Next Page: 10000

          IMF sees Indian economy as an elephant that is starting to run      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes the $2.6 trillion Indian economy is an elephant that is starting to run.
          Pakistan defends its economic partnership with China amid US criticism       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Pakistan on Wednesday defended its economic partnership with China, amid fears that the terms of opaque multi-billion dollar investments by Beijing could be exacerbating Islamabad's economic woes as it considers a fresh Internation Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.

“We have noted recent media reports questioning the viability of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), claiming that it would create an unbearable debt burden for Pakistan,” the government said in a statement issued to the media.

“Such media reports are often one-sided, distort facts, and are based on irresponsible statements by individuals who either have no understanding of CPEC or are driven by ulterior motives,” the statement continued.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an ambitious plan by Beijing to build infrastructure in Pakistan, mainly energy and transport, connecting the western Chinese region of Xinjiang with the Arabian Sea.

It is part of China's massive “Belt and Road” initiative seeking to revive ancient trade routes through a massive rail and maritime network via $1 trillion in investments across Asia and Europe.

But the opaqueness of the CPEC terms has led to concerns as Pakistan faces a looming balance-of-payments crisis, with analysts saying it will need to take urgent action, potentially seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“It is because of the favourable financing arrangements that Pakistan opted for Chinese investment under CPEC,” said the statement issued by the caretaker administration.

“China stepped forward to support Pakistan's development at a time when foreign investment had dried up, and economic activity was being crippled by energy shortages and infrastructure gaps,” it said, calling CPEC a “win-win”.

Chinese energy companies have “raised funds from Chinese banks and investors”, and these do not constitute any debt obligation on Pakistan, the statement said.

“CPEC projects are financed through a composite financing package comprising long-term government-to-government concessional and preferential loans, as well as grants from the government of China. Repayments on these loans would not commence in the immediate future,” it added.

The details come after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo voiced concerns in July over any IMF bailout being used to repay Islamabad's debts to China, with whom Washington is engaged in a trade war.

On Tuesday Pakistan's likely future finance minister Asad Umar announced that the decision on a possible IMF loan would be taken by “the end of September”.

“There is a general perception that we have picked up very expensive loans from the Chinese. I personally don't think so,” he told reporters in Islamabad.

“They are like most commercial loans,” he said, denouncing the “lack of transparency” by the previous government on the subject.

China's financial largesse, in the form of the Belt and Road project, has raised concerns over the vulnerability of poorer nations to such massive debt.

Last year Sri Lanka was forced to hand over majority control of its Hambantota port to China after being unable to repay its loans.


          SC wants to get back Rs600 billion stashed abroad by Pakistanis       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday made known its desire to bring back at least Rs600 billion of a perceived Rs1 trillion stashed in foreign lands by Pakistani nationals.

Many Pakistanis maintained accounts and owned properties in foreign lands, including the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland, deplored Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar during a suo motu hearing pertaining to illegal transfer of money from Pakistan to foreign countries.

The case was initiated when it came to the notice of the court that a large number of Pakistani citizens are maintaining accounts in foreign countries without disclosing to the authorities or paying taxes on them under the law.

Seeks details of Musharraf, Zardari’s properties

A lot of amount of money had been transferred away but the top bureaucracy of the country always came out with excuses whenever they appeared before the court, the chief justice regretted.

The court also hinted at issuing notices out of the list prepared by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to learn reasons why such people did not take advantage of the amnesty scheme launched by the previous government for voluntary disclosure of foreign assets owned by Pakistani citizens.

The scheme was launched to provide an opportunity to declare or transfer foreign assets to Pakistan in lieu of payment of taxes.

On March 26, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had announced the scheme after which the federal government promulgated the Foreign Assets (Declaration and Repatriation) Ordinance, 2018.

The significant feature of the ordinance is the promised immunity from taxation and penal action in respect of undeclared foreign assets subject to payment of taxes, etc.

Earlier, a 12-member committee of experts, headed by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa, had informed the Supreme Court through its report that a staggering amount of $15.25bn was transferred abroad by individual account holders in Pakistan during 2016-17 through normal banking channels. Likewise, a substantial amount of transfers also took place from Pakistan under unauthorised and undocumented hundi and hawala mechanism.

The committee had feared that both types of outflows — regular channel and hundi or hawala — had a huge impact on the stability of the country’s foreign exchange reserves and adversely affected the exchange rate of the Pakistani rupee.

As a result, the national economy become vulnerable to pressure due to foreign currency obligations of the state, the report had explained, adding that this trend could also cause Pakistan to suffer undue and disruptive inflation and could drain the exchequer of substantial amounts of tax on account of escaped income and wealth.

The SBP governor, however, sought time from the court so that the central bank could formulate a strategy to deal with the matter.

On Tuesday, the same bench directed former presidents retired Gen Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari as well as former attorney general Malik Qayyum to submit affidavits showing details of their properties.

The court is seized with a petition of Advocate Feroz Shah Gilani, president of the Lawyers Foundation for Justice, in which he had named Pervez Musharraf, Malik Qayyum, Asif Ali Zardari and the National Accounta­bility Bureau as respondents.

The chief justice observed that accountability should begin with people in powerful positions and directed senior counsel Farooq H. Naek to submit affidavits containing details of Asif Zardari’s assets.

Mr Naek, however, argued that both Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had recently submitted their asset details with the Election Commission of Pakistan in their nomination papers.

In his petition, Mr Gilani had requested the court to order recovery of huge amounts of public money misappropriated and wasted by the respondents through unlawful means already on record in different judgements of the Supreme Court and high courts.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2018


          Comment on Democratic socialism: sounds good, but is way too expensive, and not the future of the Democratic party by Jonathan Dore      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
I'd like to see the assumptions behind those figures, especially the key cost of healthcare. The bottom line is that the US currently spends 18% of its GDP on healthcare, against an average of 11% for comparably developed countries (see the graph of expenditure since 1970 at https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/health-spending-u-s-compare-countries/#item-since-1980-gap-widened-u-s-health-spending-countries). I don't know what proportion of GDP $32 trillion over a decade represents, but if it's less than 18% then it represents a saving for the country as a whole, and the only question is who pays it, i.e. how the money is routed. A general shift away from employers paying money to the insurance industry and towards individuals paying income tax to the government would seem to be the general pattern. Cutting the insurance industry out of the healthcare system altogether is the key reason why every other advanced country only has to spend two-thirds of what the US spends on healthcare. If, on the other hand, $32 trillion over a decade represents a total that maintains or increases that 18%, then I suspect the calculation's assumptions are flawed, since that level of expenditure clearly isn't necessary to maintain a single-payer healthcare system.
          Four Out Of Five Oklahoma Congressmen Agree: 'Yes' To Farm Bill      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Sixty-two Republicans voted against the five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that would have cute $2 billion annual from food stamps and let states impose broad new work requirements on those who receive them. Freshman U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla. 1) was the only Oklahoma congressman to vote against the farm bill.
          8/8/2018: ECONOMY & BUSINESS: ALSO IN BUSINESS      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Americans increased their borrowing in June at the slowest annual pace in three months as the level of credit card debt fell slightly. The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that consumer debt rose $10.2 billion in June from May to a total of $3.91 trillion....
          The Uninhabitable Earth      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   


The Uninhabitable Earth
Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.

By David Wallace-Wells

In the jungles of Costa Rica, where humidity routinely tops 90 percent, simply moving around outside when it’s over 105 degrees Fahrenheit would be lethal. And the effect would be fast: Within a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out. Fossils by Heartless Machine
July 9, 2017

I. ‘Doomsday’
Peering beyond scientific reticence.

It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of other threats, many much closer at hand. Rising oceans are bad, in fact very bad; but fleeing the coastline will not be enough.

Indeed, absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.

Even when we train our eyes on climate change, we are unable to comprehend its scope. This past winter, a string of days 60 and 70 degrees warmer than normal baked the North Pole, melting the permafrost that encased Norway’s Svalbard seed vault — a global food bank nicknamed “Doomsday,” designed to ensure that our agriculture survives any catastrophe, and which appeared to have been flooded by climate change less than ten years after being built.

The Doomsday vault is fine, for now: The structure has been secured and the seeds are safe. But treating the episode as a parable of impending flooding missed the more important news. Until recently, permafrost was not a major concern of climate scientists, because, as the name suggests, it was soil that stayed permanently frozen. But Arctic permafrost contains 1.8 trillion tons of carbon, more than twice as much as is currently suspended in the Earth’s atmosphere. When it thaws and is released, that carbon may evaporate as methane, which is 34 times as powerful a greenhouse-gas warming blanket as carbon dioxide when judged on the timescale of a century; when judged on the timescale of two decades, it is 86 times as powerful. In other words, we have, trapped in Arctic permafrost, twice as much carbon as is currently wrecking the atmosphere of the planet, all of it scheduled to be released at a date that keeps getting moved up, partially in the form of a gas that multiplies its warming power 86 times over.

Maybe you know that already — there are alarming stories in the news every day, like those, last month, that seemed to suggest satellite data showed the globe warming since 1998 more than twice as fast as scientists had thought (in fact, the underlying story was considerably less alarming than the headlines). Or the news from Antarctica this past May, when a crack in an ice shelf grew 11 miles in six days, then kept going; the break now has just three miles to go — by the time you read this, it may already have met the open water, where it will drop into the sea one of the biggest icebergs ever, a process known poetically as “calving.”


Watch: How Climate Change Is Creating More Powerful Hurricanes

But no matter how well-informed you are, you are surely not alarmed enough. Over the past decades, our culture has gone apocalyptic with zombie movies and Mad Max dystopias, perhaps the collective result of displaced climate anxiety, and yet when it comes to contemplating real-world warming dangers, we suffer from an incredible failure of imagination. The reasons for that are many: the timid language of scientific probabilities, which the climatologist James Hansen once called “scientific reticence” in a paper chastising scientists for editing their own observations so conscientiously that they failed to communicate how dire the threat really was; the fact that the country is dominated by a group of technocrats who believe any problem can be solved and an opposing culture that doesn’t even see warming as a problem worth addressing; the way that climate denialism has made scientists even more cautious in offering speculative warnings; the simple speed of change and, also, its slowness, such that we are only seeing effects now of warming from decades past; our uncertainty about uncertainty, which the climate writer Naomi Oreskes in particular has suggested stops us from preparing as though anything worse than a median outcome were even possible; the way we assume climate change will hit hardest elsewhere, not everywhere; the smallness (two degrees) and largeness (1.8 trillion tons) and abstractness (400 parts per million) of the numbers; the discomfort of considering a problem that is very difficult, if not impossible, to solve; the altogether incomprehensible scale of that problem, which amounts to the prospect of our own annihilation; simple fear. But aversion arising from fear is a form of denial, too.

In between scientific reticence and science fiction is science itself. This article is the result of dozens of interviews and exchanges with climatologists and researchers in related fields and reflects hundreds of scientific papers on the subject of climate change. What follows is not a series of predictions of what will happen — that will be determined in large part by the much-less-certain science of human response. Instead, it is a portrait of our best understanding of where the planet is heading absent aggressive action. It is unlikely that all of these warming scenarios will be fully realized, largely because the devastation along the way will shake our complacency. But those scenarios, and not the present climate, are the baseline. In fact, they are our schedule.

The present tense of climate change — the destruction we’ve already baked into our future — is horrifying enough. Most people talk as if Miami and Bangladesh still have a chance of surviving; most of the scientists I spoke with assume we’ll lose them within the century, even if we stop burning fossil fuel in the next decade. Two degrees of warming used to be considered the threshold of catastrophe: tens of millions of climate refugees unleashed upon an unprepared world. Now two degrees is our goal, per the Paris climate accords, and experts give us only slim odds of hitting it. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues serial reports, often called the “gold standard” of climate research; the most recent one projects us to hit four degrees of warming by the beginning of the next century, should we stay the present course. But that’s just a median projection. The upper end of the probability curve runs as high as eight degrees — and the authors still haven’t figured out how to deal with that permafrost melt. The IPCC reports also don’t fully account for the albedo effect (less ice means less reflected and more absorbed sunlight, hence more warming); more cloud cover (which traps heat); or the dieback of forests and other flora (which extract carbon from the atmosphere). Each of these promises to accelerate warming, and the history of the planet shows that temperature can shift as much as five degrees Celsius within thirteen years. The last time the planet was even four degrees warmer, Peter Brannen points out in The Ends of the World, his new history of the planet’s major extinction events, the oceans were hundreds of feet higher.*

The Earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now, each so complete a slate-wiping of the evolutionary record it functioned as a resetting of the planetary clock, and many climate scientists will tell you they are the best analog for the ecological future we are diving headlong into. Unless you are a teenager, you probably read in your high-school textbooks that these extinctions were the result of asteroids. In fact, all but the one that killed the dinosaurs were caused by climate change produced by greenhouse gas. The most notorious was 252 million years ago; it began when carbon warmed the planet by five degrees, accelerated when that warming triggered the release of methane in the Arctic, and ended with 97 percent of all life on Earth dead. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a considerably faster rate; by most estimates, at least ten times faster. The rate is accelerating. This is what Stephen Hawking had in mind when he said, this spring, that the species needs to colonize other planets in the next century to survive, and what drove Elon Musk, last month, to unveil his plans to build a Mars habitat in 40 to 100 years. These are nonspecialists, of course, and probably as inclined to irrational panic as you or I. But the many sober-minded scientists I interviewed over the past several months — the most credentialed and tenured in the field, few of them inclined to alarmism and many advisers to the IPCC who nevertheless criticize its conservatism — have quietly reached an apocalyptic conclusion, too: No plausible program of emissions reductions alone can prevent climate disaster.

Over the past few decades, the term “Anthropocene” has climbed out of academic discourse and into the popular imagination — a name given to the geologic era we live in now, and a way to signal that it is a new era, defined on the wall chart of deep history by human intervention. One problem with the term is that it implies a conquest of nature (and even echoes the biblical “dominion”). And however sanguine you might be about the proposition that we have already ravaged the natural world, which we surely have, it is another thing entirely to consider the possibility that we have only provoked it, engineering first in ignorance and then in denial a climate system that will now go to war with us for many centuries, perhaps until it destroys us. That is what Wallace Smith Broecker, the avuncular oceanographer who coined the term “global warming,” means when he calls the planet an “angry beast.” You could also go with “war machine.” Each day we arm it more.

II. Heat Death
The bahraining of New York.

In the sugar­cane region of El Salvador, as much as one-fifth of the population has chronic kidney disease, the presumed result of dehydration from working the fields they were able to comfortably harvest as recently as two decades ago. Photo: Heartless Machine
Humans, like all mammals, are heat engines; surviving means having to continually cool off, like panting dogs. For that, the temperature needs to be low enough for the air to act as a kind of refrigerant, drawing heat off the skin so the engine can keep pumping. At seven degrees of warming, that would become impossible for large portions of the planet’s equatorial band, and especially the tropics, where humidity adds to the problem; in the jungles of Costa Rica, for instance, where humidity routinely tops 90 percent, simply moving around outside when it’s over 105 degrees Fahrenheit would be lethal. And the effect would be fast: Within a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out.

Climate-change skeptics point out that the planet has warmed and cooled many times before, but the climate window that has allowed for human life is very narrow, even by the standards of planetary history. At 11 or 12 degrees of warming, more than half the world’s population, as distributed today, would die of direct heat. Things almost certainly won’t get that hot this century, though models of unabated emissions do bring us that far eventually. This century, and especially in the tropics, the pain points will pinch much more quickly even than an increase of seven degrees. The key factor is something called wet-bulb temperature, which is a term of measurement as home-laboratory-kit as it sounds: the heat registered on a thermometer wrapped in a damp sock as it’s swung around in the air (since the moisture evaporates from a sock more quickly in dry air, this single number reflects both heat and humidity). At present, most regions reach a wet-bulb maximum of 26 or 27 degrees Celsius; the true red line for habitability is 35 degrees. What is called heat stress comes much sooner.

Related Stories
Michael Oppenheimer: Only 10 Percent Chance We Meet Paris Targets
Actually, we’re about there already. Since 1980, the planet has experienced a 50-fold increase in the number of places experiencing dangerous or extreme heat; a bigger increase is to come. The five warmest summers in Europe since 1500 have all occurred since 2002, and soon, the IPCC warns, simply being outdoors that time of year will be unhealthy for much of the globe. Even if we meet the Paris goals of two degrees warming, cities like Karachi and Kolkata will become close to uninhabitable, annually encountering deadly heat waves like those that crippled them in 2015. At four degrees, the deadly European heat wave of 2003, which killed as many as 2,000 people a day, will be a normal summer. At six, according to an assessment focused only on effects within the U.S. from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, summer labor of any kind would become impossible in the lower Mississippi Valley, and everybody in the country east of the Rockies would be under more heat stress than anyone, anywhere, in the world today. As Joseph Romm has put it in his authoritative primer Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know, heat stress in New York City would exceed that of present-day Bahrain, one of the planet’s hottest spots, and the temperature in Bahrain “would induce hyperthermia in even sleeping humans.” The high-end IPCC estimate, remember, is two degrees warmer still. By the end of the century, the World Bank has estimated, the coolest months in tropical South America, Africa, and the Pacific are likely to be warmer than the warmest months at the end of the 20th century. Air-conditioning can help but will ultimately only add to the carbon problem; plus, the climate-controlled malls of the Arab emirates aside, it is not remotely plausible to wholesale air-condition all the hottest parts of the world, many of them also the poorest. And indeed, the crisis will be most dramatic across the Middle East and Persian Gulf, where in 2015 the heat index registered temperatures as high as 163 degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as several decades from now, the hajj will become physically impossible for the 2 million Muslims who make the pilgrimage each year.

It is not just the hajj, and it is not just Mecca; heat is already killing us. In the sugarcane region of El Salvador, as much as one-fifth of the population has chronic kidney disease, including over a quarter of the men, the presumed result of dehydration from working the fields they were able to comfortably harvest as recently as two decades ago. With dialysis, which is expensive, those with kidney failure can expect to live five years; without it, life expectancy is in the weeks. Of course, heat stress promises to pummel us in places other than our kidneys, too. As I type that sentence, in the California desert in mid-June, it is 121 degrees outside my door. It is not a record high.

III. The End of Food
Praying for cornfields in the tundra.

Climates differ and plants vary, but the basic rule for staple cereal crops grown at optimal temperature is that for every degree of warming, yields decline by 10 percent. Some estimates run as high as 15 or even 17 percent. Which means that if the planet is five degrees warmer at the end of the century, we may have as many as 50 percent more people to feed and 50 percent less grain to give them. And proteins are worse: It takes 16 calories of grain to produce just a single calorie of hamburger meat, butchered from a cow that spent its life polluting the climate with methane farts.

Pollyannaish plant physiologists will point out that the cereal-crop math applies only to those regions already at peak growing temperature, and they are right — theoretically, a warmer climate will make it easier to grow corn in Greenland. But as the pathbreaking work by Rosamond Naylor and David Battisti has shown, the tropics are already too hot to efficiently grow grain, and those places where grain is produced today are already at optimal growing temperature — which means even a small warming will push them down the slope of declining productivity. And you can’t easily move croplands north a few hundred miles, because yields in places like remote Canada and Russia are limited by the quality of soil there; it takes many centuries for the planet to produce optimally fertile dirt.

Drought might be an even bigger problem than heat, with some of the world’s most arable land turning quickly to desert. Precipitation is notoriously hard to model, yet predictions for later this century are basically unanimous: unprecedented droughts nearly everywhere food is today produced. By 2080, without dramatic reductions in emissions, southern Europe will be in permanent extreme drought, much worse than the American dust bowl ever was. The same will be true in Iraq and Syria and much of the rest of the Middle East; some of the most densely populated parts of Australia, Africa, and South America; and the breadbasket regions of China. None of these places, which today supply much of the world’s food, will be reliable sources of any. As for the original dust bowl: The droughts in the American plains and Southwest would not just be worse than in the 1930s, a 2015 NASA study predicted, but worse than any droughts in a thousand years — and that includes those that struck between 1100 and 1300, which “dried up all the rivers East of the Sierra Nevada mountains” and may have been responsible for the death of the Anasazi civilization.

Remember, we do not live in a world without hunger as it is. Far from it: Most estimates put the number of undernourished at 800 million globally. In case you haven’t heard, this spring has already brought an unprecedented quadruple famine to Africa and the Middle East; the U.N. has warned that separate starvation events in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen could kill 20 million this year alone.

IV. Climate Plagues
What happens when the bubonic ice melts?

Rock, in the right spot, is a record of planetary history, eras as long as millions of years flattened by the forces of geological time into strata with amplitudes of just inches, or just an inch, or even less. Ice works that way, too, as a climate ledger, but it is also frozen history, some of which can be reanimated when unfrozen. There are now, trapped in Arctic ice, diseases that have not circulated in the air for millions of years — in some cases, since before humans were around to encounter them. Which means our immune systems would have no idea how to fight back when those prehistoric plagues emerge from the ice.

The Arctic also stores terrifying bugs from more recent times. In Alaska, already, researchers have discovered remnants of the 1918 flu that infected as many as 500 million and killed as many as 100 million — about 5 percent of the world’s population and almost six times as many as had died in the world war for which the pandemic served as a kind of gruesome capstone. As the BBC reported in May, scientists suspect smallpox and the bubonic plague are trapped in Siberian ice, too — an abridged history of devastating human sickness, left out like egg salad in the Arctic sun.

Experts caution that many of these organisms won’t actually survive the thaw and point to the fastidious lab conditions under which they have already reanimated several of them — the 32,000-year-old “extremophile” bacteria revived in 2005, an 8 million-year-old bug brought back to life in 2007, the 3.5 million–year–old one a Russian scientist self-injected just out of curiosity — to suggest that those are necessary conditions for the return of such ancient plagues. But already last year, a boy was killed and 20 others infected by anthrax released when retreating permafrost exposed the frozen carcass of a reindeer killed by the bacteria at least 75 years earlier; 2,000 present-day reindeer were infected, too, carrying and spreading the disease beyond the tundra.

What concerns epidemiologists more than ancient diseases are existing scourges relocated, rewired, or even re-evolved by warming. The first effect is geographical. Before the early-modern period, when adventuring sailboats accelerated the mixing of peoples and their bugs, human provinciality was a guard against pandemic. Today, even with globalization and the enormous intermingling of human populations, our ecosystems are mostly stable, and this functions as another limit, but global warming will scramble those ecosystems and help disease trespass those limits as surely as Cortés did. You don’t worry much about dengue or malaria if you are living in Maine or France. But as the tropics creep northward and mosquitoes migrate with them, you will. You didn’t much worry about Zika a couple of years ago, either.

As it happens, Zika may also be a good model of the second worrying effect — disease mutation. One reason you hadn’t heard about Zika until recently is that it had been trapped in Uganda; another is that it did not, until recently, appear to cause birth defects. Scientists still don’t entirely understand what happened, or what they missed. But there are things we do know for sure about how climate affects some diseases: Malaria, for instance, thrives in hotter regions not just because the mosquitoes that carry it do, too, but because for every degree increase in temperature, the parasite reproduces ten times faster. Which is one reason that the World Bank estimates that by 2050, 5.2 billion people will be reckoning with it.

V. Unbreathable Air
A rolling death smog that suffocates millions.


By the end of the century, the coolest months in tropical South America, Africa, and the Pacific are likely to be warmer than the warmest months at the end of the 20th century. Photo: Heartless Machine
Our lungs need oxygen, but that is only a fraction of what we breathe. The fraction of carbon dioxide is growing: It just crossed 400 parts per million, and high-end estimates extrapolating from current trends suggest it will hit 1,000 ppm by 2100. At that concentration, compared to the air we breathe now, human cognitive ability declines by 21 percent.

Other stuff in the hotter air is even scarier, with small increases in pollution capable of shortening life spans by ten years. The warmer the planet gets, the more ozone forms, and by mid-century, Americans will likely suffer a 70 percent increase in unhealthy ozone smog, the National Center for Atmospheric Research has projected. By 2090, as many as 2 billion people globally will be breathing air above the WHO “safe” level; one paper last month showed that, among other effects, a pregnant mother’s exposure to ozone raises the child’s risk of autism (as much as tenfold, combined with other environmental factors). Which does make you think again about the autism epidemic in West Hollywood.

Already, more than 10,000 people die each day from the small particles emitted from fossil-fuel burning; each year, 339,000 people die from wildfire smoke, in part because climate change has extended forest-fire season (in the U.S., it’s increased by 78 days since 1970). By 2050, according to the U.S. Forest Service, wildfires will be twice as destructive as they are today; in some places, the area burned could grow fivefold. What worries people even more is the effect that would have on emissions, especially when the fires ravage forests arising out of peat. Peatland fires in Indonesia in 1997, for instance, added to the global CO2 release by up to 40 percent, and more burning only means more warming only means more burning. There is also the terrifying possibility that rain forests like the Amazon, which in 2010 suffered its second “hundred-year drought” in the space of five years, could dry out enough to become vulnerable to these kinds of devastating, rolling forest fires — which would not only expel enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere but also shrink the size of the forest. That is especially bad because the Amazon alone provides 20 percent of our oxygen.

Then there are the more familiar forms of pollution. In 2013, melting Arctic ice remodeled Asian weather patterns, depriving industrial China of the natural ventilation systems it had come to depend on, which blanketed much of the country’s north in an unbreathable smog. Literally unbreathable. A metric called the Air Quality Index categorizes the risks and tops out at the 301-to-500 range, warning of “serious aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly” and, for all others, “serious risk of respiratory effects”; at that level, “everyone should avoid all outdoor exertion.” The Chinese “airpocalypse” of 2013 peaked at what would have been an Air Quality Index of over 800. That year, smog was responsible for a third of all deaths in the country.

VI. Perpetual War
The violence baked into heat.

Climatologists are very careful when talking about Syria. They want you to know that while climate change did produce a drought that contributed to civil war, it is not exactly fair to saythat the conflict is the result of warming; next door, for instance, Lebanon suffered the same crop failures. But researchers like Marshall Burke and Solomon Hsiang have managed to quantify some of the non-obvious relationships between temperature and violence: For every half-degree of warming, they say, societies will see between a 10 and 20 percent increase in the likelihood of armed conflict. In climate science, nothing is simple, but the arithmetic is harrowing: A planet five degrees warmer would have at least half again as many wars as we do today. Overall, social conflict could more than double this century.

This is one reason that, as nearly every climate scientist I spoke to pointed out, the U.S. military is obsessed with climate change: The drowning of all American Navy bases by sea-level rise is trouble enough, but being the world’s policeman is quite a bit harder when the crime rate doubles. Of course, it’s not just Syria where climate has contributed to conflict. Some speculate that the elevated level of strife across the Middle East over the past generation reflects the pressures of global warming — a hypothesis all the more cruel considering that warming began accelerating when the industrialized world extracted and then burned the region’s oil.

What accounts for the relationship between climate and conflict? Some of it comes down to agriculture and economics; a lot has to do with forced migration, already at a record high, with at least 65 million displaced people wandering the planet right now. But there is also the simple fact of individual irritability. Heat increases municipal crime rates, and swearing on social media, and the likelihood that a major-league pitcher, coming to the mound after his teammate has been hit by a pitch, will hit an opposing batter in retaliation. And the arrival of air-conditioning in the developed world, in the middle of the past century, did little to solve the problem of the summer crime wave.

VII. Permanent Economic Collapse
Dismal capitalism in a half-poorer world.

The murmuring mantra of global neoliberalism, which prevailed between the end of the Cold War and the onset of the Great Recession, is that economic growth would save us from anything and everything.
But in the aftermath of the 2008 crash, a growing number of historians studying what they call “fossil capitalism” have begun to suggest that the entire history of swift economic growth, which began somewhat suddenly in the 18th century, is not the result of innovation or trade or the dynamics of global capitalism but simply our discovery of fossil fuels and all their raw power — a onetime injection of new “value” into a system that had previously been characterized by global subsistence living. Before fossil fuels, nobody lived better than their parents or grandparents or ancestors from 500 years before, except in the immediate aftermath of a great plague like the Black Death, which allowed the lucky survivors to gobble up the resources liberated by mass graves. After we’ve burned all the fossil fuels, these scholars suggest, perhaps we will return to a “steady state” global economy. Of course, that onetime injection has a devastating long-term cost: climate change.

The most exciting research on the economics of warming has also come from Hsiang and his colleagues, who are not historians of fossil capitalism but who offer some very bleak analysis of their own: Every degree Celsius of warming costs, on average, 1.2 percent of GDP (an enormous number, considering we count growth in the low single digits as “strong”). This is the sterling work in the field, and their median projection is for a 23 percent loss in per capita earning globally by the end of this century (resulting from changes in agriculture, crime, storms, energy, mortality, and labor).
Tracing the shape of the probability curve is even scarier: There is a 12 percent chance that climate change will reduce global output by more than 50 percent by 2100, they say, and a 51 percent chance that it lowers per capita GDP by 20 percent or more by then, unless emissions decline. By comparison, the Great Recession lowered global GDP by about 6 percent, in a onetime shock; Hsiang and his colleagues estimate a one-in-eight chance of an ongoing and irreversible effect by the end of the century that is eight times worse.

The scale of that economic devastation is hard to comprehend, but you can start by imagining what the world would look like today with an economy half as big, which would produce only half as much value, generating only half as much to offer the workers of the world. It makes the grounding of flights out of heat-stricken Phoenix last month seem like pathetically small economic potatoes. And, among other things, it makes the idea of postponing government action on reducing emissions and relying solely on growth and technology to solve the problem an absurd business calculation.
Every round-trip ticket on flights from New York to London, keep in mind, costs the Arctic three more square meters of ice.

VIII. Poisoned Oceans
Sulfide burps off the skeleton coast.

That the sea will become a killer is a given. Barring a radical reduction of emissions, we will see at least four feet of sea-level rise and possibly ten by the end of the century. A third of the world’s major cities are on the coast, not to mention its power plants, ports, navy bases, farmlands, fisheries, river deltas, marshlands, and rice-paddy empires, and even those above ten feet will flood much more easily, and much more regularly, if the water gets that high. At least 600 million people live within ten meters of sea level today.

But the drowning of those homelands is just the start. At present, more than a third of the world’s carbon is sucked up by the oceans — thank God, or else we’d have that much more warming already. But the result is what’s called “ocean acidification,” which, on its own, may add a half a degree to warming this century. It is also already burning through the planet’s water basins — you may remember these as the place where life arose in the first place. You have probably heard of “coral bleaching” — that is, coral dying — which is very bad news, because reefs support as much as a quarter of all marine life and supply food for half a billion people. Ocean acidification will fry fish populations directly, too, though scientists aren’t yet sure how to predict the effects on the stuff we haul out of the ocean to eat; they do know that in acid waters, oysters and mussels will struggle to grow their shells, and that when the pH of human blood drops as much as the oceans’ pH has over the past generation, it induces seizures, comas, and sudden death.

That isn’t all that ocean acidification can do. Carbon absorption can initiate a feedback loop in which underoxygenated waters breed different kinds of microbes that turn the water still more “anoxic,” first in deep ocean “dead zones,” then gradually up toward the surface. There, the small fish die out, unable to breathe, which means oxygen-eating bacteria thrive, and the feedback loop doubles back. This process, in which dead zones grow like cancers, choking off marine life and wiping out fisheries, is already quite advanced in parts of the Gulf of Mexico and just off Namibia, where hydrogen sulfide is bubbling out of the sea along a thousand-mile stretch of land known as the “Skeleton Coast.” The name originally referred to the detritus of the whaling industry, but today it’s more apt than ever. Hydrogen sulfide is so toxic that evolution has trained us to recognize the tiniest, safest traces of it, which is why our noses are so exquisitely skilled at registering flatulence. Hydrogen sulfide is also the thing that finally did us in that time 97 percent of all life on Earth died, once all the feedback loops had been triggered and the circulating jet streams of a warmed ocean ground to a halt — it’s the planet’s preferred gas for a natural holocaust. Gradually, the ocean’s dead zones spread, killing off marine species that had dominated the oceans for hundreds of millions of years, and the gas the inert waters gave off into the atmosphere poisoned everything on land. Plants, too. It was millions of years before the oceans recovered.

IX. The Great Filter
Our present eeriness cannot last.

So why can’t we see it? In his recent book-length essay The Great Derangement, the Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh wonders why global warming and natural disaster haven’t become major subjects of contemporary fiction — why we don’t seem able to imagine climate catastrophe, and why we haven’t yet had a spate of novels in the genre he basically imagines into half-existence and names “the environmental uncanny.” “Consider, for example, the stories that congeal around questions like, ‘Where were you when the Berlin Wall fell?’ or ‘Where were you on 9/11?’ ” he writes. “Will it ever be possible to ask, in the same vein, ‘Where were you at 400 ppm?’ or ‘Where were you when the Larsen B ice shelf broke up?’ ” His answer: Probably not, because the dilemmas and dramas of climate change are simply incompatible with the kinds of stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, especially in novels, which tend to emphasize the journey of an individual conscience rather than the poisonous miasma of social fate.

Surely this blindness will not last — the world we are about to inhabit will not permit it. In a six-degree-warmer world, the Earth’s ecosystem will boil with so many natural disasters that we will just start calling them “weather”: a constant swarm of out-of-control typhoons and tornadoes and floods and droughts, the planet assaulted regularly with climate events that not so long ago destroyed whole civilizations. The strongest hurricanes will come more often, and we’ll have to invent new categories with which to describe them; tornadoes will grow longer and wider and strike much more frequently, and hail rocks will quadruple in size. Humans used to watch the weather to prophesy the future; going forward, we will see in its wrath the vengeance of the past. Early naturalists talked often about “deep time” — the perception they had, contemplating the grandeur of this valley or that rock basin, of the profound slowness of nature. What lies in store for us is more like what the Victorian anthropologists identified as “dreamtime,” or “everywhen”: the semi-mythical experience, described by Aboriginal Australians, of encountering, in the present moment, an out-of-time past, when ancestors, heroes, and demigods crowded an epic stage. You can find it already watching footage of an iceberg collapsing into the sea — a feeling of history happening all at once.

It is. Many people perceive climate change as a sort of moral and economic debt, accumulated since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and now come due after several centuries — a helpful perspective, in a way, since it is the carbon-burning processes that began in 18th-century England that lit the fuse of everything that followed. But more than half of the carbon humanity has exhaled into the atmosphere in its entire history has been emitted in just the past three decades; since the end of World War II, the figure is 85 percent. Which means that, in the length of a single generation, global warming has brought us to the brink of planetary catastrophe, and that the story of the industrial world’s kamikaze mission is also the story of a single lifetime. My father’s, for instance: born in 1938, among his first memories the news of Pearl Harbor and the mythic Air Force of the propaganda films that followed, films that doubled as advertisements for imperial-American industrial might; and among his last memories the coverage of the desperate signing of the Paris climate accords on cable news, ten weeks before he died of lung cancer last July. Or my mother’s: born in 1945, to German Jews fleeing the smokestacks through which their relatives were incinerated, now enjoying her 72nd year in an American commodity paradise, a paradise supported by the supply chains of an industrialized developing world. She has been smoking for 57 of those years, unfiltered.

