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          Casa en venta en ASTURIAS, , 319000 euros y 4 dormitorios      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
319000
Casa de obra nueva en el concejo de castrillion, a pocos kilometros de la playa. Casa en finca cerrada, tiene cuatro habitaciones,tres baños, salon, cocna y garaje.Para terminar a su gusto, se estudia oferta seria de opcion acompra para terminarla .
4 habitaciones 3 baños 320 m² 996 EUR/m² obra nueva
Tue, 10 Jul 2018 17:14:44 -0400
          Salary Survey Extra: The salary impact of formal education      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Higher education is serious business, especially for the array of organizations that loaned out the more than $1.3 trillion owed by current and former students of U.S. colleges and universities. With the average ...

The post Salary Survey Extra: The salary impact of formal education appeared first on Certification Magazine.


          How the EPA and the Pentagon Downplayed a Growing Toxic Threat      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The chemicals once seemed near magical, able to repel water, oil and stains.

By the 1970s, DuPont and 3M had used them to develop Teflon and Scotchgard, and they slipped into an array of everyday products, from gum wrappers to sofas to frying pans to carpets. Known as perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, they were a boon to the military, too, which used them in foam that snuffed out explosive oil and fuel fires.

It’s long been known that, in certain concentrations, the compounds could be dangerous if they got into water or if people breathed dust or ate food that contained them. Tests showed they accumulated in the blood of chemical factory workers and residents living nearby, and studies linked some of the chemicals to cancers and birth defects.

Now two new analyses of drinking water data and the science used to analyze it make clear the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense have downplayed the public threat posed by these chemicals. Far more people have likely been exposed to dangerous levels of them than has previously been reported because contamination from them is more widespread than has ever been officially acknowledged.

Moreover, ProPublica has found, the government’s understatement of the threat appears to be no accident.

The EPA and the Department of Defense calibrated water tests to exclude some harmful levels of contamination and only register especially high concentrations of chemicals, according to the vice president of one testing company. Several prominent scientists told ProPublica the DOD chose to use tests that would identify only a handful of chemicals rather than more advanced tests that the agencies’ own scientists had helped develop which could potentially identify the presence of hundreds of additional compounds.

The first analysis, contained in an EPA contractor’s PowerPoint presentation, shows that one chemical — the PFAS most understood to cause harm — is 24 times more prevalent in public drinking water than the EPA has reported. Based on this, the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization whose scientists have studied PFAS pollution, has estimated that as many as 110 million Americans are now at risk of being exposed to PFAS chemicals.

In the second analysis, ProPublica compared how the military checks for and measures PFAS-related contamination to what’s identified by more advanced tests. We found that the military relied on tests which are not capable of detecting all the PFAS chemicals it believed to be present. Even then, it underreported its results, sharing only a small part if its data. We also found that the military’s own research programs had retested several of those defense sites using more advanced testing technology and identified significantly more pollution than what the military reported to Congress.

Even before the troubling new information about PFAS chemicals emerged, the government had acknowledged problems relating to them were spreading. Past EPA water testing, however incomplete, identified drinking water contamination across 33 states that Harvard researchers estimated affected some 6 million people. The military suspected drinking water at more than 660 U.S. defense sites where firefighting foam was used could be contaminated; earlier this year, it announced it had confirmed contamination in 36 drinking water systems and in 90 groundwater sites on or near its facilities.

The new analyses suggest these findings likely represent just a fraction of the true number of people and drinking water systems affected.

In written responses to questions, the EPA did not directly address whether it had understated contamination from PFAS chemicals. The agency said it had confidence in its current testing procedures and had set detection limits at appropriate levels. It also stated that it is taking steps towards regulating some PFAS compounds and registering them as “hazardous substances,” a classification that triggers additional oversight under waste and pollution laws.

The agency will “take concrete actions to ensure PFAS is thoroughly addressed and all Americans have access to clean and safe drinking water,” then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who recently resigned, said in the written statement to ProPublica in May.

The Department of Defense also responded to questions in writing, defending its testing methods as the best available and calling it difficult to fully assess risks from PFAS because the EPA has not regulated these chemicals. A DOD spokeswoman said the Pentagon’s research group has a program underway aimed at enhancing the test methods and detecting more PFAS compounds, but suggested that no alternatives were ready for use. She did not answer questions about why the agency reported contamination levels for only two chemicals to Congress when it would have had data on many more, stating only that the Pentagon “is committed to protecting human health and the environment.”

Environmental experts aren’t convinced.

“Widespread contamination may be harming the health of millions or even tens of millions of Americans and the government is intentionally covering up some of the evidence,” said Erik Olson, a senior director for health, food and agriculture initiatives at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in an interview. The EPA and Defense Department “have done all they can to sort of drag their feet and avoid meaningful regulatory action in making significant investment in cleanups.”

In May, a Politico report revealed that the EPA and the White House, along with the Defense Department, had pressured a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to withhold a health study expected to warn that people exposed to PFAS chemicals face greater health risks than were previously understood. That report was quietly released in mid-June and, indeed, estimated safe levels of exposure are seven to 10 times smaller than what the EPA has said.

Such a determination could spur stricter limits on exposure than the EPA appears to have considered. Paired with an emerging realization that testing by the EPA and DOD hasn’t captured the true extent of contamination, the government could be forced to reconceive its approach to these compounds, said David Sedlak, the director of the Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, who helped develop one of the most advanced commercial tests for PFAS substances.

“Not talking about it isn’t going to make the problem go away,” Sedlak said. “And because these compounds are forever — they aren’t going to degrade on their own — eventually there is going to be a day of reckoning.”


The PFAS compounds might not exist if weren’t for a lab accident in 1938, when a frozen block of refrigerant turned into an extraordinarily slippery white, waxy mass. A decade later DuPont was manufacturing it as Teflon. 3M developed its own version, the molecularly similar PFOA in 1954, when a chemist inadvertently spilled a mixture of chemicals on her shoe and found the stain was impervious to soap or water. They called it Scotchgard.

These products work, in part, because the chemicals they contain are made up of some of the strongest and most resilient molecular bonds in existence, thanks to a unique structure that keeps them from breaking down. There are thousands of variations, all characterized by extremely strong daisy chains of carbon and fluorine molecules and differentiated mostly by the length of their “tails” — the string of carbon molecules that can be anywhere from two to 14 units long.

In the mid-1970s, with the use of the chemicals proliferating, Dupont and 3M began privately testing the blood of their plant workers and others. The companies had grown increasingly concerned about the toxicity of PFAS compounds, learning that they “bio-accumulate” in food and people and that they could cause harm. But it wasn’t until 2000, when 3M pulled Scotchgard from the market, that the EPA began to investigate PFAS’s potential damage to human health and the environment, and soon after, that the blood tests became public.

At first, the EPA took steps that suggested it would quickly get to the bottom of the problem. Citing the spread of contaminants in water supplies in Minnesota and Ohio, in 2002 the agency launched a “priority review” of some PFAS compounds. It wrote then that exposure can “result in a variety of effects including developmental/reproductive toxicity, liver toxicity and cancer.”

By 2003, the EPA launched its first draft risk assessment for PFOA, typically a substantial step towards establishing strict regulatory standards that limit a chemical’s use and mandate its cleanup. When the draft was released in early 2005, it said that while the epidemiological evidence remained inconclusive, rats tested with PFOA were more likely to develop liver and pancreatic cancers, and there were worrisome signs that workers in plants that manufactured PFOA had a higher risk of dying of prostate cancer.

The EPA also asked industries to voluntarily phase out PFOA-related products, including the firefighting foam, by 2015.

The question was then — and remains today — how much exposure to PFAS chemicals would make people seriously ill?

In 2009, the agency attempted an answer, issuing “provisional” voluntary guidelines for safe levels of the chemicals in drinking water. This meant that for the first time, the government offered a precise, scientific measure for how much of the compounds was too much. But it didn’t mandate those limits, or create a regulation enforceable by law. And even those limits — it would later become clear — proved too loose.

Meanwhile, other instances of water contamination — in Minnesota and Alabama — heightened concerns. One study of 60,000 residents in West Virginia and Ohio exposed to high levels of PFOS and PFOA from a DuPont manufacturing plant and an Army airfield showed they had high rates of thyroid malfunction, testicular and kidney cancers and preeclampsia. The study was completed as part of a roughly $107 million settlement of a lawsuit against DuPont. Studies on animals also linked the chemicals to structural birth defects and dramatic changes in hormone levels.

In 2013, with concern rising over the ubiquity of PFAS compounds, the EPA decided it would test for some of the chemicals in public drinking water systems. The agency regulates chemicals under the Safe Drinking Water Act and adds new substances to the list based on tests showing they’re widespread enough to pose a national threat. Listing a chemical for such testing is often a step toward creating enforceable regulations for it.

At the same time, the agency began to reconsider the health advisory limit it had established in 2009. In 2016, the agency announced a dramatically lower limit for how much PFAS exposure was safe for people, suggesting a threshold less than one-eighth the amount it had once assured would cause no harm. Under the new guidelines, no more than 70 parts per trillion of the chemicals, less than the size of a single drop in an Olympic pool, were deemed safe.

Yet even this standard remains voluntary and unenforceable. Until there’s a true limit on the concentration of PFAS compounds allowable in drinking water, soil and groundwater — and the classification of PFAS as a hazardous substance — the EPA can’t hold water utilities, companies or other polluters to account. It also can’t compel the Department of Defense to adhere to the standard or clean up contamination.

There is increasing evidence that PFAS contamination is more widespread on and around military bases than previously thought.

The Department of Defense launched a full-scale review of contamination in drinking water systems at its facilities in 2016, despite the lack of clear regulatory limits from the EPA.

This spring the Pentagon reported to Congress that 564 of the 2,445 off-base public and private drinking water systems that it had tested contained PFOS or PFOA above the EPA’s advisory limits. It also announced that groundwater at 90 out of 410 military bases where it tested contained dangerous levels of these two chemicals. A staggering 61 percent of groundwater wells tested exceeded the EPA’s threshold for safety, according to the presentation Maureen Sullivan, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for environment, safety and occupational health, gave to Congress in March. Attending to the problem, several news outlets have reported, would cost the Pentagon at least $2 billion.

In presenting its liabilities to Congress, the Defense Department took an important step in wrestling with a troublesome issue, much as the EPA had in undertaking national data collection.

But both agencies have quite deliberately chosen not to use the most advanced tools or to collect the most comprehensive data on contamination, researchers say.


To identify PFAS compounds in drinking water, the EPA uses a lab test called “Method 537,” which separates microscopic molecules so they can be more easily seen. It’s not the most sophisticated test available, but scientists have used it enough to give them — and regulators — extraordinary confidence in its results. This is the test the EPA chose in 2013, when it directed its labs across the country to test water samples to evaluate emerging PFAS chemical contaminants to help determine whether they should be regulated.

But even though the Method 537 test can detect 14 PFAS compounds, the EPA only asked for data on six of them. The EPA said this was to allow for testing of non-PFAS pollutants, since the agency is only allowed to target a certain number of emerging contaminants in each round of tests.

The agency also set detection thresholds for the six PFAS compounds included as much as 16 times higher than what the test was sensitive enough to detect — so high that only the most extreme cases of contamination were reflected in the federal drinking water dataset.

Indeed, according to a recent presentation by Andrew Eaton, vice president of Eurofins Eaton Analytical, the largest drinking water test lab in the country, which handled testing of more than 10,000 samples from 1,100 public water systems — about 30 percent of the EPA’s water samples overall — vast amounts of detected contamination was ignored by design.

Through its federal water quality reporting, the EPA has said publicly that PFOA was detected in just 1 percent of water samples across the nation. But when Eaton recently went back and reanalyzed the data the EPA didn’t want, he found PFOA was in nearly 24 percent of the samples his company tested.

Another chemical, PFBS, is considered a sentinel because in situations where it is a component of contamination also containing PFAS and PFOA, it travels further and faster in water and shows up months or years ahead in places where PFOA or PFOS are ultimately detected. The EPA has reported that PFBS was found in less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all its water samples — not even one in 100. Eaton’s re-analysis detected the sentinel chemical in nearly one out of eight of samples.

“It basically says the plume is on its way, that’s the leading indicator… PFOS and PFOA is likely on the way to your house,” said Jennifer Field, a professor of environmental and molecular toxicology at Oregon State University. Field is a leading expert on test methods for PFAS compounds. The Department of Defense helps fund her research. “If you are on the hydrological flow path it’s a matter of time and distance.”

The EPA defended its detection limits, saying its testing protocol is designed to yield consistent, reliable results even if labs conducting the tests are less sophisticated.

But the government is far from certain that lower levels of PFAS compounds than those that count as contamination by the EPA’s definition aren’t health threats. The EPA has repeatedly lowered how much exposure to PFAS compounds it considers acceptable. And when the CDC finally released its health analysis for PFAS compounds in June, it called for limits of one compound to be 10 times lower than the EPA’s current threshold, and another to be seven times lower. Such a standard would be more in line with some states, which already have tougher limits in place. New Jersey, for example, has set its exposure limit for PFOA at roughly one-fifth of what the EPA prescribes.

The EPA’s testing protocol — which only certifies the 537 test, with its limitations — also hasn’t kept up with fast-evolving science around PFAS chemicals. Researchers have identified new forms of the chemicals and, potentially, new dangers from these variants.

In 2016, Field and several other researchers — as part of a Defense Department research program examining water samples from 15 defense sites where firefighting foam was used (researchers declined to name them) — identified 40 new families of PFAS chemicals, consisting of some 240 compounds they’d never seen before.

“You’re starting to get this idea that more complex chemistry was used at these sites than was picked up in the tests, and that’s kind of the punchline,” said Field, of the firefighting foam sites in particular. “There is more mass down there, there are more species and in higher concentrations than what you see.”

Method 537, as a rule, is not capable of detecting these additional compounds. Yet when the Pentagon launched its own water testing program at U.S. bases in 2016, it chose to use the EPA’s outdated testing process, even though a test capable of detecting the presence of dozens of additional PFAS compounds was available. That test, called the Top Assay, was even developed with Defense Department support.

Instead, the Defense Department relied exclusively on the 537 test and then, when it reported its findings to Congress this past March, it offered only the results for PFOS and PFOA and not the other 12 compounds the test process identifies, because that’s what Congress had asked for. Indeed, according to one memorandum from the Department of the Navy, the armed services were explicitly instructed to withhold their extra data — at least for the time being — because it was “not being used to make decisions.”

“If you were going to spend $200 million testing DoD sites across the country, wouldn’t you want to test for all of the chemicals you know you used?” asked Jane Williams, executive director of California Communities Against Toxics, who has been active on chemical cleanup issues at Defense sites.

“It’s almost like a deliberate thing, where you’re going to tell people their water is safe to drink, and you know that you have a gap in your testing and you know that you haven’t found all of the chemicals in the water.”

Scientists are only now beginning to understand the importance of the information the government is choosing to leave out. Field has found, for example, not only that there are more variations of PFAS compounds, but that some degrade over time into PFOS or PFOA, or, like PFBS, travel faster in the environment, making them predictors for other contaminants soon to come.

Many of the variants with shorter “tails” — or shorter chains of molecules than the test methods can detect — “are likely to break through systems designed to capture” them, Field and others wrote in a 2017 paper published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. They are also more likely to elude the water treatment methods the EPA and the Department of Defense are using to clean water identified as contaminated.

The consequence of these systemic blind spots is that “by the time you see PFOS and PFOA you may have been drinking other things for a longer period of time,” Field said.

When Field retested water samples at several U.S. defense sites using the most advanced testing available, she found that many of these obscure additional chemicals were nearly uniformly present — and in huge numbers. At one site, for example, where PFOS was detected at 78,000 parts per trillion, another obscure PFAS compound was present at nearly three times that concentration.

Based on Eaton’s higher-resolution detection rates, scientists at the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization that researches the dangers of PFAS compounds, have generated new estimates of contamination linked to the chemicals.

They now think more than 110 million people have been exposed to the compounds through their drinking water, more than five times as many as the group had previously estimated.

The EPA “has really underplayed the extent of contamination,” said David Andrews, a senior scientist at EWG. “The scope of the problem seems to be expanding.”


          Trump Told German Chancellor She Owes Him ONE TRILLION Dollars      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

During Donald Trump’s first conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel he allegedly told her that she (her country) owed him one trillion dollars because the US has been paying too much for NATO. Not only is that figure inaccurate, but it shows that Trump has no idea how the NATO payments and protections work – […]

The post Trump Told German Chancellor She Owes Him ONE TRILLION Dollars appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.


          Business Development Representative - Avesdo - Toronto, ON      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Incredible exposure to the inner-workings of the trillion dollar real estate industry. Trusted by the real estate community, our customers have transacted over...
From Avesdo - Wed, 13 Jun 2018 22:18:36 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          Enterprise Sales Executive - Avesdo - Toronto, ON      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Incredible exposure to the inner-workings of the trillion dollar real estate industry. Trusted by the real estate community, our customers have transacted over...
From Avesdo - Mon, 28 May 2018 23:05:25 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          Massive US Oilfield Boosts Demand for Pipelines      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Experts say a trillion barrels of oil lie in West Texas
          Casa en venta en ASTURIAS, , 319000 euros y 4 dormitorios      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
319000
Casa de obra nueva en el concejo de castrillion, a pocos kilometros de la playa. Casa en finca cerrada, tiene cuatro habitaciones,tres baños, salon, cocna y garaje.Para terminar a su gusto, se estudia oferta seria de opcion acompra para terminarla .
4 habitaciones 3 baños 320 m² 996 EUR/m² obra nueva
Tue, 10 Jul 2018 17:14:44 -0400
          A Wall Street analyst says Google has 2 different choices for its car spinoff, and one of them could make Waymo a $180 billion company (GOOG, GOOGL)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

 

 

Waymo unveils a self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivan during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 8, 2017.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • Waymo will possess such a big lead in self-driving cars when it launches operations in Phoenix by the end of the year that analyst Mark Mahaney expects the market could start bidding up Google's stock in the near-to-medium term.  
  • In a report published Tuesday, Mahaney said that he sees Waymo's management choosing one of two business models, either by buying cars and creating a transport company or by licensing out its self-driving operating system. 
  • In the latter scenario, Mahaney predicts the payday could be big. He estimates that by 2030, Waymo's operating profit could be as high as $35 billion and the company could be worth as much as $180 billion.  


Once the self-driving car market matures in about a decade, Waymo, the subsidiary that Alphabet Inc. launched  in 2016, stands to generate as much as $35 billion in operating profits, according to RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney.

But Alphabet, the parent company of Google, may not have to wait that long to start reaping benefits. In a report published on Tuesday, Mahaney wrote Waymo will possess such a big lead over rivals when it launches commercial operations in Phoenix later this year that investors could soon begin bidding up Alphabet shares.

"While the robo-taxi (Total Available Market) opportunity will likely be nascent in 2025, we believe that it will grow exponentially thru 2050," Mahaney wrote. "We forecast a $3.8 trillion TAM in 2050."

Alphabet has emerged as this generation's equivalent of General Electric, the 126-year stalwart company known for the diversification of its businesses. For years now, Alphabet and its flagship company Google have made forays into a multitude of disparate sectors --including entertainment (YouTube), cellphones (Android), enterprise computing (Google Cloud) and autonomous cars.

Waymo has a huge lead and two potential business models to choose from

sergey brinThis is part of the company's quest to find another growth story to tuck in its hip pocket for the day when Google's core business, internet search advertising, finally goes into decline. To hear Mahaney tell it, Google has found that in Waymo.  

His message is unmistakable: self-driving cars represent a goldmine sometime in the future and Google has  already staked a claim. If investors want to share in the wealth, they had better climb aboard now.

Certainly, a lot could still go wrong before 2030. The whole market faces possible regulatory hurdles as it proves autonomous cars are safe. Plenty of competitors, including traditional car companies as well as tech firms, such as Uber, are gearing up to challenge Google.

But at this early stage, Mahaney says there's no doubt who is in the lead. He wrote that at the recent RBC Auto Tech Conference, "multiple industry participants" said Waymo was "way ahead of the competition in autonomous." 

Waymo's management has yet to reveal how they plan to make money but Mahaney believes the company has one of two options for a business model. Waymo can buy a score of cars and create its own transportation company or it can license the self-driving operating system that it has created. 

In the first scenario, Mahaney estimates that Google can break even in 2025 and realize an operating profit of $20 billion by 2030. Mahaney says in this scenario, Waymo would be worth $119 billion. 

In the second scenario, Mahaney sees Google licensing its technology "in the form of a recurring, yearly software subscription." Here, he sees Google generating an operating profit of $250 million by 2025 and $35 billion in operating profits in 2030. The value of the car company in this situation would be $180 billion, Mahaney wrote.     

Mahaney's bullish report on Waymo and the autonomous-car sector echoes previous analyst predictions. In May, UBS analyst Eric Sheridan wrote in a note to clients that after interviewing 22 industry experts, he valued Waymo at between $25 billion and $135 billion.  

SEE ALSO: Google's Waymo is crushing the competition and could be worth $135 billion, UBS says

Join the conversation about this story »

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          The App Store has made Apple at least $40 billion in revenue since it was created 10 years ago today (AAPL)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

When Steve Jobs unveiled the developer kit that would make way for the App Store we know today, he had no idea how big it would one day be. "We’re excited about creating a vibrant third-party developer community with potentially thousands of native applications for iPhone and iPod touch," Jobs said back in 2008.

A decade after it launched, the App Store holds more than two billion apps and is responsible for making the Services category — which also includes Apple Music, iTunes, and Apple Pay — the second largest contributor to Apple's revenue, second only to iPhones. As this chart from Statista shows, these combined services have doubled their revenue since 2015, accumulating $1.3 trillion over the course of five and a half years.

Apple doesn't share a specific breakdown of the individual services, but it's possible to decipher figures for the App Store based on what we known. For example, Apple has paid developers more than $100 billion since the App Store's inception. Assuming Apple traditionally breaks out the incurred amount by giving 70% to developers and keeping 30%, the total amount incurred from the App Store would be at least $143 billion.

If that's so, Apple has made a minimum of $43 billion off of the App Store over the course of its 10-year life.

Chart of the day

SEE ALSO: Sonos S-1 reveals more than half of Sonos households own more than one Sonos speaker — and 27% of them own more than three

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NOW WATCH: This conveyor belt can move in any direction


          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Client Advisor - Vice President - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:26:15 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Banker - Vice President or Executive Director - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Thu, 26 Apr 2018 10:32:45 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          Norway's Oil Fund Excludes Further Companies on Ethical Grounds      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

By Dominic Chopping

 

Norges Bank Investment Management, the arm of Norway's central bank that manages the country's trillion dollar oil fund, said Tuesday that it has excluded a further four companies from the fund on ethical grounds.

Among those excluded is...

          As Global Debt Hits A Record $247 Trillion, The IIF Issues A Warning      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Every quarter the Institute of International Finance publishes a new number of the total amount of global debt outstanding, and every quarter the result is the same: a new record high Today was no exception: according to the IIF’s latest Global Debt Monitor, the amount of debt held in the world rose by the biggest […]
          Re: What She Said: Amanda Marcotte On the Fight      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Lissa,

Again, I voted for Clinton. I agree it would be better if she were elected. But unless you have a time machine, there's nothing we can do about that now. So instead of repeatedly saying that if Clinton had won, things would be different, why not start to analyze why she lost and what we can do about it going forward? Because saying that things would be peachy if Clinton won is A) not true and B) irrelevant. If you want to try the smae strategy again next time you will have the same results.

Rhizome,

What caused the USSR to collapse? Among many things, it was their attempt to both fund their massive military and also invest in social programs. Do you think it was a conspiracy theory to point out that the people who controlled the Soviet state in the 60s-80s were also the people who profited from it? The US is the only country in the world that can run such a massive deficit and still be wealthy. It has a deficit nearly five times greater than the next largest. This is not a problem like conservatives make it out to be with their worries about deficit spending- if they thought so they wouldn't invest so much in the military. It's not a problem SO LONG as capitalism continues to expand because the dollar is the capitalist world's default currency. This means all around the world, people invest surpluses in the US, buying their debt, trading in dollars, etc. I'm sure you know this. So think through what it requires for a second. In this unique situation, the US is also capable of investing huge amounts of money in both the military- trillions, with a military presence in a 1/3 of the worlds countries, by far the greatest arms exporter, occupations and regime changes and coups and election interference everywhere. I know damn well why they do this- it's because without doing it they'd lose regional hegemony in some places and the US share of control of global wealth would start to decline which would be catastrophic not just for US domestic economics but also global capitalism. While they are doing this, they are also investing heavily in infrastructure and welfare state programs- taxpayers fund both, both the military and the domestic infrastructure. It's impossible to pay for all of this - a very expensive state AND by far the greatest and most expensive military in the history of the world (greater than just about everyone else combined)- without running a massive deficit. Impossible. The Soviets tried, and it broke them. So this is all fine and dandy so long as capital continues to expand and the wealthy continue to invest their surpluses in dollars. Now the problem is that the rest of the world is rising too and now the share of wealth and places you can invest is likewise declining - simultaneously, corporations and the ruling class here in the US have been reducing what they pay in taxes and their investments in social infratructure and welfare programs. So people who are not rich are having to subsidize that wealth- you cut taxes on the rich and you give corporations massive tax breaks so that they continue to do business in your town but you still have to fund roads and schools etc- so now you are going to pay for that with property taxes and sales taxes increases etc. This is a requirement short term because it increases the profits of the very rich- they are the ones who LITERALLY (and you can't call this an exaggeration or a conspiracy theory) fund elections and lobby groups and influence legislation and foreign policy, and if you don't give them what they want, they will go somewhere cheaper- there's nothing corporate sponsored politicians can advocate for otherwise. Longer term, it's a requirement to keep dollar based capitalism expanding- first there was investment and growth in Japan and Germany then secondary states around that (Trump is trying something similar with KSA right now) and this requires fighting to maintain that hegemony. Then there was an investment in China. Now it's in the urban building boom. I don't know where they will go next. So all at the same time, you have 1) the share of global wealth that the US controls shrinking (as other states rise up), 2) the cost of maintaining what we have left is rising (military costs), 3) the wealth that is generated domestically is also at a higher cost, the very rich are hoarding more of it than they ever have since the pre New Deal days through regressive taxes and subsidies, and 4) the social infrastructure defunded and privatized more than it has ever been since pre New Deal days yet still requiring even more investments. The political class in this country is doing what they have been purchased to do- buffer these losses by creating policies that support the very rich to help them maximize their profits within this situation. There is no opposition doing the same for public infrastructure or people- we just eat the loss and fund the rich's. Neither in labor nor in any political group with power- you can't look at the recent SCOTUS decision about labor, the tax bill, citizens united, etc, and see otherwise. And so you have literally very rich people fighting for short term control of massive wealth because the expansion is accelerated and the need to for shorter and shorter term returns is likewise accelerated. It would be a conspiracy theory if I thought there were smart evil rich people at the top pulling the strings of all of this. Instead, I see it for what it is- unstable race to the bottom with very wealthy fighting over the last remnants of it for the purpose of short term profit. The rest of us have already lost.

Foreign policy is not a pet project. It's literally life and death for millions of people including people I know and love, and the cause of the massive refugee and immigration crisis around the world that yes obviously affects everyone's life here. What the US could do with those 'hard decisions' is not intervene. They don't have to carry out wars for regime change or interfere in others politics, and you can't make a serious humanitarian argument that US interference has helped- the histories of Central America, Southeast Asia, Middle East and North Africa demonstrate otherwise. So they could choose to not intervene. The reason they don't is that it another power would step in, be it Chinese or Russian, and accelerate the loss of US hegemony and share of global wealth and slowly but surely chip away at the unique position that allows capitalist expansion and the running of a US deficit. This is why both our corporate parties have the same foreign policy. The question is how you feel about living in a state that literally requires the destruction of millions of lives around the world. I have a hard time voting for that, and I see the urgency to create an alternative system, not just reform the one we have. I also have no idea how to do that, and I'm not sure that socialist projects will be sufficient. But at least they are advocating for the prioritization of the public sphere and the end to imperialism. As I have lived in other countries, including those that the US has destroyed, I can see what is going to happen. We are going to end up with some sort of corporate control oligarchy that sets trade laws and regulation policy and tax policy and that operates in pockets of wealth- people who can afford to purchase infrastructural services will have them and will be able to shop and have a nice life, and the rest of us will be outside at each other's throats. This is how it is in much of the world, only we have millions of guns and fragmented communities with already despairing levels of alienation, isolation and individual violence.

Now you were basically taunting me to explain a very complicated subject, and I have done my best. I suggest instead you read about it if you are really curious why so many of us on the left see this in terms of extremely wealthy corporations vs public sector.


Posted by EmmaLiz
          Overall share of equity withdrawals drops to 4-year low      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
American homeowners have record amounts of equity in their homes, $5.8 trillion to be exact. But the percentage of tappable equity withdrawn fell in the first quarter of 2018 to the lowest share in four years as higher interest rates impact borrowers' decisions.
          The $331 trillion problem: global debt soars to record levels, says IIF      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
World debt levels are climbing - and the worst could still be yet to come, according to a new report.
          A look at 2018 U.S. economy      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Will the U.S. economy keep the expansion streak going?

The year 2018 is flying by! As the summer solstice has passed and the calendar has turned towards the second half of the year, now is a good time to examine the state of the U.S. economy.

While many in agriculture and the rural sector are moving into the sixth year of the economic reset, the general economy, specifically the urban, suburban, and coastal areas, appear to be red-hot. What do some of the latest economic indicators foretell for later in this year and possibly into next year?

The Leading Economic Index (LEI) provides insight on the direction of the economy into the future. This index has been very positive. The LEI diffusion index measures the percentage of the ten individual components of the LEI that are trending positively. The diffusion index has been strong at 70 to 80 percent.

Another factor that denotes a strong economy is the Purchasing Manager Index (PMI). This, along with the LEI, has been used for years as a guide on the direction of the macro-economy. Any number over 50 is a sign of a growing economy, and this number has registered above 50 for the past 27 months. The index over the last three months has been in the high 50s, which is another factor for a bullish economy.

