ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

May 22 11:20

All Is Well!

May 22 11:01

Why The US Has No High-Speed Rail

May 22 11:01

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

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

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

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

May 22 11:00

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

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

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

May 22 10:59

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

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

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

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

May 22 10:59

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

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

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

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

May 22 10:58

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

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

May 22 10:53

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

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

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

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

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

May 22 10:32

Why capturing Huawei is no victory in tech war

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

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

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

May 22 09:59

How Top-Down Government Fails America’s Poor

By Max Gulker

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

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

May 22 09:31

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

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

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

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

May 22 09:23

None Dare Call It Nonsense

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

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

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

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

May 21 19:34

As the U.S. Government Grows, American Prosperity Slows

By Richard M. Salsman

Myopic accounts of American economic performance are common today, permitting political partisans to cite whatever period they wish to prove any case they want. Republicans today insist that President Trump’s policies have revitalized U.S. economic growth after years of supposed stagnation under President Obama, while Democrats say Obama’s policies started the recent revival, reversing the disastrous “Great Recession” of 2008-09 which was caused by President Bush’s policies. If you pick your own period, you can “prove” almost anything.

May 21 18:57

Years of US sanctions have cost Venezuelan economy $130 billion – official

Over the last few years Venezuela has suffered enormous losses due to the economic blockade introduced by Washington, Venezuela’s ambassador to Russia Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa says.

“As a result of the economic embargo imposed by the US from 2015 through the last year, financial damages to Venezuelan economy totaled $130 billion,” the top diplomat said during the news briefing in Moscow.

The ambassador stressed that the amount would be enough to bolster the economy of the Bolivarian republic for nine years.

“The government headed by President Nicolas Maduro is on the path of a very unequal conflict with the most forceful economic and military power in the world,” Tortosa stressed.

May 21 17:56

The danger zones of leveraged loans

May 21 14:23

Carmageddon Sinks Tesla’s Bonds

May 21 13:40

Triffin dilemma

The Triffin dilemma or Triffin paradox is the conflict of economic interests that arises between short-term domestic and long-term international objectives for countries whose currencies serve as global reserve currencies. This dilemma was identified in the 1960s by Belgian-American economist Robert Triffin,[1] who pointed out that the country whose currency, being the global reserve currency, foreign nations wish to hold, must be willing to supply the world with an extra supply of its currency to fulfill world demand for these foreign exchange reserves, thus leading to a trade deficit.

May 21 12:46

Dressbarn to close all 650 stores

May 21 11:18

POMPEO TO IRAQ: STAND WITH US AGAINST IRAN OR MOVE ASIDE

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iraqi leaders that if they are not going to stand with the US against Iran, then they should stand aside, AP reported.

Pompeo’s message came last week as he met with Iraqi leaders to discuss the mounting tension between Washington and Tehran.

The news agency said the message was relayed to it by two Iraqi officials who refused to be named, pointing out that Pompeo’s visit to Baghdad came as intelligence had received information about Iranian threats to US interests in the Middle East.

“There are fears that Baghdad will get caught again in the conflict between Washington and Tehran after recovering from the effects of its war on the Islamic State,” the news site reported, in reference to Daesh.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder if this unbearably tone-deaf rant has to do with Pompeo's taking graduate level classes from Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, in both hubris and chutzpah?!?

Iraqis have every moral, and reasonable right to be concerned about the US potentially using their country as a "base from which to attack Iran."

But there was one guy who most probably wouldn't have wanted to speak to Pompeo at all; that is, the most powerful man in Iraq who holds no office; that would, of course, be Muktada Al Sadr.

And this is because his coalition won control of Iraq's Parliament: how painfully ironic that had to be to the US government and Military?!?!?

He was also the spiritual leader of the Mahdi Army, against which the US was continuously fighting in Iraq. He was also the guy who said, that if US troops did not leave precisely at the moment specified by the SOFA agreement, US military would become "fair game" for his fighters.

His now being in control of the Iraqi Parliament, has to be one of the worst nightmares for the defense department and state department.