Or the scientists’. Some of the men who first identified a changing climate (and given the generation, those who became famous were men) are still alive; a few are even still working. Wally Broecker is 84 years old and drives to work at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory across the Hudson every day from the Upper West Side. Like most of those who first raised the alarm, he believes that no amount of emissions reduction alone can meaningfully help avoid disaster. Instead, he puts his faith in carbon capture — untested technology to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which Broecker estimates will cost at least several trillion dollars — and various forms of “geoengineering,” the catchall name for a variety of moon-shot technologies far-fetched enough that many climate scientists prefer to regard them as dreams, or nightmares, from science fiction. He is especially focused on what’s called the aerosol approach — dispersing so much sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere that when it converts to sulfuric acid, it will cloud a fifth of the horizon and reflect back 2 percent of the sun’s rays, buying the planet at least a little wiggle room, heat-wise. “Of course, that would make our sunsets very red, would bleach the sky, would make more acid rain,” he says. “But you have to look at the magnitude of the problem. You got to watch that you don’t say the giant problem shouldn’t be solved because the solution causes some smaller problems.” He won’t be around to see that, he told me. “But in your lifetime …”

Jim Hansen is another member of this godfather generation. Born in 1941, he became a climatologist at the University of Iowa, developed the groundbreaking “Zero Model” for projecting climate change, and later became the head of climate research at NASA, only to leave under pressure when, while still a federal employee, he filed a lawsuit against the federal government charging inaction on warming (along the way he got arrested a few times for protesting, too). The lawsuit, which is brought by a collective called Our Children’s Trust and is often described as “kids versus climate change,” is built on an appeal to the equal-protection clause, namely, that in failing to take action on warming, the government is violating it by imposing massive costs on future generations; it is scheduled to be heard this winter in Oregon district court. Hansen has recently given up on solving the climate problem with a carbon tax alone, which had been his preferred approach, and has set about calculating the total cost of the additional measure of extracting carbon from the atmosphere.

Related Stories
Climate Scientist James Hansen: ‘The Planet Could Become Ungovernable’
The 10-Book ‘Uninhabitable Earth’ Reading List
Hansen began his career studying Venus, which was once a very Earth-like planet with plenty of life-supporting water before runaway climate change rapidly transformed it into an arid and uninhabitable sphere enveloped in an unbreathable gas; he switched to studying our planet by 30, wondering why he should be squinting across the solar system to explore rapid environmental change when he could see it all around him on the planet he was standing on. “When we wrote our first paper on this, in 1981,” he told me, “I remember saying to one of my co-authors, ‘This is going to be very interesting. Sometime during our careers, we’re going to see these things beginning to happen.’ ”

Several of the scientists I spoke with proposed global warming as the solution to Fermi’s famous paradox, which asks, If the universe is so big, then why haven’t we encountered any other intelligent life in it? The answer, they suggested, is that the natural life span of a civilization may be only several thousand years, and the life span of an industrial civilization perhaps only several hundred. In a universe that is many billions of years old, with star systems separated as much by time as by space, civilizations might emerge and develop and burn themselves up simply too fast to ever find one another. Peter Ward, a charismatic paleontologist among those responsible for discovering that the planet’s mass extinctions were caused by greenhouse gas, calls this the “Great Filter”: “Civilizations rise, but there’s an environmental filter that causes them to die off again and disappear fairly quickly,” he told me. “If you look at planet Earth, the filtering we’ve had in the past has been in these mass extinctions.” The mass extinction we are now living through has only just begun; so much more dying is coming.

And yet, improbably, Ward is an optimist. So are Broecker and Hansen and many of the other scientists I spoke to. We have not developed much of a religion of meaning around climate change that might comfort us, or give us purpose, in the face of possible annihilation. But climate scientists have a strange kind of faith: We will find a way to forestall radical warming, they say, because we must.

It is not easy to know how much to be reassured by that bleak certainty, and how much to wonder whether it is another form of delusion; for global warming to work as parable, of course, someone needs to survive to tell the story. The scientists know that to even meet the Paris goals, by 2050, carbon emissions from energy and industry, which are still rising, will have to fall by half each decade; emissions from land use (deforestation, cow farts, etc.) will have to zero out; and we will need to have invented technologies to extract, annually, twice as much carbon from the atmosphere as the entire planet’s plants now do. Nevertheless, by and large, the scientists have an enormous confidence in the ingenuity of humans — a confidence perhaps bolstered by their appreciation for climate change, which is, after all, a human invention, too. They point to the Apollo project, the hole in the ozone we patched in the 1980s, the passing of the fear of mutually assured destruction. Now we’ve found a way to engineer our own doomsday, and surely we will find a way to engineer our way out of it, one way or another. The planet is not used to being provoked like this, and climate systems designed to give feedback over centuries or millennia prevent us — even those who may be watching closely — from fully imagining the damage done already to the planet. But when we do truly see the world we’ve made, they say, we will also find a way to make it livable. For them, the alternative is simply unimaginable.

*This article appears in the July 10, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

*This article has been updated to provide context for the recent news reports about revisions to a satellite data set, to more accurately reflect the rate of warming during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, to clarify a reference to Peter Brannen’s The Ends of the World, and to make clear that James Hansen still supports a carbon-tax based approach to emissions.


          The Fact Is Nothing Is Going to Done About Climate Change Until It Kills Lots of White People      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The average white person only wakes up when it's: "time to die." by Charles Mudede


This is the world we live in, and those in power know this world very well. What is between climate change and meaningful human action is simply white American lives. As long as they are not directly threatened, we can continue business as usual. Cars can burn fossil fuels with total abandon, fires can burn huge portions of US states, houses can fall into the sea. But if white lives are not lost, we can pretty much not change a damn thing about this society. Climate denial has nothing but this as its firm and dependable political support. It is indeed the central platform of the US's dominant political party, the GOP. And many middle-class whites are aware of this fact in the back of their minds. It is their price for what soul singer D'Angelo called a slice of the "devil's pie."

And there is plenty to go around.

Indeed, we can expect that, as climate change worsens, the government will spend more on white lives for no other purpose than to maintain the current economic order, which is largely structured to grow, endlessly, the profits of energy corporations. The market capitalization for just the gas and oil sector alone is over $1 trillion. They have the money. They have the data. They have huge political influence. And I'm going to say it like it is: In the light of this influence, Trump appears as no accident of history. It's not a miracle that the racist somehow seems to never sink no matter what he says or does. You can always walk on water if the future of climate change non-action is the recognition and defense of white American lives.

We only have to see last year's hurricane season to find evidence for this claim. Examine the government's responses to destruction in Texas and Florida and to that in Puerto Rico. It's day and night. No one even talks about Texas and Florida anymore. Puerto Rico, which only got most of its power back this week (just in time for the next hurricane season), is still in the news because it lost, according to report from Harvard University, "at least 4,645." This was more than 70 times the official count of 64. But that high number still means nothing to most white people. It could easily be 400 times or 800 times or 1600 times that, and still the fortress of climate change denial would be safe from terrified whites. Those lives on that island are black and brown. They do not matter. Politically, the average white person only wakes up when it's: "time to die."

At the beginning of the 21st century, we see the final expansion of American racism, which had its roots in the justification of robbing labor from black Africans. American socialism, which became politically potent after the crash of 1929 (entered the mainstream as the New Deal), was kept in check by this racism (political compromises to Southern Democrats). The GOP's rise in the 1980s was made possible by this racism. And now, at the global stage, as the planet faces a devastation whose scale will be apocalyptic, we find any attempt to address it is again checked by American racism.

This post and its reasoning dubs this passage in Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me:

The Earth is not our creation. It has no respect for us. It has no use for us. And its vengeance is not the fire in the cities but the fire in the sky. Something more fierce than Marcus Garvey is riding on the whirlwind. Something more awful than all our African ancestors is rising with the seas. The two phenomena are known to each other. It was the cotton that passed through our chained hands that inaugurated this age. It is the flight from us that sent them sprawling into the subdivided woods. And the methods of transport through these new subdivisions, across the sprawl, is the automobile, the noose around the neck of the earth, and ultimately, the Dreamers themselves.

[ Comment on this story ]

[ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]


          GeekList: Empfehlungen      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

A new GeekList has been posted Empfehlungen
          Comment on World Natural Gas 2018-2050: World Energy Annual Report (Part 3) by Minqi Li      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Dennis, that's very interesting. Yes, BP gas number is for dry gas The BGR total original resources (cumulative production + reserves + resources) are 957 trillion cubic meters or 823 billion tons of oil equivalent. So a URR of 384 billion toe implies a recovery factor of 47%, roughly comparable to the recovery factor of my oil URR estimate. My oil URR compared to BGR total original resources implies a recovery factor of 48%
          Harrisonburg’s Illiterate Light discovers the pull of Montrose Recording      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Musicians Jeff Gorman and Jake Cochran wanted to tour the mid-Atlantic in a different way. So in 2012, they did a nine-day bike tour, stopping in Harrisonburg, Staunton, Charlottesville, Richmond, Fredericksburg, Alexandria and finishing in Baltimore.

Accompanied by friends, they hauled a bike-powered generator in a bike trailer. At shows, two people biked in place on a tandem bicycle to run the generator that powered the sound system for the show. The seeds were planted for what would become their experimental indie rock duo, Illiterate Light.

Gorman's grandfather was a jazz drummer while his uncle Steve is a drummer and founding member of the Black Crowes, so he grew up drumming. In high school, he picked up the guitar because he wanted to write. Cochran studied drums in high school, but by the time he met Gorman at James Madison University, he was playing guitar more than drums and working on his songwriting.

Both are passionate about life outside of music — agriculture, biking, building community and social justice — but by the time they graduated in 2012, they'd decided to focus all their energy on it. It was when they started touring heavily out of state that they got comfortable onstage.

"That meant making errors, playing wrong notes, good shows, bad shows, having a guitar amp crap out midset, singing with strep throat, playing while exhausted or playing to an empty room in a cold city," Gorman says. He says getting comfortable with their imperfections allowed their shows to improve because they were less reactive to each unexpected moment and more present and focused on enjoying every second of it.

While they'd started as a trio in February 2015, by November that year, they'd transitioned to a duo. The band's name comes from a Wilco song called "Theologians," which has a line: "Inlitterati lumen fidei / God is with us everyday / That illiterate light / Is with us every night." Gorman saw the phrase illiterate light as representing a force or energy that was big and loving, inclusive and full of mystery.

Although the band is based in Harrisonburg, the two feel drawn to Richmond.

"There's something special about Richmond and I think it comes down to the people," Cochran insists. "We've played all over the East Coast the last three years, but for some reason Richmond opened their arms to us like no one else."

When it came time to record, choosing a studio was a no-brainer. Impressed by records coming out of Montrose Recording by local bands such as Camp Howard and the Wimps, the band got a nudge from local musician Charlie Glenn of the Trillions.

"After hanging a few times, he told us pretty plainly that we needed to record with his friend Adrian [Olsen] at Montrose," Cochran recalls. "He said, 'You need to capture your live sound and energy and your current recordings aren't doing it."

The duo already had a few days of studio time booked in Nashville with Vance Powell, who'd worked with Kings of Leon and the White Stripes. But it was several months off, so they booked two days at Montrose with a few half-finished songs. "We came out three days later with five incredible tracks that we just couldn't believe," Cochran says. "We fell in love with that studio and felt we finally found the right team with Adrian and Charlie co-producing."

They wound up booking another week a few months later and finished with a full length album that was mixed by Powell.

Nashville has become a second home for Illiterate Light because of the support they've gotten from its scene. It's meant meeting musicians they love and respect and finding out they're welcoming and supportive of young bands.

"Tom Blankenship, the bassist for My Morning Jacket, caught one of our shows at an East Nashville dive bar last year and now he comes to a ton of our shows there. He's really supportive, which means the world to us."

At the upcoming Richmond gig, the band will be playing songs from the new album, which is fitting, not just because the songs are fresh right now, but because they came to life at the Camel over the past year. Touring follows with the East Coast in August, the Southeast in September and Midwest in October.

"Believe it or not we've got more studio dates booked with Montrose," Gorman admits. "We just finished this album, but the next one is already brewing and Richmond is a great place for us to keep the ball rolling." S

Illiterate Light, the Trillions and the Wimps perform at the Camel on Aug. 18 at 9 p.m. at 1621 W. Broad St., thecamel.org.


          Babus Put Together a Wishy-Washy e-Commerce Policy      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
E-commerce is one of the trade channels enabling cross-border trade of goods and services. The Information Economy Report, 2017 of the UN Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) said worldwide e-commerce reached 25.3 trillion dollars in 2015, a lion’s share of (90 per cent) which was in the form of business-to-business e-commerce with barely a […]
          Trump Celebrates Legislative Win After Congress Passes $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut Bill      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHs4WiaKDFc Updated on Dec. 22 on 12:02 p.m. ET Congressional Republicans delivered on their first major legislative accomplishment of the Trump era on Wednesday, when the House voted 224-201 to pass a $1.5 trillion tax package. The bill cuts individual rates for eight years and slashes the top corporate tax rate to 21 percent permanently. Trump signed the bill into law on Friday, hailing the legislation as "a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs," adding that he was "very honored by it." In an event on the White House lawn Wednesday afternoon, the president, Vice President Pence and lawmakers celebrated and thanked each other for their work on the bill's passage. "I promised the American people a big, beautiful tax cut for Christmas. With final passage of this legislation, that is exactly what they are getting," Trump said in a written statement earlier in the day. "I would like to thank the members of Congress who supported this historic bill,
          Senate Republicans Pass Massive Tax Overhaul       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Updated Dec. 2 at 11:57 a.m. ET The Senate narrowly approved a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul early Saturday morning following a day of procedural delays and frustration. The legislation, which would cut the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent and lower taxes for most individuals, narrowly passed in a vote of 51-49. Tennessee Republican Bob Corker was the only Republican to vote against the legislation, joining every Democrat and both independents in opposing the sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax laws. Passage of the tax bill is a significant victory for Republicans who have struggled to fulfill many key legislative promises. "It was a fantastic evening last night," President Trump said Saturday morning, according to a pool report. "Now we go onto conference, and something beautiful is going to come out of that mixer," he also said, "People are going to be very, very happy. They're going to get tremendous, tremendous tax cuts and tax relief, and that's what this country needs." The
          What does the future look like for Apple?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
In case you missed it,  Apple’s market capitalisation has now hit the $1trillion mark – something which is as mind boggling…
          The $1 Trillion Apple and Asia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Read more » »
Related Stocks: AAPL, GOOG, GOOGL, AMZN, MSFT, BABA, FB, BIDU, HKSE:00700,
          Samsung sets aside $22 billion for AI, 5G, and auto tech      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

(Reuters) — Samsung Group will invest 25 trillion won ($22 billion) in artificial intelligence, 5G mobile technology, electronic components for autos, and the biopharmaceutical business in pursuit of new growth areas, Samsung Electronics said on Wednesday. In flagging specific areas of investment, the plan is the first of its kind for the conglomerate and suggests […]


          Senate candidates take stance on Elizabeth Warren      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Subtitle: 
Diehl: Warren bigger threat than Russia

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a bigger threat than Russia, GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Geoff Diehl insisted yesterday, saying his Democratic rival is the one pushing communist notions.

“Russia is not the old Soviet Union,” Diehl said during yesterday’s Boston Herald Radio’s GOP Senate primary debate. “To me, the bigger threat is someone like Elizabeth Warren.”

The debate — the first face-to-face event between the three GOP candidates for Senate — was moderated by Herald columnists Joe Battenfeld and Hillary Chabot. Diehl, a state representative and front-runner in the race, faced former Romney cabinet member Beth Lindstrom and businessman John Kingston.

“Elizabeth Warren is a bigger threat than Russia?” Battenfeld said, pressing Diehl on his statement. Diehl doubled down.

“Elizabeth Warren is a big problem,” Diehl said. “She wants to get our — what you heard her recently on CNBC that she wants to tax us anywhere between 50 percent and 90 percent. She seems to be the new communist regime here in the United States, with the progressive movement to make government so big. Whether it’s taking over health care or free education, all of that coming at a price tag, with health care at $32.6 trillion. That doubles our $34 trillion federal budget.”

Kingston pushed back, saying, “We have to be careful with our false equivalency … the Russians aren’t our friends — they just flat aren’t.”

Diehl then tried to walk back his remarks, saying he was being “facetious” about Warren.

When asked about the comments and others throughout the debate framing Warren as an extremist, the senator’s campaign spokeswoman Gabrielle Farrell told the Herald, “Massachusetts Republicans will decide among themselves who will run for U.S. Senate. Senator Warren is focused on her work fighting for the people of Massachusetts and standing up for working families against powerful corporate interests.”

Meanwhile, Lindstrom came out swinging in the debate, suggesting front-runner Diehl is unelectable in deep-blue Massachusetts because of his full-throated support for Trump.

“You will have a tough time if you are a blind loyalist like Geoff is,” said the centrist Lindstrom, though she said she is ready to vote to re-elect Trump. “He cannot unseat her.”

Diehl shot back that his long-standing support for Trump could benefit Massachusetts citizens by giving the state stronger pull than it would have otherwise.

“That gives me a seat at the table that Massachusetts doesn’t have,” Diehl said.

Massachusetts political strategists say whoever receives the GOP nod in the Sept. 4 primary will have a very difficult time taking on Warren.

“I don’t think any of the Republican candidates have a shot at winning this,” political observer Todd Domke told the Herald.

“This state is so anti-Trump. … That’s what it’ll come down to: are you pro-Trump or anti-Trump? And Trump will help make it that binary of a choice.”

Author(s): 

Articles

Blog Posts

080718debatemg018.jpg

Photo by: 
BOSTON, MA. - August 7: From left, Joe Battenfeld, of the Boston Herald, candidates for U.S. Senate, Geoff Diehl, Beth Lindstrom, John Kingston and Hillary Chabot, of the Boston Herald are seen in the studios of Boston Herald Radio during a debate, on August 7, 2018. (Staff photo By Mark Garfinkel/Boston Herald)
Source: 
DTI
Insert Body: 
Freely Available: 
Disable AP title update: 

          Democratic Party's liberal insurgency hits a wall in Midwest primaries - Washington Post      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Washington Post

Democratic Party's liberal insurgency hits a wall in Midwest primaries
Washington Post
The Democratic Party's left-wing insurgency found its limits Tuesday night, with voters favoring establishment candidates over more liberal challengers in almost every closely watched race across several states. In Michigan, former state senator ...
Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Say There's No Difference Between Billions and Trillions?Snopes.com

all 162 news articles »

          Does Apple's $1 Trillion Benchmark Even Matter?"      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
none
          1 Gram Of This Material Is Worth $6.25 TRILLION Dollars      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The most EXPENSIVE Material in the world, priced at more than 6 TRILLION per gram is…? Read more
          National deficit grew 20% last year, partially due to Trump tax cuts      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The U.S. national deficit grew by 20% ($75 billion) over the past year, according to the latest report by the Congressional Budge Office, partially due to Trump's tax cuts as well as increased national spending.

Between the lines: Axios' Jonathan Swan has reported that there has been an ongoing tussle between debt-loving President Trump and his penny-pinching Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney has been privately pushing Trump to get more aggressive about cutting spending, but debt and deficits have, so far, only ballooned under Trump.


By the numbers:

  • Spending is up by $143 billion (4%) from last year.
  • 2018 saw a $66-billion drop in corporate taxes, largely due to Trump's newest tax policy, according to the CBO.
  • Revenue from individual income taxes, however, grew more than expected because of economic growth and wage increases, according to the CBO. But the growth was not nearly enough to compensate for increased spending.
  • The deficit, which is now at $685 billion, is expected to reach $793 billion by the end of the year and come close to $1 trillion next year.

          Bernie Sanders Caught Drastically Fudging the Numbers on His ‘Medicare for All’ Plan      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Sen. Bernie Sanders is skimming over the facts in claiming that his “Medicare for all” plan will lead to big reductions in what Americans spend for health care. In a recent tweet, the Vermont independent insists the plan will cut $2 trillion from the nation’s health care bill. But that’s based on a scenario in…
          Samsung Plans $22 Billion for Artificial Intelligence      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics plans to spend $22 billion over the next three years on artificial intelligence, auto components and other future businesses as the company maps out its strategy under the restored leadership of Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong after he was freed from prison. The announcement Wednesday by South Korea’s biggest business group was welcome news, coming at a time of deepening unease over slowing growth in Asia’s fourth largest economy. Samsung said it will spend the sum, amounting to 25 trillion won, on hiring artificial intelligence researchers, ensuring it will be a global player in next generation telecoms technology called 5G and deepening its involvement in electronic components for future cars. ...
          Apple Gets to $1 Trillion – Trafficking in Goods They’ve Stolen      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The world last week was rightly agog when Tech uber-giant Apple became the first company on the planet ever to top a $1 trillion market cap.
          Comment on Elite Closing Down Truth Tellers – Paul Craig Roberts by Rodster      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The military industrial complex needs a boogeyman to justify their $1 trillion dollar budget. So Putin as PCR has said many times is an easy target because they do have an actual army with advanced weapons systems.
          Samsung Announces $22 Billion Investment In Breakthrough 5G And AI Initiatives      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Samsung Announces $22 Billion Investment In Breakthrough 5G And AI Initiatives Samsung is betting big on artificial intelligence and 5G technologies to drive future growth (among a few other technology segments). Exactly how big are we walking? Well, the South Korean electronic giant announced plans to invest 25 trillion South Korean won (around $22.3 billion in US currency) over the next three years in AI, 5G, automotive
          8/9/2018: FINANCIAL SERVICES: Pacific links cut on super fears      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
One of the grandfathers of the $2.6 trillion superannuation system, Garry Weaven, stood down as chairman of Pacific Hydro, which was then fully owned by Industry Funds Management, after an internal review raised concerns about the proximity of the...
          Skull Session: Vegas Favors Urban Meyer's Return, Joe Burrow Starts at No. 4 on Depth Chart, and Joey Bosa Says Nick is Further Along      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

We only got a glimpse of the first portion of a practice, but it still counts. Actual, on-the-field football is back!

ICYMI:

Word of the Day: Surfeit.

 VEGAS BANKS ON MEYER RETURN. One Vegas sports book seems to think it's nearly a lock Urban Meyer remains the head coach at Ohio State, but that it's even more likely he serves some sort of suspension, with the over/under set at 4.5 games.

For those of you not well versed in betting odds, that negative number is how much you would have to risk in order to make $100. This means someone would have to wager $1,500 on Meyer keeping his job in order to win just $100 – 1/15 odds.

To give a little perspective, those are roughly the odds that would be given to a 20-point favorite to win a college football game straight up. Which...

This happened.

There's no way of telling what information they're using to set these odds. It's difficult for me to imagine they have any sort of insider info based on how the investigation is organized, but these odds look extremely, extremely confident.

I guess time will tell.

 STARTING AT THE BOTTOM. Joe Burrow was the highest profile graduate transfer in the country, but as soon as he got to Baton Rouge, he was placed at the bottom of the depth chart, and has to earn his way to the top – just like everyone else.

From TheAdvertiser.com:

It is obviously very early, and it may just be window dressing. But new LSU quarterback Joe Burrow started at the bottom as the Tigers opened practice over the weekend.

The junior graduate transfer from Ohio State worked with the fourth team, while junior Justin McMillan, who had the best spring game of the quarterbacks, took the first snaps with the first team. No. 2 was sophomore Myles Brennan, and No. 3 was redshirt freshman Lowell Narcisse.

...

Orgeron had been waiting to see Burrow, who just arrived in June after graduating last spring from Ohio State, where he was a backup quarterback for two seasons.

"I was very pleased watching," Orgeron said. "It was the first time I've seen him. He's really confident. He's a leader out there. When he steps in there, he's cool. He's confident. He's smart. When we give the guys time off, he's in there watching film on his own. He's really a student of the game. He's mature. He's ready to go. He's competing. Just what we wanted."

That sounds fine and extremely coachy, but I've got a strong hunch he's not actually the team's No. 4 quarterback right now, nor will he be the team's No. 4 quarterback come September.

With all due respect to whoever else is on that roster, LSU hasn't produced a competent quarterback since... Zach Mettenberger? Forgive me for assuming the one Ohio State produced for them is the best option.

 JOEY ADMIRES NEW MODEL BOSA. Since Nick Bosa was a sophomore in high school, we've been hearing that he was just like his older brother, but better.

And as Nick enters his third, and almost-certainly final season at Ohio State, Joey is ready to join that bandwagon and admit that his little brother is undeniably further along than he was as a junior.

From SanDiegoUnionTribune.com:

“I don’t think it’s really close,” Bosa told the Union-Tribune earlier this summer, when asked to compare Nick as a true junior with Joey when he was entering his final season at Ohio State, also as a true junior.

“I think he’s pretty far ahead physically. He has a better understanding of pass-rushing than I did in college, that’s for sure.”

Considering that he was the first non-quarterback drafted in 2016, as the third selection, Joey acknowledged that he’s giving Nick a lot of love.

“It’s true, though,” he said.

“I don’t really give anybody credit for anything, even if it’s my brother,” he added. “It’s going to be fun to watch this year.”

If Nick Bosa could have left college after last season, I firmly believe he would have been a first-round pick without technically ever being a starter at Ohio State, simply because he's just a newer model of his older brother, who is dominating the league after just two seasons.

 SKETCHY HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULES TOP TEAMS. Some of my favorite stories of the past few years have been the seedy college football teams, like College of Faith, which essentially sell wins to other programs.

But I ran across a story about a brand new Ohio "high school" that quite honestly puts those stories to shame.

This "school," which employs former Ohio State wide receiver Jeff Greene as an assistant coach, has put together a football team and scheduled perhaps the most daunted high school slate in the state of Ohio.

That's great, except said school is missing just about everything else, including an actual school.

From ThisWeekNews.com:

At the beginning of August, Christians of Faith Academy, known as COF Academy, did not have a school building, a working website, an identifiable academic structure, an announced home field or a released roster, to name just a few missing essentials, but it was scheduled to play one of Ohio’s most daunting high school football schedules beginning in just a few days.

The schedule includes such traditional Ohio powers as Huber Heights Wayne, Cleveland St. Ignatius and Lakewood St. Edward, and such major out-of-state programs as North Allegheny in Wexford, Pennsylvania, and IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The team has 12 games, two more than allowed by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

The first matchup, a home game against Football North of Ontario, is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 17. (Most Ohio football teams begin their regular seasons Aug. 23 or 24.) As of Aug. 6, no location had been announced for any of the team’s four home games.

Roy Johnson, listed as the school's athletic director, gives his assurance that this actually is a real school with about 50 teachers, and will have 500 all-male students enrolled this fall semester, slated to start on Sept. 4.

But again, pretty much the only evidence of that, as detailed in the article, is a football team with no roster that has yet to register with the OHSAA.

Mark me down as fascinated to see how this plays out.

 STEAL OF THE DRAFT. In a shocking turn of events, it's looking like drafting a two-year starter at Ohio State at the end of the fifth round might turn out to be quite a steal.

The guy is a pass blocking champion in an increasingly pass-first league. I understand he didn't perform well at the combine, but when someone has the proven tape like Jones, you shouldn't overthink things.

 THOSE WMDs. How a high school defensive end overcame suicidal thoughts, substance abuse... Secrets of a lost girl... Five companies that hit the $1 trillion mark before Apple... William Wrigley, Jr., formerly of Wrigley's Gum, is investing in medical marijuana... How face tattoos have gone mainstream...


          Lia Kozatch: ‘Medicare for All’ is more for less      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Recently, the Koch brothers chose to drop their single-payer hit piece. This study warns that expanding Medicare to everyone would mean an increase of $32 trillion in federal spending over the next decade. However, the Koch-funded Mercatus Center couldn’t hide the truth about single-payer and also found that expanding Medicare to everyone […]
          Crossing $1 Trillion: What’s Next for Apple?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The consumer electronics giant is finding itself in a whole new race after becoming the first U.S. company to cross $1 trillion in market capitalization.
          Democrats seize on cherry-picked claim that 'Medicare-for-all' would save $2 trillion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
As our colleague David Weigel reported, Democrats have latched onto the catchy idea of “Medicare-for-all” (also known as M4A) as a way of expressing their support for universal healthcare. On July 30, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University released a working paper on the 10-year fiscal impact of the Medicare-for-all plan sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), which would transition everyone in the United States from a mostly employer-provided health system to Medicare over four years.
          Comment on World Natural Gas 2018-2050: World Energy Annual Report (Part 3) by Minqi      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Historically, major global recession tended to happen when oil spending as % of world GDP (current US dollars) rose by about three percentage points within a relatively short period of time. This was the case for 1972-1974 (from 1.2% to 4.4%), for 1978-1979 (from 3.8% to 7.4%), and for 2003-2008 (from 2.2% to 4.8%). During 2011-2013, world oil spending was close to 5% of world GDP but did not represent a significant increase relative to the 2008 price peak, though world economic growth for these years were relatively sluggish. In the current business cycle, oil spending as % of world GDP reached the lowest point in in 2016 (2%). World GDP is currently about 80 trillion dollars (current US dollars). Nominal GDP will grow in the next few years because of underlying economic growth as well as inflation and world nominal GDP is also sensitive to exchange rate. Ignore exchange rate changes, world GDP in current US dollars may be about 93 trillion dollars by 2020 (assuming 5% annual growth rate from 2017 to 2020). 5% of 93 trillion dollars is 4.65 trillion dollars. World oil consumption in 2017 was 98 million barrels per day (BP definition). If world oil consumption rises by 1.5 million barrels per day per year, it will be 102.5 million barrels per day by 2020. Annual consumption will be 37.4 billion barrels. 4650/37.4 = 124 dollars This back of envelope calculation confirms Dennis's estimate that a 130 dollar per barrel oil price in the next few years is likely to lead to a global recession.
          Why Won't They Answer, Tell Us Where They Stand?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Democratic Socialists of America are planning to hold their first ever “rust belt” caucus conference in Pittsburgh this weekend.
With a call to “radicalize the rust belt,” DSA groups across the country support:
  • A single-payer healthcare system that could cost $32 trillion if implemented nationally and would cost well over $12 billion if Pennsylvania-specific legislation were enacted.
  • “Free” higher education for all, which would come at a cost of $8 billion in Pennsylvania.
  • Open borders and the elimination of ICE.
It has been four weeks since the Republican Party of Pennsylvania asked Pennsylvania Democrat Congressional candidates where they stand on the DSA agenda and, thus far, there has been no response.
Similarly, Democrat Lt. Governor nominee John Fetterman—who is campaigning today with DNC Chairman Tom Perez—has sought the endorsement of socialists, campaigned openly with avowed DSA supporter Bernie Sanders, and supports DSA concepts like single-payer healthcare and “free” higher education for all.
Gov. Tom Wolf has not signaled whether or not he supports his running mate’s DSA beliefs and their associated tax increase.
Currently, four Democratic statehouse nominees have openly stated their DSA affiliation.
In response to the DSA “rust belt” caucus conference coming to Pittsburgh, Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Val DiGiorgio, made the following statement:
“Democratic socialists support a radical agenda that seeks to take away individual freedom in the name of principles that would cause a self-claimed ‘ ‘massive redistribution of income’.’
“It is unbelievable that less than 30 years following the end of the Cold War—a period in our nation’s history where we were united in opposing socialist forms of government—that some in our nation have forgotten the sacrifices made to ensure our freedom from these very same ideals professed by the Democratic Socialists of America.
“Socialist values and concepts, which would do no less than deprive individuals the freedom of prosperity and implement a system of massive government control of earnings, have no place in an American society that values the ability of the individual, liberty, and entrepreneurial spirit.”

          A RACIST COMMUNIST FAMINE GROWS IN SOUTH AFRICA      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
Leftist land seizures and racist politics will lead to genocide.

"Strongman politics are ascendant," Barack Obama warned in South Africa. He spoke passionately about "the politics of fear and resentment" at the Mandela Lecture. He worried that we were entering a world, “where might makes right and politics is a hostile competition between tribes and races and religions.”

While the media used the remarks to attack Trump's meeting with Putin, Obama had shared a stage with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who had come to power promising to seize land from white farmers. Ramaphosa was the latest in a series of ANC strongmen, including his predecessor, an alleged rapist, beginning with the Communist terrorist whose legacy Obama was commemorating.

President Ramaphosa had vowed early on to seize land from white farmers without compensation. "The expropriation of land without compensation is envisaged as one of the measures that we will use to accelerate redistribution of land to black South Africans,” he had declared. And denied that such racist Communist tactics were unconstitutional. Now he’s moving to modify South Africa’s constitution.

Initially, the ANC, which is partnered with the South African Communist Party, had claimed that seizing land would not violate the law. Now it’s actually going to change the South African constitution.

“It has become pertinently clear that our people want the constitution to be more explicit about expropriation of land without compensation,” President Ramaphosa announced.

When your only rule is mob rule by ANC thugs, it doesn’t really matter what a piece of paper says.

“We will accelerate our land redistribution programme not only to redress a grave historical injustice, but also to bring more producers into the agricultural sector and to make more land available for cultivation,” Ramaphosa claimed in his State of the Nation address.

Zimbabwe had already made great strides in improving agriculture through land seizures.

Land was stolen from the farmers who knew how to work it and handed out to politically connected thugs. Soon the former "bread basket" of Southern Africa was starving. Black groups pleaded with the white farmers to remain. Rural Zimbabwe died. Hyperinflation made the currency worthless. A trillion dollars might not be enough to buy one egg. A former food exporter was forced to rely on food aid.

"If white settlers just took the land from us without paying for it," Mugabe had declared, "we can, in a similar way, just take it from them without paying for it."

Ramaphosa’s rhetoric is an echo of one of Africa’s worst racist strongmen. Land seizures won’t bring South African land into “full use”, as he claims. It will mean productive land falling into the hands of ANC thugs who will be too corrupt, incompetent and greedy to do the hard work of working the land.

South Africa’s agricultural sector will go the way of Zimbabwe.

Cyril Ramaphosa is one of South Africa's richest men and has an estimated net worth of $550 million. How did a socialist student activist make a mint? The answer is an inevitable as it is unsurprising.

South Africa’s agricultural sector has been steadily in decline. Farms used to provide millions of jobs. Now they offer less than a million. Wheat planting has fallen to a third. Cotton to a tenth. A country that once...Read More HERE

          Overstimulated But Existentially Bored! Visakha Dasi: “Danish…      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   


Overstimulated But Existentially Bored!
Visakha Dasi: “Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wrote over 170 years ago: ‘Boredom is the root of all evil.’”
“To Kierkegaard, boredom is not just feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity; boredom is not just a sense of emptiness due to an absence of stimulation. Boredom, he wrote, is the result of an absence of meaning in one’s life. This understanding explains why people today are overstimulated but existentially bored. In 2017, global spending for entertainment reached $2.2 trillion, yet there was also an increase in boredom and unhappiness.”

“Kierkegaard was clear about what would end his boredom: ‘What could divert me? Well, if I managed to see a faithfulness that withstood every ordeal, an enthusiasm that endured everything, a faith that moved mountains; if I were to become aware of an idea that joined the finite and the infinite.’”
“Interestingly, Kierkegaard had seen boredom as ‘the despairing refusal to be oneself.’ And what Prabhupada stressed – practically demanded – was for us to be ourselves, that is, to act as spiritual souls, tiny parts of God replete with God’s qualities of eternality, joyfulness, and cognition. Constitutionally the soul is meant to give pleasure to God and His devotees, and such pleasure-giving service is fresh because Krishna is nava-yauvana, ever fresh. Giving this sort of pleasure gives us the greatest pleasure. And this attitude is stimulated by spiritual love, love that is not motivated by personal gain. Surely it is due to our lack of realization of our spiritual identity and spiritual activity that boredom exists at all in this world.”