Housing starts have been solid, but not stellar. This component has been stabilizing near 1.3 million units, just below the ideal range of 1.5 million units. Rising interest rates, millennials being squeezed by over $1.48 trillion of university debt, and banking regulations have hindered growth in this area. The housing market is very important to the economy because it is directly or indirectly related to one in seven jobs in America.

One only has to travel to know that consumer spending habits are in a confident range. The University of Michigan publishes a monthly report measuring the Index of Consumer Sentiment. This metric has been above 90 for more than two years. A number above 90 means consumers are very confident. This is an important factor to consider because consumer spending drives 70 percent of the U.S. economy.

Globally, when one examines Chinese data, weakness is beginning to show. China is the second largest economy in the world and a major U.S. trading partner. Will this weakness spread to the U.S.?

In summary, the general economy is quite bullish. The duration of U.S. economic expansion is 107 consecutive months and is approaching the record of 120 months. To exceed this record, the U.S. will need over a year of continued expansion without slipping into a recession. Will trade and tariff issues, along with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) discussions, derail this record breaker? Only time will tell.


          AfDB pledges to assist Nigeria bridge infrastructure financing gap      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Nigeria’s cumulative infrastructure financing needs projected to reach $3 trillion by 2044.

The post AfDB pledges to assist Nigeria bridge infrastructure financing gap appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.


          AfDB, Nigeria partner to bridge $3 trillion infrastructure gap      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The bank is to assist Nigeria put together a pipeline of bankable projects ahead of Africa Investment Forum in South Africa.

The post AfDB, Nigeria partner to bridge $3 trillion infrastructure gap appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.


          Dozens were injured in an RV park in Watford City, North Dakota, when an overnight EF2 tornado with 127 mph winds caused "widespread destruction."       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Units responding found widespread destruction inside the RV Park. Preliminary reports indicate 28 injured civilians were treated at McKenzie County Hospital with at least three being flown by air ambulance. According to the sheriff’s office, arrangements were made for at least six others for further care as well. Some of the injured were treated and released, but the exact numbers are unknown at this time.

An estimated 170 people have been displaced by the storm, according to the American Red Cross, which is helping McKenzie County with an emergency shelter.

Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, a Watford City native who was mayor of the city from 2010 to 2016, arrived there just before noon and has been meeting with local officials and displaced residents. Gov. Doug Burgum will arrive later today






Was this a shocking surprise? Not to anyone that has a brainwave pattern. Tornadoes have hit this trailer park annually:

2014


this tornado injured 9, damaged 15 trailers  https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/north-dakota-tornado-prompts-safety-discussion/article_9cc8ab74-6e22-5613-b0c0-2c395d165d19.html

2015


2016




last week



History has proven that tornadoes are magnetically attracted over hundreds of miles to the aluminum used in trailer homes. It's like sharks which can detect a drop of blood a mile away, in a trillion gallons of seawater.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10101821189079309&set=a.608871509479.2161867.2806514&type=3&permPage=1
https://weather.com/news/news/2018-07-10-north-dakota-watford-city-storm
https://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/watford-city-rv-park-hit-by-tornado/article_b0e6a14e-436c-548f-b706-cc42f7174a14.html

          Edgy - Amethyst gemstone ring by ArtWearbyCaron      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

118.00 USD

I usually start off my description by talking about the gemstone but this time let's look at the metalwork first. The band was handmade by me and is a one of a kind. I started with a thick piece of sterling silver that had a domed curve to it and then I hammered that lovely silver to give it texture. Because the silver was curved, thicker in the center than at the edges, the hammered texture is in the center of the band and the edges are smooth. Next, I bent the silver into a ring but made the edges offset while still being smooth and well rounded. This is where the gemstone comes into play! A smooth silver wire sweeps from the gemstone and curls around the band. On the other side of the stone another piece of smooth silver anchors the stone. The finished band is about 6mm wide on the palm side and around 10mm near the stone. This is a wide statement piece. The overall effect is edgy and a bit avant-garde. This isn't a ring that you will find at the mall.

We can't forget the lovely trillion cut gemstone that brings all that metalwork to life. Gracing this ring is a medium purple Amethyst. It is 7x7mm in size and weights. .83 carats. It is beautifully faceted and has great sparkle while being hard enough to wear everyday. Life is too short to wear ordinary jewelry!

This ring is a size 7.5.

My rings come in a lovely ring box tied with a ribbon. It will be beautifully packaged and will arrive by insured mail within the US. For my international customers, I use First class mail with a custom's tracking number. Some countries charge tax or duty which will be the responsibility of the buyer.


          Re: U.S. Consumers On An Unprecedented Debt Binge As Credit Card Debt Soars To An All-Time Record High      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Absolutely false and extremely stupid assertions. The total outstanding debt in the US right around $68 trillion and $21 trillion of that is federal government debt. I would suggest you learn what actually comprises debt.


          Introducing Fraction/al From the Founders of CoinLaunch      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

BARBADOS / ACCESSWIRE / July 10, 2018 / The founders of CoinLaunch have launched Fraction/al - a new brand focused on the creation, exchange and management of fractional high-value, illiquid assets using blockchain technology. Using their fully functioning platform, Fraction/al tokenizes existing asset-backed securities for partners and clients preparing them for public offering.

"The reality is that the majority of utility and security token offerings are nothing more than a good idea and a white paper. After seeing this up close over the past year, we came to the conclusion that the greater opportunity isn't just in hypothetical businesses, but real-world assets." - Reuven Cohen, Co-Founder

Fraction/al's goal is to use modern blockchain-based technology to unlock a vast world of assets that were previously inaccessible, with an initial focus on fractional ownership of professional sports teams, real estate, corporate equities, debt, commodities and other financial derivatives. Though these items may have inherent value, the marketplace in which they are sold often have few buyers, in comparison to those interested in the purchase of more liquid assets.

Fractionalizing high-value assets, making them more liquid, has two major advantages focused on market accessibility.

If you are the owner of a high-valued asset, such as a pro sports team, the market to find a buyer is very limited. By fractionalizing your ownership in the team, you create a much larger market for your offering, making your asset more liquid. From the buyer's perspective, high-value assets that were once out of reach, like ownership in your favorite pro football team, are now far more accessible. For investment purposes, it also allows you to more easily diversify your funds across multiple high-value liquid assets.

"We are not promising to offer these services tomorrow, we are already providing these services today, because we believe that a more open and accessible market will increase the long-term health of our financial markets." - Randy Clemens, Co-Founder

In just a few years, the market for blockchain-based assets has gone from literally nothing into a more than $6 billion industry in the first three months of 2018. The industry is expected to be worth $690 billion in the next five years. The market for illiquid assets is potentially a multi-trillion-dollar market, as the global private equity market alone is a $4 trillion market. With a fully functioning end-to-end platform, Fraction/al has already helped raise over $50 million for their clients in the last two months alone, before officially introducing themselves to the rest of the world.

Online:

Website: fraction.al
Facebook: @fractionalco

For further information and interview requests:

Tova Moser
media@fraction.al
(800) 341-0617

SOURCE: Fraction/al

ReleaseID: 504910


          Global Renewable Energy Market is Envisioned to be Valued at 1.5 USD Trillion By 2027, according to Research Nester      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The commercial segment by application accounted for the biggest market of global renewable energy in 2017. In terms of regional platform, North America accounted for the largest market of renewable energy in 2017 assisted by U.S.
          IS CHINA PART OF THE "EMERGING MARKET CRISIS"? / DOLLAR COLLAPSE      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
 Is China Part Of The “Emerging Market Crisis”?

Being huge, consequential and technologically advanced, China isn’t normally lumped into the “emerging” category with Brazil and Argentina. To most observers they’ve already left the kids table and are now seated with the developed-world adults.

But that might be premature. A big part of China’s economic ascendance was purchased with borrowed money – including a lot of US dollars – and came at the perceived expense of US well-being. And the US now wants to redress what it sees as unfair terms of trade in the most abrupt way possible.

This leaves China with huge debts to service and – possibly – a declining trade surplus with which to do it. Here’s how today’s Wall Street Journal summarizes the situation:

Has the Big Yuan Short Finally Arrived?
Chinese markets are in trouble once again. 
China’s currency is down nearly 1% from Friday’s close, wiping out the yuan’s gains for the year, after the People’s Bank of China cut reserve requirements for banks over the weekend. Slowing growth and rising trade tensions are pummeling Chinese shares, with the Shanghai Composite entering a bear market Tuesday. And rising defaults are testing the country’s gargantuan debt market. 
To investors with a long memory, this may sound uncomfortably familiar. The last big yuan selloff, beginning in mid-2015, was heralded by a historic stock-market collapse, a rash of corporate bond defaults and Chinese monetary easing.  
As in 2015, the U.S. and Chinese central banks are moving in opposite directions, making yuan assets less attractive. Investors owning Chinese rather than U.S. 10-year government bonds pocketed a measly 0.6 percentage-point yield premium in May, the smallest since late 2016.  
China is now gradually easing monetary policy, while the Federal Reserve is tightening. Trade tensions are rising, and China posted its first current-account deficit since 2001 in the first quarter. Growth will probably slow further in the second half. 
Panic or no panic, a weaker Chinese currency in the months ahead still seems likely.

It’s logical for China to respond to US trade sanctions by weakening its currency, allowing its export industries to cut prices to offset the higher tariffs. And a lot of people seem to expect an explicit devaluation as the dance progresses. From CNBC a few days ago:

China’s sudden currency slide sparks rumors of an anti-Trump policy move
China’s currency has slipped markedly in the last week, to the point where it’s trading at December lows against the dollar, and that’s prompting speculation that China would be willing to use a weakened currency to fight U.S. tariffs and trade threats. 
China has often been accused by the U.S. government of intentionally keeping its currency depressed to cheapen its goods in the world market, making them more attractive than those from countries with stronger currencies. The Trump administration this year stopped short of calling China a ‘currency manipulator,’ and China’s currency has actually been fairly steady for most of the year. 
“It looked like they were impeding the dollar’s rise against the remnimbi, in line with what you normally expect given the general strength of the dollar. That caught up last week,” said Robert Sinche, the chief global strategist at Amherst Pierpont. “They weren’t letting the currency weaken as much as it should have, so the trade-weighted remnimbi was actually rising in that environment. I think they might have said, ‘The U.S. is not going to play nice, we’ll let the remnimbi trade as it should.’” 
Nonetheless, rumors circulated that China could go further and actually become aggressive in forcing a decline in the remnimbi, also known as the yuan. 
“The yuan is controlled. They allow it to trade in a band. In order to make sure they don’t have a runaway trade. What you’re seeing is the [speculators] took it by the upper limit of its band,” said Boris Schlossberg, managing director at BK Asset Management.  
“I think the market is anticipating something, or they feel it’s going to be a natural policy response if this keeps up.”

But there’s another side – the emerging market side – to a Chinese devaluation: All those dollars that Chinese companies and local governments have borrowed would – with a rising dollar – become a lot harder to pay off. The following chart illustrates the magnitude of China’s dollar obligations relative to other emerging countries. $100 billion isn’t unmanageable for a several-trillion-dollar economy, but it’s definitely a problem in a world of many other problems.

Emerging market debt maturities China currency war


To sum up, a Chinese devaluation helps with trade but hurts with debt repayment. And it’s not clear which side of that equation outweighs the other – or whether this kind of currency war escalation might get out of hand.

          AfDB: We’ll help Nigeria tackle $3trn infrastructure gap      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Abdulwahab Isa Abuja African Development Bank (AfDB) has offered to help in addressing Nigeria’s infrastructure gap estimated at $3 trillion in the next 26 years. Senior Director, AfDB Nigeria, Mr. Ebrima Faal, said this at the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) road show in Abuja yesterday. Faal said the reality of Nigeria’s huge infrastructure gap had […]

The post AfDB: We’ll help Nigeria tackle $3trn infrastructure gap appeared first on Newtelegraph.


          A Pareto Diagram Would Show This Quite Nicely      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Back in a previous life, when I was a manufacturing manager, I taught Statistical Process Control (SPC) to my employees, and we charted our processes using SPC.  The idea is that when our charts started going haywire we'd know there was an issue brewing, oftentimes long before our products were out of spec and thus unsalvageable.

One of the charts we'd generate was called a Pareto Diagram, which allowed us to track errors by type and quantity.  The idea behind a Pareto Diagram is to identify your biggest source of errors and fix that problem first.  This gives you the biggest bang for your correcting buck.

We've all read about the large "islands" of plastic garbage circulating in the our oceans.  Perhaps our environmentalist warriors should have generated a Pareto Diagram before starting their jihad against plastic grocery bags and straws to fight that problem:
A shocking study has revealed 90 per cent of the world's plastic waste comes from just 10 rivers in Asia and Africa.

As governments around the world rush to address the global problem of plastic pollution in the oceans, researchers have now pinpointed the river systems that carry the majority of it out to sea.

About five trillion pounds is floating in the sea, and targeting the major sources - such as the Yangtze and the Ganges - could almost halve it, scientists claim.

Carried out by Germany's Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, it suggests that the most effective way of reducing the amount of plastic in the world's oceans is by addressing the sources of pollution along such waterways as these.

          Lets talk about why China and the rest of the World is screwed. America is the true World Leader.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
An ANON puts it all in perspective: Follow me back to 1946. Europe is ruined, China is still a backwater. The USA puts together an alliance that allows everyone within it to trade goods into the US without significant trade barriers. This allows for Europe to export their way back to prosperity after WWII. It gives them room to grow their economies beyond what their somewhat depleted populations will allow. In addition to allowing the free flow of goods, the USA becomes the security guarantor of the free world by using our navy to police the world's oceans and enable low risk (and hence low cost) global trade. But there was a condition. In order to deal with the US, you had to be on our side in helping to combat and contain the Soviet Union. Essentially the US traded some of its economic/manufacturing capacity for increased security and strategic assets to assist in the cold war. Only one problem: We won. The Soviet flag went down in 1991, and we didn't really make any changes to the world order. George H. W. Bush tried to reinvent the system, and we booted him out of office after a single term. Since then, the people of the US have voted overwhelmingly for candidates who focus on domestic rather than foreign issues. The system limped along for another few decades, primarily because of the USA's massive demand for oil and energy resources. Enter discovered shale. The US has a lot of Shale and Natural Gas.... So much so that the US has become the world's largest exporter of oil in the World. Meaning we no longer give a fuck what's going on in the middle east. Meaning we can bring our troops back (Noticed the institutional outrage over Trump pulling troops out of Syria? This is why. They're terrified of the current world order collapsing.) To drive the point home, for the past half century or so, the USA has kept a naval carrier group in the gulf sea at all times in order to protect Saudi oil supplies. But more recently, the past few years, it's only been there about 6 months out of the year. We're done protecting the world and getting nothing in return, as you can see by the foreign heads of state visiting Trump. Shinzo Abe knows he needs America's help, so he brings a five hundred-billion-dollar investment for US infrastructure and manufacturing with him. Good play. Theresa May knows she needs America's help. so she offers to sail the Royal Navy's two brand new super-carriers with US fleets, and offers to share Intel from Britain"s Intelligence services, who recently had their budgets doubled. Good play. Xi Jinpeng ... knows America is not going to help him. So he put everything on the table, from IP law to the trade deficit to product dumping to North Korean denuclearization, all so we wouldn't go in for the kill right then and there. Best play he had. Angela Merkel doesn't know or doesn't think she needs America's help, so she shows up telling Trump "If you do this, it will be the end of the of Europe." And he hands her a three hundred-billion-dollar bill for services rendered. She didn't bring anything to the table. Bad play. So where are we now? As previously mentioned, the US is the least globally integrated economy by percentage of GDP. We're evolving into a global superpower with no global interests. It's not a Trump thing. It's a geographic thing. It would have happened no matter who won the office. But with President Trump it's happening a lot faster. When we leave the world stage, the world will go back to doing what it did before we showed up to save them in the war. Namely, fighting over breadcrumbs. No other navy on the planet has the ability to protect the world's shipping lanes, much less the motivation to do so. At current build out rates, the rest of the world's naval forces combined won't catch up with the US until 2263. China doesn't even have a blue water navy. meaning they can't operate long term outside of China's sphere of influence. If we stop protecting the ships that China relies on for food, and for oil, and for sending us trillions of dollars worth of dildos and $30 microwaves that break two months after purchase, their economy, government, and nation collapses. This is even assuming the Iranians don't initiate a war with the Saudis over control of the oil production infrastructure. Which they will if we aren't there to intervene. What's more: The US is the largest and wealthiest consumer import market on the planet, and since the Europeans forgot how to have babies back in the 70s, we'll remain so for decades to come. China NEEDS us to buy whatever they can sell, because they simply don't have any other customers who can buy as much as we do. And the money they do get from us is leveraged into shadow loans handed out by the Chinese banks to anyone who can promise employment. Not profit. and not a working product. Employment. Because if people have jobs, they're less likely to march into the capital and hang their politicians. Remember the Obama stimulus package? Eight hundred billion dollars, and all the corruption and wasteful spending that goes along with that kind of top down spending? The Chinese government loans out that much money every 17 days. And even that doesn't work anymore. The average hourly wage in China has octupled in the past decade. They're two times as expensive as Mexico now. It's no wonder factories are re-shoring to the US and Mexico. They know the end is coming. The smart money is already out of the country. They're just trying to make it end in a way that their country doesn't implode. They only beat us on trade the past few decades because we let them. We're not letting them any more. Globalization is over. Free trade is over. The rest of the world riding on America's back is over. Atlas is shrugging. And to any Europeans here, I'm not trying to be mean. I don't have anything against you silly people. But you can't expect a free ride to last forever. And you guys really. really shouldn't have stopped having kids. Once your boomer equivalents retire and you don't have the tax base to pay for their benefits or the young consumers to drive the economy, you're looking at decades of stagnation, spending cuts, and tax increases. Incidentally, this is why the EU is importing migrants as fast as they possibly can. Gotta have someone to put on the bottom to keep the pyramid scheme gong just a little while longer. Liberals are fucked..... Democrats are fucked.... Globalists are Fucked. It's MAGA time and its time for the USA to win. .... Forever!
          Comment on Former Apple employee charged with criminal theft of autonomous vehicle secrets by trondude      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Another scumbag Chinese faggot. Fuck China. Let’s screw them with 1 Trillion dollar tariffs. And Apple, get the fuck out of China already.
          A Wall Street analyst says Google has 2 different choices for its car spinoff, and one of them could make Waymo a $180 billion company (GOOG, GOOGL)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

 

 

Waymo unveils a self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivan during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 8, 2017.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • Waymo will possess such a big lead in self-driving cars when it launches operations in Phoenix by the end of the year that analyst Mark Mahaney expects the market could start bidding up Google's stock in the near-to-medium term.  
  • In a report published Tuesday, Mahaney said that he sees Waymo's management choosing one of two business models, either by buying cars and creating a transport company or by licensing out its self-driving operating system. 
  • In the latter scenario, Mahaney predicts the payday could be big. He estimates that by 2030, Waymo's operating profit could be as high as $35 billion and the company could be worth as much as $180 billion.  


Once the self-driving car market matures in about a decade, Waymo, the subsidiary that Alphabet Inc. launched  in 2016, stands to generate as much as $35 billion in operating profits, according to RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney.

But Alphabet, the parent company of Google, may not have to wait that long to start reaping benefits. In a report published on Tuesday, Mahaney wrote Waymo will possess such a big lead over rivals when it launches commercial operations in Phoenix later this year that investors could soon begin bidding up Alphabet shares.

"While the robo-taxi (Total Available Market) opportunity will likely be nascent in 2025, we believe that it will grow exponentially thru 2050," Mahaney wrote. "We forecast a $3.8 trillion TAM in 2050."

Alphabet has emerged as this generation's equivalent of General Electric, the 126-year stalwart company known for the diversification of its businesses. For years now, Alphabet and its flagship company Google have made forays into a multitude of disparate sectors --including entertainment (YouTube), cellphones (Android), enterprise computing (Google Cloud) and autonomous cars.

Waymo has a huge lead and two potential business models to choose from

sergey brinThis is part of the company's quest to find another growth story to tuck in its hip pocket for the day when Google's core business, internet search advertising, finally goes into decline. To hear Mahaney tell it, Google has found that in Waymo.  

His message is unmistakable: self-driving cars represent a goldmine sometime in the future and Google has  already staked a claim. If investors want to share in the wealth, they had better climb aboard now.

Certainly, a lot could still go wrong before 2030. The whole market faces possible regulatory hurdles as it proves autonomous cars are safe. Plenty of competitors, including traditional car companies as well as tech firms, such as Uber, are gearing up to challenge Google.

But at this early stage, Mahaney says there's no doubt who is in the lead. He wrote that at the recent RBC Auto Tech Conference, "multiple industry participants" said Waymo was "way ahead of the competition in autonomous." 

Waymo's management has yet to reveal how they plan to make money but Mahaney believes the company has one of two options for a business model. Waymo can buy a score of cars and create its own transportation company or it can license the self-driving operating system that it has created. 

In the first scenario, Mahaney estimates that Google can break even in 2025 and realize an operating profit of $20 billion by 2030. Mahaney says in this scenario, Waymo would be worth $119 billion. 

In the second scenario, Mahaney sees Google licensing its technology "in the form of a recurring, yearly software subscription." Here, he sees Google generating an operating profit of $250 million by 2025 and $35 billion in operating profits in 2030. The value of the car company in this situation would be $180 billion, Mahaney wrote.     

Mahaney's bullish report on Waymo and the autonomous-car sector echoes previous analyst predictions. In May, UBS analyst Eric Sheridan wrote in a note to clients that after interviewing 22 industry experts, he valued Waymo at between $25 billion and $135 billion.  

SEE ALSO: Google's Waymo is crushing the competition and could be worth $135 billion, UBS says

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What the future of Apple looks like


          The App Store has made Apple at least $40 billion in revenue since it was created 10 years ago today (AAPL)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

When Steve Jobs unveiled the developer kit that would make way for the App Store we know today, he had no idea how big it would one day be. "We’re excited about creating a vibrant third-party developer community with potentially thousands of native applications for iPhone and iPod touch," Jobs said back in 2008.

A decade after it launched, the App Store holds more than two billion apps and is responsible for making the Services category — which also includes Apple Music, iTunes, and Apple Pay — the second largest contributor to Apple's revenue, second only to iPhones. As this chart from Statista shows, these combined services have doubled their revenue since 2015, accumulating $1.3 trillion over the course of five and a half years.

Apple doesn't share a specific breakdown of the individual services, but it's possible to decipher figures for the App Store based on what we known. For example, Apple has paid developers more than $100 billion since the App Store's inception. Assuming Apple traditionally breaks out the incurred amount by giving 70% to developers and keeping 30%, the total amount incurred from the App Store would be at least $143 billion.

If that's so, Apple has made a minimum of $43 billion off of the App Store over the course of its 10-year life.

Chart of the day

SEE ALSO: Sonos S-1 reveals more than half of Sonos households own more than one Sonos speaker — and 27% of them own more than three

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Everything wrong with Android


          Three stocks made up a staggering 71% of market returns this year      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The stock market is having a rocky year due to multiple factors, like rising interest rates and President Trump’s tough talk on trade. Five months after a rate spike, the S&P 500 declines on average by 0.3%. Trump’s tough trade talk has destroyed more than $1 trillion in market value so far.
          Limerick #101541 on exa- by zqms      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Prefixed exa- denotes a quintillion —
That's a million million MILLION.
If New Yorkers all shared
Just one exa-cent, there'd
Be for each one (in dollars) one billion.

Numbers this large are very difficult to grasp, even when you try to make up examples by measuring something very big with a scale that's very small:
  • The age of the universe, from the big bang (about 14 billion years ago) up till now, is about 0.43 exa-seconds.

  • Canopus, the second-brightest star at night (after Sirius) is about 310 lightyears away from us, which is not quite 3 exa-metres.

  • A human body contains about 33 trillion cells, so you'd need the whole population of a town like St Louis (Missouri) or Hull (England) to collect a human "exa-cell".

          Migrants to contribute $1.6 trillion to Australia’s GDP by 2050      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
New campaign by TransferWise highlights the positive social and economic impact of migrants in Australia. 
          Comment on Bond and Stock Markets a Bomb Waiting to Go Off – Gregory Mannarino by William Stanley      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Jerry: Of course, implicit in your "contract" is the assumption that the answer can't be: "by creating creating 125 trillion dollars in new money." (of course doing so would not support the present purchasing power of the 125 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities; however maintaining that purchasing power is another implicit clause of your contract).
          Did China Just Run Up the White Flag in the Trade War?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://trendmacro.com/system/files/reports/20180710TrendMacroLuskin-NU.pdf
Donald L. Luskin
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
The PBOC rules out devaluation, fearing capital flight. China is too fragile to play this game.
Strategic view: 

After the worst month in history for China’s currency, the PBOC has had to declare it won’t use RMB as a trade weapon. Otherwise it would have risked capital flight like China experienced from 2014 to 2017, when it lost $1 trillion in reserves. This highlights, along with the bear market in Chinese equities and the record number of downgrades and defaults, that China is too fragile to take the pain of a sustained trade war, and won’t dare to employ regulatory interventions that could cost Chinese jobs at foreign-owned factories such as Foxconn. It explains weakness in the emerging market complex, of which China is the hub. Despite some tough talk, China is already negotiating against itself. Trump keeps raising the stakes and may not take yes for an answer until closer to the mid-terms. The risk here is not from a trade war itself, but the chance that China will fall into instability. When this ends, the biggest winner will be China – short-term with a major relief rally and long-term with a second wave of massive growth.


          Comment on Progressive Blue Wave or No? by It's unimaginable you continue to support this clown      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
<i>"and believe the violent protests are Trump’s fault."</i> Really? Sans Dotard, the protests (violent or not) simply don't materialize. Is that somehow meaningless to you? If you'll recall, 200,000 jubilant, cheering Europeans showed up a welcome and embrace Obama for his speech at the Brandenburg gate. And this: <i>"The ironic thing is this…these protests come on the heels of America celebrating our independence from the tyrannical rule of GBR"</i> ..that's something truly meaningless that we'd expect to hear from bynd, not you. finally, you toss out some bait with - <i>"Harbison now supports Obamacare.</i> I'm certain Gerard does not in fact support Obamacare. But, Gerard is intelligent, and any intelligent person who examines objectively our nightmarishly broken health insurance system knows that a thoughtful, well designed form of single payer in conjunction with reasoned care delivery reform is a vast improvement. An improvement certain to save our nation trillions in the coming decades while boosting our economy by aiding hundreds of thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs while at the same time alleviating suffering, physical and mental, of countless millions of Americans - many of them your neighbors and even your own family members. As I type this Dotard and special interest owned Republicans are seeking to eliminate access to affordable care for those with pre-existing conditions. And Grundle - I guarantee you have what insurers will declare to be a pre-existing condition. The <b>majority</b> of Americans have a pre-existing condition, the <b>vast majority</b> of Americans over the age of 50 have ailments/conditions that would qualify as pre-existing. High blood pressure - sorry pal, you're shit out luck! Hope you don't get sick because without insurance, that hospital stay will likely cost you your house, your car and your life savings. You and your boy, Donald (and Jr. Donald... Bacon), have the money to give trillions of dollars in tax breaks to the Kochs, Ricketts', Adelsons and Waltons - the wealthiest and most privileged handful of individuals on the planet - while at the same time dumping hundreds of billions more tax dollars into the black hole that is the Military Industrial Complex, but when it comes to Lunchpail Joe, Roofer Randy and JC Penney Jane, it's - Sorry!<i>, but you folks are simply fucked!
          Universal Basic Income Is Not the Solution to Poverty      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Utopia—a term meaning both “good place” and “no place”—has a long history: It dates back to Thomas More’s book of the same name, which was published in 1516. More imagined a perfect world as a lens through which to see the current one: In order to fully appreciate the unfairness of 16th-century England, More contrasted it with a hypothetical Utopia where all men were equally prosperous.

No one mistook More’s Utopia for a policy proposal. As Rutger Bregman explains in the introduction to Utopia for Realists, virtually all of humanity was living in extreme poverty in More’s day. What’s more, the same was true 200 years later. The average annual income in Italy in 1300 was roughly $1,600; by 1880, after the Renaissance and the Enlightenment and the invention of gunpowder and the steam engine and the printing press, it was still $1,600. For all those centuries, Utopia was only an ethos, no more than a provocative thought experiment.

Since 1880, however, Utopia has come increasingly within our grasp. The wealth of the average Italian has increased fifteenfold, while the size of the global economy has multiplied 250 times. Less than 10 percent of the world’s population now lives in extreme poverty, vaccines have saved many more lives than all of the 20th century’s wars killed in aggregate, and 6 billion people own a portable computer that can connect them to anywhere around the globe.

In such a world, with tens of trillions of dollars of wealth, extreme poverty is a choice, not an inevitability. That’s the compelling and compassionate heart of Annie Lowrey’s new book, Give People Money: the simple and powerful proposition that ours is a world with more than enough money to ensure that no one lives in poverty.

And yet, Lowrey finds poverty everywhere she looks. She travels from Korea to Kenya, and from Mumbai to Maine, and finds objectively unacceptable levels of poverty in each of those places, forcing us to look unblinkingly at the kind of situations and individuals from which many of us would normally avert our eyes.

Lowrey doesn’t just document the problem; she also offers a simple and effective solution. If you take very poor people and give them money, they stop being very poor pretty much by definition. They also, it turns out, become healthier, work more, and generally become vastly more productive members of society.

From development circles to fully industrialized economies, this broad idea is relatively uncontroversial. Cash-transfer programs, including Social Security, which don’t try to tell you what to spend the money on, tend to work very effectively and lift millions out of poverty. Many governments have adopted what development economists like to call CCTs, or conditional cash transfers, with significant positive results; more recently, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding UCTs, or unconditional cash transfers, which remain largely untested at scale.

And then there’s universal basic income, or UBI, which is basically the mother of all UCTs: an unconditional transfer going to every single person in a society, no strings attached. Whether you’re a homeless single mother or a jet-setting billionaire, you receive the same set amount every month. (In the U.S., that amount would be somewhere between $500 and $1,500.) UBI is the big idea Lowrey is pushing with her book; her unsubtle subtitle is: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World.

