ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

ECONOMY

Jun 18 19:51

80,606 Accounts Shut Off in 2020; Media Outlet Seeks Detroit Residents Struggling to Pay Their Electric Bills

By B.N. Frank

COVID mandates and restrictions have made it difficult and sometimes impossible for countless Americans to afford their bills. ProPublica wants to hear from Detroit residents who are struggling to pay for their electricity...

Jun 18 19:26

Mortgage Companies Cash in on Pandemic Relief

By Doug French

Ben Eisen writes for the Wall Street Journal, “Mortgage companies have ramped up their purchases of government-backed mortgages in forbearance, and they are selling these loans back to investors at a profit.”

In a bit of pandemic crony capitalism, mortgages made through the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) or the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) are pooled together into Ginnie Mae bonds. If a borrower stops making payments, Ginnie Mae allows the mortgage servicer to buy the mortgage out of the pool after ninety days at face value. So, even though the loan is in default, servicers buy the loan for the amount of the principal owing and any interest owed. In a free market, this paper would sell at a discount. But the government mortgage market is anything but laissez-faire...

Jun 18 18:54

$450M More for Company to Turn U.S. Troops into “Invincible Technomancers” via Artificial Intelligence

By B.N. Frank

Expert warnings about Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) continue to increase. For one thing – it’s not always accurate. Nevertheless, employers continue to incorporate it into their businesses. Some companies are training U.S. military personnel to use it for defense purposes...

Jun 18 13:12

Bulls cannot be happy about this...

Jun 18 12:28

Why Stimulus Does Not Stimulate

Jun 18 11:51

Mark Cuban ‘Hit’ After Cryptocurrency Crashed 100% In One Day—And These Other Buzzy Tokens Have Also Collapsed

In the latest sign of peak cryptocurrency mania subsiding, a token backed by billionaire Mark Cuban crashed down to zero dollars Tuesday, joining a slew of other hyped-up cryptocurrencies that have crashed over the past month after frenzied trading drove the market to meteoric price highs this year.

A wave of panic selling Wednesday morning drove the price of Iron Titanium, a token Cuban disclosed he owned earlier this week, from a Wednesday high above $64 to less than 0.01% of a penny by Thursday morning after some of its biggest investors started selling the token at high volumes, spooking individual investors and triggering the massive selloff.

Though much more gradual, the prices of several other tokens sporting multi-billion-dollar market capitalizations have similarly crashed over the past month amid a broader crypto-market rout.

Jun 18 11:34

The Whole Structure Of Society Will Fail: No Pensions, No Social Security And Currencies Collapse

The coming 5-10 years are likely to see asset prices decline by at least 90% in real terms. Yes stocks, bonds and property prices will in coming years collapse. But that’s not enough, the whole structure of society will also fall. There will be no or negligible pensions, there will be no social security system and the standard of medical care will fall dramatically.

So is this another sensational prediction by a Cassandra or Doom and Gloom know-it-all?

100 YEARS OF A FALSE AND CORRUPT HOCUS POCUS SYSTEM
Hardly, it is just the consequences of 100 years of a false monetary system based on corrupt principles, fake money and unlimited credit, only backed by inflated asset prices in a vicious cycle of self-destruction.

Jun 18 11:31

U.S. Threw Boeing ‘Under The Airbus’ In Effort To Thwart China

President Biden has essentially thrown Boeing BA “under the Airbus,” at least for the time being, as part of a high-stakes, longer-term strategy to reinvigorate Western-led globalization on Democratic Party terms.

The United States USM and the European Union announced earlier this week during Biden’s first foreign trip that the world’s two largest airline manufacturers would set aside for five years tariffs associated with the world’s most expensive and long-standing World Trade Organization dispute — a dispute begun by Boeing in 2004, three years after the WTO’s creation.

The reason? To confront China and its ambitions in the aviation industry.

It was a win for Airbus because, at least for five years and almost certainly longer, it sets aside a WTO ruling allowing Boeing to impose tariffs in retaliation for improper European Union support of Airbus.

Jun 18 07:31

THE COLLATERAL CRISIS NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT

Jun 18 07:16

Was the Fed a case of Much Ado About Nothing?

Jun 18 06:12

Holy Moly, Fed’s Reverse Repos Spike to $756 Billion, Undoing 6 Months of QE. In Opposite Direction, Fed’s QE Pushes Assets Past $8 Trillion

The Fed sold a record $756 billion in Treasury securities this morning in exchange for cash via overnight “reverse repos.” This was up by a stunning 45% from yesterday’s operations of $521 billion. There were 68 counterparties involved. Yesterday’s overnight reverse repos had matured and unwound this morning, to be more than replaced by today’s tsunami.