          The me that nobody knows…      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Click here to view original web page at veryangrybird.blogspot.com "This is one of those rabbit hole experiences. Go on the internet and poke around. Lots of theories, lots of speculations, very few facts." I am now going to conflate two people from much different worlds. The first is former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. In 2002, he announced there was $2.3T of DOD budget which was either missing, or unaccounted for. Let that sink in for just a second. That statement left a lot of jaws dropping on the floor. BTW- the number was trillion and not billion. Next I will bring in the spy Edward Snowden. In the massive dump of classified information he put on the internet, there was many references to "black programs". So what does the $2.3T and Snowden's reference to "black programs" have in common? Maybe nothing - maybe quite a bit. For years now, […]
          A couple reasons why Elon Musk could actually pull off his wild plan to take Tesla private (TSLA)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

elon musk

  • Elon Musk's plan to take Tesla private has generated a lot of buzz, and it has been met with a lot of skepticism
  • But there are several reasons why he might actually be able to pull off the deal.
  • He's got a few things going for him, including a market with mountains of uninvested cash, an army of believers, and ties to some massive backers that could help him make his plan a reality. 

Since setting Wall Street ablaze on Tuesday with an unexpected tweet about taking his car company Tesla private, Elon Musk has been met with a healthy dose of skepticism over his proposed plan as well as his unconventional method of announcing it. 

Analysts are taking Musk at his word that he has indeed secured funding, has investor support, and is seriously considering taking the company private — he could face serious legal consequences if he wasn't entirely truthful. But many nonetheless find the $420 a share price tag he's floated exceptionally high given that Tesla ended trading on Wednesday at $370.34 a share.

It would be the largest buyout of all time and would require gargantuan amounts of capital to complete at the more than $70 billion valuation implied by Musk's tweet. The company would need roughly $57 billion in committed financing to buy up the 80% of the company Musk doesn't own, according to Goldman Sachs estimates. 

"We don't believe the current fundamentals of Tesla support a valuation anywhere close to $420 per share," Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne said. He set a price target of $200.

Colin Langan at UBS set a target of $195, taking an even more dubious view: "Disclosing news of this nature via Twitter is unprecedented and, according to a former SEC chairman, may constitute fraud if Tesla does not already have the financing lined up.

"The deal would likely require participation from numerous banks and institutional investors, and we think it likely that news of the deal would have leaked had Tesla already held discussions to secure funding," Langan added.

In short, the skepticism around Musk's proposed deal is abundant.

So let's focus instead on a couple reasons why he might actually be able to pull it off.

Lots of capital sloshing around

Musk's take-private of Tesla would be unprecedented. 

But so is the amount of capital available for investment right now — a byproduct of the ultra-low interest rate environment the decade following the financial crisis.

Private equity shops having been accumulating record amounts of dry powder as funding remains plentiful while smart deals are comparatively scarce. Pitchbook estimated in March that PE funds had amassed nearly a trillion in undeployed funds.  

Sovereign wealth funds and other large backers, such as Japanese investor SoftBank, have billions in cash to throw around and the appetite to do so, too. 

A market ripe with cash looking to be invested is ideal for Tesla's charismatic leader.

"Right now there is so much money sloshing around the system that has no place to go," Rita McGrath, a professor at Columbia Business School, told Business Insider.

As McGrath sees it, there are two types of Tesla investors: Those who view the company as just another car company, akin to Ford or General Motors. These tend to be the skeptics.

Then there are those who believe the company is on the cutting edge of batteries, energy transmission, and renewable energy and that "owning Tesla is a front-seat ticket to whatever the future holds."

An investment like Musk is seeking would carry a lot of risk given the rich price tag, but for those in the latter camp who believe Tesla offers incredible upside, that may be a bet worth making "if you've got nothing else to do with that cash."

Forget about the debt

Many have pointed out that the math on a leveraged buyout for Tesla looks dicey. The company doesn't generate enough free cash flow to justify massive amounts of additional debt burden, which would create crushing interest payments for company. 

Given the cash-flow pressures and the ongoing Model 3 ramp-up, "adding as much as $50 billion of net debt to the capital structure would clearly intensify the outcomes of such an action," Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote. 

"Given Tesla's financials, we don’t believe lenders would sign up to support the deal," RBC's Joseph Spak added. 

But people shouldn't be viewing this as a potential LBO, according to David Erickson, a lecturer at the Wharton School.

The deal would instead be a debt-light transaction focused on converting existing public shareholders into private shareholders, and then raising enough additional equity to cash out the shareholders that want to exit.

"What it would have to be, predominantly, is an equity take out," said Erickson, who spent 25 years on Wall Street, including several years as the global co-head of equity capital markets at Barclays. "They would have to come up with enough cash to monetize whoever doesn’t want to stay in. Most of that I would assume would be equity related." 

Getting a large chunk of existing shareholders to convert isn't that far-fetched. Large mutual funds have grown increasingly willing to invest in promising private companies.

As Musk himself has pointed out, Fidelity, the third-largest Tesla shareholder with an 8% stake, has already invested in private tech companies, including the likes Uber, Blue Apron, and his own SpaceX. 

T. Rowe Price, the second-largest shareholder with a 9% stake, has as well.

While funds that hold Tesla stock in their publicly traded indexes would be different, they could potentially cash out and shift their investment to a different arm of the company. 

The unknowable question at this point is how many shareholders would want to exit, and how much Tesla would need to raise to cash them out. 

"Let’s assume $20 billion is required. Is there somebody going to write equity checks for $20 billion?" Erickson asked, noting that Japanese investor SoftBank could be a possibility, as could a sovereign wealth fund.  

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son held talks with Musk about a potential investment in 2017, though a deal failed to materialize and discussions are no longer active, Bloomberg reported Wednesday

Musk has assured us the funding has been secured.

And it's quite possible it has. 

Don't sleep on the Saudis

Who has that kind of money laying around?

As previously mentioned, private equity funds have mammoth amounts of capital to deploy. However, they tend to prefer companies that already generate gobs of cash rather than those that are still rapidly burning it as they carve out a business model. 

A large private investor or a sovereign wealth fund are considered more likely candidates, with many suggesting the aforementioned SoftBank and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia as potential suitors.

The Saudis could make for a particularly good fit.

Under the direction of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country has been trying to reduce its dependence on its vast oil reserves and diversify its income streams. The much ballyhooed initial public offering of state oil giant Saudi Aramco has yet to materialize as a solution.

"The Saudi angle is interesting to me. Their existential problem is their whole economy is based on oil," McGrath said.

Tesla's rich price could seem justifiable to the Saudis if they believe Tesla isn't just car company, but rather a bet on the future that hedges their oil riches with a "window into batteries and renewable energy," McGrath said. 

And there's evidence that of the two types of Tesla investors that McGrath highlights, the Saudis are Musk believers: The Financial Times reported Tuesday that the Saudi sovereign wealth fund had acquired a nearly 5% stake in Tesla. 

Would they be willing add substantially to that stake? Or would several other large players need to step up as well?

Musk has a great track record of wooing big investors to back his projects. Even so, it still won't be easy. 

"He'll have to convince an awful lot of people with very deep pockets," McGrath said. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An early investor in Uber, Airbnb, and bitcoin explains why it's actually a good sign that no one is spending their crypto


          The Australian Dollar: An Unlikely Trade War Casualty      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Authored by Alex Kimani via SafeHaven.com,

The Australian dollar has been the worst performer among the world’s major currencies this year, dropping like a rock against most other currencies apart from the Swedish krona. AUD has weakened about nine percent against the U.S. dollar, currently changing hands at 73.91 cents against the greenback from the January high of 81.15 cents.

Despite the deep slide, the current optimism that the Aussie has found a bottom may be a tad premature.

The currency might get another drubbing if the U.S.-China trade war plays out in the current trajectory and things continue heading south for Australia’s major trading partner. Meanwhile, the Australian central bank is expected to soon reaffirm its commitment to keep interest rates at record lows when it meets later this week.

(Click to enlarge)

Here are three key reasons why the AUD might still be a juicy short candidate:

#1 Trade war casualty

Deteriorating U.S.-China trade relations will send ripples across many economies across the globe. But few countries are likely to feel the heat more than Australia, China’s leading trading partner. AUD tumbled 1.5 percent on June 14 when President Trump warned that he could confront China very strongly.

And it just keeps getting worse...

After imposing 10 percent tariffs on $200-billion of Chinese imports, Trump has threatened to not only bring the country’s entire range of exports worth half a trillion dollars under the tariffs but also to raise the rate to 25 percent. Top Aussie forecaster Marcus Wong of Singapore’s CIMB Bank has said escalating trade tensions mean the worst is yet to come for the currency. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley recommends shorting the AUD/USD pair as well as the yen on “rising protectionist risks”.

#2 Iron prices plateau

(Click to enlarge)

Iron-ore prices have grinded higher from this year’s low to trade around $69 per metric ton. They, however, are still 8.6 percent off their 52-week high and nearly 50 percent below their 2014 highs.

And they might fall even further. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science slashed its forecast for the commodity last month to $51.10 next year as China starts dialing back purchases. That’s good for 26-percent downside.

The technical outlook is not good either, with prices approaching the 200-day moving average for the first time since March. Recent history has shown that prices frequently fall back whenever they approach that level.

#3 Low Interest Rates

The Fed has raised benchmark interest rates seven times during the current cycle. The Reserve Bank of Australia, in contrast, has kept the country’s interest rates at a record low of 1.5 percent where they have remained stuck for two years running.

Australia’s 10-year bond yields dropped more than 30 basis points vs. their U.S.’ counterpart by July and the divergence is expected to keep widening since RBA is expected to keep rates low until well into 2019, while the Fed is expected to raise benchmark rates another two times before the end of the year.

Positioning data strongly backs up the bearish assessment for the Aussie.

Hedge funds and other large speculators have opened up a net short position for the currency to the tune of 28,441 contracts as at July 31 - the biggest net short position in two years. Aussie bets were in a net long position as recently as in May.


          Former Fed Economist Urges The World's Largest Pension Fund To Buy More Junk Bonds      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The last time we looked at Japan's giant pension fund, the Government Pension Investment Fund (or GPIF) which is the largest in the world and manages 158.6 trillion yen ($1.43 trillion), we found a problem: according to the latest quarterly release, Japanese equities accounted for 25.14% of the GPIF's portfolio at the end of March (which equates to over 40 trillion yen worth of shares covering roughly 2,300 issues).

This is a problem because the GPIF's portfolio has exceeded its 25% allocation target for domestic stocks for the first time, a milestone that - unless the world's largest pension fund changes its strategy for "stable returns" - could have severely adverse consequences for local risk assets, as it would mean one of the "whale" buyers of Japanese equities - the BOJ being the other - would no longer be in the market.

But while it would hardly surprise market watchers to see the GPIF once again bend the rules and further stretch the definition of what is considered a "safe" asset for retirees as it seeks to boost returns, some have proposed even more radical "solutions."

According to Bloomberg, former Fed senior economist Yoshio Nozawa - who researched corporate bond spreads for the Fed over the past five years - suggested that the world’s largest pension fund should step even further out of its comfort zone and buy more high-yield bonds and alternative assets such as real estate. The reason: the pension fund’s long-term performance of its 158.6 trillion yen ($1.43 trillion) in assets is more important than quarterly results.

Speaking in an interview in Tokyo after winning a GPIF award for corporate bond research in July. Nozawa said that "investors that can own assets for a long period have a high risk tolerance," and continued: "pension funds have the advantage of being able to hold low-liquidity products that other investors usually shy away from, so there’s room for them to consider investing in more of those assets."

In other words, just because the GPIF has what some would say an infinite investment horizon, it can take virtually unlimited risks with its investments in order to generate higher yields: after all the BOJ is there to make sure it doesn't blow up.

Earlier this year, the GPIF's investment guidelines were revised to include the buying of Japanese debt rated below BBB, i.e., junk bonds, "under certain conditions." And, as of the first quarter, it had allocated about 415 billion yen to actively managed foreign high-yield bond funds run by firms such as Nomura Asset Management, MacKay Shields and UBS Asset Management.

Apparently it's not enough, especially since "alternative investments" such as junk bonds made up only 0.17% of the GPIF’s total assets, below its self-imposed limit of 5%, as of the end of June.

So what can possibly go wrong by dumping tens of billions into the riskiest of fixed income instruments? According to the Fed researcher, not much (of course):

The key to analyzing corporate bonds is understanding the composition of their spread, which is affected by the expected default loss and risk premium, according to Nozawa, who currently teaches finance at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. If the risk premium is driving the spread, then it may indicate that it’s time to buy the debt rather than sell, he said. This also applies to stocks and other assets, he added.

Or, as another former Fed "researcher" would say, "the risk of massive junk bond defaults is contained."

Potential junk bond losses aside - which of course are guaranteed during the next global recession - there may be another problem: not enough junk bonds to buy as issuers tend to cater to a domestic institutional audience the prefers IG bonds.

Japanese investors such as pension funds and life insurers tend to invest in investment-grade bonds. According to a report by Nomura Institute of Capital Markets Research, corporate debt issuance was about 11 trillion yen in 2017, with more than 95% of the securities rated A or higher.

And yet, as Sumitomo Mitsui strategist Ayako Sera said, the GPIF has little choice but to diversify into alternative assets and high-yield bonds if it wants higher returns because Japan’s bonds, which make up about 27% of the GPIF’s assets, have virtually zero returns (well, the may rise as high as 0.2% as per the BOJ's latest announcement) as the Bank of Japan maintains its unprecedented monetary easing.

“The GPIF’s biggest problem is it can’t keep taking in domestic bonds - especially government bonds - as a staple with Japanese interest rates so low,” Sera said. “The fund needs to sample a wider variety of dishes.”

Apparently that's prudent banker talk for "we need to put more pensions into, well, junk." What it really is, is the famous yield creep to justify buying ever riskier securities, which of course, are "not risky" because the GPIF can hold in perpetuity, which somehow means the laws of the business cycle no longer matter.

As for the problem of finding enough junk bond supply: fear not - we hear that Elon Musk is in market with a roughly $70 billion junk bond deal that no self-respecting pension fund can possibly afford to miss...


          15 Sweet Tweets Handpicked Just For You      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

1. Devastating

2. Thank you computer, well done

3. Well, I guess I gotta go watch all of ghost shark now

4. To do list: complete

5. 🤝

6. Fuck me, right?

7. Smash that mf like button so we can make another movie in this series and realistically a park section in Universal Studios

8. See me off into the void daddy

9. This is what the Internet is for fellas

10. This kid's gonna be alright

11. The stock costs $0.08 there's no better time

12. I'm sure we can reach some sort of agreement

13. I've fallen and I can't get up

14. Always Be Deteriorating

15. This is so sad can we hit 10 RTs


                Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Tanzania Wants to Build Pipeline to Pump Gas to Uganda 
Reuters
August 7th 2018 at 10:18 GMT

Tanzania wants to build a pipeline to pump natural gas to neighbouring Uganda, another step in the two countries’ bid to expand energy cooperation.

Development Corporation (TPDC) said on Monday that the pipeline would start from its capital Dar es Salaam, then pass through Tanga port on the Indian Ocean and to Mwanza, a port on Lake Victoria before crossing the border to Uganda.

It said it was looking to hire a contractor to conduct a feasibility study to determine current and future natural gas demand “by identifying all potential customers”. It did not give an estimated volume.

The study would also establish the most economically viable route for the pipeline, it said. Tanzania boasts estimated recoverable natural gas reserves of over 57 trillion cubic feet (tcf), mostly in offshore fields in the south of the country. Know if news is factual and true.

In 2016 the two countries agreed to develop a crude oil export pipeline to help transport land-locked Uganda’s crude reserves from fields in the country’s west to offshore markets.

Read more at: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2001291014/tanzania-wants-to-build-pipeline-to-pump-gas-to-uganda

          8/9/2018: BUSINESS & FINANCE: A host of possibilities      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The global tourist industry is growing by leaps and bounds. The travel and tourism industry is one of the world’s largest, with a direct turnover of $2.3 trillion in 2016. This included accommodation, transportation, entertainment and...
          The $1 Trillion Apple and Asia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Company's global growth strategy is working
Related Stocks: AAPL, GOOG, GOOGL, AMZN, MSFT, BABA, FB, BIDU, HKSE:00700,
          Most Candidates Backed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders Falter      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Most Candidates Backed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders Falter  Wall Street JournalDid Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Say There's No Difference Between Billions and Trillions?  Snopes.comFull coverage
          New Study: “Medicare For All” Would Cost Taxpayers $32.6 Trillion Over a Decade      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Overspending in Washington is a chronic affliction. The national debt sits at $21 trillion dollars and counting. As if that were not enough, Sen. Bernie Sanders has now proposed a bill to establish single-payer health insurance, known as “the Medicare for All Act.” The proposal would add an estimated $32.6 trillion to the federal budget in the first decade of its implementation alone, according to a new study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The Real Costs of “Medicare for All” Single-payer healthcare does not come cheap – and would be yet another major cost burden for American taxpayers to bear. Charles Blahous, the study’s author stated, “enacting something like ‘Medicare for all’ would be a transformative change in the size of the federal government.” Meaning a massive increase in the federal government’s already-bloated size and scope. The Medicare for All Act would force the federal government to cover nearly all health care spending – leading to a surge in federal health care commitments consisting of 10.7 percent of our nation’s GDP in 2022. That number would increase to 12.7 percent of GDP by 2031 and continue to grow year after year. A Plan for Fiscal Solvency Congress needs to reduce out-of-control spending, not add to it. Yet […]

The post New Study: “Medicare For All” Would Cost Taxpayers $32.6 Trillion Over a Decade appeared first on Americans for Prosperity.


          Are College Costs Killing Love? Student Loan Debt Is A Primary Issue in One In Eight Divorces      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Student loans are a constant weight on those who have accumulated them, causing many to hold off on making major life choices — because what even is having money? Some people have even gone so far as moving back in with their parents after college, because they cannot afford to live on their own while paying off student loans.

But now it's becoming clear that the student debt crisis is also causing problems for young couples who would otherwise be starting their lives and families together. As Business Insider reports, student loan debt is causing about one in eight couples to divorce.

When one or both partners bring so much debt into the marriage, it can cause strain on the relationship (obviously) and eventually lead couples to have constant arguments about their marriage, their lifestyles and their financial values.

And, as CNBC notes, student loan debt is at an all-time high of $1.5 trillion — with three times as many borrowers owing more than $50K in debt for college costs. According to a recent survey performed by Student Loan Hero, the average student loan debt for the class of 2017 was $39,400, a six percent jump from the previous year. 

One of the main problems resulting from the arguments about loans, experts noted, is disagreement over who will take responsibility of the student loans after the divorce — does the couple continue to split it, or should each individual take responsibility for their own debt? And if someone's spouse helped pay down their partner's loans, should they be required to pay their partner back after divorcing?

Currently, there are no laws dictating how student loans should be split up after divorce, which is why many recommend that couples consider getting a pre-nuptial agreement to outline how debt and other financial issues will be handled in the event of a divorce, CNBC also notes.

All couples want to believe that their marriage will last, but the fact is, life (and student loans) happen, and in trying times like these, it's best to plan for the worst, and hope for the best


          Does Apple's $1 Trillion Benchmark Even Matter?"      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
none
          Samsung to give huge investment boost to AI, 5G      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Samsung committed to a KRW25 trillion ($22.3 billion) investment over three years in areas including ...

The post Samsung to give huge investment boost to AI, 5G appeared first on Mobile World Live.


          On tariffs, Trump’s reckless ignorance can no longer go unchallenged      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

(This is the second essay in a series challenging Trump’s tariffs)

Presidents make decisions of global importance that affect millions of lives. As a result, they are expected to know something of the substance of their preferred policies, or at least be reasonably well-informed by their advisors. On trade issues, Trump is the opposite of this. He is misinformed on a level unprecedented for a President on any topic, let alone one that affects over 20% of the US economy and about which he is enormously far from the expert consensus. Imagine if President Obama, when negotiating the Iran deal in 2015, continually referred to Iran as Iraq or argued that the deal was necessary to prevent Iranian conventional weapon build-up even though the treaty dealt with nuclear proliferation. This is the level of ignorance that Trump displays, in tweets and speeches, on an almost daily basis on trade issues.

First, Trump continually argues that revenue from the tariffs he has imposed will play an important role in paying down the national debt. On Sunday, he tweeted, “Because of Tariffs we will be able to start paying down large amounts of the $21 Trillion in debt that has been accumulated.”  This is a truly astounding claim. Trump has so far imposed tariffs on $85 billion of foreign imports at an average rate of 25%, meaning that the tariffs will provide $21 billion in additional revenue, or 0.1% of the country’s $15.7 trillion publically-held debt. When you subtract the $12 billion in aid to tariff-hit farmers, Trump’s tariffs this year will be able to pay off only 0.06% of the national debt. For context, this revenue is equivalent to 1/200th of the revenue lost as a result of his tax cut bill.

Second, Trump constantly argues that other countries are taking advantage of the US and our “uniquely” open trade laws, implying that other countries provide much more unfair protection to their economies than the US does. Another brazen mistruth. According to the World Bank, the European Union imposes an average tariff of 1.96% compared to one of 1.69% in the US, hardly a significant difference. Further, both Canada and Australia, countries targeted by Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, impose average tariffs lower than the US average. But even this doesn’t do Trump’s lie justice. Tariffs play only a small part in trade disputes among advanced economies today, with non-tariff barriers such as subsidies and buy-local provisions also serving to protect domestic economies. According to the Heritage Foundation, hardly an anti-Trump group, the EU and Canada both have higher (less protectionist) “trade freedom” scores than the US, when taking both tariffs and non-tariff barriers into account.

Third, Trump likes to argue that the US trade deficit means that the country is “losing” money to other countries, tweeting last month that “we are the “piggy bank” that’s being robbed” and “lost $817 billion on trade last year”. This is perhaps the most basic of trade economics mistakes and one that is taught to every Econ 101 college class. The trade deficit has little to do with competitiveness or tariff levels, but instead reflects the level of saving and investment in a country. Investment levels in the US are higher than national savings, forcing us to borrow investment funding from abroad which, in turn, is financed through foreign imports. In effect, we are running a trade deficit in return for higher levels of domestic investment. As a result, while our multilateral trade deficit is almost 2.9% of GDP, our capital account surplus (the level of investment coming into the US minus the level going out) is definitionally also 2.9% of GDP, with no “loss” of wealth by either the US or other countries.

It is clear that Trump has no clue what he is talking about when he loudly proclaims that his trade wars will pay off the national debt or that the US is losing a lump sum of wealth each year through trade deficits. But this ignorance is more sinister and worrying than commonly understood. Trump’s trade wars are not only hurting American workers and consumers, but also are corroding the American-led international order. America’s democratic allies, especially in Europe, are finding it politically destructive to support the President on anything given his abysmal standing amongst their home voters. As a result, Trump has no political capital to accomplish any of America’s foreign policy goals, from a new Iran deal to negotiating revised trade agreements. History shows us that long sustained fights over tariffs can lead to a collapse in international diplomacy and greater conflict between nations (take the Smoot-Hawley tariffs in 1930 for instance), and Trump will continue to push the US down this road as long as he chooses to live in a make-believe world on trade.

The first essay in this series argued that Congress must take action to rescind Trump’s tariffs because they are illegal. Even further, Congress must step in because Trump has shown himself to fundamentally misunderstand the issues at stake. This is not an honest error, that can be fixed by surrounding the President with better people. Trump has many advisors who care deeply about free trade, such as former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn (who likely lost his job due to trade disagreements with the President) and current NEC Chairman Larry Kudlow. They have explained the nuances of trade deals to Trump many times and shown him that his tweet tirades about tariffs are patently untrue. And yet Trump doesn’t care. He would rather live in his own make-believe world, and create real policy from these fake beliefs, than actually care about the many genuine economic issues facing Americans. A President that cannot be bothered to learn any semblance of the truth cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of Americans, on trade and much else. When they re-enter session this fall, Congress has an obligation to put pressure on the President to rescind these tariffs that are both illegal and wreaking havoc on the world America created.  


          Bankrupt America: Bankruptcy Soars As The Country Grapples With An Unprecedented Debt Problem      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

America, you officially have a debt problem, and I am not just talking about the national debt.  Consumer bankruptcies are surging, corporate debt has doubled since the last financial crisis, state and local government debt loads have never been higher, and the federal government has been adding more than a trillion dollars a year to ... Read more

The post Bankrupt America: Bankruptcy Soars As The Country Grapples With An Unprecedented Debt Problem appeared first on The Economic Collapse.


          Scandal That Cost Barclays Chairman His Job Threatens To Spread      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Every day at 11 a.m., a few big banks tell the British Bankers' Association what it costs them to borrow. Out of that comes LIBOR — the London Interbank Offered Rate, a dull but vital interest rate that underpins trillions of dollars of transactions globally, from home mortgages and personal credit cards to major corporate lending. Now it turns out that at least some of those same banks may have been trying to manipulate the numbers to gain a small edge in the market — an edge that might win them a few tens of thousands of dollars, while driving up borrowing costs by billions for consumers and businesses around the world. Marcus Agius, the chairman of British banking giant Barclays, announced his resignation Monday over the scandal, and the bank paid a $453 million fine. Barclays emails show traders agreeing to manipulate the numbers they reported almost casually. The United Kingdom is launching an investigation, and regulators elsewhere in Europe and in the United States have
          Tim Cook is worth $625 million and leads a $1 trillion company — but he reportedly buys discounted underwear and prefers hiking to yachting      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
none
          Apple, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The coordinated attack on widely watched Info Wars host Alex Jones by Apple, Facebook, Google/Youtube, and Spotify is all the proof that we need that the total failure to enforce America’s anti-trust laws has produced unaccountably powerful firms that are able to exercise far more censorship, not only in America but also abroad among Washington’s vassal states, than the Nazi Gestapo or Stalin’s NKVD were ever able to achieve. Recently the progressive Rob Kall and I discussed on his show the implications of a trillion dollar company, which Apple now is. A day or two afterward, Rob Kall wrote an … Continue reading

The post Apple, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter appeared first on LewRockwell.


          $42 Trillion Over 10 Years: The Cost Of Democratic Socialist Policies      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Those evil far-right extremists at Vox are doing their best to highlight how stupid it is to back the Democratic Socialist agenda (which is pretty much the Democratic Party’s agenda) My new study @voxdotcom: The Democratic Socialist proposals would cost $42 trillion over the decade and $218 trillion over 30 years — according to CBO […]
          Navigating in the Trillion-level Blue Ocean of Intelligent Industry, Matt Chain Will Build a Global Health Intelligent Ecosystem      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
none
          Comment on Uh oh, Mars Doesn’t Have Enough Carbon Dioxide to be Terraformed by Ronald      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Ok! So, scientific study has confirmed that there, indeed, isn't nearly enough N on Mars. Ok then, let's make a simple calculation: assuming 80% of the atmosphere as N2 and atmospheric pressure earthlike (1 atm.), and Mars having a surface area of 28.4% of earth, then we will need approx. 1.2 * 10^15 tonnes of N2 (or 1200 trillion tonnes). That's an awful lot of N to import.
          Comment on The Problem of Induction & Video Games by DH      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
If there are no variables, then there cannot be any causality. Everything is random. Consider, for example, if I hold a ball up above the ground and let it go. Suppose I do this ten times in a row, and every single time it falls to the ground. I can (correctly) predict that if I let it go an eleventh time it would behave in the same way - and a twelfth, thirteenth, and so on. There's an outside force acting here - "gravity", which has predictable and calculable qualities. Gravity is based on the mass of the attracting object - the lower the mass, the lower the attraction - so we can accurately predict that gravitational force is less on the moon, for example, and does not exist at all in space. On the other hand, if we were to flip a coin ten times, and for each of those ten times it came up "heads" - we would be incorrect in predicting that "heads" would be the result of the next flip. Many who are familiar with odds and statistics would say that this prediction is incorrect. Some would say that the odds would be greater that the next flip would be "tails", but they, too, would be wrong. Enter the "law of large numbers", which is kind of a post facto explanation of the chances of heads or tails. There is no explanation for this other than empirical data - but that data suggests that given enough flips, the incidence of "heads" vs. "tails" would be 50/50. This does not mean that every other flip will be heads or tails, or that if you get ten "heads" in a row it will be followed by ten "tails" - nor does it suggest that the more "heads" in a row you flip, the odds of getting a "tails" on the next flip would increase. Every flip carries the same 50/50 odds. Of course, that's all just based on current empirical data - "reverse engineered" in a way, to explain away natural phenomena that we don't understand. Maybe there are invisible aliens controlling the outcomes just to confound us. If a scientist were to drop a ball for the 10,000th time and suddenly it did not fall, that scientist would immediately begin looking for variables that have changed. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdycXbVWF9A" rel="nofollow">Maybe like this.</a>. In this case, it wasn't a steel ball, it was a magnet - and it wasn't just any old space, it was a tube of copper - but the "law of gravity" was turned upside down. Science considers this, explores the changed variables, and alters the hypotheses. But what about the coin flip? The law of large numbers tells us that eventually, the incidence of heads and tails will even out - but it cannot say if this will happen after 20 flips, 200 flips, 2,000 flips, or 200 trillion flips. If we apply that as a principle, I suppose that causality really is an illusion - and we live in a completely random world. Perhaps a steel ball will drop 50% of the time, and rise the other 50% - we just haven't dropped enough balls to see it even out yet. Of course, if you take mass (as in the mass of the Earth) out of the equation, that throws off the entire equation.
          Penelope, Trillion - Down To Business [GirlsOutWest] [FullHD|mp4|1.2 Gb|1080p|2018]      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Penelope, Trillion - Down To Business [GirlsOutWest] [FullHD|mp4|1.2 Gb|1080p|2018]

          Penelope., Trillion - Girls Out West [GirlsOutWest] [FullHD|mp4|1.68 Gb|1080p|2018]      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Penelope., Trillion - Girls Out West [GirlsOutWest] [FullHD|mp4|1.68 Gb|1080p|2018]

           FACT CHECK: Sanders spins savings in Medicare plan      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
AP FACT CHECK: Sanders mischaracterizes study to make questionable claim that his "Medicare for all" plan will reduce U.S. health spending by $2 trillion
          The EU Spent a Bundle to Unify the Continent. It's Not Working.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
European leaders dedicated nearly one trillion dollars—equivalent to eight times the Marshall Plan—to fixing up impoverished regions. Yet some of the biggest recipients are hotbeds of the very discontent that’s driving the bloc apart.
          A couple reasons why Elon Musk could actually pull off his wild plan to take Tesla private (TSLA)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

elon musk

  • Elon Musk's plan to take Tesla private has generated a lot of buzz, and it has been met with a lot of skepticism
  • But there are several reasons why he might actually be able to pull off the deal.
  • He's got a few things going for him, including a market with mountains of uninvested cash, an army of believers, and ties to some massive backers that could help him make his plan a reality. 

Since setting Wall Street ablaze on Tuesday with an unexpected tweet about taking his car company Tesla private, Elon Musk has been met with a healthy dose of skepticism over his proposed plan as well as his unconventional method of announcing it. 

Analysts are taking Musk at his word that he has indeed secured funding, has investor support, and is seriously considering taking the company private — he could face serious legal consequences if he wasn't entirely truthful. But many nonetheless find the $420 a share price tag he's floated exceptionally high given that Tesla ended trading on Wednesday at $370.34 a share.

It would be the largest buyout of all time and would require gargantuan amounts of capital to complete at the more than $70 billion valuation implied by Musk's tweet. The company would need roughly $57 billion in committed financing to buy up the 80% of the company Musk doesn't own, according to Goldman Sachs estimates. 

"We don't believe the current fundamentals of Tesla support a valuation anywhere close to $420 per share," Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne said. He set a price target of $200.

Colin Langan at UBS set a target of $195, taking an even more dubious view: "Disclosing news of this nature via Twitter is unprecedented and, according to a former SEC chairman, may constitute fraud if Tesla does not already have the financing lined up.

"The deal would likely require participation from numerous banks and institutional investors, and we think it likely that news of the deal would have leaked had Tesla already held discussions to secure funding," Langan added.

In short, the skepticism around Musk's proposed deal is abundant.

So let's focus instead on a couple reasons why he might actually be able to pull it off.

Lots of capital sloshing around

Musk's take-private of Tesla would be unprecedented. 

But so is the amount of capital available for investment right now — a byproduct of the ultra-low interest rate environment the decade following the financial crisis.

Private equity shops having been accumulating record amounts of dry powder as funding remains plentiful while smart deals are comparatively scarce. Pitchbook estimated in March that PE funds had amassed nearly a trillion in undeployed funds.  

Sovereign wealth funds and other large backers, such as Japanese investor SoftBank, have billions in cash to throw around and the appetite to do so, too. 

A market ripe with cash looking to be invested is ideal for Tesla's charismatic leader.

"Right now there is so much money sloshing around the system that has no place to go," Rita McGrath, a professor at Columbia Business School, told Business Insider.

As McGrath sees it, there are two types of Tesla investors: Those who view the company as just another car company, akin to Ford or General Motors. These tend to be the skeptics.

Then there are those who believe the company is on the cutting edge of batteries, energy transmission, and renewable energy and that "owning Tesla is a front-seat ticket to whatever the future holds."

An investment like Musk is seeking would carry a lot of risk given the rich price tag, but for those in the latter camp who believe Tesla offers incredible upside, that may be a bet worth making "if you've got nothing else to do with that cash."

Forget about the debt

Many have pointed out that the math on a leveraged buyout for Tesla looks dicey. The company doesn't generate enough free cash flow to justify massive amounts of additional debt burden, which would create crushing interest payments for company. 

Given the cash-flow pressures and the ongoing Model 3 ramp-up, "adding as much as $50 billion of net debt to the capital structure would clearly intensify the outcomes of such an action," Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote. 

"Given Tesla's financials, we don’t believe lenders would sign up to support the deal," RBC's Joseph Spak added. 

But people shouldn't be viewing this as a potential LBO, according to David Erickson, a lecturer at the Wharton School.

The deal would instead be a debt-light transaction focused on converting existing public shareholders into private shareholders, and then raising enough additional equity to cash out the shareholders that want to exit.

"What it would have to be, predominantly, is an equity take out," said Erickson, who spent 25 years on Wall Street, including several years as the global co-head of equity capital markets at Barclays. "They would have to come up with enough cash to monetize whoever doesn’t want to stay in. Most of that I would assume would be equity related." 

Getting a large chunk of existing shareholders to convert isn't that far-fetched. Large mutual funds have grown increasingly willing to invest in promising private companies.

As Musk himself has pointed out, Fidelity, the third-largest Tesla shareholder with an 8% stake, has already invested in private tech companies, including the likes Uber, Blue Apron, and his own SpaceX. 

T. Rowe Price, the second-largest shareholder with a 9% stake, has as well.

While funds that hold Tesla stock in their publicly traded indexes would be different, they could potentially cash out and shift their investment to a different arm of the company. 

The unknowable question at this point is how many shareholders would want to exit, and how much Tesla would need to raise to cash them out. 

"Let’s assume $20 billion is required. Is there somebody going to write equity checks for $20 billion?" Erickson asked, noting that Japanese investor SoftBank could be a possibility, as could a sovereign wealth fund.  

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son held talks with Musk about a potential investment in 2017, though a deal failed to materialize and discussions are no longer active, Bloomberg reported Wednesday

Musk has assured us the funding has been secured.

And it's quite possible it has. 

Don't sleep on the Saudis

Who has that kind of money laying around?