UBI is having a moment right now. The idea has been around for centuries, but there’s something about UBI that’s resonating today, with dozens of books written on the subject from all manner of different perspectives. The most common takes come from the left (as Lowrey does), from the right (as a means of dismantling the welfare state), and from the techno-dystopians, who worry about a future where the robots have taken over and no one has a job. The appeal of a UBI to all three groups is easy to see: It appears to be a very simple solution to any number of incredibly complex problems. Think of it as the “put it on the blockchain” of political economy.

Lowrey seems to know there are no easy fixes, but she forges ahead anyway, explaining in one bravura sentence toward the end of her book why: She sees a rare opportunity to do something really bold, or at least to make milder versions of a UBI more politically acceptable.

In light of the country’s political polarization, veiled and unveiled racism, income inequality, wage stagnation, and geographic pulling apart; for all the growth in the wealth gap and of student-loan debt; given the country’s retirement and disability and child-care-work crises; granted the Uberization of the economy, the Overton window—the scope of policy possibilities—has been thrown open.

Lowrey’s book is not detailed policy proposal, like the one Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes put forward in his own UBI book, Fair Shot. Ultimately, Give People Money is a continuation of More’s project: an examination of the present through the lens of a counterfactual. Lowrey’s UBI is “an ethos,” she writes, as much as it is an actual proposal. It’s a way of espousing a certain set of beliefs; it’s “a lesson and an ideal”; it’s a push “to keep imagining, so that when the future arrives, we are ready.”

Perhaps that’s because UBI is a pretty inefficient way of giving poor people money. Think about it this way: Just 40 percent of a UBI’s expenditure would go to the bottom 40 percent of the population, and a mere 10 percent would go to the 10 percent who need it most. What would happen to the rest of the money?

Study after study has shown that when you give money to the homeless and the very poor, they don’t spend it on frivolities like booze and tobacco: In fact, rates of drinking and smoking invariably go down rather than up. On the other hand, if you gave me an extra $1,500 per month, no strings attached, I’m sure a significant chunk of that would end up in my wine fridge. That might be popular with my local wine merchants, but as a means of redistributing society’s wealth in the interests of fairness and equality, it does leave something to be desired.

That’s why so many UBI experiments are taking place among the very poor—in Kenya, say, or India. In California, the big UBI pilot is happening in Stockton, not in Palo Alto. By targeting the poor, UBI researchers can generate the biggest possible upside, with the lowest potential for waste. But the heart of a UBI is the U: the universality. And the minute that a UBI becomes truly universal, encompassing the rich alongside the poor, it starts becoming much more wasteful than any pilot project.

Lowrey understands this, and is not particularly wedded to a truly universal basic income. In India, she toys with the idea of excluding anybody fortunate enough to own an air conditioner. In the U.S., she says, the UBI could be applied only to the bottom 60 percent of the population. She also brings up the idea of instead giving “baby bonds” of $50,000 to everybody born into the lowest wealth quartile, or implementing some kind of jobs guarantee. At one point, she writes that an “even better idea would be to implement a UBI as a negative income tax” that takes your annual income and, if it’s below a certain minimum level, raises it to that level.

There are always trade-offs. A negative income tax would not benefit anybody much above the poverty line, and in that sense, it would lack a key feature of the UBI, which is that it’s needs-blind and benefits everybody. If only the poor benefitted from a negative income tax, that would create resentment among the middle classes: The slogan coined by British sociologist Richard Titmuss is that “a policy for the poor is a poor policy.”

Ultimately, Lowrey punts on choosing between these options, saying that working out policy design issues risks getting “stuck in the fine print.” Her big idea is to give people money, not to worry overmuch about how to give people money. As a good first step, she says, we should just convert existing programs, like Section 8 housing vouchers, into cash transfers; in general, when it comes to government social spending, the more unconditional it is, the better.

She’s right about that. The big idea in Lowrey’s title—give people money—is a powerful one, strongly backed up with abundant evidence. But her subtitle talks about a UBI, rather than about cash transfers in general, and Lowrey structures the book from its opening chapter as being a case for UBI—the very front on which the book falls short.

Lowrey is convincing on the need to eradicate poverty, and equally convincing that cash transfers can often be one of the best ways of doing so. But she fails to mirror her passionate rallying cry on the subject of poverty reduction with an equally passionate argument for UBI in particular. Lowrey has more zeal than the bloodless Chris Hughes, who is so unexcited by the idea of unconditionality that his preferred solution actually includes a work requirement. At the same time, she lacks Bregman’s infectious enthusiasm for UBI—Utopia for Realists is a full-throated case for UBI—and she ultimately doesn’t come close to demonstrating that a universal basic income would be the best way to target cash at the poor.

“UBI is hardly a silver bullet,” writes Lowrey, correctly. But if you want a designed a policy, one that reflects the desires of the poor and the neediest, one that’s calibrated to become broadly politically palatable, then at some point you need to revert back from being a crusading revolutionary with Utopian ideas to being a policy wonk in the weeds. Too clear-eyed and empirical to be an ardent true believer, yet also too Utopian to be a policy wonk, Lowrey ends up falling uncomfortably between the two stools. Her book is an excellent guide to the issues surrounding a UBI. But it won’t cause many people to start advocating for one.


          How we study the microbes living in your gut | Dan Knights      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
There are about a hundred trillion microbes living inside your gut -- protecting you from infection, aiding digestion and regulating your immune system. As our bodies have adapted to life in modern society, we've started to lose some of our normal microbes; at the same time, diseases linked to a loss of diversity in microbiome are skyrocketing in developed nations. Computational microbiologist Dan Knights shares some intriguing discoveries about the differences in the microbiomes of people in developing countries compared to the US, and how they might affect our health. Learn more about the world of microbes living inside you -- and the work being done to create tools to restore and replenish them.
          Homeowners are sitting on a record amount of cash — and not tapping it      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Homeowners now have a collective $5.8 trillion in tappable equity, the highest volume ever recorded. Diana Olick reports.
          TODAY’S STUDY: A Trillion Dollar New Energy Opportunity      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Is This The Most Impressive Energy Tech Of The Year?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The earth’s oil sands deposits hold literally trillions of barrels of oil. The problem has always been accessing this oil in a practical, clean and profitable way. The traditional oil sands extraction methods are considered the dirtiest production method on the planet… and the most expensive, with breakeven pricing coming in as high as $75 a barrel. Now, for the first time, a small company has taken the lead in this sector – with a proven, patented and potentially highly profitable oil sands processing technology. Petroteq (TSX:PQE.V; OTC:PQEFF),…
           Inexpensive houses could be 3D-printed from peat       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The University of Tartu's Prof. Toomas Tenno, with test pieces of the material#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Some of the earliest houses in Northern Europe were made out of slabs of peat, as it was a cheap and abundant building material. Now, Estonian scientists are revisiting the idea of peat houses, only this time they're looking at 3D-printing the things.

.. Continue Reading Inexpensive houses could be 3D-printed from peat

Category: 3D Printing

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          This New Game Show Is Trying to End the Student Debt Crisis      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
image

Forget winning a free car or spinning a wheel of prizes. A new game show called Paid Off is targeting millennials the best way it knows how — by promising to pay off contestants' student loans. Each episode of Paid Off will give three college graduates the chance to say goodbye forever to Sallie Mae by showing just how much they learned from their time on campus. The game show will put debt-saddled grads through the ringer with out-of-the-box trivia challenges such as guessing which characters are from the movie Goodfellas or Thomas & Friends — sorry Jay, Copa Captain is not an animated tank engine's friend — or correctly identifying classic works of art that have been reimagined by five year olds. 

"My show is the only game show working to end the student debt crisis," host and creator Michael Torpey said in a trailer for the truTV show. "The more you know, the less you owe." Where do we sign up? 

Keep scrolling below for everything you need to know about Paid Off  before it premieres tonight, July 10, at 10 p.m. on truTV!




How to get on Paid Off: 

Even before the first episode of the game show aired, people were desperate to send in an application —  which isn't too surprising seeing how there is currently $1.48 trillion in U.S. student loan debt.  "I've been working for 10 years post undergrad and still have a crippling amount of student loan debt. This would be a dream come 'tru' to participate and hopefully win," one pun-loving follower wrote on Facebook before another added, "$120,000 in debt PLEASE HOW DO I GET ON THIS SHOW!!!!!!!" A third chimed in on Instagram, "How do I get on this show... I have a twin sister going to the same expensive private university and we are in need of assistance." 

Unfortunately, aspiring contestants will have to wait before signing up. The show is currently not in production since all 16 episodes of the first season have been filmed. However, if the show is renewed, the casting process will be opened up again, a rep for the network revealed exclusively to Distractify. In the meantime, make sure you are watching the show and taking notes, you know, like a good college student. 

Who is Michael Torpey?

If the host of Paid Off looks familiar, you are probably a fan of the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. Michael is better known as Thomas Humphrey — the corrections officer Daya shoots in the leg at the beginning of Season 5. Luckily for viewers, they will see a new side of the actor, who actually created the game show after struggling with student debt of his own. 

"My wife and I struggled with student debt and could only pay it off because, true story, I booked an underpants commercial," he explained. "But what about the other 45 million Americans with student loans? Sadly, there just aren't that many underpants commercials. That is why I made this game show." We never thought we'd say this, but thank you CO Humphrey. 

More from Distractify

33 Game Show Fails That Were Just Too Perfect

Man's Problematic Answer To Jeopardy Question Emerges Online, And People Are Laughing

Millennials Had The Best Responses To Article That Says They Should 'Just Work Longer'



          Comment on Universal Basic Income is About to Roll Out in One U.S. City by Larry      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Failure - abject failure, is the only option. Just another government yoke around the hard-working honest taxpayer. Of course our beloved "leaders" use your taxes to buy votes with your taxes to get themselves voted back in office so they can continue being a parasite. That is also the reason they favor massive invasion of the country by Illegal Aliens. Allow invasion, give Amnesty, Bada-Boom, Bada-Bing more Democratic voters sucking the life blood out of the country. None of these mindless Social Engineering taxpayer boondoggles bode well for the country. They have NEVER worked in the past, to wit, a 20 Trillion dollar National Debt and we have more "poor" and "Underprivileged" than we did when the "Great Society" as put in place by Lyndon Johnson( a raging Democrat) in the 1960's. Also has anyone noticed that almost every "idea" that arose in the 1960's and the "Flower Children" has been a disastrous failure on all fronts.Of course their children are now our "Leaders". That should tell you something. And you ignore these disastrous trends at your peril, your children's peril and your grandchildren's peril. Ok Stockton, good luck with all that! Larry
          (USA-NY-New York) Business Analyst      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
+ Build and maintain good relationships with key sponsors and technology + Capture business requirements and use cases (including screen designs) + Produce excellent detailed focused documentation + Drive requirements through user due diligence and sign off + Ability to understand and analyze business processes & workflows with the objective of providing detailed Business Process Flow diagrams and Logical Data Models + Partner with developers to ensure requirements are implemented as per specification + Establish test strategy and test cases as well as validation of test cases + Scrum master and run Agile development process; track tasks and issues in JIRA + Co-ordinate UAT with markets and down-stream teams + Ensure all risks and issues relating to scope and analysis managed appropriately + Ensure that all re-usable resources and knowledge are stored in the appropriate knowledge base for the benefit of others in the team. This will include items that are not necessarily linked to any single project. + Help troubleshoot issues including working with Level 1 + 2 support teams and business users + Strong Business Analyst experience + Technical background preferred + familiar with product management approach + HTML5/ JavaScript/ React – develop re-useable UI widget is good to have + Ensure UI/ UX wireframe compliance with the design is good to have + Experience in optimizing/profiling, multithreading, and tuning + Test driven development + Strong interpersonal and communication skills. + Strong organizational ability, time and project management skills to juggle many priorities Our Corporate & Investment Bank relies on innovators like you to build and maintain the technology that helps us safely service the world’s important corporations, governments and institutions. You’ll develop solutions for a bank entrusted with holding $18 trillion of assets and $393 billion in deposits. CIB provides strategic advice, raises capital, manages risk, and extends liquidity in markets spanning over 100 countries around the world. When you work at JPMorgan Chase & Co., you’re not just working at a global financial institution. You’re an integral part of one of the world’s biggest tech companies. In 14 technology hubs worldwide, our team of 40,000+ technologists design, build and deploy everything from enterprise technology initiatives to big data and mobile solutions, as well as innovations in electronic payments, cybersecurity, machine learning, and cloud development. Our $9.5B+ annual investment in technology enables us to hire people to create innovative solutions that will not only transform the financial services industry, but also change the world. At JPMorgan Chase & Co. we value the unique skills of every employee, and we’re building a technology organization that thrives on diversity. We encourage professional growth and career development, and offer competitive benefits and compensation. If you’re looking to build your career as part of a global technology team tackling big challenges that impact the lives of people and companies all around the world, we want to meet you. JPMorgan Chase is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer Disability/Veteran.
          (USA-TX-Houston) Full Stack Java Software Engineer - Markets      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
As a member of our Software Engineering Group you will dive head-first into creating innovative solutions that advance businesses and careers. You’ll join an inspiring and curious team of technologists dedicated to improving the design, analytics, development, coding, testing and application programming that goes into creating high quality software and new products. You’ll be tasked with keeping the team and other key stakeholders up to speed on the progress of what’s being developed. Coming in with an understanding of the importance of end-to-end software development-such as Agile frameworks-is key. And best of all, you’ll be working with and sharing ideas, information and innovation with our global team of technologists from all over the world. The candidate will focus on the Corporate and Investment Bank’s web portal, J.P. Morgan Markets. J.P. Morgan Markets offers Research, Analytics, Trading, and Investor Services to institutional investors. This role requires a wide variety of strengths and capabilities, including: + Application architecture, Data architecture, and Infrastructure architecture + Develop business to business Internet applications. + Design, build, test, troubleshoot, and support web based applications. + Optimize performance of web applications. + Communicate with the full spectrum of global stakeholders and colleagues. + Ability to collaborate with high-performing teams and individuals throughout the firm to accomplish common goals + Proficiency in the following: Enterprise Java, Web Development, HTML, JavaScript, SQL, and Source Code Management Our Corporate & Investment Bank relies on innovators like you to build and maintain the technology that helps us safely service the world’s important corporations, governments and institutions. You’ll develop solutions for a bank entrusted with holding $18 trillion of assets and $393 billion in deposits. CIB provides strategic advice, raises capital, manages risk, and extends liquidity in markets spanning over 100 countries around the world. When you work at JPMorgan Chase & Co., you’re not just working at a global financial institution. You’re an integral part of one of the world’s biggest tech companies. In 14 technology hubs worldwide, our team of 40,000+ technologists design, build and deploy everything from enterprise technology initiatives to big data and mobile solutions, as well as innovations in electronic payments, cybersecurity, machine learning, and cloud development. Our $9.5B+ annual investment in technology enables us to hire people to create innovative solutions that will not only transform the financial services industry, but also change the world. At JPMorgan Chase & Co. we value the unique skills of every employee, and we’re building a technology organization that thrives on diversity. We encourage professional growth and career development, and offer competitive benefits and compensation. If you’re looking to build your career as part of a global technology team tackling big challenges that impact the lives of people and companies all around the world, we want to meet you. JPMorgan Chase is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer Disability/Veteran.
          What America’s businesses are missing in increasing shareholder wealth      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
McKinsey’s Rodney Zemmel, one of the authors of “Go Long: Why Long-Term Thinking Is Your Best Short-Term Strategy," explains to Ali Velshi why the U.S. economy could have created more than 5 million jobs and another $1 trillion GDP over the past decade if America’s business leaders recognized a key investment mistake.
          Comment on U.N. Green Climate Fund chief resigns after disastrous meeting by Warren      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Bull--shite Patrick! Total US Federal Government spending currently 4 trillion (PA). US trade is less than 5 trillion and the big number GDP is 20 trillion.
          Comment on U.N. Green Climate Fund chief resigns after disastrous meeting by Patrick MJD      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Whats a few billion when the White House "loses" tens of TRILLIONS of dollars that are simply unaccounted for EVERY year?! This is just chump change.
          Saudi Aramco’s $2-trillion zombie public offering      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 32-year old crown prince is known, said the company would be worth at least $2 trillion.
          Here's How Markets Are Reacting to Trump's Latest Trade Salvo      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Here's How Markets Are Reacting to Trump's Latest Trade SalvoGlobal markets already caught in the crossfire of Donald Trump’s escalating trade conflict with China took yet another hit Wednesday after the U.S. pushed ahead with plans to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods. The 10 percent tariffs proposed on items from clothing to television components to refrigerators further escalates a trade conflict that’s helped wipe out $2 trillion in value from global stock markets in the past month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “The fear is that the trade war is far from being over and tariffs will be enacted on both sides, reducing international trade and causing inflation, hurting investor sentiment,” Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist with Inverness Counsel, said in a phone interview.



          IS JAPAN COOL? CRAFTSMANSHIP (SAMURAI AVATAR)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

FWA of the day 10 July 2018:

IS JAPAN COOL? CRAFTSMANSHIP (SAMURAI AVATAR)

Project Link

SAMURAI AVATAR showcases Japanese culture by letting users create original samurai avatars. Upload a photo of yourself and customize each part to create your own armor, with 300 trillion possible design combinations. Users can then download 3D data of the avatar to print using a 3D printer.

#FOTD #thefwa


          Which Companies Generate the Highest Revenue Per Employee?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Submitted by Priceonomics

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index includes the 500 largest American companies listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. In 2017, the S&P 500 index increased by 22% from 2016-2017. S&P 500 companies generated $11 trillion in combined revenue and employed more than 25 million people worldwide.

In this report, we rank the companies by Revenue Per Employee (RPE) to explore how efficiently the companies utilize human capital. We will examine how the ranking of these companies changed from last year (S&P - Revenue Per Employee Perspective 2016). Energy and Healthcare companies remained high on the list, while Industrials and Consumer Discretionaries continue to perform the worst.

The table below shows the top 50 companies by Revenue Per Employee in 2017 in S&P 500, along with how they have moved in the rankings relative to last year’s analysis.

Data source: Craft

Twenty-four Energy companies and ten Healthcare companies made the list. Energy company Valero Energy Corporation passed AmerisourceBergen and topped the list. Newcomers to the S&P 500 (compared to 2016), Everst Re Group, and Andeavor made the made the list, replacing Murphy Oil Corporation, whose RPE fell by 15% in 2017 and has been removed from the S&P 500. 

We specifically omitted the Real Estate sector, particularly real estate investment trusts (REIT). REIT make revenue from pooling investor money to purchase, rent, or sell real estate. At least 90% of taxable income must be distributed to shareholders. The companies that we excluded from the list include Host Hotels & Resorts, which owns and operates mainly luxury hotels, and Welltower and HCP, which invest primarily in real estate serving the healthcare industry, including senior housing, assisted living, and medical office. 

By grouping the companies into different sectors, we computed the average RPE for each sector to examine the relative labor-intensity of different industries.

Data source: Craft

For Energy companies, the business is dependent more on natural resource and physical capital rather than human capital. As a result, they are able to generate revenue with less reliance on employees than other more labor-intensive sectors. 

The table below shows the lowest 10 companies in the index ranked by PRE: 

Data source: Craft

HanesbrandsAccentureStarbucksChipotleCognizant, and Darden Restaurants remained on the list of 10 lowest companies by RPE from last year. 

We took a deeper look at why consulting companies such as Cognizant and Accenture have among the lowest revenue per employee. Accenture and Cognizant are IT consulting with 425,000 employees and 260,000 employees respectively. As both companies are IT providers and provide consulting services, they depend on large teams to deliver services. The two firms performance are strongly linked to how many consultants they have and how many engagements they book. At Accenture, the employee headcount grew by 12% from 2014-2017, while revenue increased 5%. A larger increase in hiring than revenue led to a decrease in RPE.

For Tech companies’, we looked at RPE and Compound Annual Growth Rate of Revenue and Employees between 2014-2017:

Data source: Craft

There is generally a growth in Revenue per Employee for Tech companies. Most companies on this list grew their revenue faster than employee headcount. 

Key takeaways: 

  • The Energy sector continues to be the highest performer on RPE, representing almost 50% of the Top 50 list. Since 2016, the average RPE in the Energy sector has increased from $1.79M to $2.27M. 
  • The Industrials sector remains the lowest performer on RPE, even with an increase from $321,000 in average RPE to $332,000 in average RPE from 2016-2017.
  • Tech companies are becoming increasingly more productive by growing their RPE.

          World News (July 10, 2018 Edition): US Publishes $200 Billion China Tariff List – Venezuela #Hyperinflation Hits 46,305%: Food Prices Soar 183% In One Month – Americans In UK Urged To Keep “Low Profile” During Trump Visit – As Global Debt Hits A Record $247 TRILLION, The IIF Issues A Warning – Derivatives Trading Legend: “This Is The Signal That An Iceberg Is Dead Ahead”      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
US Publishes $200 Billion #China Tariff Listhttps://t.co/FVs7riI0w1#USA #Tariffs #Economy #Breaking — Infinite Unknown (@SecretNews) July 10, 2018 Coming to a country near you…. #Venezuela #Hyperinflation Hits 46,305%: Food Prices Soar 183% In One Monthhttps://t.co/MhUiop5uRO#Breaking #BreakingNews #Economics #Economy — Infinite Unknown (@SecretNews) July 10, 2018 Americans In UK Urged To Keep "Low Profile" During Trump Visithttps://t.co/Un0t4mMqMC#USA ... Read moreWorld News (July 10, 2018 Edition): US Publishes $200 Billion China Tariff List – Venezuela #Hyperinflation Hits 46,305%: Food Prices Soar 183% In One Month – Americans In UK Urged To Keep “Low Profile” During Trump Visit – As Global Debt Hits A Record $247 TRILLION, The IIF Issues A Warning – Derivatives Trading Legend: “This Is The Signal That An Iceberg Is Dead Ahead”
          Obesity Could Cost Australia $21 Billion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Obesity Could Cost Australia $21 Billion

Obesity Could Cost Australia $21 Billion

Treating obesity-related diseases is tipped to cost Australia $21 billion in 2025. The World Obesity Federation (WOF) figures also show the global cost will reach USD $11.2 trillion in the next eight years.
 
At the moment, Australia’s economic burden of obesity is $9 billion.
 
"The annual medical costs of treating the consequences of obesity such as diabetes and heart disease is truly alarming," said Professor Ian Caterson, President of the World Obesity Federation.
 
"Continual surveillance by WOF has shown how obesity prevalence has risen dramatically over the past 10 years and with an estimated 177 million adults suffering severe obesity by 2025, it is clear that governments need to act now to reduce this burden on their national economies."

How can Australia prevent obesity-related diseases?

WOF and other organisations say preventing and treating obesity would save the country (and other nations) millions of dollars.
 
There are several strategies being suggested:
  • Focus on nutrition and education
  • Focus on exercise
  • Open discussion on better obesity treatments
  • More affordable medication
  • Easier access to bariatric surgery
"Looking at bariatric surgery, it’s been quite limited. The public system certainly can't cope, there are waiting times that are completely unacceptable and certainly the access there needs to be improved,” said Dr Bastian Seidel from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

Good health starts at home

Of course, the biggest shifts start with the smallest steps. And we can all prioritise our health at home, to avoid obesity and related diseases in later life.
 
As always, the advice is simple: eat a balanced diet of fresh, whole foods – and move your body most days (preferably every day).

A personal trainer, dietitian, or nutritionist can also help you look at ways to incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into your routine.

          Sharing Economy Booming in Japan as Customer-to-Customer Market Grows to ¥1 Trillion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The soaring popularity of flea market applications like Mercari has seen online trade between individuals grow into a ¥1 trillion market.
          How we study the microbes living in your gut | Dan Knights      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
There are about a hundred trillion microbes living inside your gut -- protecting you from infection, aiding digestion and regulating your immune system. As our bodies have adapted to life in modern society, we've started to lose some of our normal microbes; at the same time, diseases linked to a loss of diversity in microbiome are skyrocketing in developed nations. Computational microbiologist Dan Knights shares some intriguing discoveries about the differences in the microbiomes of people in developing countries compared to the US, and how they might affect our health. Learn more about the world of microbes living inside you -- and the work being done to create tools to restore and replenish them.
          $30 trillion is about to change hands in the US      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Your estate might not be as large as you had hoped if you don't take the right planning steps.
          Texas rebounds to become Top State for Business in 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Texas claims the top spot in CNBC's 2018 America’s Top States for Business rankings. The energy sector is turbocharging the state's $1.6 trillion economy.
          Saudi Aramco's $2 trillion zombie IPO      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Likely investors doubt the value of the proposed public offering. How will Mohammed bin Salman save face?
          ETL Datawarehouse Architect Software Engineer - JP Morgan Chase - Plano, TX      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in...
From JPMorgan Chase - Thu, 28 Jun 2018 10:39:55 GMT - View all Plano, TX jobs
          How Long Can Houston's Hotel Industry Enjoy The Lap Of Luxury?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Rosewood Hotel, scheduled to break ground late next year at 5000 Richmond Ave. in Houston.Houston’s hotel sector got a shot in the arm in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. After 33 trillion gallons of water flooded tens of thousands of homes, Houstonians and aid workers encamped for months in the city's largely undamaged hotel stock, allowing it to emerge as the nation's strongest-growing lodging market. "From a letter grade perspective, Houston...
          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Client Advisor - Vice President - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase &amp; Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:26:15 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Banker - Vice President or Executive Director - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase &amp; Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Thu, 26 Apr 2018 10:32:45 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          Three stocks made up a staggering 71% of market returns this year      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The stock market is having a rocky year due to multiple factors, like rising interest rates and President Trump’s tough talk on trade. Five months after a rate spike, the S&P 500 declines on average by 0.3%. Trump’s tough trade talk has destroyed more than $1 trillion in market value so far.
          Preqin: Tail end private capital funds hold half a trillion dollars      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Opalesque Industry Update - Tail-end private capital funds* still hold $593bn in total assets, including $525bn in unrealized value** as at December 2017. This accounts for over 10% of the total assets held by the industry, which reached $5.22tn as of the same point. The majority is held in 2006-2008 vintage funds, which collectively account for $477bn and 2008 funds alone hold $205bn. Unsurprisin...
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          China third-party mobile payment market Q1 2018; dominated by Alipay and WeChat      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The total transactions of third-party mobile payment reached 40.36451 trillion yuan (US$6.08 Tn) in Q1 2018, up by 6.99% over Q4 2017 and dominated by Alibaba affiliated Alipay (54%) and Tencent Finance. Alipay continued to lead this market with a share of 53.76%, followed by Tencent Finance (38.96%), they combined accounted for 92.71% of the […]
          Number of foreign visitors to southern city rises 26.5%      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Foreign tourists visiting HCM city Total tourism turnover was estimated at VND62.6 trillion, up 15.7% over a year earlier, fulfilling 45% of the year’s plan. The sector saw better growth than the same period last year, with the hosting of a wide range of activities such as Ao dai Festival, the ceremony of welcoming the […]
          Cost of food imports a growing burden for poorest countries, warns UN      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Rome: The cost of importing food is weighing increasingly heavily on the world's poorest countries, a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation report issued on Tuesday showed.

The food import bill has risen fivefold since 2000 for countries that are the most vulnerable to food shortages, while it has roughly tripled globally to reach $1.43 trillion in 2017 and is set to rise again this year, according to FAO's Food Outlook report.

"This shows a trend that has been deteriorating over time, portending an increasing challenge, especially for the poorest countries, to meet their basic food needs from international markets," said Adam Prakash, a FAO economist and author of the study in the report.

The global food import bill is likely to rise by around 3 per cent to about $1.47 trillion this year, driven chiefly by greater international trade in fish, notably seafood - costly foods mostly imported by developed countries - and cereals, a staple that is an essential import for many poor countries, the report said.

The food import bill now accounts for 28 per cent of all merchandise export earnings for the group of least-developed countries - almost double the share of 2005. This compares with some 10 per cent of export earnings spent on food imports by developed countries, which also have higher GDP per capita, FAO noted.

Food imports have risen at an annual global average rate of 8 pe rcent since 2000, but has been in the double-digits for the vast majority of the poorest countries. And the share of cereals imported compared to higher-value foods has not fallen in poorer countries, in stark contrast to wealthier ones, where it has dipped sharply, FAO said.

The new issue of the twice-yearly Food Outlook also contains a special chapter on the growing trade in minor tropical fruits such as guava and lychees.

"Strong worldwide urbanisation trends and growing health awareness" as well and "robust wholesale prices" in developed countries point to ample commercial potential for minor tropical fruit exporters in low-income countries, according to FAO.

The global output value of these fruits - 86 per cent of which are produced in Asia - was around $20 billion last year, it said.

However, capitalising on this trade opportunity for poorer countries will take innovation in handling perishability, assurance of supply, price volatility and compliance with phytosanitary certification requirements, the UN agency said.

Only around 10 per cent of minor tropic fruits production is currently traded across borders, mostly within Asia - with Thailand a major exporter. Guava is the largest fruit in this category, along with jackfruit, longan, lychee, durian, rambutan and passion fruit, mostly grown in Brazil, and mangosteen, said FAO.

Countries may indeed be "paying more for less food," even though global production and trading conditions have been quite benign in recent years, according to the report.

"While food markets have remained relatively stable thanks to generally good supply conditions across most categories, they remain vulnerable in light of recent rising trade disputes and the potential for weather and other shocks," the report warned.

In the cereals sector, 2018/19 trade is expected to remain robust, supported by continued strong import demand for nearly all major cereals.

Other highlights include expectations of "elevated" and even record prices for seafood products in the second half this year due to tight supply trends; expanding trade for dairy products, especially milk powders; and a robust expansion of meat production amid decelerating growth in trade volumes, said the report.

The Food Outlook primarily reviews market trends for the world's major food commodities, including cereals, fish, meat, dairy, sugar and vegetable oils. Its analysis focuses on food import bills' composition - animal proteins, fruits and vegetables, cereals, beverages, oilseeds and coffee, tea and spices - and trends over time.



