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marmar

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Gender: Male
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 70,152

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Global Investment to Plunge, Trade to Languish, on “Depressed” Demand: G-20 Trade Ministers


Global Investment to Plunge, Trade to Languish, on “Depressed” Demand: G-20 Trade Ministers
by Wolf Richter • July 11, 2016


What China said the G-20 projected at the Shanghai meeting.

Facing “depressed market demand” and plunging global cross-border investment, the trade ministers of the G-20 countries along with folks from the IMF, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the World Trade Organization, among others, met in Shanghai this weekend to hash out a plan.

As at all these meetings, they reached an agreement, of sorts. The G-20 countries account for about 85% of global trade and 70% of global investment, so they matter.

During the briefings on Sunday, everyone had their own version of what had been achieved, if anything. The Office of the US Trade Representative announced that the G-20 had reached an agreement “on a package of outcomes covering WTO multilateral and plurilateral trade agreements and negotiations, investment, and cooperation on global value chains.”

US Trade Representative Michael Froman “hailed the results as a good example of G-20 leadership and shared goals in promoting global trade growth and public support for trade.” That sort of thing. .................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/07/11/global-investment-trade-will-suck-in-2016-g-20/





Why this Won’t Work out: Rampant Rent Inflation Collides with Stagnant Incomes


Why this Won’t Work out: Rampant Rent Inflation Collides with Stagnant Incomes
by Wolf Richter • July 12, 2016


Unlike stocks, a housing bubble can only go so far.

After a wait of 417 calendar days, or 286 trading days, the S&P 500 finally set a new record high on light volume. Bonds have soared, and yields have dropped to ludicrous lows. The 10-year Treasury yield hit an all-time low on Friday of 1.366%. Globally, nearly $13 trillion, or 29% of total bonds outstanding, are trading with a negative yield. So those asset bubbles remain intact.

Commercial real estate has been soaring since March 2009, and that bubble remains intact, though some markets are already causing fear and trembling due to office-space gluts that are now coinciding with withering demand, such as in Houston and in San Francisco. Home prices too have been soaring for years, though in some major cities, the tide has turned.

Rents have been rising in parallel. It’s in real estate where an asset bubble becomes a real-life issue for people who don’t even own any assets – they’re paying the price for the bubble.

Other asset bubbles abound. Central banks have accomplished a lot. Blowing so many bubbles to such an extent for so long has been an astounding feat. In total, central banks created $24.6 trillion, according to BofA Merrill Lynch estimates. When they bought financial assets with that new moolah, they put $24.6 trillion of cash into the hands of investors and speculators concentrated in the major financial centers of the world.

Yet the global economy remains languid. Demand is sluggish. Job growth in the US can barely keep up with population growth. And a good part of American consumers – those on fixed incomes and savers – have seen their incomes transferred to others. So they’ve gutted their consumption. .................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/07/12/rent-inflation-collides-with-stagnant-incomes/





Chris Hedges: Legalized Murder and the Politics of Terror


from truthdig:


by Chris Hedges


Police officers carry out random acts of legalized murder against poor people of color not because they are racist, although they may be, or even because they are rogue cops, but because impoverished urban communities have evolved into miniature police states.

Police can stop citizens at will, question and arrest them without probable cause, kick down doors in the middle of the night on the basis of warrants for nonviolent offenses, carry out wholesale surveillance, confiscate property and money and hold people—some of them innocent—in county jails for years before forcing them to accept plea agreements that send them to prison for decades. They can also, largely with impunity, murder them.

Those who live in these police states, or internal colonies, especially young men of color, endure constant fear and often terror. Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” calls those trapped in these enclaves members of a criminal “caste system.” This caste system dominates the lives of not only the 2.3 million who are incarcerated in the United States but also the 4.8 million on probation or parole. Millions more are forced into “permanent second-class citizenship” by their criminal records, which make employment, higher education and public assistance, including housing, difficult and usually impossible to obtain. This is by design.

The rhetoric of compassion, even outrage, by the political class over the police murders in Baton Rouge, La., and near St. Paul, Minn., will not be translated into change until the poor are granted full constitutional rights and police are accountable to the law. The corporate state, however, which is expanding the numbers of poor through austerity and deindustrialization, has no intention of instituting anything more than cosmetic reform.