As previously mentioned, private equity funds have mammoth amounts of capital to deploy. However, they tend to prefer companies that already generate gobs of cash rather than those that are still rapidly burning it as they carve out a business model. 

A large private investor or a sovereign wealth fund are considered more likely candidates, with many suggesting the aforementioned SoftBank and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia as potential suitors.

The Saudis could make for a particularly good fit.

Under the direction of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country has been trying to reduce its dependence on its vast oil reserves and diversify its income streams. The much ballyhooed initial public offering of state oil giant Saudi Aramco has yet to materialize as a solution.

"The Saudi angle is interesting to me. Their existential problem is their whole economy is based on oil," McGrath said.

Tesla's rich price could seem justifiable to the Saudis if they believe Tesla isn't just car company, but rather a bet on the future that hedges their oil riches with a "window into batteries and renewable energy," McGrath said. 

And there's evidence that of the two types of Tesla investors that McGrath highlights, the Saudis are Musk believers: The Financial Times reported Tuesday that the Saudi sovereign wealth fund had acquired a nearly 5% stake in Tesla. 

Would they be willing add substantially to that stake? Or would several other large players need to step up as well?

Musk has a great track record of wooing big investors to back his projects. Even so, it still won't be easy. 

"He'll have to convince an awful lot of people with very deep pockets," McGrath said. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A Nobel Prize-winning economist says 'non-competes' are keeping wages down for all workers


           "WHAT? ... ANOTHER CUBE?" -> THE TEXAS BLACK CUBES ... A 2nd PHOTO-      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The first picture of the appearance of an unidentified black cube over Texas.

 

"Another Cube..." 

The 2nd Black Cube photo

By Mary Alice Bennett

(Copyright 2015, Mary Alice Bennet - All rights Reserved)

<Edited by Robert D. Morningstar>

*******

Michael Nielson: -> "Another cube reportedly seen in Texas.  Its either the vanguard of the Borg assimilation fleet or its a kite flown by the Borgmans.  My question is simple:

 "Why would an advanced race of beings travel 100-trillion miles just to hover in the clouds over McAllen, Texas in their decidedly poorly aerodynamic cube?

Why not a sphere?

 Are they here for our spherical technology...or...the TexMex....?"

 

*******

The 1st "Black Cube" Photo.

The black color of this perfect cube reminds me of the color of mourners and the fact that was are missing our editor Dirk, is this phenomenon a tribute to him? The manifestation of the shape out of the atmosphere reminds me of the paranormal activities in Uintah, Utah at Skniwalker Ranch: Paranormal Corridor - Southwest USA by Mary Alice Bennett Skinwalker Ranch "Using infrared binoculars, a researcher in Utah was able to observe a large black animal crawling through a tunnel into our dimension. The ape-like creature moved along using its elbows. After exiting and sauntering off into the night, the anomalous yellow light which contained the tunnel, slowly faded away. This is but one of the events which occurred on the Skinwalker Ranch property while paranormal researchers were there. The tunnel appeared after a meditation session.

After another earlier attempt at meditating, an energy field was seen to swoop down upon the seated fellow. It uttered an animal roar as it sped by - the meditator was completely terrified. The researchers compared what they`d seen to the invisible force scene from the movie "Predator". Some of the other creatures who populate the Uintah Basin in N.E. Utah are only detectable because they block out the stars or by the enormous foot or claw prints that they leave behind. The rancher and his family had moved there in good faith, bringing their expensive herd of Angus cattle to the property. They lost so many cows there that they eventually had to leave, allowing the research team to take their place. Whatever is there does not allow domesticated livestock to pollute its sacred ground. Previous tenants had been warned not to try to dig anywhere on the land. In the 1770s the exploring Spanish had noticed underground activity there along with flying lights. The Ute tribe has 15 generations of tales to tell. There are deposits of the rare hydrocarbon Gilsonite on the ranch.

The UFO underground mining activity is similar to the situation in Pine Bush, New York. Large black flying triangles are seen in both areas. The rancher had seen a craft entering the atmosphere through a hole in the sky. At night he was able to see blue sky through one of these openings, as if it were the entrance to another world. There was another tunnel up there whose entrance opened directly opposite their homestead. Many of the sightings of anomalous creatures were one-time events, as if the animals were just passing through our dimension. When they first came to the land, the rancher`s wife was greeted at the gate by an oversized wolf that had to lean down in order to gaze into her car window. This sighting is reminiscent of the paranormal black dog of Norfolk, England which inspired the Sherlock Holmes mystery, "The Hound of the Baskervilles". "Black Shuck" as they call him, once appeared in a church, killing two people on his way out. The burn marks he left as he retreated are still visible on the doorway. There had been no repopulation of wolves to the Uinta region.

Soon after this encounter, the rancher`s wife observed what seemed to be an RV out in the field. There was a dark figure seated behind a desk inside. When he stood up, he took up the entire doorway. He was wearing a black helmet with a visor, black clothes and boots. The next day she and her husband went out to the field. When she saw the 18" bootprints he`d left behind, she became hysterical. The RV-type craft has also been seen in Brazil where they are called "chupas". These UFOs have been known to hunt the Amazonian hunters who wait in the trees at night for animals to pass by. A darting red light chased the horses off a cliff one night resulting in serious injuries. Sometimes the animals were seen to panic from the presence of invisible creatures.

The rancher advised the research team to stalk the phenomenon as if it were a wild animal.  He`d observed a multicolored craft one night which lit up the snow with its colorful lights.  When a twig broke, the craft turned off its lights and turned towards him.  The rancher thought that this was the type of reaction that one would expect from a living creature.  In Dulce, New Mexico, sightings of enormous UFOs are not uncommon.  One huge manta-ray shaped ship appeared to be covered with the skin of a sea creature.   It was grey, dimpled, and wrinkled.   A little ET was spotted with the same sort of skin.

Some theorize that the craft themselves are alive. This echoes the words of Ezekiel in his first chapter, the famous Biblical UFO encounter.  Ezekiel refers to the "wheel within a wheel" form of the "Throne of God" and to the "living creatures," which accompany the wheels flying in the sky.

The area of N.W. New Mexico is also famous for its suit-wearing "Wolfmen" and ghastly-faced " ghost runners," which have been known to keep pace with the patrol cars of the Highway Patrol.

How do you know whether it was a Bigfoot who raided your garden?

Answer: Only the fruit on the top of the tree is gone.

Last week, there was a sighting of a white Bigfoot up in Fort Apache, Arizona.  Since these animals are known to appear on or near Indian reservations, the news was not a surprise.  The author likes it noted that all of the examples used in this article were taken from the book "The Hunt for the Skinwalker", but the comparisons were not." (Available on Amazon).

 

The appearance of a large black Bigfoot from a conduit coming out of the sky in Utah is similar to the manifestation of the black cubes from the clouds over Texas.

"What is Gilsonite?"

"Gilsonite is a natural, resinous hydrocarbon found in the Uintah Basin in northeastern Utah; thus, it is also called Uintahite.  This natural asphalt is similar to a hard petroleum asphalt and is often called a natural asphalt, asphaltite, uintaite, or asphaltum.  Gilsonite is soluble in aromatic and aliphatic solvents, as well as petroleum asphalt.  Due to its unique compatibility,  Gilsonite is frequently used to harden softer petroleum products.  Gilsonite in mass is a shiny, black substance similar in appearance to the mineral obsidian.  It is brittle and can be easily crushed into a dark brown powder.  When added to asphalt cement or hot mix asphalt in production,  Gilsonite helps produce paving mixes of dramatically increased stability."

This dramatic event and this article memorializes for me our much esteemed and greatly missed editor Dirk. 

IN MEMORIAM: -> DIRK VANDER PLOEG, UFO DIGEST PUBLISHER, PASSES on JUNE 26TH, 2015

Mary Alice Bennett

July 27th, 2015

Extra information about the article: 
Some comparitive information concernig a recent paranormal phenomenon in the sky over Texas.
Categories: 

          Trillion dollar companies: the Apple empire and concentrated markets      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The converse is claimed to be true: that concentration, oligopolistic power, and strings pulled by a few players is the way to keep innovation alive.
          Samsung plans US$22 billion spending on new technology      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Samsung Group will invest 25 trillion won (US$22 billion) in artificial intelligence, 5G mobile technology, electronic components for autos, and the biopharmaceutical business in pursuit of new growth areas, Reuters reports. The plan, the first of its kind for the conglomerate, suggests more emphasis on expanding into new segments as its core semiconductor and smartphone […]
          Samsung to invest $22.3b on 5G, AI and more      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Samsung has announced plans to invest 25 trillion won ($22.3 billion) over the next three years in areas including 5G and artificial intelligence.

The company intends to invest aggressively in a bid to become a global player in advanced markets for 5G chipsets, as well as related devices and equipment.

5G technology will create new opportunities in areas including autonomous vehicles, the IoT and robotics, Samsung said in a statement announcing its investment commitment.

Samsung also plans to increase the number of AI researchers employed across its global AI...

          Bankrupt America: Bankruptcy Soars As The Country Grapples With An Unprecedented Debt Problem      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

America, you officially have a debt problem, and I am not just talking about the national debt. Consumer bankruptcies are surging, corporate debt has doubled since the last financial crisis, state and local government debt loads have never been higher, and the federal government has been adding more than a trillion dollars a year to the federal debt ever since Barack Obama entered the White House. We have been on the greatest debt binge in human history, and it has enabled us to enjoy our ridiculously high standard of living for far longer than we deserved. Many of us have been sounding the alarm about our debt problem for a very long time, but now even the mainstream news is freaking out about it. I have a feeling that they just want something else to hammer President Trump over the head with, but they are actually speaking the truth when they say that we are facing an unprecedented debt crisis.


          Samsung sinking $22 billion into artificial intelligence, auto tech      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Samsung Electronics plans to spend $22 billion over the next three years on artificial intelligence, auto components and other future businesses as the company maps out its strategy under the restored leadership of Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong after he was freed from prison. Samsung said it will spend the sum, amounting to 25 trillion won,...
          The Australian Dollar: An Unlikely Trade War Casualty      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Authored by Alex Kimani via SafeHaven.com,

The Australian dollar has been the worst performer among the world’s major currencies this year, dropping like a rock against most other currencies apart from the Swedish krona. AUD has weakened about nine percent against the U.S. dollar, currently changing hands at 73.91 cents against the greenback from the January high of 81.15 cents.

Despite the deep slide, the current optimism that the Aussie has found a bottom may be a tad premature.

The currency might get another drubbing if the U.S.-China trade war plays out in the current trajectory and things continue heading south for Australia’s major trading partner. Meanwhile, the Australian central bank is expected to soon reaffirm its commitment to keep interest rates at record lows when it meets later this week.

(Click to enlarge)

Here are three key reasons why the AUD might still be a juicy short candidate:

#1 Trade war casualty

Deteriorating U.S.-China trade relations will send ripples across many economies across the globe. But few countries are likely to feel the heat more than Australia, China’s leading trading partner. AUD tumbled 1.5 percent on June 14 when President Trump warned that he could confront China very strongly.

And it just keeps getting worse...

After imposing 10 percent tariffs on $200-billion of Chinese imports, Trump has threatened to not only bring the country’s entire range of exports worth half a trillion dollars under the tariffs but also to raise the rate to 25 percent. Top Aussie forecaster Marcus Wong of Singapore’s CIMB Bank has said escalating trade tensions mean the worst is yet to come for the currency. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley recommends shorting the AUD/USD pair as well as the yen on “rising protectionist risks”.

#2 Iron prices plateau

(Click to enlarge)

Iron-ore prices have grinded higher from this year’s low to trade around $69 per metric ton. They, however, are still 8.6 percent off their 52-week high and nearly 50 percent below their 2014 highs.

And they might fall even further. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science slashed its forecast for the commodity last month to $51.10 next year as China starts dialing back purchases. That’s good for 26-percent downside.

The technical outlook is not good either, with prices approaching the 200-day moving average for the first time since March. Recent history has shown that prices frequently fall back whenever they approach that level.

#3 Low Interest Rates

The Fed has raised benchmark interest rates seven times during the current cycle. The Reserve Bank of Australia, in contrast, has kept the country’s interest rates at a record low of 1.5 percent where they have remained stuck for two years running.

Australia’s 10-year bond yields dropped more than 30 basis points vs. their U.S.’ counterpart by July and the divergence is expected to keep widening since RBA is expected to keep rates low until well into 2019, while the Fed is expected to raise benchmark rates another two times before the end of the year.

Positioning data strongly backs up the bearish assessment for the Aussie.

Hedge funds and other large speculators have opened up a net short position for the currency to the tune of 28,441 contracts as at July 31 - the biggest net short position in two years. Aussie bets were in a net long position as recently as in May.


          Private Banks Are the New Hedge Funds      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(Bloomberg) Who needs hedge funds when a $2.4 trillion private bank is offering global macro trades to navigate late-cycle markets — mimicking fast-money strategies with leverage to boot. UBS Group AG’s wealth management arm, the world’s largest, is pitching just […]
          Chinese brand Low density and high filling code 803001170 Magnetic Valve      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Standard or Nonstandard: Standard Structure: Other Pressure: Medium Pressure Power: Pneumatic Material: Iron/Rubber, Plastic/Metal Temperature of Media: Medium Temperature Media: Gas Port Size: Standa...Jiangsu Trillion Import & Export Trading Co., Ltd.
          Notes from Silicon Beach: AI and Hollywood – What is killing you will make you stronger      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

“Hollywood and Silicon Valley are in the same business: producing algorithms,” writes artificial intelligence (AI) pioneer Yves Bergquist, one of a new breed of data scientists focused on the entertainment and media business. Scientists like Berquist believe that to survive and thrive, the media and entertainment industry needs to embrace cognitive science. That’s how they can hope to compete with tech companies and address their failing business models.

The cluster of technologies generally called artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML), including fields such as big data analytics, deep machine learning, semantics and natural language processing, visual and auditory recognition, prediction and personalization, and conversational agents, among others. These tools enable the creation of software that can be taught to learn and program itself – to automate repetitive tasks and to provide insights that were never before possible.

Tech-assisted Content Development

One active area of AI in the industry is content development. For example, the studio-funded think tank, USC Entertainment Technology Center, where Bergquist leads an AI and neuroscience group, is mapping box office returns against elements of the film narrative. Bergquist is working on data breakdowns of movies, as shown in this demo, the work of two Bergquist AI startups, Corto and Novamente:

Another example is Greenlight Essentials, a member of IDEABOOST Network Connect. They have broken down decades of film screenplays into more than 40,000 unique plot elements, analyzing more than 200 million audience profiles to help filmmakers improve scripts, target audiences and improve marketing. Their product’s analytic terminal allows users with neither programming nor mathematics background to explore and discover repeatable patterns from decades of film data.

Scriptonomics is a ML application that breaks down movie scripts by scene, character, location and other components. Writers and producers can leverage insights and comparisons that the tool extracts from its massive database of past successful movies to improve subsequent drafts, as well as aid in making pitches and targeting audiences – as can be seen in this example of Scriptonomics breakdown for Titanic.

Founder Tammuz Dubnov says that Scriptonomics generates a geometric model of a screenplay – its DNA, if you will – to compare and improve elements when compared with financially successful films of the past. As discussed here, Dubnov believes that this data-driven, quantitative filmmaking process will give rise to a new generation of data-assistant content studios that will help create more hits and fewer flops.

RivetAI offers Agile Producer, a pre-production platform that automates script breakdown, storyboard, shot lists, scheduling and budgeting. Before RivetAI, Toronto native Debajyoti Ray built the earlier AI startup, Video AMP. This AI-powered video advertising solution helped him understand how much commercials owe to storytelling. So he decided to build an AI engine based on thousands of movie scripts, both produced and unproduced, which became RivetAI.

Some early RivetAI projects were: Sunspring, a short film starring Thomas Middleditch; a script credited to “Benjamin, an artificially intelligent neural network,” in conjunction with LA-based production company End Cue; “Bubbles,” an animation about Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee that Ray found while analyzing unproduced screenplays, a project Netflix acquired.

RivetAI’s 500 production companies’ customers will feed ever more data to its self-learning system to augment their storytelling efforts. Ray compares RivetAI to AutoCAD – software that began as a drafting tool and has become a central platform for many creative professionals. To that end, RivetAI is developing products for screenwriters, corporate branded content, series television and reality shows. 


A computer monitor with an image of a man on the screen. The man is standing in front of a green background. #source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

A demonstration of the artificial intelligence software, Arraiy, being used to process green screen footage quickly.

Photo by Christie Hemm Klok for The New York Times


Content Creation with an AI Assist

Computer-generated visual effects are widely used in blockbuster movies, TV shows and games. Sensei, Adobe’s AI, is now being deployed across the company’s cloud platforms to automate functions and provide intelligence. The more Sensei is used, the smarter it gets.

Also, 3D software giant AutoDesk is moving towards AI-assisted generative design, which the company used on its own new facility in downtown Toronto. Massive Software, which has been used on Peter Jackson’s massive CG films, now uses AI to automate crowd simulation and other time-sucking tasks. Its Ready to Run Agents are prefabricated AI agents that can be dropped into scenes by visual effects artists, saving time in the creation of CGI characters.

Arraiy is a well-funded Silicon Valley startup that uses computer vision and machine learning to automate time-consuming visual effects like rotosoping, to separate layers of an image to allow manipulation. The Black-Eyed Peas’ music video for their song, “Street Living,” utilized Arraiy to superimpose band members over images from the civil rights era.

The work involved in modeling, texturing, lighting, animation and performance will ultimately be automated with machine learning, says Derek Spears, Emmy Award-winning VFX artist for Game of Thrones. “Then, the next frontier will be AI-driven actor performances.”

Simulating People

We’ve seen Carrie Fischer exhumed into Star Wars movies, using past performances. Now we’re seeing the emergence of simulated video and voice. Rival Theory's RAIN AI creates human-like AI for more than 100,000 game developers and agencies. Lyrebird is a tool for the creation of artificial voices. Adobe has demoed Voco, a prototype that generates speech that sounds like a specific person.

Clarifai is a platform that uses “computer vision,” a form of machine learning, to help customers detect and predict demographics of faces, identify celebrities, and much more. Face2Face offers real-time facial capture and reenactment. Check out this clip of a speech by President Barack Obama which he never gave:

Software pioneer Marc Canter has developed a new AI-based storytelling platform called Instigate, which takes an Instagram or Snapchat story and adds intelligence and interactivity to create what he calls “beings” – who then can have content-enabled conversations with friends.

Canter, who developed Micromind Director multimedia authoring tools, sees Instigate as an AI authoring environment for a new form of storytelling. AI makes Instigate’s beings more intelligent than the standard-issue bots that perform repetitive pre-defined tasks. 

The Ubiquity of AI and ML

Over time, this new layer of AI/ML capabilities will become standard for every company and every product’s technology stack. It will generate billions of dollars for companies across the global business value chain. We can see how media businesses such as digital video, advertising, marketing and VR/AR are already fundamentally driven by AI and ML capabilities, as seen in these examples:

  • Digital Video: AI optimizes video encoding and delivery. Visual and pattern recognition automates editing and content creation. AI-based fingerprinting protects copyright and aids in licensing and micropayments. AI detects “anomalies” like piracy, violence, adult and fake content. AI will lead to almost real-time video quality assessment, which will lead to shorter timelines for content release. IBM’s Watson AI platform released what it called a cognitive movie trailer for the Fox film, Morgan, and has automated highlight reels for the World Cup and other sports events.
  • VR and AR: These applications depend on AI to create viable experiences, and are closely aligned with visual effects and game design. Cloud providers Google, Amazon and Microsoft, all of whom are committed to AR and VR as an engine of growth, are embedding AI into the platforms that will increasingly power immersive applications and experiences.

In the end, Hollywood is just like any other industry – as investor Ben Evans put it, “eventually, pretty much everything will have ML somewhere inside and no one will care.”


Two women standing face to face and between them is a glass wall.#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

The cognitive trailer for the AI thriller film Morgan was created with the help of IBM's AI platform, Watson.


Nick DeMartino is a Los Angeles-based media and technology consultant. He served as Senior Vice President of the American Film Institute. He has been part of the IDEABOOST team since its launch in 2012, now serving as chair of its Investment Advisory Group.


          Comment on Gene Munster: Apple is in a ‘paradigm shift’ that will make it worth even more than $1 trillion by Rad Wagner      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Responding to Alan Kay's excellent point, why does Apple not make their own servers, to power their own services (and to enable organizations to more easily support macOS and iOS devices)?
          Росстат: накопления россиян превысили 32 триллиона рублей      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Жители России в первом полугодии этого года накопили 1,5 триллиона рублей, что на 150 миллиардов рублей больше, чем годом ранее. В общей сложности сбережения граждан достигли 32,3 триллиона рублей. Об этом свидетельствуют данные Росстата, с которыми ознакомились «Известия» . Отмечается, что при этом постепенно сокращаются сбережения на банковских вкладах и увеличиваются в... Читать далее
          Trillion Dollar Left Wing Companies: Apple et al - The Kings of the Earth Take on God      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
none
          Next for Apple?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Interesting podcast addresses Apple's direction.   Platforms and Ecosystems that support their goals are key.

Crossing $1 Trillion: What’s Next for Apple?  in K@W

Former Apple CEO John Sculley and Erik Gordon from the University of Michigan discuss Apple's $1 trillion market capitalization. 

Consumer electronics giant Apple is finding itself in a whole new race after last Thursday, when its share price rose to $207, making it the first U.S. company to cross $1 trillion in market capitalization.

As Apple and its CEO, Tim Cook, set their sights on the future, experts from Wharton and elsewhere point out that the company does face some challenges: Apple’s smartphone sales have slowed (although margins have gone up); it has no big-bang product around the corner, notably in augmented reality or artificial intelligence (AI); its R&D investments are lagging; and its next big leap may take place under a different CEO.

Meanwhile, other tech giants such as Amazon, Google’s parent Alphabet and Microsoft are close runners-up in the trillion-dollar race, heralding a new era of large, cash-rich companies. Platforms and ecosystems are critical to success in the next round, and some predict that Amazon looks poised to become the first $2 trillion company, especially with its ability to seemingly enter any industry it chooses to.  .... " 


          Comment on Why I defected to APC – Akpabio by nomanisGod      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
you're talking bullshit, Akpabio is a murderer, a traitor, a snitch, a blood sucker, a coward and an animal in human skin, extremely corrupt. ask him who kill maddam Udo Nnwa, ask him who killed Ukpana from Abak, ask him who adopt rtd General Akpan. my friend just pray for good governance and stop defending politicians like Akpabio he is corruption personified. Akwa Ibom state is made up of 31 local government and Akpabio in his 8yrs of governance only work in 3 local government without building one single company that can create Job for Akwa ibomite. upon the huge allocation of over 7 trillion he got at that time.
          Brain Food: Exercise and Gut Bacteria      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Regular exercise is good for a lot of things: strengthening muscles, decreasing body fat, even helping us sleep better. Now, new research shows it’s also good for the trillions of micro-organisms in our intestines, which have a profound effect on other systems in our bodies.
          The EU Spent a Bundle to Unify the Continent. It's Not Working.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
European leaders dedicated nearly one trillion dollars—equivalent to eight times the Marshall Plan—to fixing up impoverished regions. Yet some of the biggest recipients are hotbeds of the very discontent that’s driving the bloc apart.
          The EU Spent a Bundle to Unify the Continent. It's Not Working.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
European leaders dedicated nearly one trillion dollars—equivalent to eight times the Marshall Plan—to fixing up impoverished regions. Yet some of the biggest recipients are hotbeds of the very discontent that’s driving the bloc apart.

          The Global Convenience, Mom and Pop Stores Market Was Valued at $4 Trillion in 2017 According To TBRC’s Latest Report      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(EMAILWIRE.COM, August 09, 2018 ) Convenience, mom and pop stores are small, independent, usually family-owned, controlled, and operated businesses that have a minimum amount of employees, have only a small amount of business volume, and are typically not franchised. Order the report at: ...
          The Global Investigation And Security Services Market Was Valued At $1 Trillion In 2017 According To TBRC’s Latest Report      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(EMAILWIRE.COM, August 09, 2018 ) Investigation and security services industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing investigation and detective services. Order the report at https://www.thebusinessresearchcompany.com/report/investigation-and-security-services-global-market-report-2018 The...
          The Relational Model for the Busy Developer      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Data is here to stay and growing at an unprecedented rate. Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created. By 2025, it’s estimated that the world’s output of data will increase by 163 zettabytes per year (one zettabyte equals one trillion gigabytes). That is a ton of data. Developers depend on data and use […]

The post The Relational Model for the Busy Developer appeared first on Simple Programmer.


          Kyrgyzstan’s north-south road to corruption      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

A new investigation reveals another side of Chinese infrastructure projects in Central Asia: elite corruption.

Construction of a tunnel on the alternative route North-South. Source: Gov.kgOn 26 June 2018, the Fergana website published my investigation unveiling corruption schemes behind Kyrgyzstan’s biggest infrastructure project, an alternative 433km road linking the capital Bishkek in the North with the country’s main city in the South, Osh. The project has been funded with a 850 million USD loan from the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China under the One Belt One Road Initiative, with the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) as the main implementing partner.

According to the documents published on Fergana, former Minister of Transport and Communications Kalykbek Sultanov and the current Minister Zhamshitbek Kalilov – the latter allegedly one of former Prime Minister Sapar Isakov’s protégés – were responsible for the project. The documents indicate these officials colluded with the contractor CRBC to embezzle funds from the Chinese government’s infrastructure investments. Price tags were inflated by several orders of magnitude, from paying 1.1 USD per kilogramme of cement (cost on the local market: 0.07 USD) to paying 2,000 USD per month to provide office space to an engineer on the construction site.

In an interview with Azattyk, the Kyrgyz branch of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, member of parliament and leader of the opposition Ata Meken party Almambet Shykmamatov stated that, given past cases of corruption in infrastructure projects, he does not believe “in the fairytale that not a cent was stolen” from the road construction contracts. In the same interview, officials from the Ministry of Transport and Communications threatened to press charges against me for the Fergana investigation.

Under former President Almazbek Atambayev’s six-year tenure, overpricing project costs appears to have been a widely implemented practice. Apart from road works, the same allegedly happened during the modernisation of the Bishkek Heat and Power Plant (HPP), which was also financed with a 386 million USD loan from China’s Exim Bank. As Fergana.ru reports, the Kyrgyz authorities and Chinese contractor TBEA (which was recommended by official Beijing for the modernisation work) signed accounting papers for $600 pliers, $14,000 video cameras and $1,500 fire extinguishers. A parliamentary committee concluded that approximately 100 million USD was embezzled in the operation. As a result, former Prime Ministers Jantoro Satybalidiev and Sapar Isakov have been arrested on corruption charges along with a number of other officials.

The BRI as China’s financial diplomacy

These projects have all been implemented through the One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR), also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Chinese government’s paramount development strategy for connectivity and cooperation in Eurasia. The closure of the US military base at Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airport in summer 2014, through which most of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to Afghanistan passed, as well as the drawdown of USAID and other western donor activities in the country, has left a void which the Chinese government has been quick to fill with their own brand of public diplomacy, especially in the form of infrastructure development projects.

In Central Asia, the BRI was launched during Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital, and Southeast Asia in September and October 2013. Here, Xi Jinping proposed his vision of jointly building a “One Belt” land route through Eurasia and a 21st-Century maritime “One Road” from the South China Sea to the Mediterranean. The Economist has described the revolutionary potential of the initiative, which is viewed as “a challenge to the United States and its traditional way of thinking about world trade. In that view, there are two main trading blocs, the trans-Atlantic one and the trans-Pacific one, with Europe in the first, Asia in the second and America the focal point of each. Two proposed regional trade deals, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, embody this approach. But OBOR treats Asia and Europe as a single space, and China, not the United States, is its focal point.”

The Advancing the Development of OBOR Leading Group was formed in late 2014, with its leadership lineup revealed on February 1, 2015. This steering committee reports directly to the State Council of the People’s Republic of China and is composed of several political heavyweights, including the Council’s vice-premier Zhang Gaoli, evidence of the importance of the program to the government.

As argued in a June 2018 report funded by the US Department of State in partnership with the Asia Society Policy Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “(t)he effectiveness of China’s public diplomacy efforts ultimately rests on whether Beijing can influence public opinion and the behavior of political elites to the extent that it can secure economic gains, security concessions, and political wins from its counterparts (i.e., achieving a good neighbor dividend).” Moreover, the report continues, “while China’s financial support filled ‘a void left by the West’ …, critics raise the possibility that Beijing’s ready supply of capital may lead its recipients to debt insolvency as they enter into repayment.”

Sri Lanka is a case in point. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa collected Chinese loans worth billions of dollars. As the country cannot repay them, it has been forced to sell the strategic Hambantota Port to a Chinese company for 1.1 billion USD to ease the debt burden. A similar situation can be observed in Uganda, where interest payments on current debt will eat up a staggering 17.5% of domestic revenues in 2018-19. This includes approximately three billion USD in Chinese loans, with 2.3 billion more being currently negotiated. In Central Asia, Tajikistan repaid a debt it had incurred with China for the modernisation of the Dushanbe-2 thermal power plant, the largest in the country, by handing over the Upper Kumarg gold mine to Chinese contractor TBEA, the same company that appears to have been complicit in inflating prices during works at Bishkek Heat and Power Plant.  

Does a good neighbour interfere?

As the Chinese state prepares to pour trillions of USD into infrastructure projects in Asia, Europe and Africa, a policy paper by the Washington-based Center for Global Development warns of the possible insolvency of borrower countries if current lending practices continue. Kyrgyzstan is listed along with seven other countries of “particular concern”. Obviously, the paper argues, the fear is that in the long term “(d)omestic spending on infrastructure and social services may be sacrificed in order to service the debt, with the problem compounded when governments borrow additional funds just to meet debt servicing needs.”

The key difference between Western donors and China is the latter’s principle of non-interference, which stands in stark contrast with the former’s conditionalities such as commitment to democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. For example, commenting on the Bishkek HPP corruption scandal, Chinese Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Xiao Qinghua stated that “TBEA has accomplished its work within the project. And the investigation is an internal affair of Kyrgyzstan, and we do not interfere.”

Clearly, this makes collaborating with China extremely attractive for Kyrgyzstan’s elites, regardless of the knock-on effects of taking on unsustainable amounts of debt. However, as Chinese companies working in Kyrgyzstan are often state-owned or government-linked, for the average Kyrgyz they represent China, risking a backlash for Beijing’s public diplomacy efforts. Moreover, with the Atambayev’s presidency coming under increasing scrutiny, Beijing’s image could also be tarnished by association. In May 2018, parliament member Kanybek Imanaliev, also from the opposition Ata Meken party, called on parliament to investigate former PM Isakov’s collusion in a number of projects financed through Exim Bank, including contacts with CRBC.

Beijing’s adherence to non-interference in cases involving Chinese loans may be interpreted as support for corruption, lack of transparency and, ultimately, high debt servicing and possible state insolvency. It is high time for the Chinese authorities to actively investigate allegations of misuse of loans and to better regulate investments, lest scandals associated with Chinese funds and companies end up neutralising the ultimate objective of China’s public diplomacy.

 

Sideboxes
Rights: 
CC by NC 4.0

          The U.S. Government To Fork Out A Half Trillion To Service Its Debt In 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Reported by SeekingAlpha 10 minutes ago.
          Nearly 70 Percent of Enterprises in India Affected by Industry Disruption, Accenture Disruptability Index Finds      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
New Delhi; Aug. 9, 2018 – A new study from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) reveals that industry disruption is already a reality for most enterprises in India, and US$1.8 trillion of enterprise value is at risk of displacement. However, the study also shows that disruption can be managed and harnessed for the next phase of growth.
          The Global Investigation And Security Services Market Was Valued At $1 Trillion In 2017 According To TBRC’s Latest Report      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(EMAILWIRE.COM, August 09, 2018 ) Investigation and security services industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing investigation and detective services. Order the report at https://www.thebusinessresearchcompany.com/report/investigation-and-security-services-global-market-report-2018 The...
          MA-Sen: Warren (D) Hits Back Against Trump & Mnuchin's Plan To Give More Tax Cuts To The Wealthy      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D. MA) re-election campaign:

104752336-GettyImages-857520050-elizabeth-warren.1910x1000.jpg
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D. MA)
 

This is outrageous.

The billionaires, big banks, and powerful corporations got a $1.5 trillion tax break last year, thanks to the GOP Tax Scam.

Now the Trump administration is planning ANOTHER $100 BILLION tax giveaway – without the approval of Congress – and most of the benefits are going to billionaires and huge corporations.

Add your name if you oppose more tax cuts for the wealthiest of the wealthy. Samuel, it's time to hold the Trump administration accountable.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is planning to slash capital gains taxes – taxes on the profits made from selling assets like stocks or bonds – for some of the wealthiest people on the planet.

That’s pretty rich coming from a guy who personally collected $124 million from investments and stock sales last year.

When the rich and powerful don’t pay their fair share, our government doesn’t have the money to invest in education, infrastructure, or even basic medical research. If Mnuchin and Donald Trump get their way, American workers will suffer while wealthy investors get even richer.

We need to level the playing field – not hand out bigger breaks to the people at the top.

Sign our petition to oppose more tax cuts for the wealthiest of the wealthy.

Thanks for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

Click here to add your name.


          Yes, This is Another Preachy Sermon…      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Remember when you were in Sunday school and the Bible teacher scared you into submission. You dared not talk or move, aghhhh… Most of us tuned out right after the question, “have you thought about your future?” Sure, later in life those of us who listened and those of us who did not, now know the preachy bespectacled authority was not all wrong.  I have to give Republicans credit they have used the vote as a scare tactic to keep their congregation inline, even when the issues are anathema to their own interest.  America’s current state of affairs is a perfect example. Republicans, who control both Houses of Congress are watching a man who has us one ruble away from fascism, destroy America from within, and without a peep.

Despite the obvious threats I was distressed to read a poll a few weeks ago that said only 28% of millennials plan on voting. That statistic is the result of some creative accounting once you examine the numbers.  Twenty-eight percent of 18 to 34-year olds say they will definitely support Trump with many pledging unspecified support to a third party candidate.  Numbers can be manipulated to reach the conclusion you want. Alarmingly only 46 percent, down from 55 percent, are committed to Democrats but that does not consider the overall drop to normal levels in Democratic voters following the enthusiasm of the Obama years. That still leaves a Democratic advantage of 46% to 28% with 26 percent undecided.    

Before you start watching the clock, hoping to get quickly through today’s sermonette, what is important is the  simple fact that voting gives you leverage.  Bump stocks are still legal even after the Las Vegas massacre. Why?  Republican legislators are afraid of losing a voter battle guided by fear of the NRA.  A tax cut that economist say will blow a trillion dollar or more hole in the national deficit passed. Why? Despite being against the interest of Mr. and Mrs. Midwest, Republicans were afraid to defy Trump’s Follie.  Trump has convinced crowds to cheer Vladimir Putin and words like, “ill-advised and ‘not something I would do” is the tepid conservative political response. Why? Trump has so coward Republicans, that war hawks like John Bolton are backing down in fear of his boss’ electorate.

That sort of voting pressure is a good thing when the people’s votes are followed by the demands for a just cause.  Republicans have turned on every one of the righteous credos they have advocated since Saint Ronnie was in office; family values; lower taxes; free trade, truth, justice and the American way, Superman is weeping. Okay Superman breaks the ethereal metaphor, but you did have to look up in the sky.