          Trump celebrates his (very expensive) tax cuts for himself and his rich golfing buddies      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Remember how Trump sold the Republicans' $1.5 trillion-deficit-creating tax cut plan as a boon for the middle class that was going to create jobs and raise wages? That was in September, when he told congressional lawmakers at the White House...
          GOP Congress: my (wealthy) donors made me do it      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The GOP's tax-complicating, deficit-increasing, wealthy-subsidizing, Arctic destroying, Health Care damaging, $1.5 trillion tax "reform" package is unpopular with most Americans, destructive to the government's ability to fund needed programs from disease prevention to FEMA to basic research to needed infrastructure...
          Comment on [KR1251] Keiser Report: American Capitalist Cancer by Youri Carma      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
NEXT CRISES Derivatives Trading Legend: "This Is The Signal That An Iceberg Is Dead Ahead" https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-10/derivatives-trading-legend-signal-iceberg-dead-ahead The Root Of The Crisis: Every $1 Of Debt Generates Just 44c Of Economic Output https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-10/root-crisis-every-1-debt-generates-just-44c-economic-output As Global Debt Hits A Record $247 Trillion, The IIF Issues A Warning https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-10/global-debt-hits-record-247-trillion-iif-issues-warning Rickards: Here's Where The Next Crisis Starts https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-10/rickards-heres-where-next-crisis-starts Globalists Are Telling Us Exactly What Disasters They're Planning For The Economy https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-10/globalists-are-telling-us-exactly-what-disasters-theyre-planning-economy
          Peter Schiff: Could the Trade War Prick the Bubble Economy?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

There was a lot of trade war talk at the end of last week. In fact, on Friday, some pundits said the trade war officially began. Last Thursday, President Trump said the US may ultimately impose tariffs on more than a half-trillion dollars’ worth of Chinese goods, and a round of tariffs went into effect. […]

The post Peter Schiff: Could the Trade War Prick the Bubble Economy? appeared first on SchiffGold.com.


          Senior Python/Django Full Stack Developer      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

England, United Kingdom (required on-site)

About WiseAlpha

WiseAlpha is a Fintech that is shaking up the banking and fixed income industry. Until now, the corporate loan and bond market has remained largely untransformed by technological innovation and access has remained out of the hands of everyday investors. WiseAlpha is leading the way in opening this multi-trillion asset class to the masses. Our philosophy is one of market liberalisation and freedom of access to the best investments. We are looking for similarly minded people to join the firm as we expand. And, not that we like to brag, but we also won the award for Best Investments Provider at the British Bank Awards 2018.


About you

We’re looking for a top-class Python/Django developer to help us build and improve our platform. We’re a small team so we need lateral thinkers and keen all-rounders who are happy to work on all parts of the system. Our team takes pride in quality work and delivering on tight schedules whilst striving to produce scalable and maintainable code.


What will I be doing?

You’ll be working closely with the CTO and a small team, building new products and services as well as streamlining the existing system. Your voice matters! As we’re such a small team you’ll be able to help shape all parts of the development processes. Our goal is to keep lean and agile whilst producing high-quality software.


Skills and experience

We’d like you to have had exposure to a wide range of web technologies. Ideally, you’ll have worked with the following:

  • Django

  • Python

  • Django Rest Framework

  • React, Angular or Backbone

  • Jquery

  • Javascript

  • AWS

  • Postgress/MySQL

  • HTML5

  • CSS 3

  • Responsive design

  • Git


Nice to have:

  • Test-driven development

  • Typescript

  • Redis

  • Celery


Extra creds for:

  • Having a numerate based degree (Computer Science/Maths/Physics)

  • Having worked in a financial institution

  • Having built or managed an iOS/Android app rollout

  • Having managed a coding team

  • Experience with Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery

  • Good at humaning



          Everyday cybersecurity: Make better passwords, avoid free wifi, don’t be ‘low-hanging fruit’      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
WILMINGTON—Hacking is a trillion-dollar industry, but big companies aren’t the only targets. A considerable amount of hacking is aimed at individuals, who fall prey to malicious links, unsecured wifi, and sometimes just a pair of prying eyes. Dr. Ulku Yaylacicegi Clark, associate professor of management information systems at UNCW, has been paying attention to cyber-security […]
          Sovereign wealth funds worth $3 trillion commit to Paris goals      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Six sovereign wealth funds that collectively represent more than US$3 trillion in assets have committed to only invest in companies that factor climate risks into their strategies, thereby helping to achieve the climate goals of the United Nations sponsored Paris Agreement. Given the size, long term investment horizons of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), and the […]
          Antarctica's monster iceberg is still alive 1 year after its birth — but the Maryland-size ice block is floating toward its doom      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

antarctica iceberg a68 larsen c ice shelf nasa earth observatory usgs

  • A Maryland-size iceberg broke off Antarctica in July 2017.
  • One year after calving, iceberg A68a has floated about 40 miles away from its birthplace.
  • A68a is wandering north, where it should eventually break up and melt.
  • Although the process may take a few years, some large icebergs survive for decades.

One of the largest icebergs ever documented is still mostly intact one year after it broke off Antarctica, despite losing a big chunk and having its northern flank smashed to bits.

The huge ice block, called A68 or A68a, calved from the Larsen C ice shelf in July 2017. It's hard to say exactly when A68 was born due to limited satellite coverage and thick cloud cover, but it happened sometime last year between July 10 and 12.

Scientists at the time estimated iceberg A68 to be about the size of Maryland. It measured 1,000 feet thick and weighed 1.1 million tons — roughly the weight of 20 million Titanic ships.

Iceberg A68 appears mostly intact today; satellites are watching as it floats in the Weddell Sea about 40 miles off the ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula.

However, an animation shared by the Antarctic research program Project Midas shows that the 'berg has taken a beating.

"The iceberg has been pushed around by ocean currents, tides, and winds, and its northern end has repeatedly been grounded in shallower water," the authors of a Project Midas blog post wrote on Monday. "These groundings led eventually to further pieces of the iceberg being shattered off in May 2018. Whilst not quite large enough to be given labels themselves, the total area of icebergs lost from A-68 in May was the size of a small city."

The time-lapse animation below shows part of the Antarctic Peninsula from March 12, 2017 through July 5, 2018. You can see a huge crack in the Larsen C ice shelf creep north until the iceberg completely breaks off, then follow the path it has taken since.


"Over the last year A-68 has not drifted far because of dense sea-ice cover in the Weddell Sea," Project Midas said.

What will eventually happen to iceberg A68

Antarctic icebergs calve naturally as snow piles up, forming ultra-dense ice that gravity then drags toward the ocean.

From there, a predictable yet erratic story plays out.

historical iceberg tracks scatterometer climate record pathfinder esa

Most icebergs that calve from the Antarctic Peninsula get caught up in wind and water currents that drag them clockwise around the Southern Ocean as they move north.

Scientists can't be sure where iceberg A68 will ultimately float, though some think it could drift more than 1,000 miles north to the Falkland Islands. The largest 'bergs can even reach South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands before vanishing.

Martin O'Leary, a researcher at Swansea University and Project Midas, said on Reddit last year that A68 could take a couple of years to drift that far.

It could be many years before it completely melts.

In the case of B15, the second-biggest iceberg in recorded history, the process has taken nearly two decades. B15 snapped off Antarctica's Ross ice shelf in 2000. It had a surface area of 4,200 square miles — about the area of Jamaica and twice that of A68. Today it's drifting in warm waters near South Georgia.

St Andrews Bay on South Georgia penguin seal beach shutterstock_438314467

Warmer air causes surface melt that "works its way through the iceberg like a set of knives," Kelly Brunt, a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a NASA Earth Observatory post in October 2017. "This is often the end of the life cycle of a lot of Antarctic icebergs."

Scientists continue to study and debate what caused A68 to break off, including the role of climate change driven by human activity.

"To me, it's an unequivocal signature of the impact of climate change on Larsen C," Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at NASA JPL, told CNN in July 2017. "This is not a natural cycle. This is the response of the system to a warmer climate from the top and from the bottom. Nothing else can cause this."

SEE ALSO: Antarctica shed a colossal iceberg — here's how big it is compared to things you might comprehend

DON'T MISS: Antarctica's sixth-largest iceberg is doomed — here's how its slow death will play out

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A 1.1-trillion-ton iceberg has broken off Antarctica, and scientists say it's one of the largest ever recorded


          Dauntless Dialogue: Admiral Mike Rogers is Working with the Alliance      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
ARTHUR UPDATE: “Admiral Mike Rogers is working with the Alliance”

by Adam Riva
July 10, 2018



Our source within the Alliance, who we have been calling Arthur, recently briefed us on who he believes some of the sealed indictments are for, where he believes these 40,000+ individuals will be imprisoned once the indictments are unsealed, his suspicions that Admiral Michael Rogers is near the top of the organization known as the Star State, Obama’s two plants inside the NSA and the DOJ, how Jeff Sessions has been rewriting the UCMJ to more efficiently deal with politicians who are guilty of treason, and upcoming legislation to legally mandate truthful reporting in the news media.

Background

If this is your first time visiting our site, we have previously shared seven other briefings from this source which you can view at the following links:

Arthur Update: “We are Discussing Continuity Plans” [7/2/2018]
Arthur Update: Rumor: “Indictments Unsealed a Month Before the Midterm Election”
Alliance Insider: “Artificial Intelligence is Our Biggest Adversary” [3/3/2018]
Alliance Insider: “There Will Be No Civilian Trials for the Illuminati” [2/18/2018]
Alliance Insider: “We’re Going to See a New Gold-Backed Currency Worldwide” [12/14/2017]
Alliance Insider: “Coup in Stage 4 of 5” [12/6/2017]

I have also posted a video Q&A where I answer your questions regarding Arthur, so if you have questions please check that out first and hopefully it will provide you with the answers you are looking for.

The following is a transcript of Arthur’s briefing with me.



Arthur: “Remember I told you there was a military coup that began in June of 2015? Admiral Mike Rodgers told Obama, “Go f— yourself. We are not relinquishing ten of our aircraft carriers to NATO.” He was director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and he became director of the NSA after the Snowden leaks. Mike Rodgers effectively took Obama out and put Trump in, in a manner of speaking.

Admiral Rodgers got a hold of Trump and said, “Look, you have to step in as president.” The organization I told you about, the Star State, the very small group where you have to swear to defend the Constitution, with mostly Christians and patriots — this very small group, I have a sneaking suspicion that Admiral Rogers might be the head of it.

So Rodgers says to Trump, “Look, the SEAL Teams, special forces, dark ops, and the Green Berets have your back. We’ll post a list of the 6,782 people that should die if anything happens to you if you become president.”

Remember I said all of this last year? The list we’re talking about includes the Illuminati, Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, G8, the Satanists.

He said, “We’ll kill all of them if they lay a finger on you. We want you to run for president.” Trump said, “Alright, let’s see what I can do.” And of course he only spent his money on the campaign. He was self-funded so the Dark State couldn’t stop him.

Obama got wind of the Star State contacting Trump. Obama knew the military coup was going on. So Obama said, “I’ll just get all of the information, I’ll get Mueller, Rosenstein, I’ll get the skunks, I’ll wipe Trump off the face of the Earth. One problem: Mike Rodgers shuts down Obama’s access from the White House to the NSA. He shut it down. If he can’t get to the NSA, what’s he going to do?

Obama has a plant in the NSA. He has another plant in the DOJ. One of them is Mr. Or and the other is Mrs. Or. A Husband and wife team.

He says, “You keep feeding Mrs. Or the information that she wants from the DOJ and I’ll get rid of this son of a b— Trump.” They discovered the back channel. Direct order from Obama: “He gets executed for treason, high crimes against the government, initiating a military coup, sedition. He gets the guillotine, beheaded, it’s over.”

Remember I told you that if you have a 200 foot anaconda in the swamp that you want to remove, you have to cut off it’s food source?

When this investigation started with Trump’s presidency, they had nothing. Mostly. They didn’t know how corrupt Mueller was, Rosenstein, Imran Awan, Jeffrey Emil [not sure of this name], other players, other CEOs. And it builds. Everyone is so worried about Mueller. Trump can put Mueller in prison with one phone call.

Mueller covered Whitey Bulger who was the FBI informant contact in Boston for 20 years. He let Whitey Bulger out after he knew he was a criminal murderer. And the five men that were wrongfully imprisoned for the crimes that Bulger committed, Mueller left them in prison for five more years.

Admiral Mike Rodgers is working with the Alliance and he will be known as one of the saviors of the United States.

So here is what Sessions has been up to. He decides to stand back and take all the heat, to be a lightning rod, to get called all the names, all the while he is rewriting the Uniform Code of Military Justice to deal with politicians who commit treason and sedition.

Trump has been going along with all of this and has been allowing Sessions to look useless. Trump signed three executive orders regarding national security threats on the 21st, 23rd, and 27th, I believe. I told you about this.

You need to understand something. If there are three national security threats that haven’t been answered in 90 days or addressed by Congress or Senate, it takes one signature of one man on Earth to turn America into Martial Law. We’re passed the 90 day hurdle.

Now, regarding all of these Walmarts that are being converted and all of the new FEMA camps… Where are you going to put over 40,000 of the world’s worst criminals once the indictments are unsealed? You can’t fit them all in GTMO even though it’s being expanded.”

I was just reading that the Alliance has plans to basically reclaim all of the stolen assets and the trillions of dollars that have been funneled into Deep State programs and create a debt jubilee on the other side of this mess. The Alliance wants to return every penny to the people. This was coming from some of the highest sources that I follow.

Arthur: “With the money that Obama stole in his presidency, every household in America could have gotten $250,000. Where did the money go?”

But you haven’t heard anything about the Alliance’s plans to return the stolen funds back to the American people?

Arthur: “No. I don’t know if it can be. That might just be a dream. I don’t know one way or the other.

I don’t know how far this is going to go. Are we going to take apart the Federal Reserve? Are we going to take apart the Internal Revenue Service? Are we going back on the Gold Standard? Are we going to take out of existence the Artificial Person that is represented by your name in capital letters on all of your legal documents which gets traded on the Stock Exchange?”

You’re speaking about Maritime Admiralty Law. The Artificial Person is created the moment the Natural Person is born and it is represented by the birth certificate.

Arthur: “So my next question is, if we take out the Illuminati, is there any money owed to anybody? And who’s the man that has been saying to invest in silver for months?

First was Net Neutrality. What you’ll see next is Trump passing legislation around truthful reporting in the media. I think you’re going to see Patty Hearst, Bernadine Dohrn, and Billy Ayers try to commit terrorism again. They might be blocked, they might even be in the Sealed Indictments. Bill Clinton was the one who pardoned Patty Hearst. I think they’re going to try more of the blood rituals and virgin sacrifices with school shootings. I think you’re going to see total chaos. Then Trump is going to say, “We’re going to Martial Law. Thank you.”

Here’s the craziest part. I remember back in 2015 all of the conspiracy theories started circulating regarding dozens or hundreds of mysterious Walmart closures. People saw FEMA trucks outside, unmarked deliveries, leaked pictures of strange remodeling on the interior. I would be surprised if after all that, they were used for housing the Deep State. I mean what a twist of irony.

Arthur: “Well, you give me a better hypothesis and I’ll change my mind. I know that you think I oversimplify things. It’s an IO’s way of staying alive.”

Source: Dauntless Dialogue
          UK companies building ecosystems could see £75 trillion value boost      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Many global businesses are failing to realise the growth they anticipated before 2020, with trillions still at stake in the next two years. While more than one in six businesses in the UK alone are concerned that growth strategies are susceptible to disruption, honing new ecosystems which include long-time rivals could be the key to delivering exceptional growth.
          ETL Datawarehouse Architect Software Engineer - JP Morgan Chase - Plano, TX      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in...
From JPMorgan Chase - Thu, 28 Jun 2018 10:39:55 GMT - View all Plano, TX jobs
          Student loan debt: 7 steps to pay it off      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Outstanding student loan debt totaled $1.4 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2018, according to recent data. And that debt could hamper retirement saving for young adults.        

The post Student loan debt: 7 steps to pay it off appeared first on RocketNews | Top News Stories From Around the Globe.


          Angela Merkel Owes Trump 'One Trillion Dollars,' According to Trump      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Welcome to Barf Bag, a daily politics roundup to help you sort through the chaotic Trumpian news cycle.

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          Comment on 5 Great Prayers For Times Of Trouble by pud      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"Intercessory prayer"....LOL Tell us jack...is it true or not that a prayer and in fact your dogma states "Thy will be done"? Yes or No? Well then, doesn't it follow that the "all knowing" "god" thingy #1 knows the future already and therefore the future is fixed? and #2 If "his" will is to be done, what's the point of begging that it isn't and that "he" should change his mind according to your babbling begging? Can you give us a round number of the Trillions of "intercessory" prayers that have been requested that met with deaf ears? Can you substantiate a single one that was granted? Do you EVER see how babyish you are? How infantile? How irrational and devoid of critical thinking you've been your whole life?
          The Apparel And Leather Products Manufacturing Market Valued At Over $1 Trillion In 2017 According To TBRC’s Latest Report      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(EMAILWIRE.COM, July 12, 2018 ) The apparel and leather products market comprises establishments involved in the manufacture and sale of apparel, leather and related products. Read the report at https://www.thebusinessresearchcompany.com/report/apparel-and-leather-products-global-market-report-2018 The...
          The Global Wood Products Manufacturing Market Valued At Nearly $2 Trillion In 2017 According To TBRC’s Latest Report      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(EMAILWIRE.COM, July 12, 2018 ) The wood products manufacturing industry comprises establishments engaged in manufacturing of products derived from wood. This industry includes companies manufacturing lumber, plywood, veneers, wood containers, wood flooring, wood trusses, manufactured homes and prefabricated...
          Preqin: Tail end private capital funds hold half a trillion dollars      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Opalesque Industry Update - Tail-end private capital funds* still hold $593bn in total assets, including $525bn in unrealized value** as at December 2017. This accounts for over 10% of the total assets held by the industry, which reached $5.22tn as of the same point. The majority is held in 2006-200...
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          The Global Finished Wood Product Market Is Valued At Over $1 Trillion In 2017 According To TBRC’s Latest Report      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(EMAILWIRE.COM, July 12, 2018 ) The finished wood products manufacturing market include establishments engaged in manufacturing other wood products such as wooden windows and doors, cabinets, kitchenware and wooden mobile homes and other products. It can be segmented into the wood window and door...
          India Becomes World’s Sixth Largest Economy, Leaving Behind France      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Indian Economy

India has become the sixth largest economy leaving behind France. According to World Bank statistics for 2017, India’s gross domestic product (GDP) was at $2.59 trillion in 2017 compared with $2.58 trillion France’s economy. While India’s population is 1.34 billion, France population is just 67 million. The number indicates that per capita income in France is almost 20 times higher compared with India.

After twin blow of demonetisation and implementation of GST the country has started recovering from the initial slowdown during few quarters. Centre for Economics and Business Research consultancy also recently said that India will soon leave behind Britain and France with the prospects of becoming the world’s third-biggest economy by 2032.

Indian economy is expected to grow by 7.3 per cent in 2018 and 7.5 per cent in the next two years, as per the World Bank’s Global Economics Prospects report. The World Bank forecasted India as the world’s fastest growing economy “as factors holding back growth in India fade.”

“India’s economy (today) is robust, resilient and has potential to deliver sustained growth”, said Ayhan Kose, Director of the Development Prospects Group at the World Bank.

The June 2018 edition of the report stated that “robust private consumption and strengthening investment” will contribute to India’s growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“India’s GDP growth bottomed out in the middle of 2017 after slowing for five consecutive quarters, and has since improved significantly, with momentum carrying over into 2018 on the back of a recovery in investment,” said the report. Despite the disruptions created by the Goods and Services Tax (GST), India’s manufacturing output revived by mid-2017.

- India.com

The post India Becomes World’s Sixth Largest Economy, Leaving Behind France appeared first on Northeast Today.


          ETL Datawarehouse Architect Software Engineer - JP Morgan Chase - Plano, TX      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in...
From JPMorgan Chase - Thu, 28 Jun 2018 10:39:55 GMT - View all Plano, TX jobs
          국제관계 국제사회와 NICs(영문)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
국제경제사회의 게임이론과 국제무역관계의 게임이론적 접근[정치학] 근데이후 국제관계 변화과정 및 국제관계 행위자fp국제사회에서의 핵문제[국제관계와 국제경제관계] 국제경제사회의 이념과 행위주체, 국제경제관계의 체계와 유형 및 국제레짐[국제경제관계론의 필요성] 국제사회의 정치-경제-사회 상호연관성과 국제경제관계 관점의 필요 배경국제사회의 성립과 변용 및 국제관계의 개관, 국제관계론의 이해 NICs The Chinese Experience The present document will suggest that: India Takes Off Other experiments Asia’s case Latin America case Africa’s case MIDDLE EAST’S CASE Concentrating capital for manufacturing corruption Foreign investment North-South Debt IMF Conditionality The South in International Economic Regimes Foreign Assistance Patterns of Foreign Assistance UN programs Disaster relief 1 Disaster relief 2 Disaster relief group The Impact of Foreign Assistance Confronting the North-South Gap Corruption is an important negative factor in economic development in many states. Corruption centers on the government as the central actor in economic development especially in its international aspects. Through foreign policy the government mediates the national economy’s relationship to the world economy. Corruption is by no means limited to the global South. Bur for several reasons corruption has a deeper effect in poor countries. Corruption in the global South presents a collective goods problem for states and MNCs in the global North - transparency helps solve collective goods problems. Foreigners who invest in a country then own the facilities; the investor by virtue of its ownership can control decisions about how many people to employ whether to expand or shut down what products to make and how to market them. Also the foreign investor can usually take the profits from the operation out of the country(repatriation of profits). However the host government can share in the wealth by charging fees and taxes or by leasing land or drilling rights. Many governments in the global South have feared the loss of control that comes with foreign investments by MNCs. One way in which states have sought to soften the loss of control is through joint ventures. MNCs invest in a country because of some advantage of doing business there. 1.Natural resources 2.Geographical location 3.Absorptive capacity 4.Financial stability -beyond these financial considerations a foreign investor producing for local markets wants to know that the host country’s economic growth will sustain demand for the goods being produced. Debt resulting largely from overborrowing in the 1970s and early 1980s is a major problem in the global South. Through renegotiations and other debt management efforts the North and South have improved the debt situation in recent years. However the South remains $2 trillion in debt to the North. 국제경제사회의 성립과 문제 및 국제경제관계의 중요성과 기본 틀국제경제관계의 기본 틀과 중요성 및 국제사회 성립2016년 1학기 근현대한일관계와국제사회 멀티미디어 강의 핵심요약노트2016년 1학기 근현대한일관계와국제사회 기말시험 핵심체크2017년 1학기 근현대한일관계와국제사회 멀티미디어 강의 핵심요약노트2017년 1학기 근현대한일관계와국제사회 기말시험 핵심체크2018년 1학기 근현대한일관계와국제사회 멀티미디어 강의 핵심요약노트2018년 1학기 근현대한일관계와국제사회 기말시험 핵심체크2016년 1학기 근현대한일관계와국제사회 출석대체시험 핵심체크2017년 1학기 근현대한일관계와국제사회 출석대체시험 핵심체크2018년 1학기 근현대한일관계와국제사회 출석대체시험 핵심체크국제경제사회의 기본 정신 및 이념, 국제경제관계의 제유형[국제관계] 국제경제기구와 국제경제관계지역경제통합과 국제경제관계의 개념 및 형태와 조건, 지역주의의 사적전개와 경제권 형성 조회수:483회
          World Loses $2.6trn To Global Food Wastage Annually – FAO      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

LEADERSHIP

The Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO) has disclosed that one third of the food produced worldwide is lost or wasted. The agency put global costs of food wastage as approximately $2.6 trillion per year, including $700 billion of environmental costs and $900 billion of social costs. Despite this the FAO, warned that after a period […]

The post World Loses $2.6trn To Global Food Wastage Annually – FAO appeared first on Leadership Newspaper.


          Wednesday Morning Links -       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   


Ajit Pai's FCC Doesn't Want to Hear Your Complaints Unless You Pay Them $225 gizmodo.com
Everybody Has a Cell Phone, So What s Next for the Wireless Industry? fortune.com
World Cup live streaming figures boast record numbers for 2018 independent.co.uk
CTIA: U.S. Mobile Usage Includes 1.5 Trillion Text Messages and 15.7 Trillion MBs of Data telecompetitor.com
Fox Aims to Outfox & Outspend Comcast for Sky - Report lightreading.com
House Communications Subcommittee to Look at Rural Broadband multichannel.com
AT&T had a secret reason for wanting to get its hands on Time Warner - it wants to use 5G to get more people to watch TV shows while riding in self-driving cars businessinsider.com
Cox reps stole personal information and created fake accounts, whistleblower claims bgr.com
Charter s Spectrum Mobile to gain 250K customers in 2018 fiercewireless.com
Trump s Supreme Court pick: ISPs have 1st Amendment right to block websites arstechnica.com
Philo, a low-cost live-streaming TV service, has raised $40M Series C led by existing investors AMC Networks, Discovery, and Viacom variety.com



          $70 Trillion!      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
we were the 34th fastest growing firm in America...
          ETL Datawarehouse Architect Software Engineer - JP Morgan Chase - Plano, TX      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in...
From JPMorgan Chase - Thu, 28 Jun 2018 10:39:55 GMT - View all Plano, TX jobs
          Re: An Absolutely Epic Escalation Of The Trade War Has Us On The Precipice Of A Cataclysmic Global Economic Crisis      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

At least with many if not most products available in America RISING IN PRICE BY 25% OR MORE the federal government should get MORE REVENUES Which will help offset the losses from all of the American companies closing due to the TRUMP TRADE TARIFFS.

And the federal deficit should not get a whole lot worse than around $1.5 to $2.5 trillion a year!


          Wealth Management - Mortgages Underwriting - Sr. Team Member      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Wealth Management - Mortgages Underwriting - Sr. Team Member','180068952','!*!Description J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and..
          Bosch and Daimler pick Nvidia AI chip for self-driving cars      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Self-driving carsBosch and Daimler, two of Germany's biggest automotive firms, announced Wednesday that they have selected Nvidia's Drive Pegasus artificial intelligence computer chip and supporting software to power their future self-driving systems. The computer chip can handle over 320 trillion operations per second and a terabyte of data bandwidth each and...
          Japanese Pensions Rushing Into Alternatives?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Julie Segal of Institutional Investor reports, Japanese Pensions Push Hard Into Alternatives:
In a major shift, historically conservative Japanese institutions are significantly increasing their investments in hedge funds, private equity, private debt, infrastructure, and other unlisted asset classes.

The average Japanese corporate pension fund now has a 17 percent allocation to alternative investments, up from 11 percent in 2013, according to J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s annual survey.

Furthermore, six in ten pension funds said they plan to increase their alternative investments next year. The asset manager interviewed staff members at 120 corporate defined benefit pensions between March and mid-June 2018 for its 11th annual survey. The study covers fiscal years 2016 and 2017 as well as allocators’ plans for the future.

Domestic bond allocations fell to 21.7 percent on average, the lowest level since JPMAM began been tracking the market. The move out of bonds coincides with the Bank of Japan’s policy of keeping interest rates negative to spur economic growth. The policy has hurt its institutional investors who tended to invest heavily in sovereign bonds. To offset disappearing bond yield, pension investors are hoping alternatives such as infrastructure and real estate can help them meet their return targets.

“Japanese corporate defined benefit pension plans remain under pressure to generate returns sufficient to fund their obligations and are gradually unshackling themselves from a long tradition of highly conservative investing,” institutional sales head Yoichiro Nitta said in a statement.

“The challenge will continue as anticipated bond and equity returns remain subdued, the Bank of Japan sticks with ultra-loose monetary policy to coax inflation, the U.S. economy is late cycle, and Japan’s GDP forecast is unclear,” he continued.

JPMAM also found that Japanese institutional investors are using absolute return/unconstrained fixed income, multi-asset strategies, and private debt funds to help manage volatility.

Twenty percent of Japanese institutions have nixed domestic bond and equity buckets and instead now use global versions of each as they continue to diversify outside their home market of Japan. “Within these newly condensed buckets, exposure to domestic assets is generally falling at the expense of greater allocation to foreign assets,” the announcement said.

Although Japanese pensions are moving further into alternatives, many of them still have concerns. Common hurdles include communicating how the investments work to boards and other stakeholders; whether low liquidity assets have been flooded with capital and are in a bubble; and understanding where risk lies.

“Defined benefit pension fund managers are racking their brains to explain complicated instruments and upgrade their portfolio management,” the JPMAM report stated.
Chris Flood and Attracta Mooney of the Financial Times also report, Japanese pension funds embrace alternative investments:
Appetite among Japanese pension funds for alternative investments has hit a new peak at the same time as bond allocations have sunk to a record low, according to a survey by JPMorgan Asset Management.

Pension funds in Japan, historically regarded as some of the world’s most conservative investors, have been forced to make radical changes to boost returns as a result of the extreme measures taken by the Japanese government to stimulate economic growth and inflation.

JPMorgan surveyed 123 Japanese corporate pension funds and found that the average allocation to alternative investments reached a record 17.1 per cent in March, up from 11.4 per cent over the past five years.

Exposure to Japanese government bonds dropped to 21.7 per cent, the lowest in the 11-year history of JPMorgan’s survey.

Japanese policymakers have deliberately held interest rates at ultra-low levels since 1999 in an effort to boost economic activity. The benchmark 10-year government bond yields just 2 basis points.

Expected returns among corporate pension funds have fallen over the past decade from about 3.5 to 2.6 per cent, reflecting the downward pressure on domestic interest rates.

“Japanese corporate pension funds remain under significant pressure to generate sufficient returns to fund their obligations and are gradually unshackling themselves from their long tradition of highly conservative investing. Alternatives have now truly become a mainstream asset class for Japanese pension funds,” said Akira Kunikyo, an investment specialist in JPMorgan AM’s Japan institutional business.

Katsunori Kitakura, lead strategist at SuMi Trust, the $475bn Tokyo-based asset manager, said that difficulties in forecasting the future performance of alternative investments raised concerns over whether these illiquid assets would deliver the returns required.