And of course, you didn't hear this from most of the Corporate Pressitutes, but yesterday, Moktada al Sadr, with other Iraqi clerics, made the statement:

Iraqi Shiite Figures warn that a US war against Iran, would cause Iraq to burn

The article goes on to state:

"Populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said any political party that would drag Iraq in a U.S.-Iran war “would be the enemy of the Iraqi people.” al-

Leading Iraqi Shiite figures warned Monday against attempts to pull their country into a war between the U.S. and Iran, saying it would turn Iraq into a battlefield yet again, just as it is on the path to recovery.

The warning came hours after a rocket slammed into Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, landing less than a mile from the sprawling U.S. Embassy. No injuries were reported and no group immediately claimed the Sunday night attack.

Shortly after, President Donald Trump tweeted a warning to Iran not to threaten the United States or it will face its “official end.”

So President Trump and Secretary Pompeo, a thought here, please; just a small caveat; it is said that Muktada al Sadr keeps in very close touch with the commanders of his former Mahdi Army.

IF the US declares war on Iran, and uses Iraqi soil from which to stage their attack, how long would it take this guy, to "get the band back together", in terms of US military having to fight off both Iranian military, and his Mahdi Army?!?

Gentlemen, the honest, short answer is, "not long at all".

I sure hope that at least ONE of you is getting more than a few sleepless nights about this potential.

May 21 11:16

"The Markets Implications Are Enormous": Trade War With China Is Not About Trade But About Geopolitics

Forget soybeans, auto imports, iPhones, crude oil, and cheap Chinese gadgets. Also forget tariffs, duties, and subsidies. Even forget weapons.

The real reason behind the US-China "trade" war has little to do with actual trade, and everything to do with what China's president, Xi Jinping, said when he visited a memory chip plant in the city of Wuhan in early 2018. In a white lab coat, he made an unexpectedly sentimental remark, comparing a computer chip to a human heart: “No matter how big a person is, he or she can never be strong without a sound and strong heart”.

May 21 11:14

Tesla Bonds Collapse, Stock Drops Below $200 After Wedbush's "Code Red Situation" Alert

Tesla shares look as if they are about to spontaneously combust in pre-market trading, set to plummet below $200 for the first time in three years, after Wedbush published a research report saying that the company faces a "Kilimanjaro-like uphill climb" to hit its profitability goals for the second half of the year, according to Bloomberg. In the Sunday report, analyst Dan Ives also slashed his price target from $275 to $230 and calling the company‘s current state of affairs a "code red situation".

Ives had previously been one of the most bullish analysts on the name, but now looks to be the latest sell-sider finally accepting a much needed dose of reality. In his note, he claimed that he has "major concerns around the trajectory of Tesla’s growth prospects and underlying demand on Model 3 in the U.S. over the coming quarters."

May 21 11:04

DHS says Chinese-made drones used by cops, ICE and American businesses could be sending data back to Beijing, with analysts warning that 80% of all drones in the US are made in China

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent out an alert on Monday warning U.S. firms and government agencies of a potential data risk from Chinese-made drones.

The notice titled 'Chinese Manufactured Unmanned Aircraft Systems' warns that sensitive flight data might be sent to their manufacturers in China, where it can be accessed by the government.

It goes on to say that U.S. officials have 'strong concerns about any technology product that takes American data into the territory of an authoritarian state that permits its intelligence services to have unfettered access to that data or otherwise abuses that access.'

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is another economic attack. China, specifically DJI, is the top selling commercial drone company in the world, with $2 billion in sales.

May 21 10:55

What's Crushing So Many Cab Drivers: Not Uber or Lyft

For many New York City cabbies, the dream is to buy a medallion—a city permit that lets them own a yellow cab. But a cottage industry of sketchy loans and artificially high medallion prices ruined that dream for a generation of drivers, the New York Times reports. "I don’t think I could concoct a more predatory scheme if I tried," says a Harvard Law School instructor. "This was modern-day indentured servitude." The drivers, mostly immigrants, bought the medallions by taking out unaffordable loans that often included high fees and a ceding of their legal rights. When medallion prices rose to over $1 million, drivers refinanced for even more money. And when the medallion bubble burst in 2014, drivers saw their nest eggs vanish, Bloomberg noted last year. Yet the crushing debt remained.