During the period starting in 2014 and then abating with the Fed’s quantitative tightening in 2018, the US financial system was also creaking under a massive amount of cash following years of QE, and the Fed drained some of that cash out via reverse repos. There too were spikes, but they came at the last day of the quarter, and particularly at the end of the year.

Jun 17 15:24

Farmers Blame The Feds: The “Government Stole Our Water!”

Farmers in the United States have reached a breaking point. They now say that what the government has done has been so disastrous that they are willing to stand off with the Feds.

Jun 17 13:19

Hidden Roots of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

By Neenah Payne

The interesting story of the CSA model begins in the 1960s and ‘70s, with a man named Booker T. Whatley, a Black horticulturist and agricultural professor...

Jun 17 12:10

Homelessness Is Becoming A Crisis Of Epic Proportions In The United States

During the pandemic, the federal government has borrowed and spent trillions and trillions of dollars, and the Federal Reserve has pumped trillions and trillions of dollars into the financial system, and yet the suffering of those at the bottom of the economic food chain has gotten much, much worse. -- Something is very wrong with that picture. -- No matter what our leaders do, the homelessness crisis in this country just seems to keep escalating.  Vast numbers of our fellow citizens will be sleeping on the streets tonight, and many more will soon be joining them.

Jun 17 11:55

We Should Be Shocked By What Inflation Is Doing To Home Prices, Because We Have Never Seen This Before

If you are shopping for a home right now, I really do feel sorry for you.  Home prices in many areas of the country have officially crossed the line into “absurd” territory, and they just keep going higher.  Thanks to wild spending by the federal government and the economic malpractice that has been happening at the Federal Reserve, we now have way too many dollars chasing way too few goods and services.  Inflation is showing up in every sector of our economy, but it is not showing up equally in all sectors.  One area where inflation threatens to spiral completely out of control is in home prices.  Right now we are seeing the wildest bidding wars in U.S. history, and in many, many cases buyers end up paying way over listing price.

Jun 17 11:29

Taking a (Lemonade) Stand for Free Enterprise

By Anthony Gill

Summer is here and with Covid-based restrictions on fun finally receding (we hope), a return to normalcy promises the ubiquitous picnics, softball games, and sidewalk lemonade stands run by kids on their vacation away from school.

But wait a minute! Not all those Great American activities may be legal.

Indeed, those little entrepreneurs selling refreshing cups of lemony lusciousness may be violating a gaggle of government regulations. Country Time Lemonade, which provides business assistance to kids seeking to dip their toes into the retail beverage marketplace, has counted only 16 states where it is legal to sell lemonade from a makeshift front yard stand...

Jun 17 11:15

Demand for developers is soaring - and employers are struggling to hire

Tech jobs have rarely been hotter: job search engine Adzuna has reported that for the past few months, there have been consistently over 100,000 tech job offers per week live on the platform, with one week in May even seeing an unprecedented peak of 132,000 offers.

The data, which was compiled for the UK government's digital economy council, suggests that the industry is recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at pace. In comparison, last June saw tech vacancies fall to less than 44,000 offers.

But according to the council, the new figures aren't only reflective of a strong come-back from a year of crisis. Tech hiring hasn't been this high since 2016.

Jun 17 09:50

College to charge unvaccinated students $1,500 'Health & Safety' fee

Starting Fall 2021 , Rhodes College will charge unvaccinated students $1,500 per semester to “cover the costs of mandatory testing.”

Jun 17 09:29

Pandemic Emergency Spending Riddled With Fraud

By Daniel J. Mitchell

Politicians and bureaucrats are (self-interested) conduits for taking money from one group of people and giving it to another group of people...

I’ve repeatedly written about the perverse impact of unemployment benefits that are so excessive that people have big incentives not to work.

But that’s just one problem with that program. Axios has a depressing report on how the turbo-charged benefits that were part of the coronavirus legislation triggered staggering levels of fraud...

Jun 17 08:27

Emails from 2016 Show Amazon Ring’s Hold on the LAPD Through Camera Giveaways

By Matthew Guariglia and Karen Gullo

In March 2016, “smart” doorbell camera maker Ring was a growing company attempting to market its wireless smart security camera when it received an email from an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Gang and Narcotics Division, who was interested in purchasing a slew of devices.