“It may be too late to take any countermeasures if a pension fund realises that its illiquid alternatives may not achieve their expected returns,” said Mr Kitakura, adding that risk monitoring and governance were vital considerations. “We have seen pension funds invest in alternative products in the past without conducting the appropriate due diligence and setting up risk monitoring facilities.”

JPMorgan’s survey showed that just under 60 per cent of corporate pension funds intended to raise their exposure to alternatives over the next year.

“We expect to see investors continue to ‘push the envelope’ on alternatives to boost returns and increase portfolio resilience,” said Mr Kunikyo.

In April 2017, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund invited proposals from alternative investment managers to handle private equity, infrastructure and real estate allocations via funds of funds. The number and size of new mandates has not been disclosed by the GPIF, which holds a fraction of its assets in alternatives.
GPIF, the world's biggest pension fund, reported a 6.9% gain for its fiscal year that ended March 31st, its best gain in three years buoyed by gains in domestic and overseas stocks:
Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund returned 6.9 percent, or 10.1 trillion yen ($91 billion), in the year ended March 31, with assets totaling 156.4 trillion yen, it said in Tokyo on Friday. Domestic stocks were the fund’s best-performing investment, adding 5.5 trillion yen, followed by a 3.5 trillion yen increase in overseas shares. Domestic bonds gained 362 billion yen, while overseas debt rose 674 billion yen.

Six quarters of gains boosted assets to a record at the end of 2017. The GPIF incurred losses during the first three months of this year as investor sentiment turned from optimism over U.S. tax cuts to fears of a trade war. A global equity rout and plunge in Treasuries in its final fiscal quarter kept the fund from beating a record 12 percent annual gain set three years ago.

“The environment is favorable for stock investments for the time being as the global economy remains solid and inflation is benign,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager for Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “Yet, from a long-term perspective, the ratio of risk assets in its portfolio may be too much.”


The GPIF doubled stock holdings and cut bonds as part of a strategy revamp in 2014 with the assumption that rising prices would erode the spending power of Japan’s low-yielding debt. Since then, the shift has helped the fund generate a positive return for three out the past four fiscal years.

“Domestic and overseas stocks rose largely supported by a robust economic environment and solid corporate earnings, in addition to” political stabilization in Europe and expectations over an economic boost from a U.S. tax cut, GPIF President Norihiro Takahashi said in a statement Friday. “However, toward the end of the fiscal year, domestic and overseas stocks narrowed their gains on uncertainties over U.S. trade policy, while the yen strengthened against the dollar.”

Trade friction between the U.S. and China has become a big issue when assessing the investment environment, Takahashi said at a press conference in Tokyo. In addition, he said the fund is cautious about investing in Japanese bonds with a maturity less than 10 years because of negative yields.
Did you catch that last part? When people ask me about the US bond market, I tell them to forget articles in the Wall Street Journal claiming US corporations are behind the rally in Treasurys and look at what is happening overseas where there is a record amount of sovereign debt trading at negative yields.

So it's not surprising that Japanese pensions, insurance companies and other foreign investors stuck with the same dilemma are going to look for yield in the US bond market, investing in corporate bonds and US Treasurys.

Why don't they only invest in US bonds? Because their liabilities are in local currency (like yen in this case) and there are F/X hedging costs involved which come back to bite them when the US dollar underperforms like it did last year before reversing course this year.

All this to say, even with negative yields, global pensions will still invest in their own bond market when it makes sense.

The obvious problem is that negative yields don't pay pension benefits. These Japanese pensions need to generate returns to match assets with their long-dated liabilities. And negative rates means these liabilities have mushroomed since the financial crisis but their asset allocation is still way too conservative so they are not able to generate the required rate of return.

It's pretty much the same problem every pension has all over the world. Historic low rates are forcing everyone to take more risk in risk assets like stocks and corporate bonds but these risk assets are very volatile, so here comes JPMorgan recommending everyone shifts more assets out of bonds and into alternatives.

Great for JPMorgan, they can recommend alternatives to all their clients all over the world and generate huge advisory, underwriting and trading fees but is it the best course of action for pensions and their members over the long run?

I just finished a comment going over Pennsylvania's pension fury where I discussed why simply shifting assets into alternatives without a plan and strategy is a recipe for disaster.

The big squeeze is a real issue for many underfunded US pensions which have been paying hundreds of millions in fees to alternative investment managers and receiving mediocre returns over the long run.

But the problem isn't fees. The problem is governance and no strategy when it comes to alternatives.

Today, I had lunch with a representative from Partners Group, a global powerhouse in private market investments. This fellow was super nice and very sharp. He invited me to lunch after reading my comment on PSP ramping up its direct investments.

Anyway, we talked about the Caisse going direct in private equity and PSP upping the dosage too and we noted that Stephane Etroy (Caisse) and Simon Marc (PSP) are doing a great job executing their strategy in private equity, ramping up co-investments to scale into the asset class and lower overall fees.

He told me that they view both these gentlemen and their team members as highly sophisticated investors "who bring a lot more than capital to the table". "It's the same with folks from AIMCo, CPPIB, OMERS, and OTPP."

He told me that Partners Group is focusing more on bespoke investing and there is a gamut between fund investments and co-investments. They are also focusing more on long-term investing keeping some portfolio companies much longer than the typical 3 to 5 years.

He also told me that in the US, their best-performing LP is one that doesn't press them on fee conscessions but one that is able to quickly evaluate opportunities as they arise and partner up with them on deals.

He even gave me the example of a recent deal where the LP's employees were on vacation but over the weekend, they managed to go to their board and come back quickly on a co-investment deal.

That is unheard of. A process like that takes great governance, a great team to evaluate co-investments quickly, and a quick turnaround.

That's not something you'll find at US public pensions which are often weighed down by politics. There are good people working at US public pensions but the process is highly bureaucratic and the governance is weakened by political interference.

Why am I bringing this up here? What does this have to do with Japanese pensions?

Because Japan's GPIF has a giant beta problem, just like Norway's monster pension fund which has gained very nicely since March 2009 when global stocks bottomed and rallied hard ever since.

But what happens when beta works against these funds like in a long, protracted bear market? Unlike Canada's large pensions which are well diversified across global public and private markets and have executed their strategy nicely focusing on hiring top talent to lower fees by doing more co-investments, many global pensions are very vulnerable if another downturn strikes.

But blindly shifting ever more assets into alternatives at this stage of the cycle is a recipe for disaster. You need a strategy, long-term focus and discipline or else forget alternatives, it's not worth it.

It is worth noting, however, that GPIF is moving as fast as possible into alternatives and its infrastructure portfolio which is still relatively small in terms of overall assets, generated a 5.25% return in fiscal 2018 and is looking great:
Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has recorded a return of 5.25% (in US dollars) on its ¥196.8bn (€1.51bn) core infrastructure portfolio in the 12 months ending 31 March 2018.

It is the first time that the ¥156.4trn pension fund has disclosed details about its alternative investments in its annual investment report.

According to the report, the infrastructure portfolio includes investments in the Port of Melbourne in Australia, and Birmingham Airport, Bristol Airport and Thames Water in the UK.

GPIF said its infrastructure investments were located mostly in the UK (57%), Australia and Sweden (both 15%), Spain (10%) and Finland (3%).

The pension fund first invested in infrastructure in 2014 when it become a co-investor in the Global Strategic Investment Alliance (GSIA) with Canadian pension fund OMERS and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ).

It also invests globally in infrastructure funds through multi-managers DBJ Asset ManagementStepStone Infrastructure & Real Assets and Pantheon.

GPIF’s real estate exposure is smaller at ¥8.1bn, according to the report. The pension fund plans to increase this through domestic and global multi-manager mandates.

Late last year it appointed Mitsubishi UFJ Trust as its domestic real estate multi-manager, and has yet to announce its global real estate multi-manager.

GPIF’s plans to invest in core real estate to generate long-term, stable income.

Norihiro Takahashi, GPIF’s president, said the pension fund’s overall portfolio returned 6.9% for the fiscal year.

He attributed the performance to a strong global economy, which had buoyed global stock markets, but warned of uncertainties now created by trade tensions between the world’s largest trading nations.
On private equity, GPIF's CIO rightly notes it's fast becoming more mainstream but if I were to consult GPIF and Japan's corporate pensions, I'd tell them to contact Partners Group, Blackstone, KKR, TPG and a list of top funds but also talk to guys like Mark Wiseman and André Bourbonnais who are now working at BlackRock.

You need to get the right team in place for alternatives especially when you're the size of a GPIF or some of these monster Japanese corporate pensions but more importantly, you need to get the strategy right or else you will regret getting into alternatives.

Many US public pensions didn't get the strategy right and now they're coming to the realization that more alternative investments haven't helped in terms of their long-term performance and improving their funded status. It's been a boon for alternative investment managers but not so much for public pensions and their members.

All this to say, Japanese and other global pensions looking to embrace alternatives need to first and foremost get the strategy right and develop a long-term plan to slowly but surely build out co-investments to scale into private equity and lower overall fees. Using funds of funds is fine initially but that's not a long-term strategy.

Fund investments and co-investments is the long-term strategy which has led to the success of Canada's large public pensions but before you get the strategy right, you need to get the governance right and I'm not sure that's easy in Japan or elsewhere.

So when I read articles like the one above on Japan's pensions embracing alternatives, I'm very cautious. This is great news for JPMorgan, Goldman, and their top-paying clients which are top alternative investment managers, but it remains to be seen as to how this will help Japanese pensions over the long run.

I'm also very concerned as to what all this money chasing alternative investments globally will do to dilute returns in the long run. What did Tom Barrack once say about "too much money with too few brains chasing too few deals"?

Below, an interview with Hiromichi Mizuno, GPIF's CIO. You can also read this recent SWFI interview with 'Hiro' who rightly introduced performance fees for active managers back in April.

And Alvin Liew of UOB says a change in consumer "mindset" is likely required for Japan's inflation outlook to improve.

Unfortunately, I see no such change on the horizon and fear Japan's deflation demon is spreading throughout the world, ensuring historic low rates are here to stay.



          China charges former No 2 securities regulator for taking US$10.5 million in bribes and insider trading      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
China has put Yao Gang, former vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) on trial in a local court on Wednesday for taking 69.6 million yuan (US$10.5 million) in bribes and illegally making 2.1 million yuan of gains from insider trading, the Central China Television reported. Yao, 56, was placed under investigation for alleged corruption in November 2015, five months after the worst rout in China’s stock market history that wiped out US$5 trillion of market value...
          Rickards: Here’s Where the Next Crisis Starts      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Rickards: Here’s Where the Next Crisis Starts by JAMES RICKARDS, https://dailyreckoning.com/ So many credit crises are brewing, it’s hard to keep track without a scorecard. The mother of all credit crises is coming to China with over a quarter-trillion dollars owed by insolvent banks and state-owned enterprises, not to mention off-the-books liabilities of provincial governments, wealth management […]
          Here's How the EPA and Pentagon Deliberately Hid a Growing Toxic Threat from Americans      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
It’s long been known that, in certain concentrations, these compounds could be dangerous if they got into the water supply.

The chemicals once seemed near magical, able to repel water, oil and stains.

By the 1970s, DuPont and 3M had used them to develop Teflon and Scotchgard, and they slipped into an array of everyday products, from gum wrappers to sofas to frying pans to carpets. Known as perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, they were a boon to the military, too, which used them in foam that snuffed out explosive oil and fuel fires.

It’s long been known that, in certain concentrations, the compounds could be dangerous if they got into water or if people breathed dust or ate food that contained them. Tests showed they accumulated in the blood of chemical factory workers and residents living nearby, and studies linked some of the chemicals to cancers and birth defects.

Now two new analyses of drinking water data and the science used to analyze it make clear the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense have downplayed the public threat posed by these chemicals. Far more people have likely been exposed to dangerous levels of them than has previously been reported because contamination from them is more widespread than has ever been officially acknowledged.

Moreover, ProPublica has found, the government’s understatement of the threat appears to be no accident.

The EPA and the Department of Defense calibrated water tests to exclude some harmful levels of contamination and only register especially high concentrations of chemicals, according to the vice president of one testing company. Several prominent scientists told ProPublica the DOD chose to use tests that would identify only a handful of chemicals rather than more advanced tests that the agencies’ own scientists had helped develop which could potentially identify the presence of hundreds of additional compounds.

The first analysis, contained in an EPA contractor’s PowerPoint presentation, shows that one chemical — the PFAS most understood to cause harm — is 24 times more prevalent in public drinking water than the EPA has reported. Based on this, the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization whose scientists have studied PFAS pollution, has estimated that as many as 110 million Americans are now at risk of being exposed to PFAS chemicals.

In the second analysis, ProPublica compared how the military checks for and measures PFAS-related contamination to what’s identified by more advanced tests. We found that the military relied on tests which are not capable of detecting all the PFAS chemicals it believed to be present. Even then, it underreported its results, sharing only a small part if its data. We also found that the military’s own research programs had retested several of those defense sites using more advanced testing technology and identified significantly more pollution than what the military reported to Congress.

Even before the troubling new information about PFAS chemicals emerged, the government had acknowledged problems relating to them were spreading. Past EPA water testing, however incomplete, identified drinking water contamination across 33 states that Harvard researchers estimated affected some 6 million people. The military suspected drinking water at more than 660 U.S. defense sites where firefighting foam was used could be contaminated; earlier this year, it announced it had confirmed contamination in 36 drinking water systems and in 90 groundwater sites on or near its facilities.

The new analyses suggest these findings likely represent just a fraction of the true number of people and drinking water systems affected.

In written responses to questions, the EPA did not directly address whether it had understated contamination from PFAS chemicals. The agency said it had confidence in its current testing procedures and had set detection limits at appropriate levels. It also stated that it is taking steps towards regulating some PFAS compounds and registering them as “hazardous substances,” a classification that triggers additional oversight under waste and pollution laws.

The agency will “take concrete actions to ensure PFAS is thoroughly addressed and all Americans have access to clean and safe drinking water,” then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who recently resigned, said in the written statement to ProPublica in May.

The Department of Defense also responded to questions in writing, defending its testing methods as the best available and calling it difficult to fully assess risks from PFAS because the EPA has not regulated these chemicals. A DOD spokeswoman said the Pentagon’s research group has a program underway aimed at enhancing the test methods and detecting more PFAS compounds, but suggested that no alternatives were ready for use. She did not answer questions about why the agency reported contamination levels for only two chemicals to Congress when it would have had data on many more, stating only that the Pentagon “is committed to protecting human health and the environment.”

Environmental experts aren’t convinced.

“Widespread contamination may be harming the health of millions or even tens of millions of Americans and the government is intentionally covering up some of the evidence,” said Erik Olson, a senior director for health, food and agriculture initiatives at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in an interview. The EPA and Defense Department “have done all they can to sort of drag their feet and avoid meaningful regulatory action in making significant investment in cleanups.”

In May, a Politico report revealed that the EPA and the White House, along with the Defense Department, had pressured a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to withhold a health study expected to warn that people exposed to PFAS chemicals face greater health risks than were previously understood. That report was quietly released in mid-June and, indeed, estimated safe levels of exposure are seven to 10 times smaller than what the EPA has said.

Such a determination could spur stricter limits on exposure than the EPA appears to have considered. Paired with an emerging realization that testing by the EPA and DOD hasn’t captured the true extent of contamination, the government could be forced to reconceive its approach to these compounds, said David Sedlak, the director of the Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, who helped develop one of the most advanced commercial tests for PFAS substances.

“Not talking about it isn’t going to make the problem go away,” Sedlak said. “And because these compounds are forever — they aren’t going to degrade on their own — eventually there is going to be a day of reckoning.”

The PFAS compounds might not exist if weren’t for a lab accident in 1938, when a frozen block of refrigerant turned into an extraordinarily slippery white, waxy mass. A decade later DuPont was manufacturing it as Teflon. 3M developed its own version, the molecularly similar PFOA in 1954, when a chemist inadvertently spilled a mixture of chemicals on her shoe and found the stain was impervious to soap or water. They called it Scotchgard.

These products work, in part, because the chemicals they contain are made up of some of the strongest and most resilient molecular bonds in existence, thanks to a unique structure that keeps them from breaking down. There are thousands of variations, all characterized by extremely strong daisy chains of carbon and fluorine molecules and differentiated mostly by the length of their “tails” — the string of carbon molecules that can be anywhere from two to 14 units long.

In the mid-1970s, with the use of the chemicals proliferating, Dupont and 3M began privately testing the blood of their plant workers and others. The companies had grown increasingly concerned about the toxicity of PFAS compounds, learning that they “bio-accumulate” in food and people and that they could cause harm. But it wasn’t until 2000, when 3M pulled Scotchgard from the market, that the EPA began to investigate PFAS’s potential damage to human health and the environment, and soon after, that the blood tests became public.

At first, the EPA took steps that suggested it would quickly get to the bottom of the problem. Citing the spread of contaminants in water supplies in Minnesota and Ohio, in 2002 the agency launched a “priority review” of some PFAS compounds. It wrote then that exposure can “result in a variety of effects including developmental/reproductive toxicity, liver toxicity and cancer.”

By 2003, the EPA launched its first draft risk assessment for PFOA, typically a substantial step towards establishing strict regulatory standards that limit a chemical’s use and mandate its cleanup. When the draft was released in early 2005, it said that while the epidemiological evidence remained inconclusive, rats tested with PFOA were more likely to develop liver and pancreatic cancers, and there were worrisome signs that workers in plants that manufactured PFOA had a higher risk of dying of prostate cancer.

The EPA also asked industries to voluntarily phase out PFOA-related products, including the firefighting foam, by 2015.

The question was then — and remains today — how much exposure to PFAS chemicals would make people seriously ill?

In 2009, the agency attempted an answer, issuing “provisional” voluntary guidelines for safe levels of the chemicals in drinking water. This meant that for the first time, the government offered a precise, scientific measure for how much of the compounds was too much. But it didn’t mandate those limits, or create a regulation enforceable by law. And even those limits — it would later become clear — proved too loose.

Meanwhile, other instances of water contamination — in Minnesota and Alabama — heightened concerns. One study of 60,000 residents in West Virginia and Ohio exposed to high levels of PFOS and PFOA from a DuPont manufacturing plant and an Army airfield showed they had high rates of thyroid malfunction, testicular and kidney cancers and preeclampsia. The study was completed as part of a roughly $107 million settlement of a lawsuit against DuPont. Studies on animals also linked the chemicals to structural birth defects and dramatic changes in hormone levels.

In 2013, with concern rising over the ubiquity of PFAS compounds, the EPA decided it would test for some of the chemicals in public drinking water systems. The agency regulates chemicals under the Safe Drinking Water Act and adds new substances to the list based on tests showing they’re widespread enough to pose a national threat. Listing a chemical for such testing is often a step toward creating enforceable regulations for it.

At the same time, the agency began to reconsider the health advisory limit it had established in 2009. In 2016, the agency announced a dramatically lower limit for how much PFAS exposure was safe for people, suggesting a threshold less than one-eighth the amount it had once assured would cause no harm. Under the new guidelines, no more than 70 parts per trillion of the chemicals, less than the size of a single drop in an Olympic pool, were deemed safe.

Yet even this standard remains voluntary and unenforceable. Until there’s a true limit on the concentration of PFAS compounds allowable in drinking water, soil and groundwater — and the classification of PFAS as a hazardous substance — the EPA can’t hold water utilities, companies or other polluters to account. It also can’t compel the Department of Defense to adhere to the standard or clean up contamination.

There is increasing evidence that PFAS contamination is more widespread on and around military bases than previously thought.

The Department of Defense launched a full-scale review of contamination in drinking water systems at its facilities in 2016, despite the lack of clear regulatory limits from the EPA.

This spring the Pentagon reported to Congress that 564 of the 2,445 off-base public and private drinking water systems that it had tested contained PFOS or PFOA above the EPA’s advisory limits. It also announced that groundwater at 90 out of 410 military bases where it tested contained dangerous levels of these two chemicals. A staggering 61 percent of groundwater wells tested exceeded the EPA’s threshold for safety, according to the presentation Maureen Sullivan, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for environment, safety and occupational health, gave to Congress in March. Attending to the problem, several news outlets have reported, would cost the Pentagon at least $2 billion.

In presenting its liabilities to Congress, the Defense Department took an important step in wrestling with a troublesome issue, much as the EPA had in undertaking national data collection.

But both agencies have quite deliberately chosen not to use the most advanced tools or to collect the most comprehensive data on contamination, researchers say.

To identify PFAS compounds in drinking water, the EPA uses a lab test called “Method 537,” which separates microscopic molecules so they can be more easily seen. It’s not the most sophisticated test available, but scientists have used it enough to give them — and regulators — extraordinary confidence in its results. This is the test the EPA chose in 2013, when it directed its labs across the country to test water samples to evaluate emerging PFAS chemical contaminants to help determine whether they should be regulated.

But even though the Method 537 test can detect 14 PFAS compounds, the EPA only asked for data on six of them. The EPA said this was to allow for testing of non-PFAS pollutants, since the agency is only allowed to target a certain number of emerging contaminants in each round of tests.

The agency also set detection thresholds for the six PFAS compounds included as much as 16 times higher than what the test was sensitive enough to detect — so high that only the most extreme cases of contamination were reflected in the federal drinking water dataset.

Indeed, according to a recent presentation by Andrew Eaton, vice president of Eurofins Eaton Analytical, the largest drinking water test lab in the country, which handled testing of more than 10,000 samples from 1,100 public water systems — about 30 percent of the EPA’s water samples overall — vast amounts of detected contamination was ignored by design.

Through its federal water quality reporting, the EPA has said publicly that PFOA was detected in just 1 percent of water samples across the nation. But when Eaton recently went back and reanalyzed the data the EPA didn’t want, he found PFOA was in nearly 24 percent of the samples his company tested.

Another chemical, PFBS, is considered a sentinel because in situations where it is a component of contamination also containing PFAS and PFOA, it travels further and faster in water and shows up months or years ahead in places where PFOA or PFOS are ultimately detected. The EPA has reported that PFBS was found in less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all its water samples — not even one in 100. Eaton’s re-analysis detected the sentinel chemical in nearly one out of eight of samples.

“It basically says the plume is on its way, that’s the leading indicator… PFOS and PFOA is likely on the way to your house,” said Jennifer Field, a professor of environmental and molecular toxicology at Oregon State University. Field is a leading expert on test methods for PFAS compounds. The Department of Defense helps fund her research. “If you are on the hydrological flow path it’s a matter of time and distance.”

The EPA defended its detection limits, saying its testing protocol is designed to yield consistent, reliable results even if labs conducting the tests are less sophisticated.

But the government is far from certain that lower levels of PFAS compounds than those that count as contamination by the EPA’s definition aren’t health threats. The EPA has repeatedly lowered how much exposure to PFAS compounds it considers acceptable. And when the CDC finally released its health analysis for PFAS compounds in June, it called for limits of one compound to be 10 times lower than the EPA’s current threshold, and another to be seven times lower. Such a standard would be more in line with some states, which already have tougher limits in place. New Jersey, for example, has set its exposure limit for PFOA at roughly one-fifth of what the EPA prescribes.

The EPA’s testing protocol — which only certifies the 537 test, with its limitations — also hasn’t kept up with fast-evolving science around PFAS chemicals. Researchers have identified new forms of the chemicals and, potentially, new dangers from these variants.

In 2016, Field and several other researchers — as part of a Defense Department research program examining water samples from 15 defense sites where firefighting foam was used (researchers declined to name them) — identified 40 new families of PFAS chemicals, consisting of some 240 compounds they’d never seen before.

“You’re starting to get this idea that more complex chemistry was used at these sites than was picked up in the tests, and that’s kind of the punchline,” said Field, of the firefighting foam sites in particular. “There is more mass down there, there are more species and in higher concentrations than what you see.”

Method 537, as a rule, is not capable of detecting these additional compounds. Yet when the Pentagon launched its own water testing program at U.S. bases in 2016, it chose to use the EPA’s outdated testing process, even though a test capable of detecting the presence of dozens of additional PFAS compounds was available. That test, called the Top Assay, was even developed with Defense Department support.

Instead, the Defense Department relied exclusively on the 537 test and then, when it reported its findings to Congress this past March, it offered only the results for PFOS and PFOA and not the other 12 compounds the test process identifies, because that’s what Congress had asked for. Indeed, according to one memorandum from the Department of the Navy, the armed services were explicitly instructed to withhold their extra data — at least for the time being — because it was “not being used to make decisions.”

“If you were going to spend $200 million testing DoD sites across the country, wouldn’t you want to test for all of the chemicals you know you used?” asked Jane Williams, executive director of California Communities Against Toxics, who has been active on chemical cleanup issues at Defense sites.

“It’s almost like a deliberate thing, where you’re going to tell people their water is safe to drink, and you know that you have a gap in your testing and you know that you haven’t found all of the chemicals in the water.”

Scientists are only now beginning to understand the importance of the information the government is choosing to leave out. Field has found, for example, not only that there are more variations of PFAS compounds, but that some degrade over time into PFOS or PFOA, or, like PFBS, travel faster in the environment, making them predictors for other contaminants soon to come.

Many of the variants with shorter “tails” — or shorter chains of molecules than the test methods can detect — “are likely to break through systems designed to capture” them, Field and others wrote in a 2017 paper published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. They are also more likely to elude the water treatment methods the EPA and the Department of Defense are using to clean water identified as contaminated.

The consequence of these systemic blind spots is that “by the time you see PFOS and PFOA you may have been drinking other things for a longer period of time,” Field said.

When Field retested water samples at several U.S. defense sites using the most advanced testing available, she found that many of these obscure additional chemicals were nearly uniformly present — and in huge numbers. At one site, for example, where PFOS was detected at 78,000 parts per trillion, another obscure PFAS compound was present at nearly three times that concentration.

Based on Eaton’s higher-resolution detection rates, scientists at the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization that researches the dangers of PFAS compounds, have generated new estimates of contamination linked to the chemicals.

They now think more than 110 million people have been exposed to the compounds through their drinking water, more than five times as many as the group had previously estimated.

The EPA “has really underplayed the extent of contamination,” said David Andrews, a senior scientist at EWG. “The scope of the problem seems to be expanding.”

 

 

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          Up Is Down, Black Is White...      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Yesterday, I reported that I had learned a few new things of late.

For example. automation is both a major cause of job loss and of job growth. That Obama blames a lot of our economic woes on owners of corporate jets who took advantage of the tax break Obama gave them in his stimulus bill.

I've also learned other things. things such as that when we drop bombs and missiles on a sovereign nation with the intent of deposing or killing the head of state, it's not really a war unless the president says it is. Or that Michigan's law that absolutely forbids any kind of discrimination based on race or sex is, in and of itself, racially and sexually discriminatory. That a government that has run up a debt of over 14 trillion dollars -- more than doubled in eight years -- doesn't have a spending problem, but just needs more money.

I'm starting to think I'm just not cut out for understanding modern politics.

I wonder if my health insurance would cover the necessary lobotomy, so I can?

          Alan Greenspan on Quantitative Easing Parts One and Two      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

"It obviously had some effect on the exchange rate and the exchange rate was a critical issue in export expansion," he said. "Aside from that, I am ill-aware of anything that really worked. Not only QE2 but QE1."



Fed's Massive Stimulus Had Little Impact: Greenspan

CNBC

The Federal Reserve's massive stimulus program had little impact on the U.S. economy besides weakening the dollar and helping U.S. exports, Federal Reserve Governor Alan Greenspan told CNBC Thursday.

In a blunt critique of his successor, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Greenspan said the $2 trillion in quantative easing over the past two years had done little to loosen credit and boost the economy.

"There is no evidence that huge inflow of money into the system basically worked," Greenspan said in a live interview.

"It obviously had some effect on the exchange rate and the exchange rate was a critical issue in export expansion," he said. "Aside from that, I am ill-aware of anything that really worked. Not only QE2 but QE1."

Greenspan's comments came as the Fed ended the second installment of its bond-buying program, known as QE2, after spending $600 billion. There were no hints of any more monetary easing--or QE3--to come.

Greenspan said he "would be surprised if there was a QE3"  because it would "continue erosion of the dollar."

Shorter Greenspan: We tried to warn them.

Ah yes, the "unexpected" consequences of The Left's Holiday from Sane strike yet again. The countdown to a proposed QE3 starts now, since 0bama and his administration are all about reinforcing failure.

In other related news, "TurboTax Timmy" Geithner joins the rest of 0bama's original Economic Team in looking for the door:

Geithner to Consider Leaving After Debt Debate

By Hans Nichols | Bloomberg

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has signaled to White House officials that he's considering leaving the administration after President Barack Obama reaches an agreement with Congress to raise the federal debt limit, according to three people familiar with the matter.

...

Geithner hasn't made a final decision and won't do so until the debt-ceiling issue has been resolved, according to one of the people. All spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about private discussions.

...

An exit by Geithner would complete the turnover in Obama's original economic team, with Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee scheduled to leave in early August to return to the University of Chicago.

Looks like all the rats are departing the sinking ship of the 0bama administration...
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          Nigeria:AfDB, Nigeria Partner to Bridge $3 Trillion Infrastructure Gap      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[Premium Times] The African Development Bank (AfDB) said it would assist the Nigerian government to bridge its infrastructure gap estimated to cost about $3 trillion in the next 26 years.
          Bosch and Daimler pick Nvidia AI chip for self-driving cars      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Bosch and Daimler pick Nvidia AI chip for self-driving cars#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000 Bosch and Daimler, two of Germany's biggest automotive firms, announced Wednesday that they have selected Nvidia's Drive Pegasus artificial intelligence computer chip and supporting software to power their future self-driving systems. The computer chip can handle over 320 trillion operations ... Reported by MotorAuthority 1 hour ago.
          .Homeowners now have a collective $5.8 trillion in tappable equity       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Homeowners are sitting on a record amount of cash - and not tapping it a.. Homeowners now have a collective $5.8 trillion in tappable equity, the highest volume ever recorded. b.. The average...... The post has 2 replies so far. Read more and discuss here
          How we study the microbes living in your gut | Dan Knights      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
There are about a hundred trillion microbes living inside your gut -- protecting you from infection, aiding digestion and regulating your immune system. As our bodies have adapted to life in modern society, we've started to lose some of our normal microbes; at the same time, diseases linked to a loss of diversity in microbiome are skyrocketing in developed nations. Computational microbiologist Dan Knights shares some intriguing discoveries about the differences in the microbiomes of people in developing countries compared to the US, and how they might affect our health. Learn more about the world of microbes living inside you -- and the work being done to create tools to restore and replenish them.
          Up Is Down, Black Is White...      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Yesterday, I reported that I had learned a few new things of late.