Globalization has created a serious problem of “surplus” or “redundant” labor in deindustrialized countries. The corporate state has responded to the phenomenon of “surplus” labor with state terror and mass incarceration. It has built a physical and legal mechanism that lurks like a plague bacillus within the body politic to be imposed, should wider segments of society resist, on all of us. ............................(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/legalized_murder_and_the_politics_of_terror_20160710




Fear over contagion from Italy's bank meltdown spreads in Europe


By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.


Contagion is the reason Italy’s banking crisis is all of a sudden Europe’s biggest existential threat. Greece’s intractable problems are out of sight, out of mind; Brexit momentarily spooked investors and bankers; but Italy’s banking woes have the potential to wipe out investors and undo over 60 years of supranational state-building in Europe.

The last few days have seen growing calls for taxpayer-funded state intervention, a practice that was supposed to have been consigned to the annals of history by Europe’s enactment of new bail-in rules on Jan 1, 2016. The idea behind the new legislation was simple: never again would taxpayers be left exclusively holding the tab for European banks’ insolvency issues while bondholders were getting bailed out. But even before the new rules have been tried out, they are about to be broken, or at least bent beyond all recognition.

A loophole has already been found in the rules that would allow the Italian government and European authorities to raid European taxpayers in order to prop-up Italy’s third largest publicly traded bank, Monte Dei Paschi, while leaving bank bondholders and creditors whole, as Reuters reported a few days ago:

The rules, which have been in force since January, allow a state to directly acquire a stake in a bank that fails a stress test and cannot raise capital in the markets because of “a serious disturbance” in the domestic economy.


Oh, and no bank is officially allowed to pass or fail the European Central Bank’s 2016 stress tests, as we reported a few months ago, after a number of banks, including nine Italian banks, failed the test in 2014. Clearly, those at the top of the financial pecking order — banks and their bondholders — are protected once again from the disastrous consequences of another market meltdown, one that in many ways they precipitated. ................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/07/10/contagion-from-italian-banking-meltdown-apart-french-german-banks/




Chris Hedges: Legalized Murder and the Politics of Terror


from truthdig:


by Chris Hedges


Police officers carry out random acts of legalized murder against poor people of color not because they are racist, although they may be, or even because they are rogue cops, but because impoverished urban communities have evolved into miniature police states.

Police can stop citizens at will, question and arrest them without probable cause, kick down doors in the middle of the night on the basis of warrants for nonviolent offenses, carry out wholesale surveillance, confiscate property and money and hold people—some of them innocent—in county jails for years before forcing them to accept plea agreements that send them to prison for decades. They can also, largely with impunity, murder them.

Those who live in these police states, or internal colonies, especially young men of color, endure constant fear and often terror. Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” calls those trapped in these enclaves members of a criminal “caste system.” This caste system dominates the lives of not only the 2.3 million who are incarcerated in the United States but also the 4.8 million on probation or parole. Millions more are forced into “permanent second-class citizenship” by their criminal records, which make employment, higher education and public assistance, including housing, difficult and usually impossible to obtain. This is by design.

The rhetoric of compassion, even outrage, by the political class over the police murders in Baton Rouge, La., and near St. Paul, Minn., will not be translated into change until the poor are granted full constitutional rights and police are accountable to the law. The corporate state, however, which is expanding the numbers of poor through austerity and deindustrialization, has no intention of instituting anything more than cosmetic reform.

Globalization has created a serious problem of “surplus” or “redundant” labor in deindustrialized countries. The corporate state has responded to the phenomenon of “surplus” labor with state terror and mass incarceration. It has built a physical and legal mechanism that lurks like a plague bacillus within the body politic to be imposed, should wider segments of society resist, on all of us. ............................(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/legalized_murder_and_the_politics_of_terror_20160710




You wouldn't expect people in a state surrounded by 60 percent.....


..... of the world's fresh water to be so excited by a heavy rain.
But it's been awfully dry and warm here in southeast Michigan, so it's hard not to be a little giddy. Lawns are looking kinda beige.

One Simple Change to the Law Could Make Prosecuting Killer Cops Easier


(The Intercept) Graphic video illustrating gruesome police killings of African-American men in Louisiana and Minnesota has set off promises of a federal investigation, at least in the former case, but many are skeptical that it will lead to any prosecutions.

Police involved in even these high-profile cases of abuse have rarely faced successful indictments, let alone prosecutions.

However, at the federal level, a simple change to the law would make it more likely that abusive cops face punishment for their behavior.