Anyway, back to the sermon.  I always end my little column with the words “Vote in ’18 for Change.” I know it sounds like the false syrupiness of saccharine but the American people of conscience have to sprinkle some genuine sugar on a quickly souring country. Democrats outnumber Republicans in sheer numbers and the electoral college excuse cannot be used in the Midterms, no more so than in 2010 or 2012. Democrats who sit home and whine about how both sides are the same and the old saw of the lesser of two evils have a tangible example of how wrong they are, in Donald Trump. Sometimes, you just have to admit your mistake, brother Obama said, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Benediction follows the hymn.

Vote in ’18 for change.  


          The U.S. Government To Fork Out A Half Trillion To Service Its Debt In 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
none
          Who gets a new 20% tax break? The Treasury Department speaks, and Trump may save.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

WASHINGTON >> A new 20 percent tax break included in last year’s $1.5 trillion tax overhaul could wind up benefiting President Donald Trump’s real estate empire given how the Treasury Department plans to implement the provision, several tax experts said.


           TOBY SHAPSHAK: Of course it would be Apple       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The iPhone maker has defined this mobile internet age we live in and was always on track to be the first $1 trillion company
          Apple is worth $1 trillion. What does that even mean?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
What does $1 trillion really mean? Put it like this, Apple could buy 1 billion people a $999 iPhone X and still have $1 billion left over.
          Australian inquiry hears top pension fund defend ad spend, NAB apology      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Australia's largest pension fund on Thursday defended using members' money to bankroll a marketing campaign that depicted the country's biggest banks as foxes aiming to take a larger share of the country's A$2.6 trillion savings pool.

          Superannuation funds to feel heat as Royal Commission resumes      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The integrity and performance of Australia's $2.6 trillion superannuation sector will be scrutinised when the financial services Royal Commission resumes this morning.
          Apple market value tops US$1 trillion — but can the boom days last?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Apple has become the first company listed on Wall Street to hit a trillion US dollars in value.
          Focus全球新聞 2018-08-08      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
3, Korean Peninsula denuclearization / Apple a $1 trillion company
          Positive: How India gave us the zero      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The invention of zero was a hugely significant mathematical development, one that is fundamental to calculus, which made physics, engineering, and much of modern technology possible. ... The nation has long had a fascination with sophisticated mathematics. Early Indian mathematicians were obsessed with giant numbers, counting well into the trillions when the Ancient Greeks stopped at about 10,000. They even had different types of infinity.
          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
          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
          Farmer terrorism      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"‘Farmer terrorism’ is the new Jewish settler slogan justifying the destruction of crops".  Palestinians farming on their own traditional lands is now called 'terrorism'.

I don't like Cole - he's an ultra supremacist Jew who somehow manages to get published by 'anti-Semites' - at all, but here he deals with the interesting question - one of the key questions of our time - of why, say, Bill Kristol, doesn't look like Le Merchant:  "Flinging Poo at a Jew" (the epitome of political incorrectness is highlighted in red):
"This Jewish delusion of being among the “99 percent” is what compels Jews in the West to promote suicidal policies. Some of us really believe that once the “white Christian power structure” is toppled, we’ll lead what replaces it. Which is nonsense. In truth, we’ll be the first ones tossed into the sea. Just ask the Jews of France how welcome they feel now that “people of color” own the streets. This is a Jewish community that largely survived the Nazis, but it’s not surviving the immigrant invasion.
Speaking of Nazis, here’s an irony for the ages: It was Hitler who made the Jews white. Prior to the Holocaust, if you said the word “Jew” to a gentile, the first image that might come to mind would probably not have been a wealthy banker or media mogul, but rather a swarthy shtetl-dweller, a peddler, a rag salesman, Yiddle with a fucking fiddle. There’s a reason 1930s audiences loved Geezil from the Popeye cartoons. He was the stereotype.
But then along came Hitler, who damn near wiped out lower-class Eastern European Jewry. By the 1970s, the caricature of the poor “ethnic” Jew made no sense anymore. If you wanted to stereotype a Jew, you made him an upper-class intellectual nebbish with mother issues, not a lice-infested street vendor. But way too many Jews still see ourselves as the dispossessed, and that illusion informs our politics. We don’t want to face the reality that we’re actually the elite now—so we tell ourselves ghost stories about how Trump wants to put us in camps. That way, we can reassure ourselves that “Okay, maybe we’re a little well-off, but the white Christian powers-that-be want us dead, so we better throw in with our comrades-of-color.”
Take a hack like The New York Times Magazine’s Emily Bazelon. She recently attacked her “fellow whites” for their innumerable flaws. And when a few evil right wingers pointed out that she’s Jewish, she doubled down, stating that she “benefits” from her “whiteness” and therefore whites are “stuck” with her. Yet it took me exactly five seconds to Google-search “Bazelon” and “as a Jew” to reveal column after column in which she refers to Judaism as her “identity” and declares herself a “Jewish liberal.” I knew I’d get those results, because I know Bazelon’s type. She’ll identify as white to attack whites, but—like most Jews—she doesn’t want to lose her “special” identity, her “mark of the oppressed.”"
Kristol and his ilk don't look like Le Merchant because his ancestors managed to get out, by stepping on the corpses of people who look like Le Merchant.  It's obvious that the people who died in Europe in the 30s and 40s died because they couldn't escape, but the kicker is that your ability to escape was a question of class (and the Khazars who run American foreign policy are from the class that got out, with the complication that some of the worst neocons obviously have some non-Khazar blood, some have been 'whitened' with the most important of Khazar intellectual/scientific developments, plastic surgery, and some of the worst Zionists like Saban aren't Khazars at all, so it's complex).  You can't get any more politically incorrect than that!  My question:  Why was there an obvious ethnic bifurcation in Eastern European Jewry?  I'm guessing it is the usual problem of racial purity - the elite Jews - think Rothschilds - didn't interbreed with the ethnic Eastern Europeans, thus remaining pure Khazar.  The same ethnic animus now seems to infect 'white' Jewish attitudes towards the ultra orthodox and the settler movement.  These aren't just policy disagreements - the 'white' Jews actually despise the other Jews, with ironic consequences in weakening Zionism.  As with all supremacisms, the weakness is that the supremacists start to divide themselves on the basis of purity to the ethnic ideal, in this case, how 'white' - purebred Khazar - you are.  This is the single most taboo discussion you can have.

"Jeffrey Goldberg Doesn’t Speak for the Jews" (Klion).  No?  Could have fooled me.  To be read right after reading Cole.

Amazingly on point, Khazar supremacist front Human Rights Watch is going to bat for the mass-murdering Khazar Sackler family by claiming that 'pain management' is a 'human right'!!! You can't make this stuff up!  "Battle Over Opioids: Surprising Push-Back, and Not From Dealers" (Wexler).  Note that you have to be 'woke' to see through this story.

"A Four Person NATO-Funded Team Advises Facebook On Flagging "Propaganda"" (Durden).  The Atlantic Council, due to its obvious lack of any semblance of intellectual rigor, even by the standards of stinktanks, seems like a joke, but here is another example that there is good money and some power to be had in parroting the attitudes of the borg, while providing a parody/semblance of intellectual objectivity and expertise (e.g., Bellingcat).

"Is Democratic Senator Mark Warner The Mastermind Behind Weaponizing US Tech Giants?" (Krieger).

Quite a bit of glee over the tenth anniversary of the failed - and, in retrospect, silly - Georgian war on Russia:
  1. "WSJ: "When Russia Invaded Georgia"" (Sailer);
  2. Sailer's account of what actually happened; 
  3. "Marking 10 Years After Georgia Started War with Russia" (Gorka);
  4. "Repost: Saakashvili Wants War? He Will Get It." (Moon); and
  5. tying Saakashvili's appearance in American 'journalism' to the current world of the American borg: "Was the modern concept of ‘fake news’ born in Georgia a decade ago?" (MacDonald).
Saakashvili can still write PR for the Americans, but he is a man without a country, detested everywhere, with comic repercussions.

"Canadian sniper rifles expected to be in the hands of Ukrainian military by fall, MP says" (Pugliese) (every word is funny, but the last sentence is hilarious):
"While foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland has yet to sign off on the export permit for the rifles, Bezan said he anticipates she will do so as she is a strong supporter of Ukraine.
“If everything goes according to plan I would expect Freeland to sign off sometime this month,” he said. “I think the goal is to have (rifles) in their hands by the time of any fall-winter offensive in Donbass.”
Global Affairs Canada official John Babcock would not say whether Canadian taxpayers are financing the sale, and would not provide any other details about the arms deal. “The government has an obligation to protect confidential commercial information,” he stated in an email. “Further details related to export transactions (for example, names of exporting companies, financial values of individual contracts and transactions, and details of the specific technologies being exported) are protected due to the commercially confidential nature of such information.”
In December, the House of Commons defence committee recommended the Canadian government provide lethal weapons to Ukraine provided it demonstrates it is actively working to eliminate corruption at all levels of government."
"NATO fighter jet ‘accidentally’ fires live missile near Russian border":  "The missile fired by the jet should have self-destructed but apparently failed to do so."

"Venezuela’s soft coup advisor confesses where the opposition failed" (Verdad).  Gene Sharp, the NED, CANVAS, Yugoslavia, and Venezuela.  I would read this, and its comments.  See also:  "Venezuela Parliament Strips Immunity from Lawmakers Over Drone Attack" (one of the alleged coup plotters fled to Colombia!).

"Why Saudi Oil Production Suddenly Dropped" (Paraskova).  Possibly an attempt to jerk up oil prices exploiting uncertainties over the Iran sanctions, but tough to do in a world flooded with oil, or possibly a reflection of a fact tied to the failure of the ARAMCO IPO, the fact that Saudi reserves aren't anywhere near what they are claimed to be.

Shocking news!:  "Israel running campaign against Jeremy Corbyn" (Winstanley).  The extremely hands-on involvement of the Israeli government in what are supposed to be local issues was one of the big revelations of the first half of the Al Jazeera report (the second half, of course, on similar skulduggery in the US, has been shoahed as part of a deal to keep Qatar from being invaded!).
          Comment on Democratic socialism: sounds good, but is way too expensive, and not the future of the Democratic party by Nicolaas Stempels      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Didn't the war in Iraq cost trillions? There is also spending trillions on useless pieces of scrap metal such as the F-35. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-f-35-14-trillion-dollar-national-disaster-19985 (It's 15 pages, but highly interesting, and devastating) Indeed, how useful are aircraft carriers in modern warfare? (I don't say they <i>are</i> useless, but maybe their usefulness should be assessed from time to time, are they?).
          Kyrgyzstan’s north-south road to corruption      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

A new investigation reveals another side of Chinese infrastructure projects in Central Asia: elite corruption.

Construction of a tunnel on the alternative route North-South. Source: Gov.kgOn 26 June 2018, the Fergana website published my investigation unveiling corruption schemes behind Kyrgyzstan’s biggest infrastructure project, an alternative 433km road linking the capital Bishkek in the North with the country’s main city in the South, Osh. The project has been funded with a 850 million USD loan from the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China under the One Belt One Road Initiative, with the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) as the main implementing partner.

According to the documents published on Fergana, former Minister of Transport and Communications Kalykbek Sultanov and the current Minister Zhamshitbek Kalilov – the latter allegedly one of former Prime Minister Sapar Isakov’s protégés – were responsible for the project. The documents indicate these officials colluded with the contractor CRBC to embezzle funds from the Chinese government’s infrastructure investments. Price tags were inflated by several orders of magnitude, from paying 1.1 USD per kilogramme of cement (cost on the local market: 0.07 USD) to paying 2,000 USD per month to provide office space to an engineer on the construction site.

In an interview with Azattyk, the Kyrgyz branch of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, member of parliament and leader of the opposition Ata Meken party Almambet Shykmamatov stated that, given past cases of corruption in infrastructure projects, he does not believe “in the fairytale that not a cent was stolen” from the road construction contracts. In the same interview, officials from the Ministry of Transport and Communications threatened to press charges against me for the Fergana investigation.

Under former President Almazbek Atambayev’s six-year tenure, overpricing project costs appears to have been a widely implemented practice. Apart from road works, the same allegedly happened during the modernisation of the Bishkek Heat and Power Plant (HPP), which was also financed with a 386 million USD loan from China’s Exim Bank. As Fergana.ru reports, the Kyrgyz authorities and Chinese contractor TBEA (which was recommended by official Beijing for the modernisation work) signed accounting papers for $600 pliers, $14,000 video cameras and $1,500 fire extinguishers. A parliamentary committee concluded that approximately 100 million USD was embezzled in the operation. As a result, former Prime Ministers Jantoro Satybalidiev and Sapar Isakov have been arrested on corruption charges along with a number of other officials.

The BRI as China’s financial diplomacy

These projects have all been implemented through the One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR), also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Chinese government’s paramount development strategy for connectivity and cooperation in Eurasia. The closure of the US military base at Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airport in summer 2014, through which most of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to Afghanistan passed, as well as the drawdown of USAID and other western donor activities in the country, has left a void which the Chinese government has been quick to fill with their own brand of public diplomacy, especially in the form of infrastructure development projects.

In Central Asia, the BRI was launched during Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital, and Southeast Asia in September and October 2013. Here, Xi Jinping proposed his vision of jointly building a “One Belt” land route through Eurasia and a 21st-Century maritime “One Road” from the South China Sea to the Mediterranean. The Economist has described the revolutionary potential of the initiative, which is viewed as “a challenge to the United States and its traditional way of thinking about world trade. In that view, there are two main trading blocs, the trans-Atlantic one and the trans-Pacific one, with Europe in the first, Asia in the second and America the focal point of each. Two proposed regional trade deals, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, embody this approach. But OBOR treats Asia and Europe as a single space, and China, not the United States, is its focal point.”

The Advancing the Development of OBOR Leading Group was formed in late 2014, with its leadership lineup revealed on February 1, 2015. This steering committee reports directly to the State Council of the People’s Republic of China and is composed of several political heavyweights, including the Council’s vice-premier Zhang Gaoli, evidence of the importance of the program to the government.

As argued in a June 2018 report funded by the US Department of State in partnership with the Asia Society Policy Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “(t)he effectiveness of China’s public diplomacy efforts ultimately rests on whether Beijing can influence public opinion and the behavior of political elites to the extent that it can secure economic gains, security concessions, and political wins from its counterparts (i.e., achieving a good neighbor dividend).” Moreover, the report continues, “while China’s financial support filled ‘a void left by the West’ …, critics raise the possibility that Beijing’s ready supply of capital may lead its recipients to debt insolvency as they enter into repayment.”

Sri Lanka is a case in point. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa collected Chinese loans worth billions of dollars. As the country cannot repay them, it has been forced to sell the strategic Hambantota Port to a Chinese company for 1.1 billion USD to ease the debt burden. A similar situation can be observed in Uganda, where interest payments on current debt will eat up a staggering 17.5% of domestic revenues in 2018-19. This includes approximately three billion USD in Chinese loans, with 2.3 billion more being currently negotiated. In Central Asia, Tajikistan repaid a debt it had incurred with China for the modernisation of the Dushanbe-2 thermal power plant, the largest in the country, by handing over the Upper Kumarg gold mine to Chinese contractor TBEA, the same company that appears to have been complicit in inflating prices during works at Bishkek Heat and Power Plant.  

Does a good neighbour interfere?

As the Chinese state prepares to pour trillions of USD into infrastructure projects in Asia, Europe and Africa, a policy paper by the Washington-based Center for Global Development warns of the possible insolvency of borrower countries if current lending practices continue. Kyrgyzstan is listed along with seven other countries of “particular concern”. Obviously, the paper argues, the fear is that in the long term “(d)omestic spending on infrastructure and social services may be sacrificed in order to service the debt, with the problem compounded when governments borrow additional funds just to meet debt servicing needs.”

The key difference between Western donors and China is the latter’s principle of non-interference, which stands in stark contrast with the former’s conditionalities such as commitment to democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. For example, commenting on the Bishkek HPP corruption scandal, Chinese Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Xiao Qinghua stated that “TBEA has accomplished its work within the project. And the investigation is an internal affair of Kyrgyzstan, and we do not interfere.”

Clearly, this makes collaborating with China extremely attractive for Kyrgyzstan’s elites, regardless of the knock-on effects of taking on unsustainable amounts of debt. However, as Chinese companies working in Kyrgyzstan are often state-owned or government-linked, for the average Kyrgyz they represent China, risking a backlash for Beijing’s public diplomacy efforts. Moreover, with the Atambayev’s presidency coming under increasing scrutiny, Beijing’s image could also be tarnished by association. In May 2018, parliament member Kanybek Imanaliev, also from the opposition Ata Meken party, called on parliament to investigate former PM Isakov’s collusion in a number of projects financed through Exim Bank, including contacts with CRBC.

Beijing’s adherence to non-interference in cases involving Chinese loans may be interpreted as support for corruption, lack of transparency and, ultimately, high debt servicing and possible state insolvency. It is high time for the Chinese authorities to actively investigate allegations of misuse of loans and to better regulate investments, lest scandals associated with Chinese funds and companies end up neutralising the ultimate objective of China’s public diplomacy.

 

Sideboxes
Rights: 
CC by NC 4.0

          Apple’s CEO Tim Cook— Serf Labor, Overpriced iPhones, and Wasted Burning Profits      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The New York Times screamed its Headline— “In 1997, Apple was 90 Days from Going Broke. On Thursday [Aug. 2, 2018], It Became the first publicly traded American company to be valued at…$1,000,000,000,000.” The first trillion dollar company! The boosters and commentators cheered, adding, “How High Could it Go?” In CEO’s Tim Cook’s announcement, we More
          New emerging research suggests Montmorency tart cherries may help enhance gut health      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Montmorency tart cherries may play a role in improving gut health, suggests a first-of-its kind human trial of nine adults combined with a parallel laboratory study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. An international team of scientists found that Montmorency tart cherries helped to positively impact the gut microbiome -- a collection of trillions of bacteria and other microbes that live in the intestinal tract.
          Consumer Debt Hits Record $3.87 Trillion; Could the Debt-Based House of Cards Be Close to Collapse?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Consumer debt hit another record in the first half of 2018, but the rate of borrowing seems to be slowing down. Could this be a sign that the debt-based house of cards economy is close to the point of collapse? Total consumer debt rose by $176 billion in Q2, a 4.8% year-on-year increase. That pushed […]

The post Consumer Debt Hits Record $3.87 Trillion; Could the Debt-Based House of Cards Be Close to Collapse? appeared first on SchiffGold.com.


          Here's How Corporate Interests Control What You Hear — and Work to Undermine Democracy      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
These monopolies are not merely un-American, they're virulently anti-American, suppressing our fundamental values of fairness and opportunity for all.

America's political history has been written in the fierce narrative of war -- not only our country's many military clashes with foreign nations, but also our own unending war for democracy in the U.S.

Generation after generation of moneyed elites have persisted in trying to take wealth and power from the workaday majority and concentrate both of those things in their wealthy hands to establish a de facto American aristocracy. Every time, the people have rebelled in organized mass struggles against the monopolist and financial royalists -- literally battling for a little more economic fairness, social justice, and equal opportunity. And now, the time of rebellion is upon us again, for We the People are suddenly in the grip of a brutish level of monopolistic power.

Corporate concentration of markets, profits, workplace decision-making, political influence and our nation's total wealth is surpassing that of the infamous era of robber barons. Apple, which just became the first U.S. corporation to reach a stock value of a trillion dollars, is now larger than Bank of America, Boeing, Disney, Ford, Volkswagon and 20 other brand-name giants combined. Just five tech superpowers -- Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix -- have raked in half of this year's stock price gains by the 500 top corporations ranked by the S&P index. A recent gold rush of corporate mergers has created mega-firms and shriveled competition in most industries, including airlines, banks, drug companies, food, hospitals, hotels, law firms, media, oil and more.

The results of fewer and bigger corporations is that those few attain overwhelming power over the rest of us. They are able to control workers' pay, crush unions, jack up prices, squeeze our smaller businesses, dominate elections, weaken environmental projections... and become even fewer, bigger and more powerful. Thus, they are waging all-out corporate class war on American people, and on our democratic ideals, and they're winning. 

These monopolies are not merely un-American, they're virulently anti-American, suppressing our fundamental values of fairness and opportunity for all. That's why, throughout our history, the people have instinctively rebelled at the arrogant assertions of monopoly avarice -- the Boston Tea Party, the Populist Movement, the rise of unions, Teddy Roosevelt's trustbusters, the Progressive Party, the muckrakers, the New Deal, Ralph Nader and on and on. Yet, in the stunningly short period of the last couple of decades, corporate political money and the public officials it bought have enshrined monopoly power as a legitimate form of business in our land, aggressively protected from public "meddling" by lawmakers, regulators and judges. For example, after our grassroots economy was crushed in 2007 by the greed of too-big-to-fail Wall Street banksters, officials bailed out the villainous banks at the taxpayer expense and deliberately made them bigger, more powerful and more dangerous than ever. Today, just five banks control nearly half of all financial assets in the U.S.

You'd think such a massive power grab by bank monopolists would produce an equally massive, 24/7 barrage of coverage by the nation's multitude of media outlets, which purport to be our defenders of democracy. And sure, an occasional story pops out here or there about monopoly abuse, but nothing comprehensive and cohesive to rally a public rebellion against what's become the United States of Monopoly Rule.

Why? Look at who owns America's mass media. Three decades ago, 50 large media conglomerates controlled 90 percent of the media. This year, after yet another merger of giants is completed, just 5 mega-media monopolists will control 90 percent of what we see, hear and read. It is not in their interest to inform the public about the threat that monopolies pose to our democracy.

As a paragon of journalistic integrity, A.S. Liebling, warned nearly 40 years ago, "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." 


          Marco Rubio Wall Of Shame      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Marco Rubio along with 50 of his fellow conspirators  are looting the U.S. treasury so that millionaires and corporations can get a tax cut. 
---
 here

          ECB sees intensifying risk from tariffs, protectionism      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Risks to global growth are growing as the risk of protectionism and the threat of higher US tariffs sap confidence, the European Central Bank said in a regular economic bulletin on Thursday. "Downside risks to the global economy have intensified amid actions and threats regarding trade tariff increases by the United States and possible retaliation by the affected countries," the ECB said in an assessment, which is largely consistent with its view in its July 26 policy statement. The ECB added that if all the threatened measures were to be implemented, the average US tariff rate would rise to levels not seen in the last 50 years. At its meeting two weeks ago, the ECB kept policy unchanged, staying on course to end a €2.6 trillion bond purchase scheme by the close of the year and to raise rates for the first time since the eurozone debt crisis in the autumn of 2019. It added that even as external risks are mounting, domestic growth appears to be robust and near-term indicators point to a solid and broad-based expansion.
          The rise of the IoT and artificial intelligence in industry [Q&A]      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
While the consumer IoT has captured the imagination with smart appliances and devices, the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a rapidly growing market. According to Accenture, the IIoT market could add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030. IIoT is also breathing new life into industries that are in great need of digital transformation, such as manufacturing, oil and gas, and more. As a result, artificial intelligence and machine learning are quickly becoming one of the biggest priorities for companies that want to make the most of their operational data to increase outputs using less energy and costs.… [Continue Reading]

          Uncovering The Cyberattacker, Not Just The Cyberattack      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Cybercrime is such a lucrative field that, if it were its own nation, it would have the thirteenth-largest GDP on the planet, according to Bromium researchers. Cybercriminals make an estimated $1.5 trillion every year from cybercrime. Most of that can be traced back to trade on illegal online markets and intellectual property theft. Trading of […]
          Prevent Your Customers from Becoming a Statistic      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

No company wants to be a statistic—especially when that statistic involves cybercrime. Beyond straightforward monetary damages from loss of IP and productivity, there’s the arguably more difficult to recover from reputational scars. Some estimates put the cost of damage from cybercrime in the trillions of dollars. According to this article, cybercrime damages will amount to [...]

Read More...

The post Prevent Your Customers from Becoming a Statistic appeared first on Technology Provider.

[...]

Read More...

The post Prevent Your Customers from Becoming a Statistic appeared first on Blogs@Intel.


          Mobile biometrics to authenticate $2 trillion of sales by 2023      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

A new study from Juniper Research has found that mobile biometrics will authenticate $2 trillion worth of in-store and remote mobile payment transactions annually by 2023. This is 17 times the $124 billion expected in 2018, as initiatives furthering secure remote payment transactions and more open biometric platforms proliferate.

The research forecasts that the fastest growth will come from biometrically-verified remote mCommerce transactions, reaching over 48 billion in volume by 2023. This will be around 57% of all biometric transactions, up from an estimated 28% in 2018.

The new research, Mobile Payment Security: Biometric Authentication & Tokenisation 2018-2023, expects this growth to be driven both by industry standardization initiatives, like Visa’s Secure Remote Commerce, and smartphone vendors introducing different forms of biometric authentication.

Juniper anticipates that over 80% of smartphones will have some form of biometric hardware by 2023, representing just over 5 billion smartphones. This has traditionally meant fingerprint sensors, but facial recognition and iris scanning will become more prominent over the next 5 years, with adoption exceeding 1 billion devices.

Despite this hardware proliferation, Juniper believes the main innovations in mobile biometrics lie with ‘Biometrics-as-a-Service’, software which employs AI to check users’ identities on any platform.

Juniper’s report estimates that nearly 90% of smartphones currently in use can support software-based facial recognition, while 80% are capable of voice-based payments. Juniper believes that these services, as well as tracking user behaviour, will enable secure cloud-based identity checks that are cross-platform and authenticate in the background. The research forecasts over 1.5 billion smartphones to use software-based biometrics by 2023.

“The possibilities for software-based continuous behavioural biometric authentication are huge,” notes research author James Moar. “The flexible programming allows businesses to deploy any level of authentication they require relatively easily, while ensuring that transactions are properly authenticated.”


          Quantity Theory of Money      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Marginal Revolution University Published on 17 Jan 2017 The quantity theory of money is an important tool for thinking about issues in macroeconomics. The equation for the quantity theory of money is: M x V = P x Y What do the variables represent? M is fairly straightforward – it’s the money supply in an […]
          Comment on Democratic socialism: sounds good, but is way too expensive, and not the future of the Democratic party by Bruce Gorton      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The problem with this sort of analysis is that it tends to only look at absolute cost, without looking at benefit. Everybody has jumped on the medicare example so how about that expensive infrastructure bill? <blockquote>New infrastructure (Senate Democrats): $1 trillion over the next decade</blockquote> That is over 10 years right? So %100 billion a year. Traffic congestion costs the US over $300 billion a year. https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/02/traffics-mind-boggling-economic-toll/552488/ And that's just one part of infrastructure spending.
          McQuilling releases 2018 mid-year tanker outlook update      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
McQuilling releases 2018 mid-year tanker outlook update

AUGUST 8, 2018 – McQuilling Services has released its 2018 Mid-Year Tanker Market Outlook Update. McQuilling says that global oil demand is expected to grow 1.5% in 2018 to over 99 million b/d with significant gains projected in the middle-light end of the barrel. The longer-term outlook calls for 1.1% gains per annum through 2022 amid strength in jet fuel, LPG and naphtha.

Relatively flat crude supply growth in 2017 is likely to be followed with 1.2 million b/d of growth this year amid a significant expansion North American output. Come next year, additional crude supply in the Middle East is likely to stem from OPEC producers (ex-Iran), pushing global supply growth to 2.0 million b/d in 2019. Global crude oil supply growth is projected to add over 5.3 million b/d through 2022 with added support observed from Russia and Brazil, while Venezuela will remain pressured.

Global crude pricing benchmarks will face pressure next year with Brent expected to fall from an average US $72/bbl this year to US $70/bbl in 2019. On this basis, McQuilling expects global HSFO pricing to average US $386/mt this year and fall to US $345/mt the following year considering demand side impacts from upcoming global sulfur regulations (testing, inventory builds). Floating storage for fuel oil is likely to rise going forward, while excess Iranian crude will also likely be stored on floating tankers.


Crude and residuals transport demand is expected to total just over 10.8 trillion ton-miles in 2018, the highest recorded ton-mile demand. On average, mileage transited per ton by DPP tankers in 2017 measured 4,608 and thus far in 2018, similar levels (4,601) are being recorded. While mileage remains stable, actual transported volumes is showing a 1.5% rise in 2018 at just below 2.3 billion tons of crude and residual fuel loaded on tankers as crude intake at refineries is projected to reach 82.9 million b/d, up about 1 million b/d year-on-year.

Total VLCC demand in 2017 amounted to about 6.6 trillion ton-miles, up 5.5% from 2016 as the growth of Atlantic Basin exports offset stagnating demand from the Middle East to the Far East. In 2018, McQuilling projects slightly lower growth of 4.6%, following a 2H resurgence of Middle East crude exports amid a shift in the OPEC compliance accord. The U.S. will continue to add ton-mile demand for VLCCs, particularly if logistical infrastructure improves as crude supply rises. McQuilling estimates that U.S. Gulf flows to the Far East will expand by 9.7% per annum through 2022 as the latter's crude deficit expands by 1.8 million b/d over this period, although short-term pressure will likely stem from recent US-China trade disputes.

The future situation is less certain for Iran with the current U.S. administration's decision to re-impose sanctions. During the previous Iranian sanctions period, McQuilling identified OECD Asia and Europe as the likeliest to reduce or eliminate Iranian imports with up to 955,000 b/d at risk. Historical observations of cross-over between Iran and other Middle East producers is well established with Iraq and Saudi Arabia, projected to absorb Iran's lost exports, particularly to Europe. Overall, our analysis of these fundamentals shows a 1.0% increase in the Middle East > Southern Europe Suezmax trade in 2018.

LR2 demand is projected to increase in 2018 by 1.1%, despite a relatively strong 3.1% increase in volumes. The average mileage for LR tankers has been steadily declining as the refinery configuration mismatch with product demand in key regions has been mitigated through expanding capacity in the latter. In 2018, the MR2 sector is expected to rise by 4.1% versus year-ago levels as the growth in U.S. Gulf Coast exports to West Coast South America outpaces the declines observed in flows to East Coast South America, although this is projected to stabilize in 2019.

In 2018 and 2019, McQuilling project sthe DPP fleet to grow as a whole by 2.9% and 2.0% on an average inventory basis, when measured by absolute vessel count. For the VLCC sector, we anticipate average inventory growth to slow to an average of just 1.0% in the 2021/22 timeframe, while for the Suezmax and Aframax segments, an average of under 1.5% is projected from 2019-2022. Overall, CPP net fleet growth is projected to average 0.4% over the next two years and only 1.1% over the full five year projection period, although the5.5% annualized growth in the chemical fleet must be considered.

Newbuilding prices in 2018 are projected to increase 4.8% from 2017 levels, in-line with McQuilling's January projections. Contract values are less sensitive to the prevailing earnings environment despite McQuilling's call for time charter rates to decline in 2018. In 2019,VLCC contract values basis Korea/Japan are projected to average US $90.8 million, while Suezmax orders are forecast to average US $61.3 million. On average, McQuilling projects a 3.4% increase year-on-year in DPP newbuilding values for 2019.

Freight rates for DPP tankers are projected to remain weak through 2019 due to supply side pressures. We forecast TD3C to average WS 47 in 2019 (2018 flat rate basis), before climbing to WS 54 in 2020 and WS 68 in 2022. On a TCE basis, McQuilling's projection of bunker prices shows that TD3C will average US $16,100/day in 2019, falling to US $8,600/day in 2020 on the expectation of higher low sulphur bunker prices.

Freight rates for CPP tankers are projected to improve through 2020, with potentially steep upward support envisioned in 2019 amid a favorable net fleet growth situation. McQuilling projects TC1 and TC5 to average WS 105 and WS 120 in 2019, respectively, with round-trip TCEs coming in at US $12,500/day and US $10,300/day, respectively, while a more favorable scenario is projected using triangulated routes for these tankers, up 28% and 44% for the LR2's and LR1's, respectively. For the MRs, the US Gulf >Caribbean trade is expected to average US $470,000 per voyage next year or US $15,700/day. On the benchmark TC2 voyage, McQuilling's WS rate forecasts shows WS 140 for 2019, peaking at WS 147 in 2020 before trending to WS 146 in the final two years of the forecast.


McQuilling Services 2018 Mid-Year Tanker Market Outlook Update can be purchased online HERE

 


          Greg McBride of Bankrate.com On What Consumers Should Be Doing to Boost Their Bottom Line      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
With growth spiking above four percent for the second quarter, it's hard to argue that the economy is on fire and it's a great time to be looking for a job or starting a new business. But there are dangers even in this upbeat economy. In fact, a recent Federal Reserve report shows consumer debt will hit $4 trillion by the end of the year and that 26 percent of Americans owe more than a quarter of their income to this debt. So, I spoke with Greg McBride, chief financial analyst with ... [visit site to read more]
          Essar signs 15-year gas sale deal with GAIL      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

New Delhi: Ruia brothers-led Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production (EOGEPL) on Thursday announced that it has signed a 15-year Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with state-run gas utility GAIL.

The Essar Group subsidiary said in a statement here that GAIL had won the bid for the contract which will help EOGEPL monetise its entire coal bed methane (CBM) production of 2.3 million standard cubic metres per day (mscmd) from the Raniganj East block.

"The GSPA entails a 15-year gas supply contract whereby the company will be able to monetise its entire coal bed methane (CBM) production of 2.3 mmscmd from the Raniganj East block at a globally competitive price," Essar said.

"GAIL emerged winning bidder by offering to pay gas prices linked to three-month average price of Brent crude. The discovered price will lead to a substantial increase in the Company's (EOGEPL) topline," it added.

Of the 500 wells to be dug at the Raniganj East CBM block, EOGEPL has already completed drilling of 346 CBM wells.

"The Raniganj East block is India's most prolific CBM block that has achieved gas production of more than 1 mscmd, which will be gradually scaled to 2.3 mmscmd," it said.

Commenting on the development, EOGEPL Chief Executive Vikas Tawde said: "On an upside, shale development would benefit greatly due to the synergy with CBM operations, like water requirement, and the gas evacuation and handling facilities.

"Initial estimates indicate that we would need to invest close to Rs 7,000 crore for developing the shale gas potential in the block to recover about 1.6 tcf (trillion cubic feet) from the field."

Further development of CBM in the Damodar Valley Basin of eastern India is imminent with the likes of ONGC, GEECL and Coal India also joining the search for CBM and shale, the statement added.


                Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
African Americans’ Enduring Opposition to Nuclear Weapons
Interview with Vincent Intondi

Professor Vincent Intondi
Vincent Intondi is an associate professor of history and director of the Institute for Race, Justice, and Community Engagement at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Maryland. He is also director of research for American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute in Washington, DC. Intondi’s research focuses on the intersection of race and nuclear weapons. He is the author of the 2015 book African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement (Stanford University Press).

How did you become interested in the civil rights dimension of anti-nuclear activism, and what inspired you to write your book?

Vincent Intondi:  For most of my life as an academic and an activist, my work revolved around civil rights and the black freedom movement. Nuclear weapons weren’t on my radar; they seemed like an abstract issue.

But in 2005, I made my first trip to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I met with atomic bomb survivors. I went to museums and ceremonies. And I was filled with such anger and guilt over what my country had done that when I returned, I realized I needed to find a way to combine these two passions of mine, eliminating racism and eliminating nuclear weapons. I asked my advisor how I could do this, and he suggested trying to answer the question: How did African Americans feel about dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Many colleagues warned me that I wasn’t going to find much of a response because African Americans were—understandably—too busy at the time trying to gain their own freedom and equality. But they were wrong; there was a large response. That’s what led to the book.