For example. automation is both a major cause of job loss and of job growth. That Obama blames a lot of our economic woes on owners of corporate jets who took advantage of the tax break Obama gave them in his stimulus bill.

I've also learned other things. things such as that when we drop bombs and missiles on a sovereign nation with the intent of deposing or killing the head of state, it's not really a war unless the president says it is. Or that Michigan's law that absolutely forbids any kind of discrimination based on race or sex is, in and of itself, racially and sexually discriminatory. That a government that has run up a debt of over 14 trillion dollars -- more than doubled in eight years -- doesn't have a spending problem, but just needs more money.

I'm starting to think I'm just not cut out for understanding modern politics.

I wonder if my health insurance would cover the necessary lobotomy, so I can?

          Alan Greenspan on Quantitative Easing Parts One and Two      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

"It obviously had some effect on the exchange rate and the exchange rate was a critical issue in export expansion," he said. "Aside from that, I am ill-aware of anything that really worked. Not only QE2 but QE1."



Fed's Massive Stimulus Had Little Impact: Greenspan

CNBC

The Federal Reserve's massive stimulus program had little impact on the U.S. economy besides weakening the dollar and helping U.S. exports, Federal Reserve Governor Alan Greenspan told CNBC Thursday.

In a blunt critique of his successor, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Greenspan said the $2 trillion in quantative easing over the past two years had done little to loosen credit and boost the economy.

"There is no evidence that huge inflow of money into the system basically worked," Greenspan said in a live interview.

"It obviously had some effect on the exchange rate and the exchange rate was a critical issue in export expansion," he said. "Aside from that, I am ill-aware of anything that really worked. Not only QE2 but QE1."

Greenspan's comments came as the Fed ended the second installment of its bond-buying program, known as QE2, after spending $600 billion. There were no hints of any more monetary easing--or QE3--to come.

Greenspan said he "would be surprised if there was a QE3"  because it would "continue erosion of the dollar."

Shorter Greenspan: We tried to warn them.

Ah yes, the "unexpected" consequences of The Left's Holiday from Sane strike yet again. The countdown to a proposed QE3 starts now, since 0bama and his administration are all about reinforcing failure.

In other related news, "TurboTax Timmy" Geithner joins the rest of 0bama's original Economic Team in looking for the door:

Geithner to Consider Leaving After Debt Debate

By Hans Nichols | Bloomberg

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has signaled to White House officials that he's considering leaving the administration after President Barack Obama reaches an agreement with Congress to raise the federal debt limit, according to three people familiar with the matter.

...

Geithner hasn't made a final decision and won't do so until the debt-ceiling issue has been resolved, according to one of the people. All spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about private discussions.

...

An exit by Geithner would complete the turnover in Obama's original economic team, with Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee scheduled to leave in early August to return to the University of Chicago.

Looks like all the rats are departing the sinking ship of the 0bama administration...
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          The Corporate Bond Market Is Getting Junkier      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Authored by Danielle DiMartino Booth via Bloomberg,

Few investors realize the ticking time bombs populating what they believe are the safest parts of their portfolios.

Much has been made of the degradation of the $7.5 trillion U.S. corporate debt market. High yield offers too little, well, yield. And “high grade” now requires air quotes to account for the growing dominance of bonds rated BBB, which is the lowest rung on the investment-grade ladder before dropping into “junk” status. And then there’s the massive market for leveraged loans, where covenants protecting investors have all but disappeared.

How does that break down? Corporate bonds rated BBB now total $2.56 trillion, having surpassed in size the sum of higher-rated debentures, which total $2.55 trillion, according to Morgan Stanley. Put another way, BBB bonds outstanding exceed by 50 percent the size of the entire investment grade market at the peak of the last credit boom, in 2007. 

But aren’t they still investment grade? At little to no risk of default? In 2000, when BBB bonds were a mere third of the market, net leverage (total debt minus cash and short term investments divided by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was 1.7 times. By the end of last year, the ratio had ballooned to 2.9 times.

Given the marked deterioration in fundamentals, bond powerhouse Pacific Investment Management Co. worries that “This suggests a greater tolerance from the credit rating agencies for higher leverage, which in turn warrants extra caution when investing in lower-rated IG names, especially in sectors where earnings are more closely tied to the business cycle.”

In the event this warning rings a bell, be heartened that your memory is still largely intact. Investors blindly following credit rating firms’ designations on subprime mortgages despite a clear degradation in the due diligence upon which the ratings were assigned ended up regretting such faith when the financial crisis hit.

So why not treat the BBB portion of the bond market for what it is: a high-risk slice of the corporate debt pie. Keeping count of “fallen angels,” or those investment-grade bonds that are downgraded into junk territory, will become a spectator sport.

With that as a backdrop, add to the BBB market what are already designated high-yield bonds and leveraged loans and you arrive at $5 trillion, twice the size of what investors should realistically classify as money-good investment-grade debt. The leveraged loan market is generally where companies whose credit is so weak they can’t access the high-yield bond market go to attain financing. It just exceeded the high-yield bond market in size, growing to $1.22 trillion compared with high-yield’s $1.21 trillion, according to Fitch Ratings.

Query institutional investors and they will answer that they’re increasingly guarded in their approach to the market. The investment community’s suspicions are amply reflected in the awful performance put in by the investment-grade market this year, with the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Corporate Bond Index dropping 2.80 percent through Friday. Among 19 major parts of the global bond market tracked by the Bloomberg Barclays indexes, only dollar-denominated emerging-market debt has done worse. 

The extra yield investors demand to own investment-grade corporate bonds instead of U.S. Treasuries is equally indicative of investor skepticism. At about 1.25 percentage points, the spread has expanded from an average of 0.85 percentage point in February to the widest since 2016. 

But ask yourself this question: How many small investors perceive the corporate debt market as two parts high-risk and one part low-risk? According to State Street Advisors, despite the underperformance of investment-grade funds, June saw continued inflows of $2.8 billion into the space while high-yield sustained outflows of $2 billion. Through the first six months of this year, investment-grade inflows totaled $5.6 billion while high-yield funds bled $5.9 billion. 

The reality is precious few retail investors conceive of the ticking time bombs populating what they believe to be the safest slice of their portfolio pie.


          A million bottles a minute: world's plastic binge 'as dangerous as climate change'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Exclusive: Annual consumption of plastic bottles is set to top half a trillion by 2021, far outstripping recycling efforts and jeopardising oceans, coastlines and other environments

A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change.

New figures obtained by the Guardian reveal the surge in usage of plastic bottles, more than half a trillion of which will be sold annually by the end of the decade.

Continue reading...
          A Fifth-Trillion Dollars      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

It would seem by dark cynicism last night about the unimportance of the big trade news was well-founded. As always, this is about context. In a normal, rational market, a United States President openly declaring a trade war on the biggest economy on the planet and ratcheting it up with tariffs on $200 billion in

The post A Fifth-Trillion Dollars appeared first on Slope of Hope.


          iQIYI Enters Fortune China 500 List, Marking Milestone for Innovative Online Entertainment Platform      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
...RMB 7 trillion. Since its founding eight years ago, iQIYI has continued on expanding its innovative monetization models, growing the business in all areas including advertising, paid membership, publishing, content production and distribution, and IP licensing. The company has risen to ...

          Foxconn revenues grow over 20% on year in June      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) has registered consolidated revenues of NT$389.89 billion (US$12.69 billion) for June with growths of 12.32% on month and 23.71% on year. The electronic manufacturing service (EMS) provider's consolidated revenues for second-quarter 2018 were NT$1.08 trillion, up 5.2% sequentially and 17.19% on year.
          Written Ministerial Statements — Department for Transport: Roads update (9 Jul 2018)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Chris Grayling: Today I am publishing the Government’s Zero Emission Road Transport Strategy ‘Road to Zero’. The transition to zero emission road transport is happening now across the world. It will mean fundamental changes to the global automotive market, worth over £1.5 trillion a year, bringing new jobs and growth opportunities for the UK. These include those we are already enjoying...
           India replaces France as world’s 6th biggest economy      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
India has become the world’s sixth-biggest economy, pushing France into seventh place, according to updated World Bank figures for 2017. India’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to $2.597 trillion at the end of last year, against $2.582 trillion for France. India’s economy rebounded strongly from July 2017, after several quarters of slowdown blamed on economic policies pursued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

India, with around 1.34 billion inhabitants, is poised to become the world’s most populous nation, whereas the French population stands at 67 million. This means that India’s per capita GDP continues to amount to just a fraction of that of France which is still roughly 20 times higher, according to World Bank figures.

Manufacturing and consumer spending were the main drivers of the Indian economy last year, after a slowdown blamed on the demonetisation of large banknotes that Modi imposed at the end of 2016, as well as a chaotic implementation of a new harmonised goods and service tax regime.

India has doubled its GDP within a decade and is expected to power ahead as a key economic engine in Asia, even as China slows down.

According to the International Monetary Fund, India is projected to generate growth of 7.4% this year and 7.8% in 2019, boosted by household spending and a tax reform. This compares to the world’s expected average growth of 3.9%.

The London-based Centre for Economics and Business Research, a consultancy, said at the end of last year that India would overtake both Britain and France this year in terms of GDP, and had a good chance to become the world’s third-biggest economy by 2032.

At the end of 2017, Britain was still the world’s fifth-biggest economy with a GDP of $2.622 trillion. The US is the world’s top economy, followed by China, Japan and Germany.

          Why Indian women don’t want to work      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
 A long time ago when I was in my first job as a trainee researcher in a magazine, I would take the chartered bus (a working people’s school bus that collects people from a residential area and drops them in an office hub) from home to office. The art of eavesdropping on conversations must be ingrained because I still remember some of the chatter around. One particular conversation thread was between two women in their 40s. They looked like junior bank staff. The women were discussing how their friends who married men who could support them financially made a better deal. “We now have two jobs—at work and at home.” Indian men, it seems, get so tired at work that they have no strength for housework in a double income home.
Data on women participation in the Indian labour force shows that Indian women are preferring to stay at home rather than come out to work. In an excellent piece, Farzana Afridi and Kanika Mahajan deep dive into the National Sample Survey 2011-12 to show that it is actually married women that show a dramatic fall in workforce participation. Instead of joining the workforce as the Indian economy grew from $284.3 billion to $1.8 trillion and per capita income grew from $340 to $1,480, women’s participation in the labour force fell from 47% to 37% over a 20-year period ending 2011-12. While unmarried women in the age group of 15 to 60 saw a rise in workforce participation from 37% to 50%, the number of married women has remained stagnant for 30 years at 20%, they write. Their analysis shows that young unmarried women show an increase in workforce numbers, older unmarried women continue to work, but married women pay the “marriage penalty” on financial independence and workforce participation by dropping out.
Much of the conversation around the decline in women’s workforce participation looks at what the workplace and the state can do to make women return to work. Better childcare facilities, more maternity leave, remote working facilities, safer commutes, better lit streets, better public transport. While these solutions are all needed, these fail to take into account the paternalistic and traditional nature of the Indian household. Household work, childrearing and care, looking after the older people in the home, are all delegated to the women of the house. This is not just true of “them”, the blue collar factory workers, it is true for “us”, the double standard bearing urban mass affluent homes. Private conversations with almost all the married women who work outside the home, mostly end with accepting this double standard of pretending equality at home when it exists only on the social chit chat circuit and in brave tweets about equality. Look around you—most of the men in leadership roles have women who either work out of home or are full-time home-makers. Aparna Jain in her book, Own ItLeadership Lessons From Women Who Do, documents the stories of high-earning women who need to rush home to make fresh chappatis for the joint family, or need husband’s permission to buy footwear.
I remember speaking with a lady who was working on getting more women into finance. She said that while the western women’s problems relating to work were all in the work place (unequal pay, late meetings and so on), Indian women reported the home place being the big roadblock to work. The home likes the income, but is unwilling to let the woman give up on household work, child care and eldercare duties. Women find it easier to drop out than drop dead from over work.
Yes, we need workplace-related changes. Yes, there is need for safer commutes and cities. But we also need a change at home with an equitable distribution of the work traditionally done by women. Equal work sharing at home for a two-income household will not come without a struggle and it is far easier to drop out than fight. One piece of advice that has worked for some of my friends is this: do not rush in to raise your hand when there is house work on the table. Our deep seated need for external affirmation and acceptance makes us vulnerable to rushing in to do it just right. Step back. Let the work not be done. See how the family reacts. It’s a long haul. Begin by stepping back.

          What is Project Sashakt and how it will work(GS 3,Economy,UPSC CSE)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The centre last week accepted Project Sashakt, a five-pronged strategy to resolve bad loans, with the larger ones going to an asset management company (AMC) or an alternative investment fund (AIF). Minttakes a look at how it will work.
What is Project Sashakt?
Project Sashakt was proposed by a panel led by PNB chairman Sunil Mehta. Bad loans of up to ₹50 crore will be managed at the bank level, with a deadline of 90 days. For bad loans of ₹50-500 crore, banks will enter an inter-creditor agreement, authorizing the lead bank to implement a resolution plan in 180 days, or refer the asset to NCLT. For loans above ₹500 crore, the panel recom­mended an independent AMC, supported by institutional funding through the AIF. The idea is to help consolidate stressed assets.
How will the national AMC work?
According to the committee, banks will have to set up an AMC under which there will be multiple sector-specific AIFs. These funds will invest in the stressed assets bought by existing ARCs, such as ARCIL. The ARCs will use the funds to redeem security receipts issued to banks against the bad loans. Other AMC-AIFs and ARCs will be allowed to bid for these assets, and match the pricing offered by ARCIL or the national AMC. The AMC will be responsible for the operational turnaround of the asset.
Who will own the stressed asset?
The ARC after buying the asset from lenders will transfer ownership to the AIF. The new owner, the AMC-AIF, will hold a stake of at least 76%.
What do investors think about the plan?
While investors are optimistic about the AMC-AIF structure, they believe that pricing will be key to complete the transaction. The Mehta panel suggested that the bidding process follow a market-led approach, inviting bids from AMCs, ARCs and AIFs. Existing players, such as ARCIL and the national AMC, will be allowed to set the floor price for the bad assets, while other players will be asked to either match the price or better it.
What is the money involved?
The total quantum of bad loans worth ₹500 crore or more is estimated at ₹3 trillion. According to SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar, the AMC will require funds of ₹1.2 trillion, assuming a 40% loan recovery. Of this, 60-70% is expected to come from domestic institutions and banks, including SBI, and the remaining 30-35% from foreign investors. The AMC will require funding for six to 24 months, said Kumar.

          Bongo on Rare Beatles Vinyl? (Mis-Prints, Miss-Pressings etc)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

denlimack said
I am wondering if anyone can help me . I havr a Canadian pressing of Revolver
but it was pressed with the same 5 songs on both side A and B.  Any info such as rarity and possible value would be appreciated!

Hi denlimack.  It might be worth something to somebody, but as you may already know, there are a trillion copies of this Capitol record, so I bet there a quite a few mistakes out there.  Obviously there are less Canadian copies than USA copies, but they are basically the same.  If it were ...

          The loonie is climbing after the Bank of Canada raised its benchmark rate to 1.5%      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

stephen polozChris Wattie/Reuters


The Canadian dollar climbed versus the greenback Wednesday after the country's central bank raised its key rate by 25 basis points to 1.5%, marking the fourth hike since last summer.

The loonie rose 0.45% against the dollar following the announcement, which economists had widely expected.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: This is how moveable prosthetic covers are made for bionic limbs

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Markets around the world are getting pummeled as Trump's trade war intensifies


          A Fifth-Trillion Dollars      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The NQ has already bounced 50 points off its panic low, and the ES is cheerfully healing itself.
          Alcohol Use Costs Increase      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
New estimates released today find that the costs of excessive alcohol use in the US rose to almost a quarter trillion dollars in 2010.
          On the Purpose of NATO & the Cost of European Defense      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The anxiety leading up to this week’s NATO summit is unusually intense, thanks in large part to President Trump’s fractious relationship with European allies. Trump’s political values are often in tension with that of his transatlantic counterparts, and the White House is inching ever closer to an all-out trade war with Europe and Canada, but the real drama of the NATO summit will center on Trump’s brash accusations of allied free-riding. He recently sent letters to many European capitals berating them for not meeting their pledge to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense.

In a post at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Lucie Béraud-Sudreau and Nick Childs try to push back on the notion that providing for European defense is all that costly for the United States. While it is true that the $602.8 billion the United States spent on its military in 2017 “was the equivalent of 70.1% of aggregate spending by all NATO member states,” this exaggerates the true cost, they argue.

Direct U.S. spending on European defense, by their estimate, is only about $30.7 billion in 2017 and $36 billion in 2018, or between 5.1% and 5.5% of the total U.S. defense budget.

How do they calculate this number? They tally up the cost of three things: (1) direct funding for NATO, including common procurements; (2) the costs of the U.S. military presence in Europe; and (3) U.S. foreign military assistance.

Now, $30-$40 billion every year is nothing to sniff at. That is an enormous chunk of change for an America that is $21 trillion in debt to be spending on the defense of a region that is remarkably rich, powerful, and safe.

The problem, however, is that this understates the true cost of America’s NATO commitments. It is misleading to count the U.S. contribution to NATO solely as a sum of direct annual costs. The tally should also account for the indirect cost of maintaining a military big enough to fulfill our security commitments in Europe. It must account for some share of the permanent force structure that would shift to the reserves, or disappear entirely, if the United States wasn’t pledged to treating an attack on Paris, France or Podgorica, Montenegro as synonymous with attacks on Paris, Texas, or Portland, Maine. This more inclusive count is very difficult if not impossible to calculate with precision, but it is more honest.

Moreover, if the debate about NATO burden sharing boils down to bickering over budget accounting, it would seem like proponents of the status quo are playing hide the ball. The object of U.S. foreign policy is to discourage other countries from spending more on defense. It is disingenuous to pretend otherwise. Free riding is not a bug of U.S. grand strategy, it is a feature of it — a point made perhaps too candidly by the Manhattan Institute’s Claire Berlinski: “How is it, then,” she asks, “that suddenly, we’re consumed with rage that Europe is ‘taking advantage’ of us? How have we forgotten that this is the point of the system? We designed it this way…”

She’s right. As Hal Brands, one of the leading scholarly proponents of America’s post-war grand strategy, explains in his book American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump, the United States provides “protection that allows other countries to underbuild their militaries.” Or, as Christopher Layne writes in his book The Peace of Illusions, Washington “used NATO…to foreclose the possibility that the West European states would re-nationalize their security policies.”

If America is going to have a debate about security guarantees, it must be an informed one. It should not rest on downplaying the true costs of such policies, nor should it pretend that free riding is some kind of mistake. It seems rather futile to defend the strategy by arguing against its very logic.

The author thanks Christopher A. Preble and Caroline Dorminey for input on this post. 


          Is The U.S. Economy Really Recovering?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Written by Chris Marcus for the Miles Franklin blog Lately elected officials love pointing to the booming stock market and citing it as evidence that the economy is recovering and strong. Similar with the employment data, where many cite the recent numbers as a sign of further strength in the markets. But is that really accurate? Fortunately there’s a brilliant economist named John Williams who’s dedicated his career to exposing the flaws in the data that so many on Wall Street and in the mainstream cite. On his website Shadow Stats he takes the government data and calculates what the numbers would really look like were it not for the constant revisions in the formulas. Formula changes that have the consistent effect of making the numbers look more government friendly. Williams was recently interviewed on Greg Hunter’s “USA Watchdog”, and my guess is that by the time most in the mainstream become aware of what he’s discovered and shared, the pricing in the financial markets will be significantly different. One of the topics Hunter asked Williams about was the inflation rate. Which is based on a formula that has been revised numerous times since 1980, with the changes often having the effect of making the inflation number significantly lower (in fact several years ago former President Barack Obama inadvertently confirmed how politicized the numbers have become when he actually suggested tweaking the formula again as a means of deficit reduction!). Greg Hunter: If it (the inflation rate) was done the way it was done in 1980, it would be close to 10%, the real inflation rate? John Williams: Yes. It would be. A far different story from the 2% the Fed always trots out. When asked what he would do if he were advising President Trump, Williams said Trump would need to bring the the budget under control, and mentioned the danger of the severe long-term deficit problem in the United States. As well as how the unfunded liabilities like Social Security and Medicare (that he calculates at over $100 trillion in net present value) have to be brought under control. Which makes perfect sense. Except the only problem is that bringing either the publicly stated debt or the unfunded liabilities under control couldn’t be further off the political radar. So when Williams was asked how he felt gold might react to the inevitable consequences of the current situation, he […]
          Kommentar zu „Undercover in der Finanzindustrie“ – Interview mit Malte Krüger von Norbert      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"Lange Rede kurzer Sinn. Jedes (Wirschafts- und Bildungs-)System bekommt die Strukturen, die in ihr überleben können. In der Tier- und Pflanzenwelt führt dies zu bemerkenswerten Ausprägungen und Spezialisierungen." Ja, so ist das. Das trifft insbesondere bei Demokratien zu, die dadurch z.B. die Regierungen bekommen, die sie verdienen. Das kann auch zu "bemerkenswerten Ausprägungen" führen, wie z.B. in den USA noch ganz harmlos. Vor 80 Jahren in D war das nicht ganz so harmlos. Die Frage ist, ob man das wirklich alles so gottergeben hinnehmen muss. Ich meine, dass es heute mit den sozialen Medien ganz neue Möglichkeiten gibt, die Einzelnen mit guten Ideen enorme Möglichkeiten geben, daran etwas zu ändern, egal ob sie schon etabliert sind oder nicht. Dieser erfrischende Podcast über den bewundernswerten Querdenker Malte Krüger, dieser ganze Finanzrocker-Blog und insbesondere der www.Finanzwesir.com-Blog sind hoffnungsvolle Beispiele in diese Richtung, verkrustete, "uberlebte" Strukturen im Finanz-Establishment endlich aufzubrechen. Sehr schön, dass Malte es geschafft und Daniel es zugelassen hat, erste Verkrustungen in der Finanzrocker-Struktur auch gleich wieder aufzubrechen. Ich lasse da auch gerade ein Experiment in diese Richtung laufen. Denn mir gefällt die neue Verblödungsmasche mit dem "Factor Investing" bzw. "Smart Beta" überhaupt nicht, mit der die raffgierige Finanzbranche jetzt die allein von Bogle selbstlos losgetretene "passive" Welle schamlos missbraucht. Damit will sie die zunehmende Zahl der leider nur halbgebildeten Selbstentscheider, die am besten bei rein passiven Indexfonds/ETFs streng nach Bogle aufgehoben wären, mit viel pseudo-wissenschaftlichem Evidenz-Bla-Bla wieder in für sie lukrativere Produkte locken. Diese im Backtest marketinggerecht über-optimierten Abzocker-Produkte, die der Finanzwesir treffend "Very Dumb Alpha" nennt, können aber tatsächlich sehr vermögensschädlich sein. Denn die meisten mit falschen Versprechungen müherloser Überrenditen angelockten Privatanleger können die gar nicht verstehen. Außerdem sind die so kompliziert, dass viele neue Selbstentscheider wieder total verwirrt in die Fänge der Anlage-(Berater)Verkäufer getrieben werden. Dort können sie dann endlich wieder willenlos ausgenommen werden. Soviel, lieber Alex, zu: "Um Himmels Willen ist nicht jeder für sich selbst verantwortlich." Der Autor unterstützt genau dies in vorbildlicher Weise mit seinen Mitteln. Aber insbesondere der vermeintliche Leit-Autor passiven Investierens und Finanz-(Berater)Verkäufer, Gerd Kommer, zeigt, wie man das professionell konterkariert. Sein neues Buch "Souverän investieren" liest sich nämlich mit dem pseudowissenschaftlich verkomplizierten Rauf- und Runterpushen von verschiedenen Finanzmode-Produkten teilweise wie klassisches Finanzporno, auf das man unvermittelt mitten in streng Bogle'schem Passive Investing trifft. Das merken aber nur die Allerwenigsten, wenn sie einen vergleichbaren Wissensstand haben wie der Kommer! Der Einsteiger glaubt es einfach autoritätsgläubig und tut genau das, was die geldgierige Finanzbranche von ihm will. Dagegen will ich wirksam etwas tun und habe eine attraktive, kritische Rezension zum neuen Kommer-Buch bei Amazon verfasst. Die scheint mit ca. 30 von insgesamt ca. 100 Votes, verteilt auf 24 Rezensionen, bereits gut zu wirken: https://www.amazon.de/gp/customer-reviews/R2QUHPPQFEB2DD/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=3593508524#R2QUHPPQFEB2DD Würde mich über eure Votes dort wie auch über jedes gern kontroverse Feedback sehr freuen, wenn ihr auch etwas für die eigenverantwortliche Informationspflicht tun wollt. Hier noch ein Rat zum Umgang mit diesem Pack von Bernstein, W., 2012, in "The Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between", Kap. 5 "Muggers and Worse": “By not being skeptical enough about the motivations of the investment industry, millions of investors ... lost trillions of dollars. The real tragedy was that this damage was entirely preventable." “If you act on the assumption that every broker, insurance salesman, mutual fund salesperson, and financial advisor you encounter is a hardened criminal, you will do just fine.
          THE U.S. IS BROKE! / SEEKING ALPHA      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The U.S. Is Broke!

by: Shareholders Unite
- Debt scares once again resurface with US public debt at historically high levels and entitlement spending set to increase further. Some argue the US is basically broke.

- We will try to show that many of the arguments used are exaggerated and show you a country that should be much more broke, yet is thriving nevertheless.

- While not waving concerns about US public debt entirely, we think private sector debt is actually a much bigger risk, given the fact that it has caused most financial crisis.
 
 
SA contributor Ronald Surz wrote an alarming article on the state of the US economy, arguing that its debt levels (120% of GDP, or 390% of GDP including future Social Security and Medicare obligations) are so terrible that the US is "even more broke than we think."
 
The article is full of alarmist language, big scary numbers, and got a stamp of approval in the form of an editor award. But we're afraid that conclusion is simply wrong, and we will try to show you why.
 
Even worse
 
For starters, we introduce a country with the following characteristics:
  • It suffered an asset bubble crash that was three times bigger (relative to the size of its economy) than the crashes in the US in 1929 and 2008/9.
  • It has the world's worst demographics.
  • It has a public debt over 230% of GDP, more than twice that of the US.
 
If the US is broke, this country should be bankrupt already. However:
  • Despite the mother of all asset bubble implosions, the economy never experienced anything remotely like an economic depression and never got anywhere close to double-digit unemployment.
  • The economy (on a GDP per person basis) has done as well as that of the US (with the benefits much more equally spread), see figure below.
  • The economy has even lower employment than the US.
  • Visiting the country will give everyone the impression of a rich country with little poverty or crime, first-rate infrastructure.
  • The country has no inflation.
  • Interest rates, despite the massive public debt, are zero.
  • Its stock market has been booming.
 
 
The gap is even narrowing. If this country is broke than somebody forgot to tell it. The country we're talking about is of course Japan. It should give those who predict a terrible future for the US at least some pause for thought.
 
If this is what it means to live in a country that is broke, perhaps more countries will want to go broke.
 
Yes, we know, the BoJ, Japan's central bank is actually massively buying up Japanese debt, but despite all the predictions about this leading to massive "currency debasement", this keeps not happening.
 
In fact, the BoJ can't even achieve its stated target, which is a mere 2% inflation. And despite all the professed "currency debasement", the yen stubbornly functions as a safe haven investment, a place for investors to park their money when risks in the world economy increase.
 
Are we saying Japan shouldn't worry at all about its debt? No, we aren't. But Japan's situation is much worse compared to that of the US in all of the respects that seem to matter to the debt alarmist (much worse demographics, much higher debt, etc.) yet its economy remains rich, and the predicted crisis keeps not happening.
 
The fact that 'a Japan' exists should simply give the debt alarmist some pause for thought, that's all we are saying here.
 
Gross and net debt and assets
 
Surz cites a gross public debt ratio of 120% of GDP. But this figure significantly overstates the magnitude of the problem:
  • Net public debt is significantly lower as there are quite a number of US Federal agencies holding a significant portion of the US outstanding debt, like the Fed for instance, or the trust funds of Medicare and Medicaid.
  • As with any balance sheet, one should not only look at one side of the ledger but also at the asset side like all of the buildings, public lands, the commodity resources below the public lands (see below) etc.
On public assets, here is the IER:
The federal government owns a great deal of valuable assets both above and below ground. The above ground assets include buildings, lands, roads, railroad infrastructure, levees, dams, and hydroelectric generating facilities, to name just a few, many of which are underutilized. Below the ground, the federal government owns the rights to mineral and energy leases, from which they receive royalties, rents, and bonus payments... The federal government's total mineral estate holdings are therefore about 2.515 billion acres of lands. Thus, the federal government's mineral estate land holdings surpass the total surface land area of the nation of Canada... IER estimated the worth of the government's oil and gas technically recoverable resources to the economy to be $128 trillion, about 8 times our national debt.... IER estimated the government's coal resources in the lower 48 states to be worth $22.5 trillion for a total worth to the economy of fossil fuels on federal lands of $150.5 trillion, over 9 times our national debt.
 
Granted, the potential income (royalties, rents, taxes, etc.) on those below the ground assets is a mere fraction of what these assets are worth, but the financing cost of the public debt is also a mere fraction of the amount of outstanding public debt (and at historically low levels, see below).
 
We often hear that the public debt is such a burden on future generations, but it tends to be overlooked that future generations are also inheriting the assets or stuff that was done with the money which might have improved the economy (like investments in infrastructure, education, R&D, etc.).
 
Future generations also inherit most of the interest rate paid on the debt (see below).
 