The Los Angeles detective wanted 20 cameras, consisting of 10 doorbell cameras and 10 “stick up” cameras, which retailed for nearly $3,000. Ring, headquartered in nearby Santa Monica, first offered a discount but quickly sweetened the deal: “I’d be happy to send you those units free of charge,” a Ring employee told the officer, according to emails released in response to California Public Records Act (CPRA) requests filed by EFF and NBC’s Clark Fouraker. These emails are also the subject of a detailed new report from the Los Angeles Times...

Jun 17 08:27

The Richest Family in the World Increases Its Fortune After Selling $2.1 Billion Worth of Walmart Shares

So far, in 2020, the Walton family has made $2.1 billion from the sale of Walmart stock and has sold 16.4 million assets.

These transactions are intended to prevent your stake in the retail chain from rising. The heirs of Walmart founder Sam Walton own about half of the store's outstanding shares through Walton Enterprises and the Walton Family trust.

Walton Family Holdings Trust sold $430 million in shares last week, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents accessed by Bloomberg. This brought the family's earnings to $2.1 billion so far in 2021.

Jun 17 06:52

Supply-Chain Chaos: Container Rates Skyrocket Even Higher... And There’s No End In Sight

Asia-East Coast rates jump
The Freightos Baltic Daily Index for Asia-East Coast surged by around 20% in just the past few days. As of Thursday, the Freightos rate reached $9,317 per FEU, its highest point ever and up 224% year on year (y/y).

The Drewry weekly assessment for the Shanghai-New York route was $8,251 per FEU, up 9% week on week (w/w) and 203% y/y.

Asia-West Coast rates also jump
There have recently been big moves up for rates to West Coast ports, as well.

Freightos put Thursday’s Asia-West Coast spot rate at a record-high $6,341 per FEU, up 194% y/y. Drewry’s weekly Shanghai-Los Angeles index is at $6,313 per FEU, up 6% w/w and 199% y/y.

S&P Global Platts’ North Asia-West Coast North America FAK rate was $4,200 per FEU on Thursday, almost triple the FAK rate a year ago.

Panama spread keeps widening
Asia-East Coast rates have been rising faster than Asia-West Coast rates, according to Freightos’ data.

Jun 17 06:43

GM Is So Desperate To Hire Employees It's Considering Dropping Its Mandatory Marijuana Testing

We know the labor shortage in the U.S. is getting bad when companies finally throw their hands up and call off drug testing in an attempt to be able to recruit more workers.

Such is the case at General Motors, where hiring has gone so poorly for the summer that the company is "considering dropping the requirement that potential employees be tested for marijuana use," according to Motor 1.

The company is reportedly having extreme difficulty finding temporary summer workers at the plant that produces the Chevy Silverado, the report says. GM is seeking to hire 450 temporary part time employees at Flint and 275 at Fort Wayne.

Jun 17 06:09

Even The Fed Doesn't Believe The Fed Anymore

I looked at what our unit’s current budget was for that fiscal year… and then I spent a few minutes researching the inflation rate.

According to Yahoo (yes, this was so long ago that people still primarily used Yahoo instead of Google), the projected inflation rate was 2%.

So basically I just added 2% to our spending every year for the next 10 years, and poof, long-term budget complete.

That’s the day I learned how government financing works; quite often the people who come up with these numbers don’t have a clue what they’re doing and base everything on some very simple assumptions about the future.

A few weeks ago, the White House unveiled its own 10 year budget, which forecasts US federal spending into the early 2030s.

Similarly, they make their own assumptions about the future. In fact, they list key assumptions about inflation, interest rates, etc. on page 60 of their budget report.

Jun 17 06:07

The Biggest Business Risks in 2021

Jun 17 06:03

California Bans Porsche From Selling 2022 911 GT3 With Manual Transmission 

Well, maybe the birds and deer will feel comfortable in California that the liberal-run state has banned Porsche from selling the 2022 911 GT3 with manual transmission because it's just too damn loud.

Porsche informed Car and Driver this week that the optional six-speed manual transmission of the supercar will not be sold in the state due to the state's sound regulations.

Porsche will contact those who have already ordered the GT3 with the opportunity to switch to the standard dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Jun 17 05:54

"Now In Bust Cycle" - China Hog Futures Plunge Near Record Lows On Pork Glut

Chinese hog futures have fallen nearly 38% since launching in January amid rising concerns that the Chinese pork market has gone from shortage to surplus.

Readers may recall African swine fever was first reported in China in August 2018. The spread of the disease slashed the country's hog herd by at least 40%, resulting in hyperinflation of pork prices by 2019.