May 21 10:30

Rural Iowans ponder Trump alternatives as China trade war drags on

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg asked a crowd of supporters packed into an Iowa brewery this weekend whether the United States has a plan to win the ongoing trade war with China.

“Nooo,” was the response.

The world’s two largest economies have been locked in a 10-month trade war that has roiled global supply chains and rattled financial markets. U.S. farmers, who helped carry Trump to his surprise 2016 election win, have been among the hardest-hit as China has imposed tariffs on imports of U.S. agricultural products, including soybeans, pork and grain sorghum in response to U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

May 21 10:29

Tesla Buffalo Plant Exporting Most Solar Cells To A "Large Asian Buyer" As Solar Roof Demand Plummets

The "great majority" of solar cells being produced at Tesla’s factory in West New York aren't being used in the company's "Solar Roof", as was pitched to win hundreds of millions in subsidies. Rather, they're being exported and sold overseas to "a large Asian buyer", according to a new report from Reuters.

This unexpected shift in strategy, comes after New York state granted Tesla $350 million to build its factory, along with $274.7 million for equipment and $125.3 million “for additional specified scope costs,” according to Tesla disclosures. The subsidy requires that Tesla employ 1,460 people in Buffalo and spends $5 billion in the state over a decade. The factory employs only about 800 workers now.

While the plan was to mass produce cells for the "Solar Roof", Tesla has only "sporadically" purchased solar cells produced by its partner in the factory, Panasonic.

May 21 09:44

Will S&P 500 Double Top Derail The Rally?

May 21 09:32

Trump Readies The Economy, Transition Coming

May 21 09:15

Socialist Ocasio-Cortez Weighs In on a Billionaire’s Gift to Debt-Saddled College Kids

You can’t count on this, she warned.

Don’t expect handouts.

Don’t get into debt in the first place.

Don’t expect billionaires to bail you out of life.

Oh, and college should be affordable for all — courtesy of the U.S. government.

These were some of the messages and vibes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) shared with today’s young people on her Twitter account in the wake of an extraordinary and surprising gift by billionaire investor Robert F. Smith at Morehouse College over the weekend during its latest commencement.

He’s pledged to take care of all the graduates’ student loans.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No making this lady happy, is there?

May 21 09:10

The Plot Thickens

It seems like every day more twists and turns surface, especially recent history looks like a stockpot full of spaghetti.

You will recall that the gold FDR illegally confiscated from Americans by pretending we were all magically transformed into "Citizens of the United States", and which his Administration used to secure the bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Church's Delaware corporation doing business as "the" United States of America, Inc. back in 1933 ---- all that gold was eventually released when the bankruptcy was settled in November 1999.

We went looking for it, and found that a portion of it was released to the World Bank/IBRD as "abandoned assets". Where was all the rest? Our gold and silver reserves and historical trust assets, our public property deeds, for example?

May 21 08:16

TRADE HARDBALL: CHINA THREATENS TO CUT OFF US SUPPLY OF RARE EARTH ELEMENTS

SOURCE: MIKE MISH SHEDLOCK
China produces 80% of the world's rare earth elements. They are used in weapons, cell phones, hybrid cars, and magnets.

China does not have the means to match the US in the total number or amount of tariffs. But China can strike back in other ways. One critical way would be to cut off the US supply of rare earth elements.

Bloomberg reports Xi’s Trip to Rare-Earths Plant Stokes Talk of Trade Retaliation

Shares in JL MAG Rare-Earth Co. surged by their daily limit Monday after state news agency Xinhua said the Chinese president had stopped by the company in Jiangxi. Official news outlets give regular updates on the whereabouts of top leaders, sometimes leading to share spikes on the belief that companies have been handed official backing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, a word, please; the continued lack of availability of these rare earth elements, will be a bitter pill to swallow by those manufacturers who truly believed that you were going to "Make America Great Again", this time, in the manufacturing sphere.