Foreign holdings and currency
 
The debt figures sound scary because many think of debt in similar terms as those of a household, yet this analogy is quite misleading:
  • Much of the outstanding debt (58%) is simply debt to ourselves. Foreigners hold 44% of the debt, actually down from 56% in 2008.
  • Unlike households, economies have more tools at their disposal to deal with the debt, like increasing taxes, growing the economy or issuing currency to liquidate the debt.
  • The US debt is denominated in US dollars, the US can print these dollars at will so it can't really go bankrupt. Yes, under certain circumstances, this could accelerate inflation and/or reduce international confidence in the dollar, but these circumstances are much narrower than some would like you to believe. If you have doubts here, re-read the part about Japan above, where despite massive BoJ bond purchases, it can't even reach its 2% inflation target, and the yen is still a safe haven currency in international markets.
Take for instance growth:
If GDP growth is greater than interest costs plus new deficits, then the debt/GDP ratio will stabilize, all else being equal. Right now, the US government can borrow for 10 years at a 0.7% real interest rate; in comparison, real GDP growth was 2.8% in 1Q2018 (chart from JPM).
While the debt is large, servicing costs are actually historically low:
 
 
 
This also suggests that markets are not worried about the debt levels, which is at least somewhat curious because most of the debt hawks tend to be people who argue that markets are always right.
 
In fact, we're hard-pressed to come up with examples of a country that issued its debt in its own currency experiencing a severe funding crisis let alone bankruptcy outside of catastrophic circumstances of war or a collapse in production.
 
Almost all of the recent US financial crises have origins in excessive private sector debt and leverage, not public debt. We should be worrying much more about that, as it happens.
 
Medicare and Social Security
 
Another scare is the big number of future obligations of these programs, which usually run into a dozen or more trillions of dollars, a scary number indeed. But what the number relates is the present value of future obligations, simply relating these same figures as a percentage of GDP, and they will morph into a much less scarier variant.
 
Consider the figure below:
 
 
 
So, over the coming 22 years, Social Security spending is going to increase by... a whopping 1% of GDP and Medicare by almost 2%. Remember, this is over a period of more than two decades. Here is Bloomberg summarizing:
Put the current intermediate estimates for both Social Security and Medicare together, and you get a funding deficit that rises from 0.1 percent of gross domestic product in 2017 to 1.7 percent in 2035 and fluctuates between 1.6 percent and 1.8 percent for the rest of the century.
If you look at the figure again, you will also notice that Social Security spending has increased from under 1% of GDP to nearly 4% of GDP since the 1970s. Yet somehow, we managed to survive that much bigger increase even if one could imagine people in the 1970s warning about an imminent crisis of terrible proportions, citing big scary numbers of trillions in future liabilities.
 
In fact, below is actually a more scary graph depicting increases in healthcare cost of OECD countries:
 
 
 
But we've also managed to survive this epic increase in healthcare cost. What's more, you see how much of an outlier the US is in terms of healthcare spending. It spends nearly twice as much as basically every other rich country (and that without insuring everybody and not seldom producing worse health outcomes).
 
Not only did the US survive that, it also indicates that if the US should reform its healthcare system and build something like other rich countries have, it could save trillions of dollars in future liabilities (not to mention achieve universal coverage, something which all other rich countries, and a good many poorer ones have).
 
Given the percentages involved, this could make up for the whole projected increase of Social Security and Medicare increase and then some. Gone the scary crisis.
 
Citing these big trillion dollar numbers in future Social Security and Medicare liabilities turns out to be simply a prop, done by people who want to scare the electorate into making cuts now as opposed to.... having to make cuts in the future (or simply raise taxes a couple of points over a period of two decades).

When these are related to GDP, the problem becomes much more manageable. For instance, the US just passed a tax cut which is projected to worsen public finances by roughly $1.9T over a 10-year period, according to CBO.
 
We're not the only ones who noticed. Here is the above cited Bloomberg article again:
Following Treasury's example, I estimate that the tax bill passed in December will cut revenue by an average of 1.1 percent of GDP over the coming four years (between 0.8 percent and 0.9 percent if you factor in the growth effects projected by the Joint Committee on Taxation). That's less than the 1.7 percent of GDP that Social Security and Medicare are projected to add to the deficit in a couple of decades, but (1) it's not of a different order of magnitude and (2) it's happening now rather than two decades in the future.
So, a good deal of the projected shortfall of Social Security and Medicare over the same period could have been covered without the tax cuts.
 
Yet curiously, when faced with those numbers, the advocates usually argue that we have to... cut spending on Social Security and Medicare. That's fine, as long as it is made clear that this is a political choice (both the tax cuts and the proposed spending cuts on Social Security and Medicare).
 
Then, there are the scary warnings about having to dip into the trust funds of Social Security and Medicare, here is Ronald Surz:
We are spending down the corpus, and will have spent all of the Social Security Trust by 2034, while Medicare monies will only last until 2026. This might sound like we have time, but we don't, especially since nothing is being done to head off these catastrophes. It's full speed ahead into the reckoning.

Not quite. Both these trust funds and Social Security and Medicare itself are funded from payroll taxes. When these exceeded spending on Social Security and Medicare, the excess was put in the trust funds (which bought US Treasuries) and the interest income of these helped funding the entitlements.

This is no longer the case, and we're slowly liquidating the trust funds. That sounds scary (and it is often suggested as some disaster when they run out), and it is.
 
But it not nearly as scary as some suggest as even if these trust funds run out completely (which will happen at the projected dates cited by Surz), we still have payroll taxes financing most (three quarters) of these entitlements.
 
So, we do need to raise taxes or cut entitlements or a combination of both, but even if entitlements aren't cut, the tax increases no economic disaster, given the low level of US taxes in the first place.
 
Indeed, the US tax burden is lower compared to almost all other rich countries (and lower still after the recent tax cuts, not included in the figure):
 
 
 
In fact, Federal tax receipts (payroll taxes are Federal taxes) are much lower still and haven't trended upwards unlike other rich countries, from the Bloomberg article:
Yet federal revenue, which has averaged 17.3 percent of GDP since 1950 and also happens to have been 17.3 percent of GDP in fiscal 2017, is projected by the White House Office of Management and Budget to decline to an average of 16.5 percent of GDP over the next four years, and given the many loopholes and outright mistakes people have been finding in the hastily written tax legislation, I wouldn't be shocked if it went lower than that.
Yet, many of the countries with a much higher tax burden, like Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Austria, and Luxembourg are doing quite well economically. The US is hardly bankrupt. It still has many choices to avoid escalating public debt.
 
History
 
Apart from the Japan example, one might also appreciate what happened with all the previous worries about public debt, which is done in this instructive article from Naked Capitalism.
 
Larger public sector
 
We think the panic about US public finances has much to do with an aversion against government.
 
We have no problem with that, as long as people understand that this is mostly a political, not an economic argument (even if it's often cloaked as an economic one).
 
But as we showed, the US tax burden is low compared to most other rich countries and lower still after the recent tax cuts. Funny enough, the fiscal implications of these tax cuts were routinely waved away by the proponents, who also tend to be the ones most alarmed by the fiscal implications of the entitlement increases.
 
What you also should realize is that public spending tends to increase as a percentage of GDP as countries get richer, for at least three reasons:
  • 'Baumol's disease' which shows that public sector productivity grows slower than the private sector, making it relatively more expensive over time (this originates from the fact that most public sector spending are services for which it's difficult or impossible to increase productivity).
  • Shifting preferences; when people get richer, they tend to place more importance on a safe environment, on healthy products, on a cleaner environment, better schools for their children, better healthcare, etc. all sectors which make disproportionate claims on the public sector (through regulation, justice, law enforcement or direct government involvement).
  • Economic complexity increases, which also tends to disproportionally increase claims on the public sector.
  • Populations age, increasing healthcare and pension cost.

Rather than panic, we should simply accept these realities and deal with them. How, that is a political choice, but there is no overriding economic logic determining that.
 
Conclusion
 
Does the US face bankruptcy? No, not at present. While the public debt as a percentage of GDP is historically high and its future trajectory isn't looking good, there is time to act, and there is much that can be done.
 
Moreover, much of it is debt to ourselves, so future generations also inherit much of the interest payments on the debt, as well as the assets on the US balance sheet.

The US is an economy, not a household, and as such, it has many more ways to deal with it, like increasing growth, raising taxes (which are low compared to international standards) or issuing currency, as the debt is denominated in US dollars.
 
The present value of future entitlement obligations is indeed a very large number, but the size of the US economy is also a very large number. When entitlements are expressed as spending as a percentage of GDP, we see that they rise, but only by a couple of percentage points of GDP and that over a period of decades.
 
The rise is serious, but not beyond the scope of the US economy to deal with. The real problem lies in the dysfunctional US healthcare system, which is almost twice as expensive compared to the average of other rich countries as a percentage of GDP. That's low hanging fruit just there.

          The Great Millennial Rent Scam      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

I do not care for the millennials.

I'm fully aware their generation was the most lied to.
I'm fully aware they were trained and indoctrinated to be complete tools of socialism.
I am also fully aware they were essentially trained to be obedient hosts to other parasitic generations.

These handicaps aside, it's the arrogance and cockiness of this smug generation that gets me.  Never has such a generation been so completely brainwashed and easily duped, yet been so completely convinced of their faux intellectual superiority.  And so I watch them with great amusement as this generation suffers all while assuring me they know exactly what they're doing.

There is no more justified punishment for them than their own existence.

But there is more punishment on the way.  And while there is a chance millennials might listen and avoid this punishment, I'm going to have faith in their arrogance and assume they're too ignorant and close-minded to heed this warning.

The millennials have transferred roughly $10 trillion in their wealth through the higher education scam.  Yes, some of those trillions were indeed spent on quality degrees.  Yes, some millennials (1 or 2 of them, perhaps even 3) are gainfully employed, working real jobs and contributing to GDP.  But the majority of them wasted said $10 trillion on worthless pieces of paper, enriching baby boomer deans and Gen X professors.  What's worse is there was no said "wealth" to transfer.  Nearly all of them had no wealth to give and thus had to mortgage their futures to borrow the money to pay their Baby Boomer and Gen X socialist indoctrinators.

But if this wasn't enough they're about to fork over (by my estimations) twice that amount.  And this ever-so-roughly $20 trillion in wealth will come from the devil that is known as "luxury apartments."  Aka "rent." 

Understand that rent unto itself is not a scam like worthless college degrees.  Rent is a real service that provides real value and people should be happy to pay for it.  The real issue is whether that rent is worth it or not.  And here several clouds are forming to create the perfect storm of wealth-transfer from the smartest generation ever to its predecessors.

First, you had Obama (owned completely by the millennials) triple the money supply and expand upon (admittedly) GW's quantitative easing.  This has flooded the global asset markets, driving prices of stocks, bonds, mutual funds AND real estate up to pre-bubble levels.  While the artificially low interest rates and "free money" was meant to get the economy booming again, all it really managed to do was inflate asset prices.  And since housing prices are at all time highs against, this only drives up rents since low interest rates on high mortgages balances result in high rental rates. 

Second, we have replaced genuine economic growth and investment with bubble spending.  Be it government spending, quantitative easing, welfare or education spending, there is not any real investment occurring.  This may mean low unemployment, but don't expect wages to come up anytime soon.  And certainly don't expect company pensions and 30 years working at the same place.  In other words, millennials can expect to rent because they don't have the employment stability of those evil nasty racist and sexist 50's.

Third, and this is the key one, "where all the action is"

"Where all the action is" is a big lie that older generations have told younger generations for generations.  In the 80's baby boomer land lords in LA told my generation California and Los Angeles was where all the cool hip kids went.  In the 90's is was the Sex and the City gals that convinced thousands of Gen X women New York was the place to be.  But wherever it was, it was a major metropolitan area, with over priced rent and over priced drinks that all 20 somethings were convinced to move.  The only difference is in 1998 I was paying $300 for a studio apartment in downtown Minneapolis.  Today, it goes for $1,200.  But!!!!

"That's where all the action is kids!"

And this is how more wealth will be transferred from naive Millennials to Gen X and dwindling Baby Boomer land lords.  With housing prices so high, taxes so high, and all self-inflicted by the socialist voting millennials, nearly every major US town is unliveable.  You need $100,000 just to survive in San Francisco, $80,000 to make a go of it in Seattle, and New York is still the preserve of privileged white grad students or white women who have rich husbands as they finance their faux journalism career at XOJane.  But the millennials will line up in equal droves as they did for worthless college degrees in the 00's because "that's where all the action is."  The cool night clubs are there.  The completely-conformist-but-not-conformist hipster brew pubs are there.  Hot chicks that you're not supposed to like, but like anyway even though you fakely claim to like your tatted up nose-ringed roller derby millennial girlfriend, are also there.  And didn't you see the TV shows and listen to what your professors all said?  The cities are the most open-minded and progressive places on Earth!  That's where all the action is!

And so to capitalize off of this migration of sheep land lords and land owners are rushing to provide millennials the luxury and over-priced apartments they so desperately want.  Some so pricey they don't even list the price...because if you have to ask...you can't afford it...(but it's where the action is!!!).

The question is whether the millennials, who are now thoroughly ensconced in their 30's, are going to wise up and start becoming adults.  Are they going to buy property at reasonable rates?  Starter homes in blue collar neighborhoods?  Are they going to move to states where standards of living are higher, but not as exciting as Seattle or Portland?  Are they going to learn to fix their own properties and actually invest in something long term and more valuable than their Creative Writing degrees?

Or are the going to keep on keeping on like they have?

I know many of you millennials who tune in to the ole Capmeister are already well down the path of investment and adulthood.  I know you guys are well ahead of your peers when it comes to exercising true independent thought.  But for the rest of your generation, they are going to borrow $30,000 to buy Chevy Cruzes, add it to their $45,000 in student loans, and shell out $2,500 per month for a luxury apartment in the "cool, hip uptown area" because (say it with me now) "that's where all the action is."  Oh, and they'll be stuck in traffic-jammed shitholes like Portland and LA because they won't want to live in fly-over country with the loser "hicks" and their $150,000 ramblers.

I just don't want to hear these same millennial brats when they're 63 making the same complaints my baby boomer clients do today about "not having enough saved up for retirement."  But something tells me they will and they'll blame it on "patriarchy" or demand the government bail them out of their life-long track record of horrendously stupid decisions and mistakes.

Oh well, enjoy the decline.
_______________
Check out Aaron at his consultancy, tune into his podcast, and buy some of his books!



          Paytm now sees over $4 billion in monthly transactions      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence "Payments Briefing" subscribers hours before appearing on Business Insider. To be the first to know, please click here.

Leading Indian mobile wallet Paytm has reportedly surpassed $4 billion in monthly gross transaction value, and reached 1.3 billion transactions in June, according to PYMNTS

Paytm's Monthly Gross Transaction Value

Paytm’s massive monthly transaction value is attributable to it being established before demonetization. Paytm had an established presence prior to the Indian demonetization — in which 86% of currency was removed from circulation — giving it an advantageous position during a critical time in which consumers rapidly turned to digital payment solutions.

That presence helped Paytm immediately capitalize on the digital payments boom: The firm added 20 million users in a month following demonetization and over 50 million during the next three months. Further, Paytm saw a 64% increase in transaction value in the first year alone. And in late 2017, Paytm became the first mobile wallet in India to reach 100 million Android app downloads, two weeks after launching its digital bank, Paytm Payments Bank.

But there’s still a long runway for growth in the digital payments space in India. The space is becoming crowded as more firms recognize the opportunity. Mobile payment adoption will continue to surge in India — it’s expected to grow from 32 million users in 2016 to a projected 77.8 million users this year, and transactions are expected to reach $1 trillion by 2023.

And despite Paytm’s massive monthly transaction value, only 14% of the Indian population makes digital payments weekly, and even less (6%) do so monthly, indicating an ongoing opportunity in the space. That's led major global players like Google, PayPal, WhatsApp, and Facebook to enter the Indian payments space to capitalize on the growing opportunity. Many of these companies have seen success: Google Tez, Google’s proprietary mobile payment platform, gained traction fast, adding 7.5 million users in the first five weeks after launching, for example.

Paytm can better compete by continuing to build out its offerings and differentiating itself from other players. Paytm recently introduced its own point-of-sale (POS) terminals in an effort to build out its in-store presence and might also add mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) devices to better access small businesses. Adding hardware to its product lineup could help Paytm compete with large acquirers, including State Bank of India and ICICI Bank.

And adding more POS terminals could encourage more consumers to use digital payments by giving them opportunities to do so, which can in turn increase Paytm’s volume. Paytm is at the top of the pack right now, but the firm needs to continue to build out its offerings to ensure that it continues to capture a high volume of transactions and grow its user base amid market crowding. 

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          Trump Told German Chancellor She Owes Him ONE TRILLION Dollars      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

During Donald Trump’s first conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel he allegedly told her that she (her country) owed him one trillion dollars because the US has been paying too much for NATO. Not only is that figure inaccurate, but it shows that Trump has no idea how the NATO payments and protections work – […]

The post Trump Told German Chancellor She Owes Him ONE TRILLION Dollars appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.


          Global debt hits record $247 trillion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The amount of debt held by both mature and emerging markets tracked by the Institute of International Finance (IIF) rose to a record $247 trillion in the first quarter of 2018, up 11.1% from the same period a year ago. The report …
          EU Commission and Bank of England trade shots in City Brexit contracts row      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
EU Commission and Bank of England trade shots in City Brexit contracts row#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000 The EU’s top financial services boss today contradicted warnings over a potential catastrophe involving trillions of pounds of contracts, as a Bank of England boss suggested that political concerns had affected European regulators’ stance in the latest stage of a row over Brexit ... Reported by City A.M. 2 minutes ago.
          Top Renewable Energy Financiers Reveal Pathway To $1 Trillion In U.S. Investment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A new financial sector survey shows strong confidence that renewable energy will be an increasingly attractive investment in the United States, and could attract $1 trillion in cumulative private investment between 2018 and 2013.
          Educational Services Market Global Analysis Growth 2018-2021 by Top Companies -niversity of California System,Texas A&M University,University of Michigan,Columbia University,Harvard University      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Educational Services Market Global Analysis Growth 2018-2021 by Top Companies -niversity of California System,Texas A&M University,University of Michigan,Columbia University,Harvard University ReportsWeb.com added “Educational Services Market" - Global Trends, 2018 Analysis and 2021 Forecasts” report to its research database. This Report is spread across 125 Pages and Supported by 10 Company Leaders. The global educational services market was valued at around $2 trillion

          Is This The Most Impressive Energy Tech Of The Year?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The earth’s oil sands deposits hold literally trillions of barrels of oil. The problem has always been accessing this oil in a practical, clean and profitable way. The traditional oil sands extraction methods are considered the dirtiest production method on the planet… and the most expensive, with breakeven pricing coming in as high as $75 a barrel. Now, for the first time, a small company has taken the lead in this sector – with a proven, patented and potentially highly profitable oil sands processing technology. Petroteq (TSX:PQE.V; OTC:PQEFF),…
          Scott Bennett: Memorandum for the President: How 9/11 Was Funded – The Man Behind the Missing $2.3 Trillion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
12 July 2018 How 9/11 Was Funded – The Man Behind the Missing $2.3 Trillion* Dear President Trump, As a military officer and also contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton, I was assigned to the Joint Interagency Operations Center at U.S. Central Command, where I identified, tracked, and reported on terrorists, their financial donors, networks, banks, …
          Health Department Updates Health Advisory for PFAS      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Vermont Department of Health has updated its health advisory for drinking water of 20 parts per trillion (ppt) to cover five per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a large group of human-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. Exposure to certain PFAS may affect different systems in the human body.
          Here's What Antarctica’s Hugest Iceberg Has Been Doing Since It Broke Free      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

It was a year ago at this time that Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf gave birth to Iceberg A-68, one of the largest chunks of ice ever recorded. A new timelapse video made from satellite imagery shows the rift, calving, and subsequent journey of the iceberg over the past 12 months.

Read more...


          5 Excellent Qualities Every IT Tech Should Have      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Robert Clough



Picking an IT service to work with can be pretty difficult to decide, but it doesn't have to be! Here are 5 qualities your IT tech should have that will tell you if they're the real deal or not!

ittech.jpg Did you know that experts forecast the global worth of the information technology sector to reach a whopping $4.8 trillion this year? Or that the United States accounts for almost a third ($1.5 trillion) of IT spending? Amazing, right? If you take a closer look at it though, investments in IT should no longer come as a surprise. After all, almost everything that we do nowadays has something to do with Infotech. This is especially true for businesses since they receive, save, and send information through computers and the Internet. That's why you need an IT tech. But not anyone can and will do. You need an IT specialist with all the essential qualities. What are these characteristics for a job you should look for in your IT department's prospects though? That's what we'll share with you today. Read on to make sure you hire only the best!

1. They Know Their IT Roots

Ever seen shows like Big Bang Theory or the UK-based "The IT Crowd"? If so, then you've heard the same dialogue about computers that goes something like "Try turning it off and then turn it back on." Indeed, IT technicians troubleshoot and make computers work again. Their original responsibilities dealt with computer network installation - and resolving the problems that arose from these systems. It's for this reason the first thing you need to look is their list of basic IT credentials. They should have experience handling network and program installation, physical connections, and general system maintenance.

2. They Specialize in the Specific Area of Your IT Needs

Although you want your IT personnel to meet the above-qualifications, you also want them to be specialists. For instance, if you look at this post from Paranet Solutions, you'll learn that well-rounded managed IT services excel in five areas of specialization. There's security management, for instance. Cybersecurity is of paramount importance to everyone and all business, regardless of size and nature. That's right. Huge organizations aren't the only ones at risk of cyberattacks (like the 2017 Equifax attack). Small businesses and even private homes are as much of a cyber target as everyone else. As such, one quality to look for in prospective IT technicians is their expertise in cybersecurity. This should include protecting your business from cyber crimes like data theft, card skimming, and data misuse. Cybersecurity is only one aspect though. You need to base your decision on the specific nature of the IT job you need experts to fill.

3. They're Ever-Present

What good will it do you if your IT staff isn't there when an attack happens? Yes, you may have great cybersecurity protocols in place. But as important is having experts ready to stop the attack and mitigate their effects. Keep in mind that many businesses went bankrupt half a year from a cyber attack on their organization. You wouldn't want such an incident to happen, much less go bankrupt. That's why you should outsource IT professionals who can assure you of their availability at all times. Whether it on-the-clock or round-the-clock tech support, on-site or remote, availability is one of the key qualities to look for in your prospective IT personnel.

4. They Boast of Cloud Expertise

Imagine yourself and your other team members having access to data and software wherever in the world you may be. This means productivity at its best, regardless of location or time. This also means having to move to the cloud. It takes time and in-depth technical knowledge though since we're talking about data centers, software applications, and of course, secure networks. But all this effort comes with serious benefits, such as a considerable reduction in your overhead expenses. For starters, you have less physical equipment to deal with. There's also the resource-usage-based payment (pay as you use) feature of cloud computing services. Moving to the cloud may not be your top priority, but soon enough it will be. So why not include cloud mastery in the list of good qualities to have for a job in your IT department? This'll save you time and money in having to look for another IT specialist once the need to make the move arises.

5. They're Masters in IT Data Backup and Recovery

The above-mentioned Equifax attack is one of the many other cybercrimes that have everyone on their toes. The attacks on Yahoo, Heartland, Target, and eBay are only to name a few of the biggest headliners. This said, you want to level up your IT security and have people designated to data disaster preparation aside from prevention. So, hire IT techs who have the abilities, skills, and knowledge of data backup and recovery. This way, you can lessen the impact of a breach, in case one does occur in your organization. Although this applies to all types of businesses, it's even more important for the e-commerce ones. These organizations need to back up and restore their websites in as little time as possible. The same goes true for those within the professional services sector or businesses that run mission-critical tasks. Because the longer their sites are down, the greater their loss of profits are. Not to mention the potential theft that can happen to all those sensitive pieces of information they store.

Finding the Real Deal of an IT Tech

No matter how big or small your business is, it needs the services of an exceptional IT tech. Because regardless of the nature of your operations, it runs on computers, networks, and databases. Failure to recognize the importance of an IT specialist can be the downfall of your business. It can even lead to legal liabilities that can ruin your organization before it reaches its first year. So, make sure you consider all these five qualities an ideal IT technician should possess. Take your time in comparing your prospects, and don't settle for anyone who doesn't meet even one of these qualifications. Want more tips and tricks like this? Make sure you visit our small business blog site then!

Be sure and visit our small business news site.


          ETL Datawarehouse Architect Software Engineer - JP Morgan Chase - Plano, TX      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in...
From JPMorgan Chase - Thu, 28 Jun 2018 10:39:55 GMT - View all Plano, TX jobs
          Re: Nectar's      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Fabulous chicken on Fried Chicken Fridays at Nectars! Me and a friend were craving a fried chicken dinner and happened to be downtown and noticed that Nectar's serves it up on Friday nights. The chicken, local Misty Knolls Farm, was perfectly crisp and crunchy outside and moist and juicy inside. It was served with Cabot cheddar mac n cheese and collards that were the best I've had around here. A trillion beers are available to go with. This was a great meal and I will be going back. The chef came out and visited our table, always a nice gesture.
Thanks Nectar's!
Posted by Mary L
          Re: An Absolutely Epic Escalation Of The Trade War Has Us On The Precipice Of A Cataclysmic Global Economic Crisis      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

China only owns 1.19 trillion of the USA debt. If they decide to dump it, the Federal Reserve could easily pick up the slack by purchasing it. No worries, you are overreacting MS. And while you say something needs to be done about the trade deficit with China, you never offer solutions.


          Tax cuts to give little lift to U.S. economy: Fed paper      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The economic boost from U.S. President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut will probably fall well short of most analysts’ “overly…
          How we study the microbes living in your gut | Dan Knights      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
There are about a hundred trillion microbes living inside your gut -- protecting you from infection, aiding digestion and regulating your immune system. As our bodies have adapted to life in modern society, we've started to lose some of our normal microbes; at the same time, diseases linked to a loss of diversity in microbiome are skyrocketing in developed nations. Computational microbiologist Dan Knights shares some intriguing discoveries about the differences in the microbiomes of people in developing countries compared to the US, and how they might affect our health. Learn more about the world of microbes living inside you -- and the work being done to create tools to restore and replenish them.
          Trump Slams NATO: "Pay 2% Of GDP IMMEDIATELY" Or Even 4%      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Update: One look at the 'family' photo and it's clear there are a lot of 'gaps' between these alliance leaders...

*  *  *

President Trump is, rightly, stirring the pot in Europe today, reportedly demanding that NATO leaders increase their defense spending targets from 2 to 4%, according to the Bulgarian president.

“President Trump, who spoke, raised the question not just to reach 2%, today, but set a new target – 4%,” Bulgarian president Rumen Radev told reporters, according to Reuters, citing BNR public radio.

“NATO is not a bourse a which one can buy security. But yes, on the other hand, President Trump is right, as each country should build its effective capabilities, and the unwillingness with which Bulgaria spends money on defense is obvious.”

As a reminder, US only spends 3.57% of GDP (which is the most), and as one French official noted, "it wasn’t a demand, rather just a mention.".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders confirmed that:

"During the president's remarks today at the NATO summit, he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2 per cent of their GDP on defence spending, but that they increase it to 4 per cent," Sanders said after the closed-door meeting of NATO leaders.  

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was reluctant to endorse such a move.

“I will focus on what we have agreed and we have agreed that we committed to the pledge increasing defense spending to 2 percent,” he told reporters. “And let’s start with that. We have a way to go.”

"We do have disagreements, but most importantly, we have decisions that are pushing this alliance forward and making us stronger," Stoltenberg said.

"At the end of the day, we all agree that North America and Europe are safer together."

And then President Trump doubled-down on his earlier shot at Germany:

"Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive to Russia because it's getting so much of its energy from Russia," Trump told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a fiery on-camera exchange that was among the harshest in the history of the post-World War II alliance.

"We have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars that's being paid to the country we're supposed to be protecting you against," Trump said, referring to European purchases of Russian natural gas.

Blasting "What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy?"

Trump then returned to the broader NATO membership, asking "Why are their only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade." 

Trump ended with ALL CAPS: "Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025."

As a reminder, NATO members agreed in 2014 to spend at least 2 percent of their respective GDP on defense by 2024. The goals are also for each country's own defense budget, not payments into the alliance.

One glance at the current spending levels and it is clear that Trump is right.

Infographic: Expenditure Of Nato Countries In 2016 | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

As we noted previously, Trump is quite right that America’s NATO allies, particularly Germany and Canada, don’t spend enough on defense.  Germany is reported to have less than twenty operational tanks. Canada’s armed forces appear to be smaller than the New York City police department.

But the Europeans ask, ‘defense against whom?’   The Soviet Union was a huge threat back in the Cold War when the mighty Red Army had 55,000 tanks pointed West.  Today, Russia’s land and naval power has evaporated.  Russia has perhaps 5,500 main battle tanks in active service and a similar number in storage, a far cry from its armored juggernaut of the Cold War. 

More important, Russia’s military budget for 2018 was only $61 billion, actually down 17% from last year.  That’s 4.3% of GDP.  Russia is facing hard economic times.  Russia has slipped to third place in military spending after the US, China and Saudi Arabia.   The US and its wealthy allies account for two thirds of world military spending.  In fact, the US total military budget (including for nuclear weapons and foreign wars) is about $1 trillion, 50% of total US government discretionary spending.

In addition, Russia must defend a vast territory from the Baltic to the Pacific.  The US is fortunate in having Mexico and Canada as neighbors.  Russia has North Korea, China, India, the Mideast and NATO to watch.  As with its naval forces, Russia’s armies are too far apart to lend one another mutual support. Two vulnerable rail lines are Russia’s main land link between European Russia and its Pacific Far East.

Infographic: The U.S. Is Pouring Money Into Air Bases Flanking Russia  | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

Trump’s supplemental military budget boost this year of $54 billion is almost as large as Russia’s entire 2018 military budget.  As for Trump’s claim that Europe is not paying its fair share of NATO expenses, note that that Britain and France combined together spend more on their military forces than Russia.