What did your research turn up?

Vincent Intondi:  Obviously black communities are not monolithic, so not everyone was thinking the same thing. But what I found is that, in many cases, African Americans were looking at the issue of nuclear weapons differently from most white people, through a lens of race and colonialism. After the bombs were first dropped in August 1945, a majority of the American public rejoiced. A Gallup poll conducted the week after showed that 85 percent of the American public agreed with President Truman’s choice. That wasn’t the case in the black community.

Immediately after the bombing, the first to come out against Truman’s decision were atomic scientists, church leaders—and leaders in the black community. Langston Hughes was one of the first to question President Truman’s racism, and what role it might have played. Paul Robeson was asking questions about where we got the uranium to build these weapons; the answer was Belgian-controlled Congo. Bayard Rustin also made a link to European colonialism in Africa, pointing out that the development of these weapons led to the French wanting to conduct their first nuclear test in the Sahara. They were looking at it in a way that many whites simply weren’t.

I also wanted to know what the rank and file thought, so I went through black newspapers from the era, read letters to the editor, and researched sermons given in black churches. I saw a pattern of African Americans thinking and talking about race as it related to the bomb. The most far-reaching criticism initially came from the black popular front.

What came of that early criticism and condemnation? Did it inform a broader movement during the Cold War?

Vincent Intondi:  Well, in later years, it wasn’t easy to be critical. After the Truman Doctrine in 1947, the worst thing you could be labeled was “Black and Red.” Groups like the NAACP made a calculated decision on this issue to turn right, embrace anti-Communism, and align with Truman, in hopes of gaining civil rights.

However, leaders like W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, and others didn’t see peace as a bargaining chip. They saw the start of the Korean War. They saw an arms race with the Russians. They decided to fight against the potential use of nuclear weapons against another people of color in Korea. They were connecting what was happening in the civil rights movement with other liberation movements around the world.

What do you most want readers to take away from reading African Americans Against the Bomb?

Vincent Intondi:  That racism and nuclear weapons are not separate issues. For so long, we’ve looked at nuclear disarmament as a white middle-class pacifist issue. And while there are many white pacifist middle-class anti-nuclear activists, African Americans were active in the movement, and saw the liberation of nonwhite people around the world as inextricably linked to their own struggle. We hear a lot about intersectionality today, and how movements are connected. My book demonstrates this intersectionality.

How can today’s young activists best connect with these issues?

Vincent Intondi:  I think the best strategy is tying activism about nuclear weapons to other issues. One strategy is to link to the economic conversion argument. For example, how can we talk about broken-down infrastructure in Baltimore and Anacostia, and not talk about how we’re spending a trillion dollars on nuclear weapons? If we can show how that money could be better spent, that can be a key to getting these movements back to where they were in the 1980s. The movement then was relatively inclusive, and one tactic that was effective during that decade was a focus on economics.

It also helps to have a concrete cause, and that cause today could be the United Nations treaty to ban nuclear weapons. A legal framework at the UN to ban nukes in 120 countries is something that people can get behind.

Finally, nuclear activists always ask me what they can do to connect with Black Lives Matter and other civil rights activists. My response to them is, first, just show up for those movements. People will eventually see that you’re there. Don’t go to talk at them but to be an ally. Solidarity will be built and it will be reciprocated.

          America for sale      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Let's review some news from the first half of the week.

Monday: The trial of President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort revealed jaw-dropping crimes, and continues to do so. His key lieutenant in his former lobbying business, Rick Gates, testified that they committed multiple instances of bank and tax fraud together.

Also on Monday, The Associated Press reported that as part of a quasi-genocidal, U.S.-supported war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is providing quiet assistance to al Qaeda, including funding, arming, and straight-up recruiting jihadis into their coalition. What's more, America was in on it: "Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes."

Tuesday: Former business partners of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (who has been overtly profiting from his office) filed suit alleging he stole $123 million from the business he used to run. Later, ProPublica published an astounding report detailing how the Department of Veterans Affairs is being run by a cabal of Mar-a-Lago members, bizarrely including Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, none of whom are public officials of any kind or even veterans.

Wednesday: Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) was arrested by the FBI for insider trading — which was allegedly so blatant reporters overheard him boasting about it in the Capitol itself. Meanwhile it turns out New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is turning his regulatory powers seemingly only on local news outlets that ask him tough questions.

This is modern American politics, folks: rotten to its very marrow. Corruption is eating the United States alive. As the Numidian King Jugurtha supposedly said of the Roman Republic: "Yonder lies a city put up for sale, and its days are numbered if it finds a buyer."

Let's walk through a few of the major sellers.

The foreign policy "Blob"

In Ben Rhodes' famous phrase, the "Blob" refers to the D.C. foreign policy establishment and its mystifying habit of constantly arguing for the use of military force, usually in the Middle East, and often before the charred pile of corpses from their last failed war of aggression have even stopped smoldering.

The Saudi example, which might seem like an outlier on the above list, is actually quite instructive in how money fuels the Blob. As John R. MacArthur wrote back in 2007, America had long tolerated the brutal and repressive Saudi monarchy — and sold it enormous quantities of weapons — in return for its toleration of American military hegemony and, more importantly, its oil sales. Cheap gas was regarded as necessary for the American way of life, and therefore we could look past just about anything.

Yet from about the 1980s onward, the Saudi alliance has made less and less sense. For one, oil-based energy has become a large and increasing liability for any possible conception of the American national interest. Climate change is a clear and present danger to American security — a fact broadly recognized even within the U.S. military. And with the rise of fracking technology starting around 2010, Saudi oil imports have become less and less necessary to maintain current supplies in any case. And now the Saudis are supporting literally al Qaeda. What gives?

The truth is that today, American foreign policy is to a great degree dictated by who can offer the largest bribes.

The Saudis have spent billions of dollars of their vast cash hoard hiring various well-connected lobbying firms with ties to both parties. This effort was dramatically scaled up last year, in concert with the rise of the new Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. He ruthlessly consolidated his power in a sort of thinly-disguised palace coup in late 2017, eliminating most contenders for power while claiming to be simply rooting out corruption (somehow his $500 million personal yacht escaped notice). He then undertook some token liberal reforms, allowing women to drive, opening some movie theaters, and holding a couple of concerts. In the background, of course, violent repression of human rights activists continued or even accelerated.

Then bin Salman went on a grand tour of the United States, trying to sell his liberal reformer shtick.

The awesome rottenness of the American elite was well demonstrated by their response to this transparent fraud. A veritable parade of politicians, bigshot media figures, and various businessmen swallowed bin Salman's story hook, line, and sinker. It wasn't just President Trump and various other Republicans — though the president has been a loyal Saudi stooge ever since they put his face up on a fancy hotel — but also many centrists and liberals. Bin Salman got cordial meetings with Bill and Hillary Clinton, Mike Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and sundry other Big Tech CEOs. David Ignatius in The Washington Post, Thomas Friedman in The New York Times, and Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic all gave him extensive and credulous coverage.

Of course, that is only one of many examples of the Blob's corruption. Qatar, Israel, Morocco, the U.A.E., Kazakhstan, and many other countries have purchased American influence or toleration by spreading money around Washington, D.C. Corrupt Investor-State Dispute Settlement trade deals have led the U.S. to sign away a huge chunk of its economic sovereignty to international corporations. Defense contractors create an enormous bias in favor of imperial aggression overseas, benefiting themselves while costing the nation as a whole trillions in war spending. And so on.

The Republican Party

The Trump administration is so saturated with corruption that it would take several books to describe it all in detail. Aside from Ross, there's Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wildly abusing their powers of office for personal gain, including millions of dollars in government-funded flights. And Trump himself is directly using the presidency to enrich his vast business empire.

Then there is the recent Republican tax bill, which not only stuffed hundreds of billions of dollars directly into the Sarlacc maw of the top 1 percent as a direct payoff for campaign donations, but also personally benefited most members of Congress who voted for it. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) seemingly got a personal kickback in the form of tax benefits for real estate (one of his major assets) for his vote.

But there is also Russiagate, the unfolding drama over the extent of the Trump campaign's admitted collaboration with Russian electoral espionage in 2016 (which is a crime) — and the possibility that Vladimir Putin has compromising information on the president.

Russia is the proximate main actor here. But at bottom, this is a story about American corruption. The Russians learned it's trivially easy to buy or suborn the American political establishment, particularly on the right, and perhaps even turn the vast power of the American state to their own devices. In a democracy, authority should be derived from the consent of the governed, but it turns out the Republican Party — in between purple-faced shrieks about defending the Constitution from liberal tyranny — will absolutely forsake the most elementary American political principles in a heartbeat for partisan advantage.

Russiagate is a story about a criminal-riddled presidential campaign that was positively eager to trade foreign policy favors for hacked oppo research from a foreign power; a story of a political party leadership that laughed over the idea behind closed doors and successfully intimidated the incumbent government from discussing the story fully; and a story of a party electorate that has fed on bilious hatred for liberals and nutball conspiracy theories for so long they have completely lost sight of basic democratic values.

The Democratic Party

Before Democrats get too self-righteous about Trump and his cronies, let's consider the Great Recession and the ensuing weak recovery, which has left the United States something like $3 trillion below the 1945-2007 growth trend (and fueled the rise of right-wing extremism around the globe). As Frank Rich writes, we are still living today with the devastating consequence of this crisis — an economic anchor chain that has inaugurated an age of anxiety, hopelessness, and despair.

Now, Republicans refusing any kind of stimulus or investment package after they took the House in 2010 — indeed, actually demanding economy-crushing austerity — is one major culprit here.

But there were three gigantic and totally avoidable policy disasters committed by Democrats and the Obama administration when they had big congressional majorities in 2009-10, which helped lock in our current economy of weak growth, stagnant wages, and enormous corporate profits. The first was lowballing the Recovery Act stimulus package, and making it about one-third tax cuts in a moronic attempt to get Republican votes. To be fair, that was mainly an error of political judgment.

But the second two disasters were more or less straight-up corruption.

First was failing to use the tremendous leverage granted by the bank bailout to help the American citizenry. Remember, at this time the government owned multiple important financial institutions, like the world's largest insurer AIG. For years, the rest of the financial system was utterly dependent on government assistance (especially a hodgepodge of Federal Reserve programs that jammed trillions in credit into the financial system). But instead of using that leverage to, say, force the largest banks to break themselves up, or accept an aggressive financial reform package (instead of the milquetoast one they actually passed), or some other reform, the Obama administration just sold those companies back into the private market as soon as they possibly could. They didn't even prevent AIG employees from paying themselves outrageous bonuses after their epic management failure required a $184 billion bailout.

The third disaster was even worse: the foreclosure crisis. A big part of the bank bailout granted sweeping powers to help struggling homeowners caught in the financial storm. But the Obama administration used its homeowner assistance program to help the banks even more, by simply slowing the rate of foreclosures — to "foam the runway" for the banks, in then-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's infamous phrase. From 2010-11, it probably enabled foreclosures on net rather than stopping them.

And then, when it came to light that these foreclosures had been conducted mostly with forged papers, and the banks had whole floors of entry-level employees committing document fraud hundreds of times per day, Obama did not seize the opportunity to force them to help homeowners, as suggested by then-FDIC chief Sheila Bair. Instead this administration pushed through a wrist-slap fine whose headline figure was heavily inflated by including mortgage relief that would have been illegal to collect anyway. In the midst of perhaps the worst corporate crime spree in a century, the rate of white-collar prosecutions fell steadily to less than two-thirds of what it had been in the early Bush II years:

(Courtesy Trac Reports)

The foreclosure machine grinds on to this day, forgeries and all.

The banks were restored to health (and enormous profitability), while homeowners were left to drown. The result was that between 2007 and 2016, the average wealth of the bottom 99 percent decreased by $4,500, while the average wealth of the top 1 percent increased by $4.9 million.

This undoubtedly sharply worsened the Democrats' political carnage in the 2010 midterms. So why on Earth did they bend over backward to help the people who had caused the worst economic crisis in 80 years?

By far the most convincing answer can be found in the post-administration careers of key Obama officials. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (a Republican, but reappointed by Obama) is working for a hedge fund. Geithner is working for the absolutely odious private equity firm Warburg Pincus which makes its money by, among other things, tricking poor people into taking hugely high-interest loans.

Former chief of the Department of Justice's Criminal Division Lanny Breuer (who was instrumental in quashing proposed bank prosecutions) is back at law firm Covington & Burling, which specializes in corporate defense. So is former Attorney General Eric Holder (who testified before a congressional committee that banks had become too big to prosecute) — and they even held his office open for him while he was in public service, how nice. Other former Obama staffers are cashing out shilling for defense contractors, Uber, or Amazon. And Obama himself is giving buckraking speeches to financial firms for $400,000 a pop.

Now, Democratic Party corruption is not so blatant or egregious as the Republican variety. It tends to be more about cultural and social capture (and the associated head-spinning doublethink) than it is about sacks of cash being exchanged in a cynical quid pro quo. But at bottom, it is simply impossible to avoid drawing a straight line between Democrats failing to rein in a Black Death-level plague of corporate crime and later falling into the warm and lucrative embrace of that same corporate elite.

One way to summarize the various severe problems afflicting American society is that the government is barely even pretending to function on behalf of the voting public anymore. Part of that is ideological. But another large and growing part is corruption. Today's American elite by and large line their own pockets, or those of their ruling class cohort, instead of attempting to serve virtuously as representatives of the citizenry and the nation. It's an age of moral bankruptcy.

A country simply can't survive this level of corruption forever. The results in terms of citizen welfare speak for themselves. As the Ottoman Empire or Ancien Régime France discovered long ago, a nation which cannot clean up a thoroughly corrupt self-dealing elite will eventually fail. America needs fresh, virtuous leaders, and a great many people need to go to jail.


          Smart Cities Market Size Is Predicted To Attain Around $2.57 Trillion By 2025: Grand View Research, Inc.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
none
          Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Say There's No Difference Between Billions and Trillions? - Snopes.com      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Snopes.com

Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Say There's No Difference Between Billions and Trillions?
Snopes.com
Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the difference between billions and trillions of dollars is negligible because it just involves more zeros. RATING. False. ORIGIN. On 26 June 2018, 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the ...

and more »

          Samsung to invest 160b USD, hire 40,000 for next 3 years      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Samsung to invest 160b USD, hire 40,000 for next 3 years

DF-Xinhua Report

Samsung Group, South Korea's biggest family-controlled conglomerate, said Wednesday that it will invest 180 trillion won (160 billion U.S. dollars) and hire 40,000 more employees for the next three years.

   Samsung made the announcement to help revitalize the South Korean economy and foster new growth engines.

   The government under South Korean President Moon Jae-in placed its top priority on job creation, especially among youths, unveiling supplementary budget to create decent jobs.

   However, it had yet to take effect as the labor market was in the doldrums on soft corporate investment and weak private consumption.

   Samsung expected to create 40,000 new jobs, including generating up to 20,000 additional new jobs on top of the previous hiring plans, over the next three years. It reflected Samsung's commitment to support youth employment, Samsung said in a statement.

   Along with the direct employment of Samsung, its investment in South Korea was forecast to help induce around 700,000 jobs in related industries and businesses, the statement noted.

   Among the total of 180 trillion won (160 billion U.S. dollars) in investment, 130 trillion won (116 billion U.S. dollars) will be spent in South Korea

   Samsung said that it will invest 25 trillion won (22 billion U.S. dollars) in innovative business areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, automotive electronics components and biopharmaceuticals over the next three years.

   Innovations, powered by AI technology, was forecast to drive the industry's transformation. The next-generation 5G telecommunications technology was expected to create opportunities in autonomous driving, the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics, Samsung said.

   Samsung planned to significantly expand its research capability for AI technology, raising the number of advanced AI researchers to 1,000 across its global AI centers. It will also aggressively invest in 5G chipsets and related devices and equipment.

   Samsung aimed to become a leader in electronics components for future cars such as system-on-chips for driverless driving, making use of its leadership in semiconductors, telecommunications and display technologies.

   Separately, Samsung said it will increase support for basic sciences to identify new growth opportunities, widening its program to include areas of future technologies such as AI, 5G, IoT and biopharmaceuticals.

   Additional investment will be made in semiconductors and display panels, Samsung said.

   For semiconductors, Samsung planned to expand investment in its manufacturing factories to maintain technology leadership and meet new demand from applications in AI, 5G, data centers and automotive electronics.

   The spending will include investments in non-memory chips and new advanced manufacturing equipment as well as memory products.

   For display panels, investment will be increased to develop high-value, differentiated products amid stiff competition in the industry.

   In conjunction with the South Korean government, Samsung will set up and operate software education centers to nurture software talent and help create new job opportunities.

   The centers will train 10,000 students and job candidates across the nation, offering employment consulting services for the next five years.

   It will also increase the scale of its so-called "Smart Factory" program, an initiative that provides automation solutions and intelligent upgrades for manufacturing facilities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

© DAILY FINLAND Developed by : orangebd
#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000
          Jacob Rothschild Is Worried: The New World Order is in Danger      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The billionaire (some say he is a trillionaire) has expressed grave concern about the current global economic situation. The trade war between China a...
          Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Say There's No Difference Between Billions and Trillions? - Snopes.com      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Snopes.com

Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Say There's No Difference Between Billions and Trillions?
Snopes.com
Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the difference between billions and trillions of dollars is negligible because it just involves more zeros. RATING. False. ORIGIN. On 26 June 2018, 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the ...

and more »

          Smart Cities Market Size Is Predicted To Attain Around $2.57 Trillion By 2025: Grand View Research, Inc.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
none
          Socialist Ocasio-Cortez: Funeral Expenses Should Be Included in Cost of Current Health Care System      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

According to some estimates, a Medicare-for-all health care system would cost taxpayers $32 trillion over the next decade, so the question repeatedly asked of Democratic-Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is -- how would you pay for it?


Please support CNSNews today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE

          IMF says India's economy is an elephant that's starting to run, flags risks      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
India is on track to hold its position as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies as reforms start to pay off, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The $2.6 trillion economy was described by Ranil Salgado, the IMF’s mission chief for India, as an elephant starting to run, with growth forecast at 7.3 per cent in the fiscal year through March 2019 and 7.5 per cent in the year after that. The nation accounts for about 15 per cent of global growth, according to the Washington-based fund.

Read more at https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/imf-says-india-s-economy-is-an-elephant-that-s-starting-to-run-flags-risks-118080800342_1.html

          Bankrupt America: Bankruptcy Soars As The Country Grapples With An Unprecedented Debt Problem      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Consumer bankruptcies are surging, corporate debt has doubled since the last financial crisis, state and local government debt loads have never been higher, and the federal government has been adding more than a trillion dollars a year to the federal debt ever since Barack Obama entered the White House. 
          The State of the American Debt Slaves, Q2 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street: Let the good times roll. Total consumer credit – or less soothingly, consumer debt – rose 4.8% in the second quarter from a year earlier, or by $176 billion, to $3.87 trillion (not seasonally adjusted), the highest ever, according to the Federal Reserve. This includes credit-card debt, auto loans, and student […]

The post The State of the American Debt Slaves, Q2 2018 appeared first on SGT Report.


          The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Model Loses in the Midwest      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

"Abdul El-Sayed’s Campaign Is a Test for Leftism in the Midwest," New York Magazine declared.

That was on Sunday. 

On Monday, ThinkProgress called El-Sayed’s campaign one to prove “Democratic socialism can win in the Midwest.”

On Tuesday, socialism and leftism failed the Midwest test.

Bernie Sanders, socialism’s confused grandpa, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, socialism’s new model, had flown out to campaign for El-Sayed’s gubernatorial campaign in Michigan. A Guardian article sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation had dubbed the Muslim socialist candidate, “The New Obama”.  

El-Sayed had run on socialized medicine under its current misleading brand of “Medicare for All.” It had proven financially unviable everywhere from Vermont to California. And Michigan’s finances make it an especially terrible candidate for socialized medicine. But socialism is having a moment. Or is it?

Bernie Sanders, Linda Sarsour and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the entire left, couldn’t manage to drag El-Sayed over the finish line in a state with a large Muslim population. And El-Sayed didn’t just lose.

He lost badly.

The media had been trying to build up El-Sayed as another Ocasio-Cortez while repeatedly claiming that there was a tight race. The election showed that there had never actually been much of a competition.

El-Sayed isn’t socialism’s only Midwestern misfire.  A few days ago, the New York Times was touting Cori Bush as the woman to pull off Ocasio-Cortez’s playbook in the “heartland”. Like El-Sayed, Cori Bush was running on a $15 minimum wage, “Medicare for All” and free college. 

Bush was a Black Lives Matter organizer. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came to campaign for her. Like Cortez, Bush was supposed to beat Rep. Lacy Clay, a CBC hack welded to his seat by identity politics, by applying the same insurgent tactics that had allowed Cortez to beat Rep. Joe Crowley in New York.

There was just one huge problem. Cortez had beaten a white guy who lived in Virginia in a Latino district. Clay is black. And so Cortez’s playbook of running against a white guy proved utterly useless.

Cori Bush lost by nearly as high a percentage as Abdul El-Sayed.

Bernie’s people supported Bush. And she had the endorsement of Democracy for America. The left had tried to turn El-Sayed and Bush into the poster candidates for socialism. Despite socialism’s supposed moment, its candidates have been consistent losers outside of a few super-lefty enclaves. That was why the media had built a cult of personality around Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Had El-Sayed or Bush won, there would have been three examples, two in the heartland, instead of only one New York fluke.

Mainstream Democrats had argued that socialism wouldn’t appeal to the average American.

The Midwest had become the left’s obsession. If the socialists were ever going to be taken seriously, they had to win outside leftist bicoastal bubbles. El-Sayed and Bush tried to replicate Cortez’s campaign of cloaking socialism in identity politics and then claiming their win as a victory for socialism. The plan was to expand on Cortez’s victory among Latino voters with Muslim and African-American voters.

Once again the media had created a false narrative, inflated the chances of marginal candidates with no real support outside radical circles, acted as if they were likely to win, and then forgot about them just as quickly. The same media narrative which rewrote Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory as inevitable will just as quickly erase Abdul El-Sayed, the new Obama, and Cori Bush, the new Cortez, from history.

In a few days, El-Sayed went from socialism’s litmus test to a forgotten failure. But that’s always been true of socialism which has spent over a century burying one failure after another. Compared to the Soviet Union, Cambodia and Venezuela, one failed gubernatorial candidate is a small thing indeed.

And, unlike the last three examples, El-Sayed hadn’t even managed to starve thousands or millions of people to death, shoot them in the streets or torture them to death in secret prisons.

Socialism’s success is inevitable. Its defeats are always inconceivable. And so they never happened.

El-Sayed and Bush’s defeats mark the end of the Cortez strategy. The left did better with Brent Welder and James Thompson, both white, in Kansas. And despite Cortez’s showboating, their respective performance can’t be credited to her. The left has gone to the Midwest to show that it had broad appeal, it had put forward identity politics candidates, but it actually does best with white voters.

Just not very many of those white voters.

Bernie Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton because black women voted against him. Elizabeth Warren’s deepest appeal is to wealthy white voters. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was so appealing, not just because she was a millennial, but because the socialists had finally cracked the Democrat minority bloc wall. 

The new narrative about socialism in the Midwest will have to toss aside the rebranding. 

Socialism remains the hobbyhorse of a limited number of white leftists. They have the money and the activists to occasionally win races, usually when their opponents are badly hobbled. It’s not because their ideas are unpopular. Free stuff at taxpayer expense has always been a winning Dem message.

It’s the messengers.

As Bernie Sanders awkwardly limps around the country with Ocasio-Cortez, the oldest and youngest socialists, they will face difficult questions about where the trillions of dollars to pay for their plans will come from and even more difficult questions about why if socialism is so popular, the socialists aren’t winning.

And the answer has to do with their own incompetence.

Both Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had become notorious for their gaffes, their inability to explain what anything would cost, and how they plan to keep their promises. Abdul El-Sayed and Cori Bush were no better on the campaign trail. The flagbearers of a new populist socialism tripped over their own clueless rhetoric and landed face down in the mud. Their failure was indeed a litmus test.

Socialists have always been the worst messengers of socialism. Socialism’s best messengers weren’t socialists, but their Democrat opponents. That’s what Barack Obama understood and Bernie Sanders didn’t. It’s why he endorsed Hillary Clinton, not her even more inept and fumbling opponent. 

Americans can be tricked into accepting socialism when it isn’t being pitched by socialists.


          Samsung steps up investment in AI, 5G and automotive sectors      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Samsung has announced plans to invest KRW25 trillion (US$22.38 billion) over the next three years in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, automotive electronics components and biopharmaceuticals.
          Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Why Do We 'Write Blank Checks for War' But 'Our Pockets Are Empty' When It Comes to Medicare for All?       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Jessica Corbett, staff writer
New York congressional candidate and democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questions how Congress can "write unlimited blank checks for war" and pass the GOP's $2 trillion tax cut for the wealthy, but  when it comes to proposals such as Medicare for All, "our pockets are empty."
cuomo, ocasio-cortez

          Actually Yes, the Left Can Defeat The United States Militarily      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Dr. Bones, via Gods and Radicals

“That cult would never die till the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take great Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom. Meanwhile the cult, by appropriate rites, must keep alive the memory of those ancient ways and shadow forth the prophecy of their return.”

– H.P. Lovecrat, Call of Cthuhlu

“A swamp suggests mysterious and uncanny places, half lights, and weird creatures in noiseless activities, bent upon the fulfillment of their varied destinies. Here indeed is life in its fullest intensity, without the disturbing human element.”

– J. C. Bradley, Cornell University entomologist

IMG_20180803_182537

Now this is living.

I am far outside of town, hidden somewhere along the Florida trail and dangling gleefully above freshly flooded soil. The rain here is warm, and what once was a forest now returns to swampland. Deer are not far away, and by dusk the air will be so thick with mosquitos they can drain your eyes of jelly. That’s not even mentioning the wild hogs, the two-headed birds, or even the strange lights that float across unsolid ground. Hairy, dangerous turf. But I’ve got plenty of spray, a damn fine tarp, bugnet, and an eighteen case worth of utility beer ready to be drunk. Drank. I’ll be drunk.

Swamplands always touch me in a certain way. They are not built for humans. Much like the high desert they are dangerous, uncharted, openly hostile to all manner of control. You do not walk into a marsh spanning miles and miles and expect it to do what you want.

Mosquitos for instance. They never go away. Where I’m from the first settlers had to wear full body gowns just to keep them at bay, smoke pots in front of every house to ward the beasts off. Cows actually used to choke on the clouds and die.

Swat all you want, kill one hundred. They couldn’t be intimidated.

Floridians learned to adapt, live on the terms of the mosquito. Most transplants and newcomers to the state refuse to do that. Instead they pretend these wild, untamed places no longer exist, remaining locked inside the world of Mickey Mouse and bumper-to-bumper traffic.

The American media is having a similar issue, trying to ignore the fact that the United States has entered ceasefire discussions with the Taliban.

“A meeting between a senior U.S. diplomat and Taliban representatives in Doha last week to discuss a possible ceasefire ended with ‘very positive signals’ and a decision to hold more meetings, people with knowledge of the talks said on Sunday.

The meeting between a delegation led by Alice Wells, deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and Taliban representatives…

The move comes as the Afghan government and the United States have stepped up efforts to end the 17 year-war in Afghanistan following the unprecedented three-day truce during last month’s Eid al-Fitr holiday.”

Remember how Americans used to joke about their one-time-best-buds? Ignorant savages out in tents, no match for the supreme power of the greatest military on Earth? AK’s against drones, satellites against caves. It was the cultural trope the United States has built so many genocidal campaigns on: the idea that we, the smart and technically savvy, could easily wipe out the primitive forces unyielding to our might.

Remember just one month ago? How wrapped up this whole thing looked?

“As part of an announcement on a new South Asia Strategy last August, Trump said the U.S. would focus on a conditions-based approach rather than timeline-based. Pompeo said Monday that the U.S. had begun to see signs of success, touting results on the battlefield where the Taliban’s momentum was slowing and pointing to the progress of Afghan-led elections this fall.”

Odd thing to negotiate now with a plan that supposedly works. But we can tell that’s bullshit. In that same article last month it was noted that:

“Pompeo declined to characterize in what way the U.S. was already engaged with the Taliban but the administration has said in the past the U.S. will not have direct talks despite the Taliban’s request.

And yet this month?

“The meeting in Doha, where the Taliban maintains a political office, followed two earlier meetings between U.S. officials and Taliban representatives in recent months, the sources said.

…The talks had been held without the presence of Afghan government officials at the insistence of the Taliban.”

When you lie that blatantly, when a gonzo reporter currently eyeballing what appears to be some kind of prehistoric bird from a camping hammock in the middle of absolutely nowhere can catch this shit, you have to wonder just how bad are things really are.

The war is far from unsettled. Even the most unhinged, flag-waving, slack-jawed optimist admits the Taliban controls or contests 45 percent of Afghanistan’s districts and has successfully maintained free movement across the entire fucking country. At a cost of over $1 trillion the Taliban “now controls . . . more territory than at any point since the U.S.-led invasion.” It is in no danger of being defeated, none whatsoever, and the sheer fact the most expensive technological playthings can’t stop them should give would-be revolutionaries pause.

They have done the unthinkable. They have become the mosquito.

What’s the secret? How has the Taliban survived three armies, airstrikes, special forces teams, invasions, drone bombings, and heat-seeking missiles? How could people with not many more supplies than I currently have in this marsh have brought the United-fucking-States to the goddamn bargaining table? How have they done what every boot-worshipping liberal, every piss-stained pacifist, every party-worshipping dolt dead set on unions and dead organizing….how could they have achieved the military victory everybody said was impossible?

It can’t be their loathsome ideology. There’s tactics here, physical maneuvers. Something beyond ideology we should pay attention to.

So what is it?

Look Ma! Actual Military Tactics Instead of Religious Fantasies!

Seminole-Indian-War_11-24-15

(Seminole Warriors Ambushing Americans. Source)

Your average right-leaning whacko will assure you the Taliban is winning because we weren’t mean enough, that somehow if we just killed or mutilated enough corpses victory would be ours.

That kind of thinking failed us in Vietnam, and even failed the US as far back as the Seminole Wars.

Others attribute it simply to the terrain, as if the people living there had nothing to do with it. It also conveniently makes it appear the United States hasn’t so much been DEFEATED as simply been unable to unleash its full potential. If that sounds like an opinion slowly poured out of the halls of power into the mouthes of ignorant parrots, that’s because it is.

The Taliban victory is much deeper than any mere “advantage,” and it is THAT fact the United States does not want being widely known.

Afghanistan is a classic case of asymmetric warfare.

The key to success in Afghanistan involves insurgents hiding among the population and launching attacks on soft targets (Afghan state institutions; international NGOs) as well as hard targets (less frequently) such as US/NATO militaries. When the US/NATO seek to retaliate, they find themselves handicapped because it is hard for them to identify and separate the insurgents from the population where they find support and shelter. Combat is almost secondary to the insurgent. The goal is to draw the government forces into an over-reaction to “activate” latent insurgents:

“Ordinary civilians may turn into insurgents under the right circumstances. The transition decision rule for the civilian agents is that if a civilian is more angry than afraid, and if the civilian’s anger passes a threshold propensity to use violence, then this civilian becomes a latent insurgent. This is a civilian who is angry enough, and is not so afraid of the government, that they will attack a government target (a soldier) if given the opportunity.”

When the US military fights back and creates civilian casualties, or even simply puts the civilian population under more domination in the name of tighter security, the population is pushed to increase its support for the insurgents.

“The circumstance of low effectiveness and low accuracy might be seen as the nightmare scenario for most governments. In this case, soldiers are not effective at capturing insurgents, and they also cause widespread injury when they counterattack.”

This incredible feedback loop is damn near impossible to stop once it starts. “Even under best case assumptions,” writes The Department of Operations Research at the Naval Postgraduate School we show that the government cannot totally eradicate the insurgency by force. The best it can do is contain it at a certain fixed level.”

It’s easy to see why:

“One of the greatest small unit commanders and unconventional warfare experts in modern times, Richard Marcinko, described three things needed to win in combat: speed, surprise, and violence of action. When transferred to the strategic and operational levels, the insurgency possesses these attributes. The greatest advantages of the insurgency are:

Mobility: The refusal to stay in a static location negates technologically advanced weapons systems.

Initiative: The insurgency is able to choose the time and place of most of the battles they fight.

Surprise: Because the insurgents have the ability to choose the time and place of the fight, they can select moments when the opposition is weakest.

Camouflage: The insurgent does not wear a uniform. As the father of modern insurgency, Michael Collins, said: ‘Our uniform will be that of the man on the street and the peasant in the field.’ This makes distinguishing between friend and foe difficult for the opposition.

Unpredictability: A force that is unpredictable on a battlefield is dangerous. Field commanders train to fight conventional wars, in which both sides attempt to take and hold territory, the insurgent seeks destabilization of the opposition’s government, not land. Tactics designed to defeat a conventional army are useless against an enemy that doesn’t seek to hold territory.

Factional divides: In a conventional military setting, a force should function like a well-oiled machine and have clear command and control. Insurgencies typically operate with loose alliances between factions who follow a particular commander. Sometimes they work together, sometimes they don’t. Just when the opposition gains a feel for the tactics and strategy of an insurgent commander, a new one arises. This leads to unpredictable actions being taken by the various factions, which increases their overall effectiveness.”

This is wild shit, something everyone from Egoists to Maoists should be discussing in earnest. That last one is particularly intriguing: just imagine the idea that the bitter infighting on the Left could somehow be a tactical advantage. It’s almost too good to pass up.

But before we get out into the possibilities we should return to the Terror of the Gods.

You’re Goddamn Right This Shit Will Kill You

kidnapped

(Federal agents captured by Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
It uh…it did not go well for them)

Out here there are no hospitals. There can often be spotty cellular reception. If I get bit by one of the many venomous snakes in the area I am truly fucked. I will not make it back out to the car.

Death waits behind every corner.

Driving between Walmarts we’ve forgotten the Terror of the Gods, the idea that there are forces or things lurking out there in the murky water that can easily drag us down to drown.

That’s after, of course, they tear our arms off.

The victory of the Taliban is somewhat of a double-edged sword. Let’s look at the negative implications, the swamp lizard’s lurking in the shadows.

For one, I think we can use the success of the Taliban as a gigantic warning sign for any lefty dreams of some grand Red Republic. As I’ve covered elsewhere the United States is home to a large section of the population that has absolutely zero interest in living under whatever flavor of the week feels its closest to revolution.

So let’s say the DSA somehow manages to win all three branches of government. Hell, I’ll take it a step further: let’s say, by some cosmic miracle directly ordained by a strange and unknowable god, some Leninist revolt captures State power. Let’s say they even get a nice little New Red Army.

A few hours from where I am now, out on the St. John’s, wild folks with yellow eyes live in absolute defiance of the law. They are well armed, they live off the land, they are extremely violent, and will not hesitate to kill at the slightest drop of a hat. Fish and Wildlife officers give them a wide berth.

The United States has given up on them. They have already won their war. Those people are not going to come out of the woods and, let me assure you, they already hate most of you reading these words.

The resulting violence kicked off by them, or any of the fascist militias slowly capturing territory, is never going to end. It can be contained, but the newly minted Soviet of whatever is going to be bled dry by bombings, IED’s, snipers, intense urban combat. This is not WW2. These people will be motivated by blind hatred and ideology. There will be no grand fascist council to issue a stand down order or to negotiate with.