With the agricultural tariffs, you have already bankrupted American farmers, to nearly the point of utter financial collapse, and sometimes, suicide.

WISCONSIN FARMER TELLS FOX NEWS SUICIDES, BANKRUPTCY RISING IN RURAL U.S. AMID CHINA TRADE WAR

Your attempts to anger China into submission, rather than create a win/win environment in which these trade matters could be reasonably resolved, are hurting your base enormously.

The Chinese culture, even though the Chinese people identify as Communist, at this point in the 21st century, have always been a mercantile people, wanting to trade for reasonable profit.

And if their "unreasonable demands" have hurt the American economy in some way for some time, is there no "gradual" way of reversing this, in the spirit of sweet logic and reason?!?

I would like to hope there would be; because, sir, living on a first-strike target here in the middle of the Pacific, my worst nightmare would be that if a shooting war between the US an China happens, Oahu would be taken out very quickly, due to the number of military bases clustered here on Oahu; these are no secret, sir: they can be viewed on
tripadvisor.com, just where I found them.

Attractions/Activities on Oahu

And Mr. President, if real, moral, reasonable negotiations are not your quite forte, I would respectfully suggest you outsource these to someone from your administration who can "cage the rage, and engage" China in these negotiations, and get them the heck back on track; because President Trump, to an impartial observer, they appear to be absolutely off the tracks right now.

May 21 07:43

BALTIMORE RANSOMWARE NIGHTMARE COULD LAST WEEKS MORE, WITH BIG CONSEQUENCES

SOURCE: ARSTECHNICA.COM
It's been nearly two weeks since the City of Baltimore's networks were shut down in response to a ransomware attack, and there's still no end in sight to the attack's impact. It may be weeks more before the city's services return to something resembling normal—manual workarounds are being put in place to handle some services now, but the city's water billing and other payment systems remain offline, as well as most of the city's email and much of the government's phone systems.

The ransomware attack came in the midst of a major transition at City Hall. Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young assumed office officially just days before the attack, after the resignation of former mayor Catherine Pugh, who is facing an ever-expanding corruption investigation. And some of the mayor's critical staff positions remained unfilled—the mayor's deputy chief of staff for operations, Sheryl Goldstein, starts work today.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just brilliant, Baltimore; you were warned that this was coming, by someone who actually knew what they were talking about, and yet took no measures to protect your city, or citizens.

IF I were a citizen of Baltimore, I would be voting with my feet right now, and "get the heck out of Dodge"; I would be willing to bet you one whole cent, that this is not the last time this will happen in this city, which chose to be unprepared to deal with the issue.

May 21 07:26

OUTRAGE AS TEXAS SENATE PASSES 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL' BILL THAT WOULD HIT PIPELINE PROTESTORS WITH UP TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON

Sparking outcry from indigenous tribes and environmental groups, the Texas state Senate on Monday passed industry-backed Republican legislation that would hit pipeline protestors with a third-degree felony and up to ten years in prison.

"Here in Texas, members of the legislative body are looking to pass laws that harshly criminalize free speech and the right to protest," Juan Mancias, Tribal Elder with the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, said in a statement.

"We will continue to support and fight beside the indigenous communities in Texas to make sure these unconstitutional laws do not stand."
—Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope that this law, as an egregious affront to free speech, peaceful protests, and the First Amendment to the Constitution, is heard at the Supreme Court level, and tossed on its head.

The other issue that has to be considered, is how many times, these protestors have been proven right, in terms of concerns of pipeline leakage or breakage, which was absolutely not sabotage.

Dakota Access Pipeline Leaked

The Indigenous Peoples' War against Pipelines

Friends of Nelson County

Pipeline plagued by by Lawsuits and delays

May 20 15:05

What the Subprime Auto-Loan Fiasco Means.

