Dalto, who is based in Bingham Farms, Michigan. The collapse of shopping malls is the result of explosive growth in internet shopping and more closures of traditional mall anchor stores…