Any national army will find itself unable to compete against this kind of warfare. What’s the DSA going to do? The Leninists? Call Russia in to help you put down the rebellion, like in Syria? Maybe call China?

Sweet JESUS! Can you imagine how THAT would whip people up? Foreign troops rounding up citizens, performing house inspections? Shooting at them? Every prepper from the Atlantic to the Pacific would hole up and start killing anything that looked vaguely unfamiliar. The great American fantasy of repelling some “foreign” invader would be fulfilled, and the insurgents would line up to die en masse for near-orgasmic gratification.

Some areas might never come under control, effectively reducing the United States into a nuclear-armed Somalia. Or Ukraine. Or Venezuela. Once this shit pops off it does not stop and life is irrevocably altered.

Which is why perhaps we should step ahead of the curve.

Entropy is Your Friend! Surf the Tides of Instability!

Midday. Intense heat, though under the tarp I’m nice and cool. I feel like lying out in the sun with my mouth open, hoping a bird might come by and pick my teeth.

Things are different out here, much more alive. Invisible powers all the more clear. You can walk in certain places and feel your hair stand on end, natural vortexes and portals picked up by your skin. Shadows move that aren’t there. Spirits are as common, as tangible, as the mosquito hordes you’ll be running from. You learn much more is possible than might appear back in town.

The hint of death rises in the air. True. But there’s also this feeling…this sense that you stand just as much a chance of killing something as it might you. Cottonmouth’s at your feet can be obliterated with a shotgun, you wind up dreaming about cutting alligator throats and drinking the blood. Florida bestows her blessings on the most persistent and clever predators, and given the proper tools even we can find a home in her most inhospitable regions.

It’s about sheer, unfaltering zeal. The atavistic desire to be alive and remaining moving at all costs. Here, in the marshes, there is no creature immune to this. Even the most iconic.

Back in town with the traffic laws, and the strict lines between drinking and driving, authority and power seems…inescapable. Undefeatable. We look at the Golden Corral’s, the time clocks, the legions of tanks and drones and satellites and think that somehow we’ve come to a dead-end. That rebellion, armed and violent and In The Way of the Old Ones, is a long gone ancient cult.

That not dead which can eternal lie. We forget we too can become the vessel for the Terror of the Gods.

The times we live in our ruled by entropy. Everything is falling apart. Mars and Saturn rule the day and structures wash away. Humid air rots wood and if my skull falls in this mud it will be reduced to nothing.

This is not the time of national armies. Describing a “nightmare” for any government on planet Earth the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation doesn’t describe some vanguard or organized army but “fighting an urban counterinsurgency campaign, where insurgents have many places to hide, and where non-insurgent civilians are densely packed.”

We live in an era where the governments of the world are practically pissing themselves at the idea of an elemental chaos armed with guns roaming the streets; we could become that chaos. Many people have. Once a force seeks to dissolve, to discredit, to simply destroy the host organism and feed on the rotting corpse…there’s no stopping it. We can actually win a military conflict, provided we’re dedicated and smart enough. Our differing groups and sects can unite without ever having met. That tactic is working right now in Europe and South America as I write these words.

This new world might mean the death of the “revolution” as envisioned by Maoists, Leninists, and other card-carrying party members. This is not 1917. Nations are an old idea that is quickly becoming outdated. Fight against chaos and you’ll be torn to pieces like a cheap-ass trailer in Ft. Pierce during a category 5 hurricane.

But in an Egoist sense, a claimed zone of territory made lawless and effectively ungovernable, too chaotic for any one force to hold the upper hand…much promise in that. Disrupt. Discredit. Militias and communes defining themselves town by town, street by street, aligning and breaking apart as they see fit. No one person to corrupt, arrest, or even kill. Put that on a generational track. Such zones could become infection points, cancerous bulbs on the body politic spreading “no-go” zones and destabilization. Bring Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya home. Read shit like this and start putting it to use where you live. Carve out new lives, new dreams, from the rotting carcass of a continent-spanning “society” and never look back. As long as insurrectionists remain popular and willing to continue the fight until the last breath(as the Seminoles did) they’re guaranteed a chunk of territory.

But are we prepared for that?

Is the Left willing to sacrifice the United States for a free but chaotic territory across a few states? Could we study sniper tactics, small arms maintenance, and urban/rural survivalism right alongside economic and gender theory? Are we willing to selfishly demand our right to live as we see fit? Are we willing to struggle, fight, and even commit violence…for a decade? Two? How bad do we really want this?

Do we really, really want to win…and are we prepared to pivot towards what that might mean?

Difficult questions, ones I don’t have the answer for. We have nowhere near the training, or the infrastructure, or even the popular support we’d need anyway.

But we could. And that’s why we need to start thinking about it.

Because if we don’t someone else will. We have to come to terms with what combat, what military strategy really is in this day and age. Even if you refuse…you best be prepared. If the Taliban is any indication, your brand new Red Army is going to come home needing a lot of prosthetics and alot of therapy.

And they might never win.

All I know is, out here among the sawgrass, life is chaotic, beautiful, and supremely deadly. The civilized world with its rules, employers, prisons, and slums can’t penetrate the multi-pronged resistance of the bogs, swamps, and marshes.

Yes. The mosquito swarm. A million bites from a million different mouths, a cloud you can never fully remove from the land underneath them.

Much wisdom in that.


DR. BONES

20171014_152252Dr. Bones is a Hoodoo-slingin’ Florida native and Egoist-Communist spitting pure vitriol and sorcerous wisdom at a world gone mad. He lives with his loving wife, a herd of cats, and a house full of spirits.

His poltergasmic politics and gonzo journalism can be found at Gods & Radicals and The Conjure House. He can be reached by email, twitter, or facebook. Want to do him a favor? Help keep him alive for as little as $4.99 a month.


category: 

          China’s Aggressive Surveillance Technology Will Spread Beyond Its Borders      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Chinese government has wholeheartedly embraced surveillance technology to exercise control over its citizenry in ways both big and small. It’s facial-scanning passers-by to arrest criminals at train stations, gas pumps, and sports stadiums and broadcasting the names of individual jaywalkers. Government-maintained social credit scores affect Chinese citizens’ rights and privileges if they associate with dissidents. In Tibet and Xinjiang, the government is using facial recognition and big data to surveil the physical movements of ethnic minorities, individually and collectively, to predict and police demonstrations before they even start. China is even using facial recognition to prevent the overuse of toilet paper in some public bathrooms.

We may soon see dictators in other countries use these sorts of tools, too. If American cities and states are laboratories of democracy, China’s remote provinces have become laboratories of authoritarianism. China is now exporting internationally a suite of surveillance, facial recognition, and data tools that together equip governments to repress citizens on a scale and with a ruthless algorithmic effectiveness that previous generations of strongmen could only dream of. Call it algorithmic authoritarianism. Where yesterday’s strongmen were constrained by individual informants and case-by-case sleuthing, tomorrow’s authoritarians will, like China, be able to remotely identify thousands of specific individuals in public via cameras, constantly track them, and use unprecedented artificial intelligence and computing to crunch surveillance information and feed it back into the field in real time. This technology is still being imperfectly and inconsistently applied, but China is working to close the gaps. And even the perception of surveillance where it doesn’t exist has been shown to shape behavior.

The limits of China’s willingness to use these tools at home or export them to others are unknown. Worse still, China’s digital authoritarianism could emerge as an exportable model, appealing to leaders on the fence about democratic norms, that could undercut or even rival liberal democracy.

Part of what makes technologically enabled authoritarianism so complex is that the tools also have immense promise to serve customers and citizens well. They’re double-edged swords. Consider the surreal case of the California-based suspected serial killer apprehended after his relative voluntarily submitted DNA to an online ancestry database that matched material at the crime scene—or the accused Maryland newsroom shooter quickly identified by facial recognition. Or the lower-caste Indians who can now receive government benefits thanks to India’s national ID Aadhaar program, which relies on a database that has collected the iris scans and fingerprints of more than 1 billion Indians in a country where hundreds of millions previously lacked state identity cards. Or the Londoners kept safe by massive numbers of CCTV cameras. Or the predictive policing pilot launched in New Orleans with the pro-bono help of Palantir. Even in democracies with meaningful legal checks on state power, leveraging A.I. for policing often suffers from a lack of transparency, citizen input, and a serious risk of biased enforcement and overreach.

China and a few small, advanced, authoritarian states such as Singapore (which is soliciting Chinese bids to install 110,000 advanced facial recognition sensors on the small city-state’s lampposts) and the United Arab Emirates are at the forefront of the application of these technologies. But as China embarks on a trillion-dollar global infrastructure construction binge known as the Belt and Road Initiative, it is already exporting its own tech-enabled authoritarian toolkit to gain profit or goodwill with local authorities, or simply to extend the reach of its own surveillance.

What happens when these technologies migrate to bigger, more fractious societies? This won’t happen overnight—and the financial and logistical obstacles to broad implementation are significant. But there is every reason to think that in a decade or two, if not sooner, authoritarians and would-be strongmen in places like Turkey, Hungary, Egypt, or Rwanda will seek these tools and use them to thwart civil society and crush dissent in ways that weaken democracy globally.

Already there are reports that Zimbabwe, for example, is turning to Chinese firms to implement nationwide facial-recognition and surveillance programs, wrapped into China’s infrastructure investments and a larger set of security agreements as well, including for policing online communication. The acquisition of black African faces will help China’s tech sector improve its overall data set.

Malaysia, too, announced new partnerships this spring with China to equip police with wearable facial-recognition cameras. There are quiet reports of Arab Gulf countries turning to China not just for the drone technologies America has denied but also for the authoritarian suite of surveillance, recognition, and data tools perfected in China’s provinces. In a recent article on Egypt’s military-led efforts to build a new capital city beyond Cairo’s chaos and revolutionary squares, a retired general acting as project spokesman declared, “a smart city means a safe city, with cameras and sensors everywhere. There will be a command center to control the entire city.” Who is financing construction? China.

While many governments are making attempts to secure this information, there have been several alarming stories of data leaks. Moreover, these national identifiers create an unprecedented opportunity for state surveillance at scale. What about collecting biometric information in nondemocratic regimes? In 2016, the personal details of nearly 50 million people in Turkey were leaked.

Now is the time for those invested in individual freedom—in government, in civil society, and in the tech sector—to be thinking about the challenges ahead.

This starts with basic transparency and awareness at home, in international fora, and ultimately inside nations deciding how and whether to adopt the tools of algorithmic authoritarianism. Diplomats, CEOs, activists, and others will need to use their various bully pulpits to reach members of the public. Oversight bodies like the U.S. Congress and European Parliament should convene hearings to hold tech companies and government agencies accountable for their role in exporting elements of the authoritarian toolkit in search of profits or market share. Forging reasonable, balanced approaches to these new technologies at home will be a crucial aspect of pushing other states to do the same. As a recent blog post from Microsoft’s President Brad Smith essentially calling for intensive study and regulation of this space makes clear, now is the time to bridge the tech-policy divide to find feasible, ethical solutions.

Reaching beyond established democracies to set international norms and standards will be difficult, but it is essential to try. An international body, be it the European Union or United Nations, will need to put forward a set of best practices for protecting individual rights in an era of facial recognition. Companies and countries alike can group together to commit to protecting citizens by placing limits on facial recognition, offering the right in some instances to opt out of sharing biologically identifiable information, as Indians fought for and won, or protecting identifying data on the back end.

China and other determined authoritarian states may prove undeterrable in their zeal to adopt repressive technologies. A more realistic goal, as Georgetown University scholar Nicholas Wright has argued, is to sway countries on the fence by pointing out the reputational costs of repression and supporting those who are advocating for civil liberties in this domain within their own countries. Democracy promoters (which we hope will one day again include the White House) will also want to recognize the coming changes to the authoritarian public sphere. They can start now in helping vulnerable populations and civil society to gain greater technological literacy to advocate for their rights in new domains. It is not too early for governments and civil society groups alike to study what technological and tactical countermeasures exist to circumvent and disrupt new authoritarian tools.

Everyone will have to approach these developments with the humbling recognition that Silicon Valley is not the only game in town. Regardless of what happens stateside or in Europe, China will have formidable and growing indigenous capabilities to export to the rest of the world.

Seven years ago, techno-optimists expressed hope that a wave of new digital tools for social networking and self-expression could help young people in the Middle East and elsewhere to find their voices. Today, a new wave of Chinese-led technological advances threatens to blossom into what we consider an “Arab spring in reverse”—in which the next digital wave shifts the pendulum back, enabling state domination and repression at a staggering scale and algorithmic effectiveness.

Americans are absolutely right to be urgently focused on countering Russian weaponized hacking and leaking as its primary beneficiary sits in the Oval Office. But we also need to be more proactive in countering the tools of algorithmic authoritarianism that will shape the worldwide future of individual freedom.


          Moving the goal posts: Amazon is always ahead      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Apple made it to a $1 trillion valuation last week, beating out Amazon and making a whole bunch of people really mad about it.

Writing for USA Today, Jefferson Graham says “Apple can thank iPhone a trillion times, but it has Amazon to worry about.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Peter.)

Apple crossed the magic line on Wall Street on Thursday to become the first U.S. company worth $1 trillion.

That’s an interesting milestone for a company thought to be coasting on ideas left over by the late Steve Jobs, a firm that hadn't innovated in years.

To read this article in full, please click here


          Maersk and IBM launch TradeLens blockchain shipping solution      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Maersk and IBM launch TradeLens blockchain shipping solution

AUGUST 9, 2018 — A.P. Moller - Maersk and IBM have moved ahead with their previously announced plan to establish a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade by using blockchain technology.

Today, they announced the creation of TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled shipping solution designed to promote more efficient and secure global trade, bringing together various parties to support information sharing and transparency, and spur industry-wide innovation.

As part of the TradeLens early adopter program, IBM and Maersk also announced that 94 organizations are actively involved or have agreed to participate on the TradeLens platform built on open standards.

The TradeLens ecosystem currently includes:

More than 20 port and terminal operators across the globe, including PSA Singapore, International Container Terminal Services Inc, Patrick Terminals, Modern Terminals in Hong Kong, Port of Halifax, Port of Rotterdam, Port of Bilbao, PortConnect, PortBase, and terminal operators Holt Logistics at the Port of Philadelphia, join the global APM Terminals' network in piloting the solution.

This accounts for approximately 234 marine gateways worldwide that have or will be actively participating on TradeLens.

Pacific International Lines (PIL) have joined Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd as global container carriers participating in the solution.

Customs authorities in the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia and Peru are participating, along with customs brokers Ransa and Güler & Dinamik.

Participation among beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) has grown to include Torre Blanca / Camposol and Umit Bisiklet.

Freight forwarders, transportation and logistics companies including Agility, CEVA Logistics, DAMCO, Kotahi, PLH Trucking Company, Ancotrans and WorldWide Alliance are also currently participating.

TradeLens uses IBM Blockchain technology as the foundation for digital supply chains, empowering multiple trading partners to collaborate by establishing a single shared view of a transaction without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality. Shippers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, port and terminal operators, inland transportation and customs authorities can interact more efficiently through real-time access to shipping data ad shipping documents, including IoT and sensor data ranging from temperature control to container weight.

Using blockchain smart contracts, TradeLens enables digital collaboration across the multiple parties involved in international trade. The trade document module, released under a beta program and called ClearWay, enables importers/exporters, customs brokers, trusted third parties such as Customs, other government agencies, and NGOs to collaborate in cross-organizational business processes and information exchanges, all backed by a secure, non-repudiable audit trail.

During the 12-month trial, Maersk and IBM worked with dozens of ecosystem partners to identify opportunities to prevent delays caused by documentation errors, information delays, and other impediments. One example demonstrated how TradeLens can reduce the transit time of a shipment of packaging materials to a production line in the United States by 40 percent, avoiding thousands of dollars in cost. Through better visibility and more efficient means of communicating, some supply chain participants estimate they could reduce the steps taken to answer basic operational questions such as "where is my container" from 10 steps and five people to, with TradeLens, one step and one person.

More than 154 million shipping events have been captured on the platform, including data such as arrival times of vessels and container "gate-in", and documents such as customs releases, commercial invoices and bills of lading. This data is growing at a rate of close to one million events per day. Traditionally, some of this data can be shared through the EDI systems commonly used in the supply chain industry but these systems are inflexible, complex, and can't share data in real-time. Too often, companies must still share documents via email attachment, fax and courier. TradeLens can track critical data about every shipment in a supply chain, and offers an immutable record among all parties involved.

"TradeLens uses blockchain technology to create an industry standard for the secure digitization and transmission of supply chain documents around the world," commented Peter Levesque, CEO of Modern Terminals. "This initiative will generate tremendous savings for our industry over time while enhancing global supply chain security. Modern Terminals is pleased to participate as a Network Member in testing this exciting shipping industry innovation."

"As a global logistics provider, CEVA sees a unique opportunity in TradeLens, joining forces with IBM, Maersk and other actors from our industry to promote global standards around an open and neutral solution, delivering on the promise of blockchain. It is an important step in our relentless journey to deliver increased value to all our customers and making business flow," said Christophe Cachat, CIO of CEVA Logistics.

"We believe blockchain can play an important role in digitizing global shipping, an area of the global economy that moves four trillion dollars of goods every year. However, success with the technology rests on a single factor –bringing the entire ecosystem together around a common approach that benefits all participants equally," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Industries, Solutions and Blockchain. "Our work with Maersk and other enterprises in the shipping ecosystem has shown that blockchain can be used to form a strong, connected network in which all members gain by sharing important data and that together we can transform a vital part of how global trade is conducted."

Joint collaboration model to maximize industry adoption

Since announcing the jointly developed solution to digitize global trade in January 2018, and based on feedback from various members of the global supply chain ecosystem who would like to adopt the technology, IBM and Maersk have modified the go to market model and will now deliver their solution through an extension of their pre-existing collaboration agreement instead of a joint venture.

"Our joint collaboration model allows us to better address key feedback from ecosystem participants while ensuring TradeLens interoperability and data protection among Maersk, IBM and all ecosystem participants," said Mike White, TradeLens leader for Maersk. "We strongly believe this will maximize industry adoption."

Standards discussions are actively underway with openshipping.org and work to align the TradeLens APIs with UN/CEFACT standards is in progress. The TradeLens APIs are open and available for developer access and feedback from participants in the platform.

The TradeLens solution is available today through the Early Adopter Program. TradeLens is expected to be fully commercially available by the end of this year.


          In 1997, Jeff Bezos touted relationships with ‘important strategic partners’ like AOL — 20 years later, Amazon has left them all in the dust as it inches toward $1 trillion (AMZN)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

amazon ipo jeff bezos

  • Jeff Bezos' first letter to Amazon shareholders after the company went public in 1997 included a list of "important strategic partners" for the nascent online bookseller.
  • The list included some of the biggest names in the 1990s internet boom like Yahoo, AOL, and Netscape.
  • None of the companies on the list exist as independent entities today, while Amazon is one of the largest corporations in the world.
  • On Thursday, Markets Insider reported that Wall Streeters predict Amazon is poised to hit a $1 trillion valuation.

The internet has dramatically changed in the few decades of its existence, and a remark from an early Amazon shareholder letter provides an interesting view of just how many winners and losers the early tech boom created.

In Amazon's first letter to shareholders after going public in 1997, among the many accomplishments CEO Jeff Bezos touted was that the company "established long-term relationships with many important strategic partners, including America Online, Yahoo!, Excite, Netscape, GeoCities, AltaVista, @Home, and Prodigy."

Twenty-one years later, Amazon stands tall as one of the largest companies in the world, with a market capitalization of around $900 billion dollars as of Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, the eight strategic partners on Bezos' list — all major players in the late 90s tech boom — no longer exist as independent entities, either going defunct in the years after the bubble burst or being acquired by other tech and telecommunications companies.

Here's what happened to each of those companies:

SEE ALSO: Here's how much you would have made investing $1,000 in Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and 19 other major companies back in the day

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos reveals what it's like to build an empire and become the richest man in the world — and why he's willing to spend $1 billion a year to fund the most important mission of his life


          New Release: Monetary Policy in an Uncertain World      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Ten years after the 2008 financial crisis we are again facing the possibility of economic turmoil as the Fed and other central banks exit their unconventional monetary policies by raising interest rates and shrinking their balance sheets. Although central banks will move gradually, unforeseen circumstances could trigger a flight to safety and a collapse of asset prices that had previously been stimulated by near-zero interest rates and large-scale asset purchases, popularly known as “quantitative easing.”

This book brings together leading scholars and former policymakers to draw lessons from the decade of unconventional monetary policies relied upon to stimulate the global economy in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The articles included in this book combine historical perspectives and forward-looking views of the Fed’s exit strategy and monetary normalization, along with the arguments for a rules-based monetary policy both at the domestic and international levels.

Kevin Warsh, a former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, reminds us in his article that, although the economy has improved since the crisis, the tasks facing the Fed are still large. “So we should resist allowing the policy debate to be small or push aside ideas that depart from the prevailing consensus. The Fed’s job is not easier today, and its conclusions are not obvious.” The contributors to this volume meet Warsh’s challenge by questioning the status quo and offering fresh ideas for improving monetary policy.

The financial crisis highlighted the uncertainty that confronts policymakers. Having failed to prevent the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve and other major central banks all subsequently adopted similar policies characterized by near-zero interest rates, quantitative easing and forward guidance. Those unconventional monetary policies were designed to increase risk taking, prop up asset prices, increase spending and restore full employment.

While asset prices have risen and unemployment is at historic lows, the Fed’s balance sheet ballooned from about $800 billion before the crisis to more than $4 trillion today, and the long period of near-zero interest rates has created a series of asset bubbles, which risk being burst as interest rates rise again.

Moreover, the Fed has engaged in preferential credit allocation through its large-scale asset purchase program, in which it has acquired billions of dollars’ worth of mortgage-backed securities and shifted out of short-term Treasuries to longer-term government debt.

In order to expand its balance sheet, the Fed has radically changed its operating procedure. Instead of engaging in open market operations nudging the policy rate toward a single target rate by buying and selling short-term Treasuries, the Fed now establishes a target range for the funds rate—with the rate of interest on excess reserves (IOER), introduced in October 2008, as its upper limit and the Fed’s overnight reverse repurchase (ON RRP) agreement rate as its lower limit.

Because the IOER exceeds comparable market rates, some banks now find it worthwhile to accumulate excess reserves instead of trading them for other assets. The economy is, in other words, kept in a purpose-made “liquidity trap,” so that the traditional monetary “transmission mechanism” linking increases in the monetary base to changes in bank lending, overall spending, and inflation, no longer functions as it once did. Under the new operating arrangements, the Fed changes its policy stance by changing its IOER and ON RRP rates, thereby influencing not the supply of but the demand for the Fed’s deposit balances.

Meanwhile, the Fed’s regulatory powers have increased dramatically as well. The Federal Reserve System, which was intended to be decentralized so that policymakers would take account of divergent ideas, has become even more centralized with each new crisis. As a result, monetary policy has also become more politicized.

Finally, the lack of any systematic policy rule to guide long-run decisions has increased regime uncertainty. The so-called knowledge problem—and the limits of monetary policy—need to be widely recognized. Policymakers err by paying too much attention to short-run remedies and too little attention to the long-run consequences of current decisions. If human judgments were perfect, then purely discretionary monetary policy would be ideal. However, as Karl Brunner (1980: 61) wisely noted, the reality is that:

We suffer neither under total ignorance nor do we enjoy full knowledge. Our life moves in a grey zone of partial knowledge and partial ignorance. [Consequently], a nonactivist [rules-based] regime emerges … as the safest strategy. It does not assure us that economic fluctuations will be avoided. But it will assure us that monetary policymaking does not impose additional uncertainties … on the market place.*

Before serious consideration can be given to implementing any rules-based monetary regime, the Fed needs to normalize monetary policy by ending interest on excess reserves and shrinking its balance sheet to restore a precrisis federal funds market. Once changes in base money can be effectively transmitted to changes in the money supply and nominal income, the Fed can then implement a rules-based regime to reduce uncertainty and spur investment and growth.

The ideas put forth in this volume for monetary reform are meant to inform policymakers and the public about the importance of maintaining a credible monetary policy regime both for financial stability and economic prosperity. Ensuring long-run price stability, letting market forces set interest rates and allocate credit, and keeping nominal income on a steady growth path will create new opportunities and widen the scope of markets to promote economic performance.

This article originally appears as the Editor’s Preface in Monetary Policy in an Uncertain World: Ten Years After the Crisis

* Reference: Brunner, K. (1980) “The Control of Monetary Aggregates.” In Controlling Monetary Aggregates III, 1–65. Boston: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

[Cross-posted from Alt-M.org]


          Nearly 70 Percent of Enterprises in India Affected by Industry Disruption, Accenture Disruptability Index Finds      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

A new study from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) reveals that industry disruption is already a reality for most enterprises in India, and US$1.8 trillion of enterprise value is at risk of displacement. However, the study also shows that disruption can be managed and harnessed for the next phase of growth. -   - As part of the study of more than 2,000 large companies in India, Accenture developed a 'disruptability index ' which measures the current level of disruption, and susceptibility to future dis...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=227342


          Comment on Twitter defends its decision to keep the Alex Jones conspiracy factory around by Fake Fake      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Literally every article I've seen coming from TechCrunch has been pro-censorship. I guess no one has ANY qualms about a cabal of multibillion/trillion dollar companies controlling what facts & opinions you're allowed to discuss. Pathetic.
          Amazon just hit an all-time high as it inches towards becoming a $1 trillion company (AMZN)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Jeff Bezos Washington Post


Shares of Amazon climbed 0.8% on Thursday, hitting an all-time high of $1,899.96, as the e-commerce giant inches towards a $1 trillion valuation.

The stock now just needs another 7% gain in order to hit a market cap of $1 trillion. Based on the current number of outstanding shares — 487.74 million — a stock price of $2,050.27 would get it over the hump.

Apple made headlines last week when it became the first US company to reach the milestone.

Amazon’s final ticks to $1 trillion could take a while, though. Wall Street analysts currently have an average price target of $2,114 per share, according to Bloomberg. However, multiple major sell-side shops, including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, have price targets above $2100.

“We believe Amazon has the potential to be a $1 trillion dollar company over time, as it remains early in the e-commerce and cloud secular shifts,"  Doug Anmuth, an analyst at JPMorgan, wrote in a client note earlier this year. "And in our view, Amazon is investing in more major growth opportunities than any other company we cover."

Amazon has risen 60% since the beginning of 2018, easily outpacing the benchmark S&P 500’s 6.1% gain in the same period.

Now read:

Screen Shot 2018 08 09 at 11.09.46 AM

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CEO of one of the largest health insurers in the US explains the problem with healthcare in America


          At A Trillion Dollars, Apple Is Still Undervalued      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Last week, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) became the first US company to cross the $1 trillion valuation. It was a close race to the trillion dollar club. Here is the Bloomberg chart that shows how close the race was between Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft. Apple’s Financials Apple’s third-quarter revenues grew 17% over the year to $53.3 billion, in line with the market’s expectations. EPS of $2.34 was significantly better than the market’s expected earnings of $2.16 for the quarter. By segment, Apple’s iPhone revenues grew 20% over the year to $30 billion driven by the increased adoption of the $999 iPhone X. In terms of volumes, the number of iPhones sold grew a modest 1% over the year to 41.3 million. The average selling prices for iPhones grew 19% to $724 for the quarter. iPad revenues fell 5% to $4.74 billion despite a 1% growth in the number of units sold. Mac ...
          Samsung Group announces new hiring plans and investment of US$160 bil.       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Samsung Group announced plans on Aug. 8 to invest 180 trillion won (US$161 billion) in equipment and R&D and hire 40,000 new employees over the next three years. The investment figures are up by a..
          GirlsOutWest: Penelope, Trillion - Down To Business [FullHD|1080p|1.2 Gb]      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
GirlsOutWest: Penelope, Trillion - Down To Business [FullHD|1080p|1.2 Gb]

          GirlsOutWest: Penelope., Trillion - Girls Out West [FullHD|1080p|1.68 Gb]      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
GirlsOutWest: Penelope., Trillion - Girls Out West [FullHD|1080p|1.68 Gb]

          Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stumps, fundraises across the nation - CBS News      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

CBS News

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stumps, fundraises across the nation
CBS News
Is it possible to leverage 17,000 votes into a national political movement? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is trying. The 28-year-old liberal activist, who was nearly unknown outside of Queens and the Bronx until a surprise June victory over a 10-term ...
Ben Shapiro: Republicans and Democrats Are Ignoring A Key Voting Group | OpinionNewsweek
Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Say There's No Difference Between Billions and Trillions?Snopes.com

all 292 news articles »

          In 1997, Jeff Bezos touted relationships with 'important strategic partners' like AOL — 20 years later, Amazon has left them all in the dust as it inches toward $1 trillion (AMZN)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

amazon ipo jeff bezos

  • Jeff Bezos' first letter to Amazon shareholders after the company went public in 1997 included a list of "important strategic partners" for the nascent online bookseller.
  • The list included some of the biggest names in the 1990s internet boom like Yahoo, AOL, and Netscape.
  • None of the companies on the list exist as independent entities today, while Amazon is one of the largest corporations in the world.
  • On Thursday, Markets Insider reported that Wall Streeters predict Amazon is poised to hit a $1 trillion valuation.

The internet has dramatically changed in the few decades of its existence, and a remark from an early Amazon shareholder letter provides an interesting view of just how many winners and losers the early tech boom created.

In Amazon's first letter to shareholders after going public in 1997, among the many accomplishments CEO Jeff Bezos touted was that the company "established long-term relationships with many important strategic partners, including America Online, Yahoo!, Excite, Netscape, GeoCities, AltaVista, @Home, and Prodigy."

Twenty-one years later, Amazon stands tall as one of the largest companies in the world, with a market capitalization of around $900 billion dollars as of Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, the eight strategic partners on Bezos' list — all major players in the late 90s tech boom — no longer exist as independent entities, either going defunct in the years after the bubble burst or being acquired by other tech and telecommunications companies.

Here's what happened to each of those companies:

SEE ALSO: Here's how much you would have made investing $1,000 in Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and 19 other major companies back in the day

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos reveals what it's like to build an empire and become the richest man in the world — and why he's willing to spend $1 billion a year to fund the most important mission of his life


          Amazon just hit an all-time high as it inches towards becoming a $1 trillion company (AMZN)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Jeff Bezos Washington Post


Shares of Amazon climbed 0.8% on Thursday, hitting an all-time high of $1,899.96, as the e-commerce giant inches towards a $1 trillion valuation.

The stock now just needs another 7% gain in order to hit a market cap of $1 trillion. Based on the current number of outstanding shares — 487.74 million — a stock price of $2,050.27 would get it over the hump.

Apple made headlines last week when it became the first US company to reach the milestone.

Amazon’s final ticks to $1 trillion could take a while, though. Wall Street analysts currently have an average price target of $2,114 per share, according to Bloomberg. However, multiple major sell-side shops, including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, have price targets above $2100.

“We believe Amazon has the potential to be a $1 trillion dollar company over time, as it remains early in the e-commerce and cloud secular shifts,"  Doug Anmuth, an analyst at JPMorgan, wrote in a client note earlier this year. "And in our view, Amazon is investing in more major growth opportunities than any other company we cover."

Amazon has risen 60% since the beginning of 2018, easily outpacing the benchmark S&P 500’s 6.1% gain in the same period.

Now read:

Screen Shot 2018 08 09 at 11.09.46 AM

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Super-Earths are real and they could be an even better place for life than Earth


          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
           "WHAT? ... ANOTHER CUBE?" -> THE TEXAS BLACK CUBES ... A 2nd PHOTO-      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The first picture of the appearance of an unidentified black cube over Texas.

 

"Another Cube..." 

The 2nd Black Cube photo

By Mary Alice Bennett

(Copyright 2015, Mary Alice Bennet - All rights Reserved)

<Edited by Robert D. Morningstar>

*******

Michael Nielson: -> "Another cube reportedly seen in Texas.  Its either the vanguard of the Borg assimilation fleet or its a kite flown by the Borgmans.  My question is simple:

 "Why would an advanced race of beings travel 100-trillion miles just to hover in the clouds over McAllen, Texas in their decidedly poorly aerodynamic cube?

Why not a sphere?

 Are they here for our spherical technology...or...the TexMex....?"

 

*******

The 1st "Black Cube" Photo.

The black color of this perfect cube reminds me of the color of mourners and the fact that was are missing our editor Dirk, is this phenomenon a tribute to him? The manifestation of the shape out of the atmosphere reminds me of the paranormal activities in Uintah, Utah at Skniwalker Ranch: Paranormal Corridor - Southwest USA by Mary Alice Bennett Skinwalker Ranch "Using infrared binoculars, a researcher in Utah was able to observe a large black animal crawling through a tunnel into our dimension. The ape-like creature moved along using its elbows. After exiting and sauntering off into the night, the anomalous yellow light which contained the tunnel, slowly faded away. This is but one of the events which occurred on the Skinwalker Ranch property while paranormal researchers were there. The tunnel appeared after a meditation session.

After another earlier attempt at meditating, an energy field was seen to swoop down upon the seated fellow. It uttered an animal roar as it sped by - the meditator was completely terrified. The researchers compared what they`d seen to the invisible force scene from the movie "Predator". Some of the other creatures who populate the Uintah Basin in N.E. Utah are only detectable because they block out the stars or by the enormous foot or claw prints that they leave behind. The rancher and his family had moved there in good faith, bringing their expensive herd of Angus cattle to the property. They lost so many cows there that they eventually had to leave, allowing the research team to take their place. Whatever is there does not allow domesticated livestock to pollute its sacred ground. Previous tenants had been warned not to try to dig anywhere on the land. In the 1770s the exploring Spanish had noticed underground activity there along with flying lights. The Ute tribe has 15 generations of tales to tell. There are deposits of the rare hydrocarbon Gilsonite on the ranch.

The UFO underground mining activity is similar to the situation in Pine Bush, New York. Large black flying triangles are seen in both areas. The rancher had seen a craft entering the atmosphere through a hole in the sky. At night he was able to see blue sky through one of these openings, as if it were the entrance to another world. There was another tunnel up there whose entrance opened directly opposite their homestead. Many of the sightings of anomalous creatures were one-time events, as if the animals were just passing through our dimension. When they first came to the land, the rancher`s wife was greeted at the gate by an oversized wolf that had to lean down in order to gaze into her car window. This sighting is reminiscent of the paranormal black dog of Norfolk, England which inspired the Sherlock Holmes mystery, "The Hound of the Baskervilles". "Black Shuck" as they call him, once appeared in a church, killing two people on his way out. The burn marks he left as he retreated are still visible on the doorway. There had been no repopulation of wolves to the Uinta region.

Soon after this encounter, the rancher`s wife observed what seemed to be an RV out in the field. There was a dark figure seated behind a desk inside. When he stood up, he took up the entire doorway. He was wearing a black helmet with a visor, black clothes and boots. The next day she and her husband went out to the field. When she saw the 18" bootprints he`d left behind, she became hysterical. The RV-type craft has also been seen in Brazil where they are called "chupas". These UFOs have been known to hunt the Amazonian hunters who wait in the trees at night for animals to pass by. A darting red light chased the horses off a cliff one night resulting in serious injuries. Sometimes the animals were seen to panic from the presence of invisible creatures.