Currently, police abuse is subject largely to one federal statute enacted in 1866: Title 18 U.S. Code, Section 242, which punishes anyone who “willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”

The problem is that the statute “has nothing to do on its face with police officers or police violence,” said former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights William Yeomans. “It’s about deprivation of rights. So what you’re actually proving in these cases is that the officer acted with the intent to (deny the victim rights).” ..................(more)

https://theintercept.com/2016/07/07/one-simple-change-to-the-law-could-make-prosecuting-killer-cops-easier/





For Too Many, the Job Market Isn't Working


(Bloomberg) For all the encouraging headlines that the strong June jobs report has generated, it also illustrates a major challenge for the U.S. economy: Too many people are still not working or not even trying to find work.

The malaise can be remedied, if we can find the political will.

Despite the robust job growth of the past six years, people still aren’t participating in the labor force the way they used to. As of June, just 62.7 percent of the population had a job or was actively seeking one -- up a bit from the previous month, but still almost 5 percentage points below the 2000 peak.

One explanation is demographic: As the population ages, a larger percentage will naturally be retired. This explains about half of the decline in participation, and will keeping putting downward pressure on participation -- particularly as the baby-boom generation crosses the retirement threshold. The Congressional Budget Office expects the labor-force participation rate to decline another 2 percentage points by 2026.

Still, even if we look at people in the prime working years of 25 to 54, participation is depressed. At the beginning of 2000, 84 percent of prime-age adults were in the labor force. Today, only 81 percent are. .................(more)

http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-07-08/for-too-many-the-job-market-isn-t-working





Some Want a Race War, But Dallas Won't Deliver


(Bloomberg) The first e-mail, with the subject line "Race War," arrived in my inbox, from a regular, unbidden correspondent, at 7:31 this morning. The term was already floating in the ether. The Drudge Report headline was "Black Lives Kill," painting tens of thousands of peaceful protesters in cities across the country as murderers. The New York Post went with the always provocative "Civil War" for its cover. A former congressman skipped the "civil" part, declaring on Twitter "This is now war" and telling the president to "watch out." (He deleted the tweet, thus immortalizing it.)

There is a virulent quarter of America that seems disappointed that we haven't had a race war. They're the people who listen to President Barack Obama's thoughtful, restrained and measured concern for black victims of hair-trigger police officers and swear they hear the president say it's time to kill whitey. They insist that Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter are somehow mutually exclusive.

They jump at these moments of tension and tragedy not merely because they are haunted by their own churning racial aggression. They jump because they are impatient. After all, we've had seven years of a black man in the nation's most powerful office. Yet still no mass roundup of white patriots, no greenlight for black-on-white crime, no comic-book clash worthy of their juvenile imaginations.

Dallas will disappoint them again. The city of 1.3 million people should be as ripe as any for racial strife. Almost a third of the population is white. One quarter is black. More than 40 percent is Hispanic and about 3 percent is Asian. One quarter of Dallas, once an insular enclave, is foreign-born. ...................(more)

http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-07-08/some-want-a-race-war-but-dallas-won-t-deliver




Alan “Bubbles” Greenspan Returns to Gold


Alan “Bubbles” Greenspan Returns to Gold
by Bill Bonner • July 8, 2016


fter a misbegotten credit bubble and $60 trillion more of debt.
By Bill Bonner, Chairman Bonner and Partners:

Under a gold standard, the amount of credit that an economy can support is determined by the economy’s tangible assets, since every credit instrument is ultimately a claim on some tangible asset. The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit.
Alan Greenspan, 1966


That old rascal!

Before joining the feds, former Fed chief Alan “Bubbles” Greenspan was a strong proponent of gold and the gold standard. He wrote clearly and forcefully about how it was necessary to restrain the Deep State and protect individual freedom. Then he went to Washington and faced a fork in the tongue.

In one direction, lay honesty and integrity. In the other, lay power and glory.

Faking It

Under the Bretton Woods monetary system, the U.S. promised foreign central banks that it would convert their dollars to gold at a fixed price of $35 an ounce. This constrained the amount of dollars the U.S. could print to the amount of gold it had in its reserves.

A smart man, Greenspan quickly realized he could not advocate for this old, tried-and-true gold standard and run the Deep State’s new credit money system. In 1987, he made his choice. He took over the top job at the Fed and faked it for the next 19 years.

.....(snip).....

When this $60 trillion credit bubble pops, it’ll be more devastating than anything America has ever seen. This crisis will not only hit stocks, but also your credit cards, checkbook, bank account… even the cash in your wallet. ..............(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/07/08/alan-bubbles-greenspan-returns-to-gold/




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