In Europe, it’s hard to find many people who still consider Russia a serious threat except for some tipsy Danes, right wing Swedes, and assorted Russophobic East Europeans.  The main fear of Russia seems concentrated in the minds of American neoconservatives, media, and rural Trump supporters, all victims of the bizarre anti-Russian hysteria that has gripped the US.

Still, it all seems smiles in Brussels for now...


          The Evidence Is Clear, Tax Cuts Work      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Authored by Daniel Lacalle via The Epoch Times,

It happened again. Tax receipts soared in the United States after the recent tax cuts.

Although it will take a while for the full effect of the 2017 tax reform to kick in, U.S. state and local government tax revenue climbed to $350.2 billion in the first quarter of 2018, a rise of 5.8 percent compared with the same time period in 2017. Individual income tax collections had big gains for a second-straight quarter with a 12.8 percent increase to $107.4 billion in 2018’s first quarter.

But the evidence of the positive impact on growth, jobs, and wages of lower corporate taxes has been published in many studies over time. The example of more than 200 cases in 21 countries shows that tax cuts and expenditure reductions are much more effective in boosting growth and prosperity than increasing government spending.

Multiple studies conclude that in more than 170 cases, the impact of tax cuts has been much more positive for growth.

In Denial

However, some commentators continue to deny the positive impact of tax cuts using the argument that deficits rise.

The fallacy that 'deficits rise' has nothing to do with tax cuts, but with increases in government spending on top of the tax cuts.

The deficit excuse is very simple. It says taxes should not be cut because governments will spend all revenues, even if these increase, and more. But this excuse is wrong.

The mistake of pointing at deficits as proof that tax cuts don’t work is debunked by looking at the proposals of the same economists that argue against tax cuts. Economist Paul Krugman is one example. He argued against tax cuts in his New York Times article “Time to Borrow” after the Obama administration increased debt by $10 trillion. These demand-side economists defend deficit spending, yet consider tax cuts as negative … because deficits may increase. Only Keynesian economists manage to pull off such mindbending logic.

Deficits need not rise or exist at all if governments spend in line with revenue growth. And the evidence points to rising revenues from lower taxes and higher growth.

Deficit Spending

While analyzing the deficits of the G-20 economies during the past 15 years, we found that more than 80 percent come from higher spending. Even in the 2008–2010 crisis, European government deficits were explained more by the “stimulus” plans and government spending increases than any loss of revenues.

Spain, for example, lost 40 billion euros of tax revenues from the bursting of the real estate bubble but deficits rose by 300 billion euros, driven by stimulus and automatic “stabilizers.” The European Union spent almost 1.5 percent of its GDP on stimuli and increased taxes, sending deficits and debt to GDP to all-time highs.  The United States increased taxes by $1.5 trillion under the Obama administration but the average deficit was 5 percent of GDP. The final tally was a $10 trillion increase in national debt.

During the Obama administration and the massive expansionary monetary policies of three rounds of quantitative easing (QE) and ultra-low interest rates, economic growth on average was only 1.4 percent and 2.1 percent if we exclude the crash year of 2009. That compares to an average of 3.5 percent during the Reagan administration, 3.9 percent during Clinton’s, and 2.1 percent during Bush Jr.’s.

Positive Effects

The evidence of the positive effects of tax cuts on jobs and growth is clear.

The 2018 “Economic Report of the President” shows that tax cuts generated more federal revenues even after adjusting for inflation and population growth.

President John F. Kennedy’s major tax cut, which included chopping the top marginal rate to 70 percent from 91 percent, became law in early 1964. The economy grew at an average 5.5 percent, and unemployment fell to 3.8 percent. In turn, the annual deficit shrank to $1 billion from $7 billion as individual income-tax receipts nearly doubled.

President Ronald Reagan cut the top personal rate from 70 percent all the way down to 28 percent. Between 1982, when the first round of Reagan’s across-the-board tax cuts went into effect, and 1990, when President George H.W. Bush broke his no-new-taxes pledge, individual tax receipts jumped 57 percent to $467 billion.

And even President Bill Clinton’s budget surpluses didn’t materialize until after the president in 1997 signed a GOP tax bill that cut the capital-gains rate to 20 percent from 28 percent. Tax receipts from capital gains soared as capital investment more than tripled. Between 1996 and 2000, “the increase in capital gains revenues accounted for a little over 20 percent of the total increase in federal revenues,” former Treasury official Bruce Bartlett said. For the first time, individual tax receipts hit $1 trillion.

After President George W. Bush in 2003 signed the largest tax cut since Reagan—including dropping the top marginal rate to 35 percent from 39.6 percent—government receipts from individual income taxes rose from $794 billion to a peak of $1.2 trillion in 2007, when the mortgage crisis began—a jump of 47 percent.

Stronger economic growth expanded the tax base and brought in so much revenue that Bush more than halved the deficit over that period.

There are plenty more examples globally. Professor Juan Manuel Lopez-Zafra from CUNEF in Madrid points to a few:

  • Russia introduced a 13 percent flat tax in 2001. Revenues rose 25 percent in 2002, and a further 24 percent and 15 percent in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Revenues rose 80 percent in three years. Russia is a country where government deficit spending is limited and the excuse of deficits does not mask the revenue improvement.

  • In 2012, Hungary implemented a 16 percent flat tax. Tax revenues soared 7.6 percent despite a decline in GDP of 1.6 percent. In its 2016 report, the OECD showed that the key to Hungary’s recovery was its tax system.

  • Ireland cut taxes to corporates to 12.5 percent from 50 percent and reduced the value-added tax, and tax revenues soared 67 percent. Between 2010 and 2017, Ireland’s tax revenues increased 21 percent and thanks to an attractive tax policy, Ireland is one of the few Eurozone countries that left the crisis with growth, lower unemployment and cutting deficits. Because spending did not soar.

  • Spain finally decided to cut taxes in 2015 and in 2016 and tax revenues grew 4.3 percent, more than nominal GDP, a level of increase that accelerated in 2017. Unfortunately, governments took the opportunity to increase expenditure, so deficits remained.

  • UK corporation tax receipts surged to a record high in 2017, up 21 percent rise from 2016 and an all-time high, despite the main rate falling from 30 percent in 2008 to 19 percent. The United Kingdom cut the corporate tax rate and did not lose any revenue. It paid for itself.

  • Corporate tax and marginal income tax have been reduced in the Nordic countries since the 2000s, and revenues have increased well above nominal GDP.

The evidence is clear. Tax cuts boost jobs, growth, and, in most cases, revenues. Those who choose to ignore it tend to do so because of a misguided view that governments need to spend more and that private individuals and companies make too much money.

But there is no public sector without a thriving private sector. Taxes cannot be a burden for growth and job creation because governments decide they want to spend more.

Deficits are no excuse for tax cuts. Deficits need to be addressed by curbing spending. Tax cuts are a necessary tool to keep an ever-expanding bureaucratic system from destroying the economy.

Giving back citizens and job creators part of their own money so consumption and productive investment continue to improve is not just economic logic—it is the right thing to do.


          Federal Tax Cuts in the Bush, Obama, and Trump Years (Stephanie Gocklin/ITEP)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Stephanie Gocklin / ITEP:
Federal Tax Cuts in the Bush, Obama, and Trump Years  —  Read this report in PDF.  —  Data Available for Download  —  Since 2000, tax cuts have reduced federal revenue by trillions of dollars and disproportionately benefited well-off households.  From 2001 through 2018 …


          Nigeria's President Buhari says will soon sign up to African free trade agreement      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday the country will soon sign up to a $3 trillion African free trade zone.

          Illuminati Nutrition Guidelines Make Us Sick       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

BigFatSurprise-NinaTeicholz.jpg
Nina Teicholz's 2014 book The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet 
is a bestseller that continues to get kudos for its meticulous research, engaging writing and
iconoclastic takedown of the 60-year war against dietary fat.

The low-fat high carb orthodoxy that has governed nutrition throughout our lives is
another example of monied elites deceiving and exploiting society for profit. 
They create sickness that supports a two trillion dollar pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. At the same time, they suppress and intimidate truthseekers like Nina Teicholz, left, who blew the lid off the vegetable oil scam in 2014.  More proof that Western society is a satanic cult that controls and exploits its members by making them sick.



by Anne Mullens 
(excerpt by henrymakow.com) 



A 2003 piece on trans fats for Gourmet was a blockbuster, gaining wide circulation and garnering her a six-figure advance for a book on trans fats.

Looking back, Nina is very grateful that she spent the first three years of her research "entering in through the trans fat door, getting to know all about the vegetable oil industry." Industry executives were very open to her. "I had wide open access because at that point, I was just learning. I asked for people's time and they gave it. No battle lines had yet been drawn."

This research gave her an unique understanding about the power of the vegetable oil industry and how it had manipulated nutrition science--in particular, the "diet-heart hypothesis," which holds that saturated fat causes heart disease. She even learned that Proctor & Gamble, the makers of Crisco Oil (a hardened oil with trans fats), helped raise millions of dollars which enabled the American Heart Association to go from a small volunteer organization to a national powerhouse.

"I got to understand the magnitude of the vegetable oil industry and how important the demonization of saturated fat was to them. How much they had influenced the science, funded the science. How powerful they were," said Nina.

I would get off the phone and be shaking, like, I am investigating the underworld?

She soon realized she was on to a much, much bigger story -- that everything we have been told about fat for more than 50 years is wrong. Some sources were too afraid to talk to her. "I would get off the phone and be shaking, like, I am investigating the underworld? As a journalist, when you realized that someone is afraid to talk to you, you know there is a big story there."

As an accomplished journalist working on such an important topic, did she ever have a moment's doubt that the book would be a tour de force that would shake the very foundations of nutrition science?

"Oh my goodness, it was incredibly stressful. As my conclusions became more solid, almost every night I would lie down on the floor of my husband's study and say 'I just can't do this! How can I be right and everyone else be wrong? It can't be possible.' And then I would spend hours and hours trying to disprove myself. Is my data solid? Is there any way this could be wrong?"

A definite low in the writing process came in the first few years when her first publisher dropped the book because she hadn't turned it in on time. Nina had to not only pay back her advance but then had to soldier on, alone without support, for almost a year before Simon and Schuster purchased the book for a much smaller advance. To support her and her two children, she relied on her husband's income and used all the money from an inheritance from her grandmother, to enable her to continue writing a book that was taking much longer than she, or anyone, expected.

"It was a difficult time. And the longer it took, the more everybody was embarrassed to ask me, 'Are you still writing your book?' and I would say 'Yes, I am still writing the book.' There is such a fear you will never finish."

But with her dogged focus that bordered on obsession, a supportive family, an unflagging editor and a tenacious agent, after more than nine years, the book was finally done. "My editor, agent and I called ourselves the "bulldozers of truth" -- we felt we just had to get the truth out into the world."

The result, as almost all the reviews note, is a gripping read about co-opted science, often funded by the vegetable oil industry, that led to the shunning of saturated fat for almost 50 years -- and very likely contributed to the obesity and diabetes epidemics.

Her book and its resulting influence on the heated debate around nutrition has led her to be a target for critics, some who have attacked her personally with vicious name-calling and angry statements.

"What Nina Teicholz has done and continues to do is very brave and very important. The resistance she has faced and the personal attacks have truly been remarkable," says Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, founder of Diet Doctor. "For example, a high-profile MD affiliated with Yale called her "shockingly unprofessional", "an animal" and more in a Guardian article. But he failed to provide any examples of this unprofessional behavior, despite several requests from the journalist. I think many experts have been living comfortably in dogma for decades. When they get intellectually challenged by a woman, a journalist, and they fail to find any good arguments, some of them just lose it, and lash out at her. The truth is often inconvenient and uncomfortable."

The personal attacks have been difficult, says Nina. "On the one hand, the attacks are painful and hurtful, but at the same time, you know that if they are attacking you personally it is because they cannot attack you substantively. One has to stay above the fray and not stoop down to their level of name-calling. Their level is so low, it's embarrassing - and it certainly doesn't help the scientific discussion."

Since 2004, she herself has embraced the low carb, high-fat diet. Now she relishes juicy steaks, plenty of cheese, and lots of butter -- and feels at her healthiest, and effortlessly at the thinnest, of her entire life.

"Everyone who switches to this diet just marvels at how delicious all this food is that has previously been forbidden. It is an incredible liberation to not be counting calories and to live in a way where food is no longer your enemy. I really would have appreciated knowing all of this when I was a young woman when I always wanted to be thin and 10 pounds lighter."

Is another book underway? Not at the moment. Currently, almost 100% of her time is occupied working with leading the Nutrition Coalition, the non-profit organization she founded to ensure the U.S. nutrition policy, especially its influential dietary guidelines, is evidence-based. Working closely with Dr. Sarah Hallberg, who directs the Nutrition Coalition's Scientific Council, her goal is to get the U.S. Dietary Guidelines reformed by their next iteration, in 2020.

"The Dietary Guideline imposes profound rigidities on both the medical and food systems in the U.S. We have to remove that rigidity to give doctors the freedom to prescribe different diets, including -- for instance, a low carb, high-fat diet, for patients with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, or other nutrition-related diseases. There is no single, more powerful lever on the way America eats than the U.S. dietary guidelines. And that is why they need to change."

Is she optimistic? Certainly more so now, with the community of worldwide individuals who are being brought together online.

"It is such a wonderful community of people. Everyone shares a common goal. All are so grateful for their newly-found health and wellbeing. There is a sense of purpose and a collectivity that is really a beautiful thing. I think we are lucky to be where we are at this moment in time."

---


          Re: An Absolutely Epic Escalation Of The Trade War Has Us On The Precipice Of A Cataclysmic Global Economic Crisis      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Both China and Japan are presently decreasing their ownership of US Treasuries and they can do that simply by not reinvesting the funds they receive in new US Treasuries as they are paid in full on maturing US Treasuries which is precisely what both countries are now doing.

The fine and wonderful Federal Reserve is merely a CENTRAL BANK and does not "milk money" out of anyone at all. In fact, it is the SINGLE LARGEST REVENUE SOURCE FOR THE US TREASURY as it rebates 94% of its profits annually to the US government and those profits are now around $100 billion a year from their $4.4 trillion portfolio of assets.

That means that the US Treasury PAYS NO NET INTEREST WHATSOEVER on the US Treasuries owned by the Federal Reserve.


          Re: An Absolutely Epic Escalation Of The Trade War Has Us On The Precipice Of A Cataclysmic Global Economic Crisis      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Federal Reserve has no interest in purchasing more US Treasuries beyond the around $2.5 trillion of US Treasuries that it presently owns and is in the process of reducing its balance sheet mostly by eliminating MBS instruments.

Each and every year the US Treasury has to issue and sell around $9 TRILLION of US Treasuries with around $8 trillion going to repay those that mature in full and around $1 trillion being new net federal debt to fund massive federal deficit spending.


          Re: An Absolutely Epic Escalation Of The Trade War Has Us On The Precipice Of A Cataclysmic Global Economic Crisis      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

U are exactly correct Stuey!, What I said the other day about ms and a lot of hype to sell books and hits to his sites is also true.

That sheet about China dumping our debt, and the sky falling in on US of A, is proof of over hyping something that has NOT happened, and with almost certainty, will NEVER happen. The Federal Reserve has too much left to milk out of Americans to let the US of A crash and burn over a paltry sum of 1.2 trillion.

The total net worth of All Americans, reported and not reported, is about 100 Trillion dollars, and climbing everyday the stock market stays above it's highs of 2016.
The Dow could drop below 20,000 and most people that have pensions and 401ks, and other portfolios of market investments, would still be wealthier than they were just five years ago.


          Socialist Ocasio-Cortez reveals inner Communist dictator, suggests banning tax cut supporters from healthcare debate      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

On Tuesday, Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed her inner Communist dictator with a suggestion that those who support recent tax cuts enacted by President Trump and congressional Republicans be banned from participating in the healthcare debate. “New Rule: anyone that was cool with the GOP inventing $2 trillion out of thin air for freebies for […]

The post Socialist Ocasio-Cortez reveals inner Communist dictator, suggests banning tax cut supporters from healthcare debate appeared first on Conservative Firing Line.


          For All His Bluster, Trump is Powerless Against NATO Allies — Here's Why      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Trump will gradually disappear from the stage. But other names will remain intact: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon...

Donald Trump has leapt across the Atlantic Ocean to bring America’s European allies to heel. Or so his Twitter account suggests. In London, an orange effigy will fly above the city in welcome. Massive crowds will gather on Friday to greet him with jeers and boos. Trump has the ability to translate dissent into praise. He will see the crowds and preen. Surely, he is the most important American to set foot in the British Isles.

He will walk through the streets of Brussels, pretending to attack America’s NATO allies. He will wink to his base—telling them that he is being tough on everyone, not just China, but also Germany and France. His base will think that he is their champion, speaking for them in a voice that has not been heard before.

Others will be hoodwinked into the belief that Trump—yes, Trump alone—is somehow changing the terms of the great Atlantic relationship.

But this is all bunk. Trump is a deception. There is no change afoot. The United States will continue to fund European ‘defense,’ which is more accurately characterized as the U.S.-driven attempt to dominate Eurasia (Russia and China). The United States will continue to use NATO as much as possible to drive the agenda of Western-led imperialism. All this, the facts of the matter, will be set aside as the liberals cry out in horror about Trump’s political infidelities. How dare The Donald poke a finger in the ‘special relationship’ with the other colonizers, they say! They are outraged. The colonizers must stay together.

Two Donalds

Trump travels with his bludgeon—his Twitter account. He warned before he left for Europe that the Europeans must lift their military spending. This comes before the NATO summit, where Trump is expected to be as testy as he was in the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Canada. Then, Trump provoked a war of words with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Now, he seems to want to get into a war of words with all of Europe.

The Europeans (and the American establishment liberals) fear that Trump will break the Atlantic alliance—the linkage between Western Europe (substantially) and the United States. Old colonial ties and ties reaffirmed through the Group of Seven (G7) process brought the United States into a very tight embrace with France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Much was made during the Bush years of the New Europe (namely, Eastern Europe), but this was not serious. The real Atlantic alliance is between the U.S. (with Canada) and these three major European powers.

It is to this that European Council President Donald Tusk gestured when he said, “Dear America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don’t have that many.” This was a bitter statement. It comes from a former Prime Minister of Poland, who is now disliked in his own country. Tusk has thrown his fortunes into the European project. He worries on behalf of Berlin, London and Paris.

Donald Trump responded lightly. “We have many allies,” he said, brushing off the other Donald’s warning.

2 Percent Threshold

The United States—before Trump—and NATO itself had made low military spending in Europe an issue. It was NATO that agreed to the 2 percent of GDP threshold, arguing that each of the NATO member-states must lift their military spending to above 2 percent of GDP. The majority of European countries in NATO—24 of 28—spend well below that threshold. They have no real plans to lift their military obligations.

The 2 percent threshold provides Trump a Twitter-worthy argument. He knows that the U.S. is the largest spender on the military on the planet, and he knows that U.S. allies such as the European states, but also Japan and South Korea, have relied upon the U.S. military umbrella to protect them from threats. The United States spends close to 40 percent of all military spending on the planet. No country in Europe spends near U.S. levels. The United States and the European Union have a comparable GDP. The U.S. spends over 3 percent of its GDP on the military, whereas the European Union spends half that amount.

It is the United States that acts as the gendarme of the world’s monied. That has become its role. It is not the military of the people of the United States.

Trump’s Deceptions

While Trump fulminates about European military spending, the United States’ overall policy direction and contribution to European warfare has not diminished. It is one thing to go on Twitter to titillate one’s base and quite another to shift the policy.

All U.S. government strategic documents reaffirm the U.S.-European alliance and confirm that the main threats to this alliance are from China and Russia. This is the old game, the attempt to prevent the emergence of any challenges to the Atlantic alliance and the attempt to maintain Atlantic hegemony over decision making on issues of importance, namely trade and development. The most recent such document—the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s National Defense Strategy (February 2018)—makes just these points. The crucial sentence is this: “A strong and free Europe, bound by shared principles of democracy, national sovereignty and commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty is vital to our security.” Article 5 is the commitment made by all NATO members for collective defense.

But is Trump really going to starve NATO and the European alliance? There is no evidence of this. Trump has increased the U.S. military budget by gargantuan amounts—to the near astronomic levels of close to $800 billion (China, the second largest military spender, is at $230 billion). The numbers are at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and International Institute for Strategic Studies. Trump increased military spending by close to 10 percent. There is no hesitancy to spend money on the military, no desire to shift some of that treasure toward those who are out of work and desperate. None of that.

Part of this massive military budget—admittedly a small part—has gone toward the U.S.-European Defense Initiative. Trump has raised that amount from $3.4 billion to $6.5 billion. This Initiative is designed as a European and American response to “threats from Russia.” One of the key elements of this Initiative is, as the Comptroller of the U.S. Defense Department notes in February 2018, to “assure our NATO allies and partners of the United States’ commitment to Article 5 and the territorial integrity of all 28 NATO nations.” The next point is more sinister. It speaks of increasing the “capability and readiness of U.S. Forces, NATO allies and regional partners” to swiftly deal with any “regional adversary.” The finger is pointed at Russia. This has been U.S. policy since the unification of Germany, since the desire to move NATO eastwards and since the general consensus in the West to box in both Russia and China to prevent the development of any challenge to Western power.

Trump will make a great deal of noise about the 2 percent threshold and he will be aggressive in public against his European partners. The other Donald, Tusk of the European Council, will take the bait and the media will have a field day. But few will report that beneath this sturm und drang, this tempest, will be the normal, but deeply troubling military alliance of the Atlantic world.

Militaries will be heavily funded, arms dealers will preen, threats will be made to weaker powers, trade treaties will be forced on them, poverty will increase, rhetoric of hate will be normal, and the world will slip into the dark night of barbarism.

Trump will gradually disappear from the stage. So will Tusk. So will Merkel. But other names will remain intact: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Airbus, United Technologies, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, Thales Group, L-3 Communications, Rolls Royce… the smell of war, the putrid smell of a world of war.

This article was produced by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

 

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Paul Greenberg discusses his book The Omega Principle: Seafood and the Quest for a Long Life and a Healthier Planet. Omega-3 fatty acids have long been celebrated by doctors and dietitians as key to a healthy heart and a sharper brain, and they are now a multi-billion dollar business--even as recent medical studies caution that the promise of omega-3s may not be what it first appeared. A closer look at the omega-3 sensation reveals a troubling side effect to this health craze: the miracle pill is the latest product of the reduction industry, a vast, global endeavor that, over the last century, has boiled down trillions of pounds of marine life into animal feed, fertilizer, margarine, and dietary supplements. Greenberg looks at how the creatures that are the victims of this industry are essential to the survival of whales, penguins, and fish of all kinds.

On July 11 Paul Greenberg will be at McNally Jackson at 7:00 pm (52 Prince Street, NYNY 10012)

This segment is guest hosted by Arun Venugopal. 


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          Student loan game show “Paid Off” is the most 2018 TV show ever      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The best game show on the air right now isn’t Wheel of Fortune, The Price is Right, or even Nailed It! It’s TruTV’s semi-satirical yet all-too-real Paid Off With Michael Torpey. The show pits millennial contestants against each other in the hopes of wracking up enough cash to pay off their student loan debt.

The show is part Family Feud, part Jeopardy, and part Battle Royale, with an undercurrent of stark financial reality stemming from the student loan crisis that has swallowed up so many young Americans. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in the first quarter of 2008, student loan debt totaled $579 billion. In the first quarter of 2018, it jumped to nearly $1.5 trillion, an increase of over 150% in just the past decade.

Torpey, the show’s host and creator, created the game show to help alleviate the crisis. Sort of. “One of the mantras is ‘an absurd show to match an absurd crisis,'” Torpey, the show’s host and creator, said in a statement via The Washington Post. “A game show feels really apt because this is the state of things right now.”

A game show is as innovative a solution to the student loan crisis as SoFi’s crowdsourcing approach.

If you think a game show is a ridiculous solution to a real problem, Torpey completely agrees. He ends each episode urging viewers to “Call your representatives right now and tell them you need a better solution than this game show.” To be honest, the strangest thing about the show is that it’s not sponsored by Sallie Mae.

Real missed opportunity there, folks!


          For All His Bluster, Trump is Powerless Against NATO Allies — Here's Why      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Trump will gradually disappear from the stage. But other names will remain intact: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon...

Donald Trump has leapt across the Atlantic Ocean to bring America’s European allies to heel. Or so his Twitter account suggests. In London, an orange effigy will fly above the city in welcome. Massive crowds will gather on Friday to greet him with jeers and boos. Trump has the ability to translate dissent into praise. He will see the crowds and preen. Surely, he is the most important American to set foot in the British Isles.

He will walk through the streets of Brussels, pretending to attack America’s NATO allies. He will wink to his base—telling them that he is being tough on everyone, not just China, but also Germany and France. His base will think that he is their champion, speaking for them in a voice that has not been heard before.

Others will be hoodwinked into the belief that Trump—yes, Trump alone—is somehow changing the terms of the great Atlantic relationship.

But this is all bunk. Trump is a deception. There is no change afoot. The United States will continue to fund European ‘defense,’ which is more accurately characterized as the U.S.-driven attempt to dominate Eurasia (Russia and China). The United States will continue to use NATO as much as possible to drive the agenda of Western-led imperialism. All this, the facts of the matter, will be set aside as the liberals cry out in horror about Trump’s political infidelities. How dare The Donald poke a finger in the ‘special relationship’ with the other colonizers, they say! They are outraged. The colonizers must stay together.

Two Donalds

Trump travels with his bludgeon—his Twitter account. He warned before he left for Europe that the Europeans must lift their military spending. This comes before the NATO summit, where Trump is expected to be as testy as he was in the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Canada. Then, Trump provoked a war of words with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Now, he seems to want to get into a war of words with all of Europe.

The Europeans (and the American establishment liberals) fear that Trump will break the Atlantic alliance—the linkage between Western Europe (substantially) and the United States. Old colonial ties and ties reaffirmed through the Group of Seven (G7) process brought the United States into a very tight embrace with France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Much was made during the Bush years of the New Europe (namely, Eastern Europe), but this was not serious. The real Atlantic alliance is between the U.S. (with Canada) and these three major European powers.

It is to this that European Council President Donald Tusk gestured when he said, “Dear America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don’t have that many.” This was a bitter statement. It comes from a former Prime Minister of Poland, who is now disliked in his own country. Tusk has thrown his fortunes into the European project. He worries on behalf of Berlin, London and Paris.

Donald Trump responded lightly. “We have many allies,” he said, brushing off the other Donald’s warning.

2 Percent Threshold

The United States—before Trump—and NATO itself had made low military spending in Europe an issue. It was NATO that agreed to the 2 percent of GDP threshold, arguing that each of the NATO member-states must lift their military spending to above 2 percent of GDP. The majority of European countries in NATO—24 of 28—spend well below that threshold. They have no real plans to lift their military obligations.

The 2 percent threshold provides Trump a Twitter-worthy argument. He knows that the U.S. is the largest spender on the military on the planet, and he knows that U.S. allies such as the European states, but also Japan and South Korea, have relied upon the U.S. military umbrella to protect them from threats. The United States spends close to 40 percent of all military spending on the planet. No country in Europe spends near U.S. levels. The United States and the European Union have a comparable GDP. The U.S. spends over 3 percent of its GDP on the military, whereas the European Union spends half that amount.

It is the United States that acts as the gendarme of the world’s monied. That has become its role. It is not the military of the people of the United States.

Trump’s Deceptions

While Trump fulminates about European military spending, the United States’ overall policy direction and contribution to European warfare has not diminished. It is one thing to go on Twitter to titillate one’s base and quite another to shift the policy.

All U.S. government strategic documents reaffirm the U.S.-European alliance and confirm that the main threats to this alliance are from China and Russia. This is the old game, the attempt to prevent the emergence of any challenges to the Atlantic alliance and the attempt to maintain Atlantic hegemony over decision making on issues of importance, namely trade and development. The most recent such document—the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s National Defense Strategy (February 2018)—makes just these points. The crucial sentence is this: “A strong and free Europe, bound by shared principles of democracy, national sovereignty and commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty is vital to our security.” Article 5 is the commitment made by all NATO members for collective defense.

But is Trump really going to starve NATO and the European alliance? There is no evidence of this. Trump has increased the U.S. military budget by gargantuan amounts—to the near astronomic levels of close to $800 billion (China, the second largest military spender, is at $230 billion). The numbers are at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and International Institute for Strategic Studies. Trump increased military spending by close to 10 percent. There is no hesitancy to spend money on the military, no desire to shift some of that treasure toward those who are out of work and desperate. None of that.

Part of this massive military budget—admittedly a small part—has gone toward the U.S.-European Defense Initiative. Trump has raised that amount from $3.4 billion to $6.5 billion. This Initiative is designed as a European and American response to “threats from Russia.” One of the key elements of this Initiative is, as the Comptroller of the U.S. Defense Department notes in February 2018, to “assure our NATO allies and partners of the United States’ commitment to Article 5 and the territorial integrity of all 28 NATO nations.” The next point is more sinister. It speaks of increasing the “capability and readiness of U.S. Forces, NATO allies and regional partners” to swiftly deal with any “regional adversary.” The finger is pointed at Russia. This has been U.S. policy since the unification of Germany, since the desire to move NATO eastwards and since the general consensus in the West to box in both Russia and China to prevent the development of any challenge to Western power.

Trump will make a great deal of noise about the 2 percent threshold and he will be aggressive in public against his European partners. The other Donald, Tusk of the European Council, will take the bait and the media will have a field day. But few will report that beneath this sturm und drang, this tempest, will be the normal, but deeply troubling military alliance of the Atlantic world.

Militaries will be heavily funded, arms dealers will preen, threats will be made to weaker powers, trade treaties will be forced on them, poverty will increase, rhetoric of hate will be normal, and the world will slip into the dark night of barbarism.

Trump will gradually disappear from the stage. So will Tusk. So will Merkel. But other names will remain intact: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Airbus, United Technologies, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, Thales Group, L-3 Communications, Rolls Royce… the smell of war, the putrid smell of a world of war.

This article was produced by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

 

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