African swine fever has since been eradicated to some extent in the country as the government urged farmers to breed more pigs. At the same time, China Customs data showed the country imported a record amount of pork from the US in late 2019 and 2020 to replenish supplies.

Jun 17 05:54

Maersk Warns South China Port Congestion 'More Significant Disruption' Than Suez Canal Closure

We previewed last week to readers that port congestion wasn't just observed across US West Coast ports, such as Los Angeles/Long Beach, but also severe congestion was developing in southern China. At the time, we called it a "perfect storm" ahead of the peak shipping season.

Now the world's largest container line, Maersk, calls the port congestion at Yantian International Container Terminal, a deepwater port in Shenzhen, Guangdong, in southern China, a much more significant disruption to its operations than the shutdown of the Suez Canal in March.

Ditlev Blicher, Maersk Asia Pacific Managing Director, was quoted by Seatrade Maritime, who said Yantian port is operating at a 40% capacity, and "We're expecting that to continue for the next month with significant delays for vessels to be able to berth."

Jun 17 05:42

With moratorium ending, more than 8 million households face foreclosure or eviction

Even as the nation rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic, more than 2 million homeowners are behind on their mortgages and risk being forced out of their homes in a matter of weeks, a new Harvard University housing report warns.

Most of the homeowners at risk of foreclosure are either low-income or families of color, said researchers who published the 2021 State of the Nation's Housing report. Congress has dedicated $10 billion to help homeowners get caught up on payments, but it's unclear if that funding will make it to families before mortgage companies begin sending out foreclosure notices, researchers say.

Separately, millions more renters are "on the brink of eviction," the Harvard researchers found. Census data show that 6 million households are still behind on rent and could face eviction at the end of June, when federal eviction protections expire.

Jun 17 05:40

BREAKING: Wells Fargo Cancels Lauren Witzke’s Bank Account, Leaves Her Stranded Out of State With No Money

Wells Fargo has shut down the bank account of America First activist Lauren Witzke, leaving her stranded out of state with completely no money.

In a post on Telegram, Witzke, who ran as the Republican candidate for the Senate in Delaware in the 2020 elections, revealed that Wells Fargo had completely shut down her bank account, removing all of her money from the system, leaving her with a “zero balance” instead. In a call with the bank, Witzke was informed that the action taken was a purely “business decision,” and that they have the right to close her account down at any time. “Had I not been surrounded by friends in Florida, I would be completely stranded,” she wrote, as she would be stuck out of state with absolutely no money at all.

Jun 17 05:26

‘A good day for Russia’: Trump blasts Biden after Putin summit, citing Nord Stream waivers

Donald Trump pilloried US President Joe Biden following his first sit-down with his Russian counterpart as commander in chief, insisting the US gained nothing from the meeting, calling it a “good day” for Moscow.

“We didn’t get anything. We gave a very big stage to Russia, and we got nothing,” Trump told Fox’s Sean Hannity on Wednesday night, going on to attack Biden for dropping sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which is being built by Russia and will transport natural gas into the European Union.

We gave up something that was unbelievably valuable. I stopped the pipeline, Nord Stream, and that pipeline was stopped. It was given back and nothing was gotten for it… I think it was a good day for Russia.

Jun 16 13:29

Nigeria's cratering economy may become Africa's biggest threat

If there was ever a time Nigeria could have taken off, it was in 1999. Democracy had been restored, with its economy reopening after decades of mismanagement and plunder under military dictatorships.

Tomi Davies, a systems analyst, was one of thousands of Nigerians who came home to help rebuild the country. After a few years working on public-sector projects, he was offered a bag full of dollars to add ghost employees to the payroll system he was installing. When he refused, a group of men attacked him at his home in the capital, Abuja.

"I arrived like many others full of hope, but had to escape in disgust," said Davies, 65, who returned to the U.K., where he is now chief investment officer of Frankfurt-based venture capital firm GreenTec Capital Partners.

Jun 16 12:51

Funny Numbers : Fed holds rates steady, but raises inflation expectations sharply and sees hikes in 2023

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday considerably raised its expectations for inflation this year and brought forward the time frame on when it will next raise interest rates. -- However, the central bank gave no indication as to when it will begin cutting back on its aggressive bond-buying program.

Jun 16 11:48

Texas Power Grid Operator Struggles to Provide Power in Heat, Just As It Did in Cold

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) called for Texans to conserve electricity on Monday afternoon. For the second time this year, the council blamed “a significant number of forced generation outages” and record demand for the “tight grid conditions” that are expected to last until Friday, June 18.