May 20 12:37

Ford to cut 7,000 jobs…

May 20 11:46

Scott Adams: Predicting, Deutsche Bank, Brennan, China, Iran

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1130473779119869955

Representative Amash…we have a Representative Amash?
Biden…the less media coverage he gets, the more we’ll like him?
President Trump tweet warns Iran to never threaten us again
Public warning, and US public seems to support if needed
Does Iran want to give the US…an excuse to act?
Does Iran want the US to say “all options are open”?
AOC on climate change solutions…”especially the new technologies”
AOC is open to nuclear…especially the new technologies?
AOC is acknowledging risk/reward balance favors nuclear?
Social media sent a message to government…it was received
Simultaneous, well deserved “pat on the back”
Comey’s email to staff…Brennan INSISTS dossier be included?
Wouldn’t Brennan have known intel was from Russian Intel?
Wouldn’t Brennan have known it would affect our election?

May 20 11:12

The U.S. Ultimatum on Huawei Is Backfiring

The U.S. is putting pressure on its many partners across the world to follow its lead and ban Huawei from their national telecommunications networks, with the Trump Administration channeling the Bush one in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by strongly implying that they are “either with us or against us.”

Unlike back then, however, few countries are going along with the U.S. pressure; probably because they understand the huge difference between joining an anti-terrorist military coalition and an anti-Chinese trading one.

Building off of that observation, Huawei’s services are inexpensive and high-quality, which is the exact opposite of what the competition is providing, whether American or otherwise, and it makes sense for countries to purchase its technology in order to help them modernize their telecommunications infrastructure in preparation for the global 5G revolution.

May 20 11:06

Russia, China to Open Arctic Sea to Trade, Cutting Asia-Europe Shipping Route by 5,000 Miles

Speaking at China’s second Belt and Road conference in Beijing featuring 37 heads of state, Russia President Vladimir Putin unveiled the intention to unite Russia’s Northern Sea Route with China’s Maritime Silk Road. This announcement should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the close strategic friendship between both countries since the 2015 announcement of an alliance between the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union and Belt and Road Initiative. This extension of the Maritime Silk Road represents a powerful force to transform the last unexplored frontier on the Earth, converting the Arctic from a geopolitical zone of conflict towards a new paradigm of mutual cooperation and development.

May 20 10:49

California's Housing Bubble's So Bad, 100s Forced To Live On Boats 

California's housing affordability crisis is getting worse. Affordability in San Francisco is now at 10-year lows, and only one in five households can afford to purchase a median-priced single-family home in the Bay Area. The crisis has driven many people onto the water, living on makeshift boats, outside marinas, and wealthy communities.

The floating homeless population in wealthy Marin County, just across the Golden Gate Strait from San Francisco, has doubled in the last five years to over 100. The community of 200 barges, sailboats, and other vessels comprise of people who are employed but can't afford to live on land, jobless folks, the homeless, and some people who are mentally ill. Boat life for them isn't easy:

"It's not a free ride. It's a lot of effort to be out here," said Kristina Weber, who moved onto a 54-foot vessel she purchased for $15,000 because she couldn't afford to rent in Sausalito.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We have a lot of that here in Hawaii.

May 20 10:48

John Deere Slashes Production Amid A 1980s Style Farm Crisis Collapse In Midwest 

With the entire US agriculture sector facing a 1980s style farm crisis downturn and record debt levels, demand for new tractors is set to collapse as farmers hang on to old Deere & Co. equipment, reported Bloomberg.

Heavy flooding in the last several months across the Midwest, a deepening trade war with China, depressed commodity prices, skyrocketing fuel costs, declining land values, and massive debt loads have squeezed farmers so much that Deere slashed production last week to deal with the downturn.

May 20 10:34

Gold Suppression: It’s Not a Question of IF but to WHAT EXTENT

First of all, let me say that gold price suppression (“fixing,” “rigging,” “manipulating” or however else you want to think about it) is not just a conspiracy theory.

It’s a well-documented phenomenon, with real actors and real ramifications.

In 2014, Barclays was fined nearly $44 million for failing to prevent traders from manipulating the London gold “fix.” Late last year, a former JPMorgan trader pleaded guilty to manipulating the U.S. metals markets. Remember the gold futures “flash crash” of 2014?

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