ERCOT officials reported 11,000 MW of power generation being forced offline due to repairs. This equates to power for approximately 2.2 million homes, according to information obtained from ERCOT on Monday. The 11,000 MW of lost power generation compares to an average hot summer day’s outs of approximately 3,600 MW.

“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson said in a written statement. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season.”

Jun 16 11:32

Biden Oil Leasing Ban Is in Up in Air as GOP Foes Win in Court

President Joe Biden’s plans to curtail fossil fuels hit an early roadblock Tuesday, when a federal judge ruled against the administration’s temporary ban on selling new drilling rights on federal lands and waters.

The preliminary injunction issued late Tuesday by Louisiana-based U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty also is a victory for Republican state attorneys general who have launched a legal attack on Biden’s broad policy agenda by challenging his moves on everything from immigration to energy.

Tuesday’s ruling, sought by 13 red states, blocks the Interior Department from continuing to halt the sale of new oil and gas leases from federal lands and waters that provide nearly a quarter of the nation’s crude supplies. The president directed the moratorium in a Jan. 27 executive order, saying it was necessary to allow the agency to conduct a “comprehensive review” of its leasing program, including its impact on climate change.

Jun 16 10:57

Court ruling will affect Indiana’s nearly 3,000 hog farms

Since my farm markets pigs to one of the plants that was operating under the new system for increased speeds, we will be disproportionately affected. The plant we sell to will need to decrease the number of pigs they accept which will create a backup of animals on the farm. This change could put us in a place where we don’t know where our pigs will be processed in the future or for how much we will be able to sell them.

It’s not just our farm. The court ruling will affect Indiana’s nearly 3,000 hog farms and trickle down throughout the entire economy. Even farms that don’t sell directly to one of these plants could still be hit in the pocketbook once there are more pigs in the U.S. than there is production capacity.

Jun 16 09:29

Global Debt From $300 Trillion To $2 Quadrillion In Next 5-10 Years

It is only with this ingenious Hocus Pocus scheme that the politicians have been able to increase the US federal debt every single year for 90 years without a financial collapse. And at the same time the scheme has allowed the politicians to stay in power without the system going bankrupt. -- Obviously the politicians are only given the illusion by the bankers that they are actually in power. The bankers constantly make the politicians insecure by letting the opposing party win regularly. The bankers know that fear and insecurity combined with financial power give them perfect control of the politicians.

Jun 16 09:03

Why Stimulus Does Not Stimulate

Stimulus is now untethered from its roots. At one time it was a cynical response to institutional conditions that prevented wages from keeping up with prices. Today, no longer a particular response to the unique conditions in one place and time, stimulus has become a universal solvent to heal all economic ills. Stimulus has become 1) wish for something, 2) print money, 3) profit.

Jun 16 08:59

US Export Prices Explode At Fastest Pace On Record, Airfares Soaring

US import and export prices rose more than expected in May (+1.1% MoM and +2.2% MoM respectively). This pushed Export prices up by 17.4% YoY - the highest on record (since 1984) and import prices rose 11.3% YoY - the highest since 2011...

Jun 16 08:46

Survey: 1 in 3 Americans to Postpone Retirement After Lockdowns

By Jon Miltimore

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a retirement surge in 2020, with more than 3.2 million baby boomers retiring—more than double the previous year.

New evidence, however, says a stunning number of Americans are preparing to do the opposite: delaying their Golden Years because of the financial hit they took during the pandemic.

“[A] study from Age Wave and Edward Jones finds that about 1 out of every 3 Americans who are planning to retire now say that will happen later due to Covid-19,” CNBC reports.

The poll, a survey of 2,042 adults conducted in March, estimates that 69 million Americans say their retirement plans have changed since March 2020...

Jun 16 08:35

Gold Getting Ready to Rumble

Jun 16 08:24

Eventually, People Are Going to Get Sick of These Blacks

Watch this video. It’s 21 seconds and it communicates so much about what is happening right now.

Jun 16 08:21

Producer prices climb 6.6% in May on annual basis, largest 12-month increase on record

Producer prices rose at their fastest annual clip in nearly 11 years in May as inflation continued to build in the U.S. economy, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

The 6.6% surge was the biggest 12-month rise in the final demand index since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the data in November 2010.

On a monthly basis, the producer price index for final demand rose 0.8%, ahead of the Dow Jones estimate of 0.5%.

Those higher price pressures came amid a pronounced dip in retail sales, which fell 1.3% in May, worse than the 0.6% estimate, according to the Census Bureau. The disappointment in that number was tempered by a sharp upward revision to the April number, which went from flat to a gain of 0.9%.

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