The rancher advised the research team to stalk the phenomenon as if it were a wild animal.  He`d observed a multicolored craft one night which lit up the snow with its colorful lights.  When a twig broke, the craft turned off its lights and turned towards him.  The rancher thought that this was the type of reaction that one would expect from a living creature.  In Dulce, New Mexico, sightings of enormous UFOs are not uncommon.  One huge manta-ray shaped ship appeared to be covered with the skin of a sea creature.   It was grey, dimpled, and wrinkled.   A little ET was spotted with the same sort of skin.

Some theorize that the craft themselves are alive. This echoes the words of Ezekiel in his first chapter, the famous Biblical UFO encounter.  Ezekiel refers to the "wheel within a wheel" form of the "Throne of God" and to the "living creatures," which accompany the wheels flying in the sky.

The area of N.W. New Mexico is also famous for its suit-wearing "Wolfmen" and ghastly-faced " ghost runners," which have been known to keep pace with the patrol cars of the Highway Patrol.

How do you know whether it was a Bigfoot who raided your garden?

Answer: Only the fruit on the top of the tree is gone.

Last week, there was a sighting of a white Bigfoot up in Fort Apache, Arizona.  Since these animals are known to appear on or near Indian reservations, the news was not a surprise.  The author likes it noted that all of the examples used in this article were taken from the book "The Hunt for the Skinwalker", but the comparisons were not." (Available on Amazon).

 

The appearance of a large black Bigfoot from a conduit coming out of the sky in Utah is similar to the manifestation of the black cubes from the clouds over Texas.

"What is Gilsonite?"

"Gilsonite is a natural, resinous hydrocarbon found in the Uintah Basin in northeastern Utah; thus, it is also called Uintahite.  This natural asphalt is similar to a hard petroleum asphalt and is often called a natural asphalt, asphaltite, uintaite, or asphaltum.  Gilsonite is soluble in aromatic and aliphatic solvents, as well as petroleum asphalt.  Due to its unique compatibility,  Gilsonite is frequently used to harden softer petroleum products.  Gilsonite in mass is a shiny, black substance similar in appearance to the mineral obsidian.  It is brittle and can be easily crushed into a dark brown powder.  When added to asphalt cement or hot mix asphalt in production,  Gilsonite helps produce paving mixes of dramatically increased stability."

This dramatic event and this article memorializes for me our much esteemed and greatly missed editor Dirk. 

IN MEMORIAM: -> DIRK VANDER PLOEG, UFO DIGEST PUBLISHER, PASSES on JUNE 26TH, 2015

Mary Alice Bennett

July 27th, 2015

Extra information about the article: 
Some comparitive information concernig a recent paranormal phenomenon in the sky over Texas.
Categories: 

          Who's in, out in small business tax break? It's complicated      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

WASHINGTON — Architects and engineers are still in. Accountants, doctors and lawyers remain out — mostly. New rules floated by the Trump administration lay out what kinds of businesses can take a 20 percent deduction against income taxes under the new tax law.

With the proposed rules issued Wednesday , the Treasury Department and the IRS had worked for six months to bring clarity to Congress' blueprint. But as with many aspects of the sweeping Republican tax law hustled through Congress last year, the requirements for the millions of "pass-through" businesses to score generous tax breaks are stunningly complex.

Some business owners earning over certain income levels, for example, are excluded, as are companies that are organized in certain ways or that lease their equipment rather than own it.

"They've attempted to draw lines that are clearer than the language" of the tax law, said Andrew Howlett, an attorney at law firm Miller & Chevalier who specializes in tax issues. "There are still questions that remain to be answered for taxpayers."

Steven Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said the new regulations "allow a lot of different businesses the 20 percent deduction. ... They allowed a lot of latitude for businesses to claim it."

At the same time, Rosenthal found the protections in the rules against abuse by businesses of the special tax break to be inadequate. "I think there'll be a lot of gaming of the rules," he said.

There is concern, for example, that to qualify for the deduction, individuals would quit their jobs and then contract their services back to their former employers as independent contractors. Now the government appears to have prohibited that in the new rules, said Kyle Pomerleau, director of the Center for Quantitative Analysis at the conservative Tax Foundation.

The new rules affirm the requirement in the tax law that certain business owners like lawyers, accountants, doctors and consultants can't qualify for the full deduction if their annual income exceeds $157,000 for single tax filers and $315,000 for couples filing jointly. The amount of the deduction to be claimed declines as taxpayers' income rises. The same is true for interior designers, investment managers, therapists and others.

Many small business owners around the country have been yearning for months to know whether they'll be pass-through winners or losers. Even with the new regulations, many owners still will likely be turning to tax accountants and other specialists to cut through the confusion.

Millions of businesses — from the Mom-and-Pop grocery store or florist to big law firms, hedge funds and the sprawling Trump Organization — are organized as pass-throughs in which company profits are pipelined into the owners' personal tax bucket. The owners pay individual, not corporate, tax rates on the income. The vast majority of U.S. businesses, big and small, are taxed this way.

The Republican architects of the tax plan and President Donald Trump portrayed the new pass-through tax break as a boon to Main Street businesses and entrepreneurs. Yet with lucrative partnerships and limited liability companies, or LLCs, among the pass-through crowd, lower taxes for them could enable some rich Americans to consolidate their wealth.

Before the tax law changes, the majority of pass-through owners were taxed at top individual tax rates, according to the Tax Foundation. With the $1.5 trillion tax package providing steep cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals, the Republican lawmakers crafting the legislation insisted that small business owners should get an equivalent break. The tax law offers more modest reductions for most low- and middle-income families and individuals.

"This 20 percent deduction will lead to more investment in U.S. companies and higher wages for hardworking Americans," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The deduction reduces small and mid-size businesses' tax rates to their lowest levels since the Depression years of the 1930s, Mnuchin said.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, isn't impressed. They rules "confirm that the fortunate few win and Mom-and-Pop shops lose under Trump's tax law," he said in a statement. "Small business owners searching for clarity aren't getting pulled out of a bureaucratic twilight zone any time soon."

Author(s): 

Articles

Blog Posts

01333c8961f8474bb4b498f7bb45a4cf.jpg

FILE- In this Dec. 22, 2017, file photo President Donald Trump signs into law a $1.5 trillion tax overhaul package in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. New rules floated by the Trump administration lay out what kinds of businesses can take a 20 percent deduction against income taxes under the new tax law. With the proposed rules issued Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, the Treasury Department and the IRS had worked for six months to bring clarity to Congress' blueprint. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Source: 
AP

          Australia’s $37 Trillion Derivatives BLACK HOLE! Could Collapse the Entire Financial System!      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
$37 trillion debt. 25 million population. What could possibly go wrong? Oh and g’day from Perth, Australia   When we look at Australia, we tend to find that they are ... Read more
          In 1997, Jeff Bezos touted relationships with ‘important strategic partners’ like AOL — 20 years later, Amazon has left them all in the dust as it inches toward $1 trillion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.Jeff Bezos' first letter to Amazon shareholders after the company went public in 1997 included a list of "important strategic partners" like Yahoo, AOL, and Netscape, for the nascent online bookseller. None of the companies on the list exist as independent entities today.
          Market - Amazon just hit an all-time high as it inches towards becoming a $1 trillion company      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Amazon could follow Apple in hitting a $1 trillion valuation. Shares hit an all-time high on Thursday and many on Wall Street say it's poised to hit the milestone. Follow...
          At A Trillion Dollars, Apple Is Still Undervalued       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Apple’s stock is trading at $207.25 with a market capitalization of $1 trillion. It had peaked to a record high of $209.48 earlier this week.
          Trillion-Dollar Shipping Industry Betting Big On Blockchain      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
via Crypto Currency News at August 09, 2018 at 02:07PM Ready Full Article: https://cryptocurrencynew
          The Trillion Dollar Question      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Recently, Apple’s stock price rose to the point where the company’s market valuation was above $1 trillion, the first U.S. company to reach that benchmark. Subsequently, numerous articles were published describing Apple’s journey to this point and why it got there. Most people describe Apple as a technology company. They make technology products: iPhones, iPads, Macs, etc. These are all computing devices. But there is another way to think of Apple and what kind of company they are as well as how they became so successful.

Neil Cybart, an analyst over at Above Avalon, likes to describe Apple as a design company focused on building useful tools for people. Of the latest round of profiles on Apple reaching a $1 trillion market valuation, he writes:

Despite supposedly being about chronicling how Apple went from near financial collapse in the late 1990s to a trillion-dollar market cap, a number of articles did not include any mention of Jony Ive [Apple’s Chief Design Officer], or even design for that matter. To not include Jony Ive in an article about Apple’s last 20 years is unfathomable, demonstrating a clear misunderstanding of Apple’s culture and the actual reasons that contributed to Apple’s success. Simply put, such profiles failed in their pursuit of describing Apple’s journey to a trillion dollars. Apple is where it is today because of design – placing an emphasis on how Apple products are used. Every other item or variable is secondary. [emphasis added]

As long as I have followed computers people have complained that Apple’s hardware is substandard. Other companies like Dell, Gateway, Acer, and Lenovo, had long been making computers that were “better” than Apple’s hardware. Apple’s value has always been selling good hardware coupled with premium software. But for a long time that was not appreciated by the market and Apple almost went bankrupt as a result.

The “Speeds and Feeds” Era for Data Analysis

When I was growing up, computers were all about so-called “speeds and feeds”. The only things people talked about were the megahertz of their processor or how many megabytes of RAM a computer had. A computer with a higher megahertz CPU was by definition better than a computer with a lower megahertz CPU. More RAM was better than less RAM and more disk space was better than less disk space. It was easy to compare different computers because we had quantitative metrics to go by. The hardware itself was a commodity and discussion about software was nonexistent because every computer ran the same software: Windows.

We are very much in the “speeds and feeds” era for data analysis right now. There is tremendous focus on and fascination with the tools and machinery underlying data analysis. Deep learning is only one such example, along with an array of related machine learning tools. Web sites like Kaggle promote a culture of “performance” where the person who can cobble together the most accurate algorithm is a winner. It’s easy to compare different algorithms to each other because there is often a single metric of performance that we can easily agree to compare.

Serious investment is being made in improving algorithms to make them more accurate, efficient, and powerful. We need these algorithms to be better so that we can have self-driving cars, intelligent assistants, fraud detection, and music discovery. Even the hardware itself is being optimized to improve the performance of these specific algorithms. This is the call of “more gigahertz, more RAM, more disk space” of our time. As easy hardware wins are fading into the past (as shown by Intel’s struggle), the focus is on improving the performance of machine learning software running on top of it.

All of this is necessary if we want to reap the benefits of machine learning algorithms in our daily lives. But if the computing industry has anything to teach the data science industry, it’s that perhaps the more interesting stuff is yet to come. Furthermore, it suggests that the companies (and perhaps individuals) with the best speeds and feeds will not necessarily be the winners.

What Comes Next?

Today, it could be argued that the most profitable “computer” in the world is the iPhone, which to be sure, has better “speeds and feeds” than any computer from my childhood. But it is by no means the fastest computer today. Nor does it have the most RAM, the most disk space, or the best graphics. How can that be?

Of course, the focus of computing changed from desktop to laptop to mobile, in part due to the great advancement in chip technology and miniaturization. So the benefit was not in greater speeds and feeds, but rather in smaller sizes for the same speeds and feeds. With these smaller, more personal, devices, the software and the design of the system became of greater importance. People were not using these devices to “crunch numbers” or do complex, but highly specialized, tasks. Rather, they were using them to do everyday tasks, like checking email, surfing the web, and communicating with friends. These were not business machines; they were for the mass market.

Arguable, the emphasis that Apple places on design has made it the most successful computer company of today because design is what creates the best user experience today in the mass market. Data science remains a niche area of work today even though its popularity and application has exploded over just a few years. It’s difficult for me to see how it might move into a mass market position, but I can see more and more people doing and consuming data analysis in the future. As the population of data analysis consumers grows, I think people will become less focused on accuracy and prediction metrics and more focused on whether a given analysis achieves a specified goal. In other words, data analyses will have to be designed to accomplish a certain task. The better individuals are at designing good data analyses, the more successful they will be.


          EPISODE 520 - Donald (Trump) vs. The Debt      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
For Beyond 50's "Finance" talks, listen to an interview with Andrew Gause. He is back on the show to answer the question, Does "The Donald" (Trump) have the economic smarts and business savvy to maneuver American taxpayers out from under their ever-increasing multi-trillion dollar obligations to creditors, both foreign and domestic? Andy Gause is one of America's foremost experts on the history of US currency. Trump has been able to amass a fortune for himself and his investors because he understands the mechanics of both credit and debt. Gause will evaluate some of Trump's known strategies for ending deficit spending and bringing down the national debt, from increased productivity to placement of tariffs on imported goods to increase GDP, income tax reductions, repatriating money being held offshore, and more. Tune in to Beyond 50: America's Variety Talk Radio Show on the natural, holistic, green and sustainable lifestyle. Visit www.Beyond50Radio.com and sign up for our Exclusive Updates.
          Private banks are the new hedge funds      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
From Bloomberg: Who needs hedge funds when a $2.4 trillion private bank is offering global macro trades to navigate late-cycle markets -- mimicking fast-money strategies with leverage to boot. UBS Group AG's wealth management arm, the world's largest, is pitching just that to billionaire clients. ...
Article link
          PCC Multiverse Episode Seventy Nine      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
EVO 2018 is here but why isn’t it reaching a larger audience? Is it time to get back into Sea of Thieves and No Man’s Sky? Plus Apple reaches a trillion but where can it go from here? All this plus thoughts on the DC Extended Universe and Hulu’s Castle Rock as Rob McCallum joins […]
          Trump Celebrates Legislative Win After Congress Passes $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut Bill      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHs4WiaKDFc Updated on Dec. 22 on 12:02 p.m. ET Congressional Republicans delivered on their first major legislative accomplishment of the Trump era on Wednesday, when the House voted 224-201 to pass a $1.5 trillion tax package. The bill cuts individual rates for eight years and slashes the top corporate tax rate to 21 percent permanently. Trump signed the bill into law on Friday, hailing the legislation as "a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs," adding that he was "very honored by it." In an event on the White House lawn Wednesday afternoon, the president, Vice President Pence and lawmakers celebrated and thanked each other for their work on the bill's passage. "I promised the American people a big, beautiful tax cut for Christmas. With final passage of this legislation, that is exactly what they are getting," Trump said in a written statement earlier in the day. "I would like to thank the members of Congress who supported this historic bill,
          Senate Republicans Pass Massive Tax Overhaul       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Updated Dec. 2 at 11:57 a.m. ET The Senate narrowly approved a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul early Saturday morning following a day of procedural delays and frustration. The legislation, which would cut the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent and lower taxes for most individuals, narrowly passed in a vote of 51-49. Tennessee Republican Bob Corker was the only Republican to vote against the legislation, joining every Democrat and both independents in opposing the sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax laws. Passage of the tax bill is a significant victory for Republicans who have struggled to fulfill many key legislative promises. "It was a fantastic evening last night," President Trump said Saturday morning, according to a pool report. "Now we go onto conference, and something beautiful is going to come out of that mixer," he also said, "People are going to be very, very happy. They're going to get tremendous, tremendous tax cuts and tax relief, and that's what this country needs." The
          Apple's stock hits intraday record as rival Samsung unveils new Galaxy Note 9      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Shares of Apple Inc. rallied Thursday to an all-time intraday high, before paring some gains, although rival Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. unveiled its new Galaxy Note 9 smartphone. The world's largest smartphone maker's newest flagship device, unveiled at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, didn't look too new, according to a WSJ report. The unveiling comes about a month before Apple is expected to unveil its own new iPhones. Apple's stock climbed as much as 1.1% to an intraday high of $209.59, above the previous intraday record of $209.50 reached on Tuesday. It was last up 1%, above Monday's record closing price of $209.07. Apple's market-capitalization was $1.01 trillion. The stock has fun up 23.7% year to date, while Samsung shares have lost 8.0% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 3.4%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


          Natural-gas futures turn negative after EIA inventory report      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural-gas stockpiles rose by 46 billion cubic feet for the week ended Aug. 3. September natural gas lost a penny, to trade down 0.4% at $2.937 per million British thermal units in late-morning trade, down from $2.948, just before the report. Total stocks now stand at 2.354 trillion cubic feet, down 671 billion cubic feet from a year ago, and 572 billion below the five-year average, the government said.Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude-oil for September delivery was up a modest 0.3% at $67.13, recovering slightly from its sharp downturn on Wednesday on supply fears, but paring its gain after the EIA report.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


          Stock Takes: Is Apple still worth a bite?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Stock Takes: Is Apple still worth a bite?#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000 Technology stock Apple has become the world's first trillion-dollar public company but at US$207 ($310) a share does it still have more room to grow?Mark Devcich, head of Research & Portfolio Manager at Pie Funds, believes the answer... Reported by New Zealand Herald 23 minutes ago.
          Samsung investing $29 billion CAD in AI, 5G and automotive      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Samsung logo on wall

Samsung is investing 25 trillion won (roughly $29.15 billion CAD) to expand new growth areas. Specifically, the company is investing in artificial intelligence, 5G technology, electronics for automobiles and biopharmaceuticals. The move puts some emphasis on moving into new areas as Samsung’s core businesses, semiconductors and smartphones, show signs of weakness. The investment comes as...

The post Samsung investing $29 billion CAD in AI, 5G and automotive appeared first on MobileSyrup.


          AppAdvice Podcast Episode 76: Apple's Fight Towards A Trillion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Join us this week as we play towards a trillion in the Kung Fu arcade filled with animated cards on the AppAdvice Podcast episode 76.

Apple is grabbing headlines giving us plenty to talk about on episode 76 of the AppAdvice Weekly Podcast. This week, we discuss Apple’s latest earnings, a major Apple milestone, an animated photo effects app, a star powered beat ’em up, an arcade mash-up, a new modern solitaire game, and more.

iTunes Link

We hope you enjoy the AppAdvice Weekly podcast, and are excited to see it each and every week. You can find the podcast here, or on iTunes. Please leave a review in iTunes, if you’re enjoying what you’re listening to.

Get Animatix - Photo Animation in the App Store
Get Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn in the App Store
Get Juanito Arcade Mayhem in the App Store
Get Mind Cards. in the App Store

          How to get a mortgage when you have student debt      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
shutterstock_614576666-150x150

Millennials are often ridiculed for their lack of home ownership and financial foresight compared to past generations. What isn’t often mentioned is the US$1.4 trillion noose of student debt straddling their financial decisions and homeownership dreams. Saving for a mortgage to eventually buy a house used to be a rite of passage to adulthood after... Read more »

The post How to get a mortgage when you have student debt appeared first on Study International.


          Universal Basic Income (UBI) for Everyone!      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Miles Franklin sponsored this article by Gary Christenson. The opinions expressed are his. Several countries and cities studied and tested a universal basic income (UBI). At first glance it looks like giveaway nonsense: Who pays for the giveaways? Does the UBI discourage work and self-improvement? How much price inflation does it create? How much additional unpayable debt will be created by the UBI? The UBI should be how large? If $1,000 per month per person is good, is $10,000 per month better? Which bureaucrat defines the size of the benefit? Does it apply to everyone? Adults only? Means tested? Only those who voted and paid taxes? Only those in good standing with the “thought police?” However, intelligent people have advocated a UBI to minimize wealth inequality, technological unemployment and social unrest. “Let the rich pay so I don’t need to work,” is compelling political nonsense. Perhaps the political and financial elite will legislate a UBI for the lower strata of society to discourage rebellion and social unrest. The idea ought to fail… BUT WAIT!  THERE’S MORE! Most western welfare states implemented programs similar to a UBI years ago. Consider: The U. S. Military—a hidden UBI: The U.S. military spends $800 billion, perhaps $1 trillion per year, defending the country from less than obvious dangers. Recipients of that $800 – $1,000 billion per year influence politicians at the local, city, state and national level. The military budget is untouchable and will persist even though some argue 25% would adequately defend the country. This massive funding acts like a UBI for the military-industrial-security complex of companies embedded into American society. They will collect ever-increasing budget dollars. Military expenditures of nearly one trillion dollars are impossible to imagine. The following graphic shows a trillion dollar stack of one hundred dollar bills. That $1 trillion costs about $10,000 per American worker per year. The total national debt is 21 times larger. Unfunded liabilities are 100 to 200 times larger. Hmmmmmmm! Medicare, Big Pharma, Social Security, Health Department and others – another UBI: The Human Resources section of the U.S. government budget for 2018 is about $2.9 trillion. How many millions of individuals, doctors, hospitals, clinics and pharmaceutical companies depend upon this portion of the budget for their jobs and wealth creation? Expenditures will increase. SNAP – The Food Stamps Program: This program costs around $70 billion per year. It looks like a UBI based […]
          Comment on World Natural Gas 2018-2050: World Energy Annual Report (Part 3) by Peter      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Dennis One could say every country's difficulties are self inflicted. You have mentioned GDP as if it is the most important matrix of measuring the global ecnomy. It is not. The United States debt is out of control and is consuming more and more tax just to pay the interest. https://www.thebalance.com/the-u-s-debt-and-how-it-got-so-big-3305778 https://www.thebalance.com/interest-on-the-national-debt-4119024 The United States deficit is extraordinary. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-deficit-now-projected-to-top-1-trillion-starting-next-year-2018-07-19 The government effectively steals $1 trillion from future earnings to pay 25 million government workers an average salary of $40,000 per year. Great trick borrow loads of money reduce unemployment and increase GDP. and fool some of the people all the time! The interest of the debt is an astounding $310 billion. And this is at a time of the lowest interests in the history of the world. When the price of oil goes up, inflation will start to move northwards and the Fed will respond with interest rises. You will see then that the United States is as much of a basket case as Spain and Italy. Trump is also driving China and Russia closer together along with Iran and others. They will circumvent the Dollar dominance and the dollar will fall in value.
          WATCH: Cuomo Visibly Shocked By Ocasio-Cortez’s Response To Paying For Her Socialist Giveaways      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The post WATCH: Cuomo Visibly Shocked By Ocasio-Cortez’s Response To Paying For Her Socialist Giveaways appeared first on I Love My Freedom.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was asked a very simple question about how to pay for the “free” medicare she wants for everyone, yet her head-scratching response proves she has no earthly idea what she is talking about. During an interview Wednesday on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” the 28-year-old New York socialist struggled mightily to explain where she would get the tens of trillions of dollars to pay for “medicare for all” idea. CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s question was straightforward: “Medicare for all, college tuition, maybe even housing, that the green new deal that you have, it is all very expensive. Even in

The post WATCH: Cuomo Visibly Shocked By Ocasio-Cortez’s Response To Paying For Her Socialist Giveaways appeared first on I Love My Freedom.


          In the long run      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
It is important to consider the future of humanity not just in terms of what the world will be like in 2030 or 2050, but also in the (much) longer run. The paper Long-term trajectories of human civilization, which grew out of discussions during the GoCAS guest researcher program Existential risk to humanity in Gothenburg last fall and which is out now, does precisely this. I am proud to be coauthor of it.1 First author is Seth Baum, who initiated the discussion that eventually lead to this paper. Seth is an American risk researcher and futurologist, and director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute. To readers of this blog he may be familiar from his public appearances in Sweden in 2014 and 2017. The Global Catastrophic Risk Institute has a press release in connection with the paper:
    Society today needs greater attention to the long-term fate of human civilization. Important present-day decisions can affect what happens millions, billions, or trillions of years into the future. The long-term effects may be the most important factor for present-day decisions and must be taken into account. An international group of 14 scholars calls for the dedicated study of “long-term trajectories of human civilization” in order to understand long-term outcomes and inform decision-making. This new approach is presented in the academic journal Foresight, where the scholars have made an initial evaluation of potential long-term trajectories and their present-day societal importance.

    “Human civilization could end up going in radically different directions, for better or for worse. What we do today could affect the outcome. It is vital that we understand possible long-term trajectories and set policy accordingly. The stakes are quite literally astronomical,” says lead author Dr. Seth Baum, Executive Director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, a non-profit think tank in the US.

    [...]

    The scholars find that status quo trajectories are unlikely to persist over the long-term. Whether humanity succumbs to catastrophe or achieves a more positive trajectory depends on what people do today.

    “In order to succeed it is important to have a plan. Long-term success of humanity depends on our ability to foresee problems and to plan accordingly,” says co-author Roman Yampolskiy, Associate Professor of Computer Engineering and Computer Science at University of Louisville. “Unfortunately, very little research looks at the long-term prospects for human civilization. In this work, we identify some likely challenges to long-term human flourishing and analyze their potential impact. This is an important step toward successfully navigating such challenges and ensuring a thriving future for humanity.”

    The scholars emphasize the enormous scales of the long-term future. Depending on one’s ethical perspective, the long-term trajectories of human civilization can be a crucial factor in present-day decision-making.

    “The future is potentially exceedingly vast and long,” says co-author Anders Sandberg, Senior Research Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute at University of Oxford. “We are in a sense at the dawn of history, which is a surprisingly powerful position. Our choices – or lack of decisions – will strongly shape which trajectory humanity will follow. Understanding what possible trajectories there are and what value they hold is the first step towards formulating strategies for our species.”

Read the full press release here, and the paper here.

Footnote

1) Here is the full (and, I daresay, fairly impressive) author list: Seth D. Baum, Stuart Armstrong, Timoteus Ekenstedt, Olle Häggström, Robin Hanson, Karin Kuhlemann, Matthijs M. Maas, James D. Miller, Markus Salmela, Anders Sandberg, Kaj Sotala, Phil Torres, Alexey Turchin and Roman V. Yampolskiy.

          The Blockchain Is a Tempting Target for Central Banks      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

For the past several years, one of the most consistent themes in the world of of central banking has been the ongoing drive to incorporate blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies into the central bankers’ tool kit. The mysterious potential of the blockchain has tempted central banks around the world into a wide range of experiments with the new technology, and in a previous Mises Wire article as recently as late-2016, I discussed the Bank of England’s plan to mint its own Bitcoin-style cryptocurrency for use in inter-bank payments. Although that plan has now been shelved for the foreseeable future, the general overhaul of the Bank of England’s payments systems has continued and moved in new directions, with attempts to incorporate distributed ledger technologies having now taken on a different character.

It was these attempts which led to the recent publication of a report which announced that, when it rolls out its new Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system, the Bank of England will break with established norms by allowing blockchain-based FinTech firms to access that system.

An RTGS system is a specialist funds transfer service which “ essentially forms the foundation ” of all of the activities of Britain’s central bank. The Bank of England’s RTGS system facilitates instantly-cleared, high-value transfers of money (usually central bank reserves) and securities between financial institutions, in order to maintain the liquidity of Britain’s financial system on a minute-by-minute basis. Britain’s RTGS system facilitates around half a trillion pounds worth of inter-bank transactions every day, a number equivalent to almost a third of the UK’s total annual GDP, with the money used in the system currently being comprised of around £300 billion of electronic central bank reserves, plus around a fifth of that amount in physical banknotes.

Access to the Bank of England’s RTGS system has previously been a special privilege of banks and other such traditional, large financial institutions. So why is the Bank of England now planning to open the system up to a new generation of tech startups based around the decidedly non-traditional payments system of the blockchain? The Bank of England’s report on its decision offers few clues to the underlying reasons for the shift, mainly concerning itself with vague and generic statements about the need to “meet the challenges posed by a rapidly changing landscape” by offering “a diverse and flexible range of settlement models, to enable existing and emerging payment infrastructures to access central bank money”. It is certainly true that Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has been adamant in his desire to modernise the Bank’s RTGS system, with the current “ambitious rebuild” representing one of the key endeavours of his tenure. But Carney himself could certainly not be described as an enthusiastic supporter of blockchain technology, and has been outspoken in his criticisms of cryptocurrencies in the past , viewing them as a largely criminal ‘Wild West’ of the modern monetary system, in dire need of the taming influence of civilisation.

However, this very distaste for the current state of the crypto-economy could provide some clues to the motivations behind the decision to bring blockchain-based firms into the fold. Aside from its role of controlling the British money supply and interest rates, the second most important function of the Bank of England is its role as the key regulator of Britain’s financial system. It is entirely possible that, by inviting these new blockchain-based firms into the Procrustean bed of ‘respectable’ British finance, the Bank of England is hoping to be able to extend its regulatory power over the newly emerging frontier of cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology. This interpretation seems to be borne out by a speech given by Carney on the subject of cryptocurrencies, this March. After decrying the supposed tendency of private cryptocurrencies toward debasement and use by criminals, Carney seemed to hint that appropriate controls could be placed on the growing blockchain economy by incorporating it into the mainstream financial sector, which Carney’s Bank of England regulates. “The time has come to hold the crypto-asset ecosystem to the same standards as the rest of the financial system. Being part of the financial system brings enormous privileges, but with them great responsibilities.” Just two months after giving this speech, the Bank of England began running ‘Proof of Concept’ tests with a handful of blockchain-based FinTech startups — Baton Systems, Clearmatics Technologies Ltd, Token, and R3 — which led to this decision to allow blockchain-based firms access to the Bank’s RTGS system.

Another possible motivation behind the decision could be to extend the Bank of England’s influence over interest rates into the developing crypto-economy. When the Bank of England lends out central bank reserves to private banks, through the RTGS system, the borrowing banks have to pay the ‘Bank Rate’ of interest on those borrowed reserves, which is one of the few interest rates in the economy which the Bank of England actually directly controls. The greater the number of private banks who are, through the RTGS, made to pay the ‘Bank Rate’ of interest on borrowed reserves, the more the Bank of England is able to indirectly influence the constellation of other interest rates throughout the economy. This recent decision to give blockchain-based firms easier access to central bank reserves, by opening the RTGS system to them, could reflect the Bank of England’s desire to extend its influence over interest rates into the new frontier of crypto-based finance.

Regardless of the motivation, this recent decision represents only the latest development in central banks’ ongoing experimentation with distributed ledger technologies. If we wish to preserve the explicitly anti-statist intentions of the founders of the modern crypto-economy, special attention must be paid to how states and their monetary Tzars attempt to grapple with the blockchain and its implications in the future.


          Apple’s CEO Tim Cook — Serf Labor, Overpriced iPhones, and Wasted Burning Profits by Ralph Nader      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Dandelion Salad by Ralph Nader The Nader Page, Aug. 7, 2018 August 9, 2018 The New York Times screamed its headline — “In 1997, Apple was 90 Days from Going Broke. On Thursday [Aug. 2, 2018], it became the first publicly traded American company to be valued at… $1,000,000,000,000.” The first trillion dollar company! The […]
          The rise of the IoT and artificial intelligence in industry [Q&A]      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
While the consumer IoT has captured the imagination with smart appliances and devices, the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a rapidly growing market. According to Accenture, the IIoT market could add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030. IIoT is also breathing new life into industries that are in great need of digital transformation, such as manufacturing, oil and gas, and more. As a result, artificial intelligence and machine learning are quickly becoming one of the biggest priorities for companies that want to make the most of their operational data to increase outputs using less energy and costs.… [Continue Reading]

          O‘zbekistonda 2018-yilning birinchi yarmida soliq tushumlari 24,2 trln so‘mni tashkil etdi      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
O‘zbekistonda 2018-yilning birinchi yarmida davlat budjetiga tushgan soliq tushumlari 24,2 trillion so‘mni tashkil etdi. Bu ko‘rsatkich o‘tgan yilning shu davriga nisbatan 143,1 foizga ko‘p. Bu haqda Davlat soliq qo‘mitasi axbor...
          Explore Deployable Military Shelter Systems Market Size, Analysis, and Forecast Report by 2025      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

A few of the North American and European companies developed deployable shelter systems to be used as hanger for aircrafts.

Valley Cottage, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/09/2018 -- Advancements in military activities, tactics, exercises and joint operations necessitated the development of niche products used by army personnel. Furthermore, witnessing the opportunity, a handful of equipment, system and solution manufacturers engaged in niche product development suitable for military application, as a result competition intensified in niche products segment used for military applications. Deployable Military Shelter System is one of such product which is used in applications ranging from temporary medical support centres to incident commands and fatality management centres to emergency distribution centres. These systems are deployed in remote area for temporary period. These systems are totally mobile in nature and are made up of technical textiles. These systems are largely used by infantry, rescue team and medical support team but constant research and development in this niche product segment unfolded new opportunities. Nowadays, availability of shelter systems for military application has not limited to support and shelter to just soldiers but also vehicles and aircrafts. A few of the North American and European companies developed deployable shelter systems to be used as hanger for aircrafts. 

Drivers & Challenges

Military shelter systems demand is directly influenced by increase in military expenditure across the globe. Annual increase in defence budget allocation has been observed in across countries, whereas the year on year increase is very high in countries with stronger economy. Global military expenditure in 2014 was estimated at over US $ 1.7 Trillion; and with growing political and military tensions in different geographies, it is projected to increase at 1.5% annually through 2025. Moreover, a substantial share of military expenditure is channelized for buying equipment and systems for on the field military support. Since, deployable shelter systems are used in field exercises, it is anticipated that the increased military expenditure across countries will bolster the demand for deployable shelter systems viz. a viz. global deployable military systems market. 

Request Report for Table of Contents @ https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/toc/rep-gb-678

Regional Landscape

In terms of geography, the global deployable military shelter systems is concentrated in few of the pockets. Usage of deployable military shelter systems is very high in developed countries of North America and Europe. However, the trend is gradually picking up the pace in developed markets. A majority of the deployable military shelter systems manufacturers are dependent on NATO member countries for sales. Meanwhile, in recent years they also registered orders from Middle Eastern, African and Asian countries. Currently, European market for deployable military shelter systems is growing at a higher growth rate than the global average, but industry experts indicate a shift in demand from Asian countries, particularly Middle East and South Asia. In order to capitalize the opportunity, global majors engaged in manufacturing deployable shelter systems have deployed sales representatives in these countries. 

Deployable Military Shelter Systems Market Segments

Deployable shelter system is differentiated on the basis of size and application. 

Deployable Military Shelter Systems Sizes : 

Small 
Medium 
Large
Key Players

Alaska Structures
Roder HTS Hocker
Reeves
Zeppelin
HDT
Request to Sample of Report @   https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/reports/sample/rep-gb-678

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/explore-deployable-military-shelter-systems-market-size-analysis-and-forecast-report-by-2025-1026078.htm

Media Relations Contact

Abhishek Budholiya
Manager
Future Market Insights
Telephone: 1-347-918-3531
Email: Click to Email Abhishek Budholiya
Web: https://www.futuremarketinsights.com

#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000


          "Trump’s “Genius Hypothesis” Revealed"      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"Trump’s 'Genius Hypothesis' Revealed"
by Bill Bonner

POITOU, FRANCE – "In a weekend tweet, the president of the United States of America made a stock market forecast. He said that prices will go up “dramatically” as he brings his Art of the Deal methods to international trade negotiations. Never before in the history of the nation has a president – aided, abetted, and advised by thousands of the smartest people on the planet… with almost unlimited research budgets… tracking every detail and recording every conversation – offered stock market forecasts.

Move over, Jim Cramer. And who needs Warren Buffett? And you can forget Ben Graham and Charles Dow, too. If POTUS doesn’t know, who does? He went to the formerly prestigious Wharton School of Business… and is “like, a really smart person.” Never before have Americans had such a stark and simple choice. Right-thinking patriots now know what to do: buy, buy, buy. This sucker is going up! As for the rest of us, we hedge our bets.

“In the 5s”: But what has been most delicious in the feast of news over the last couple of days is the remarkable optimism… the untethered positivism… the unabashed, can-do spirit of America’s “numero uno.” Some will say the president is a liar. Others will say he is a fool. What staggers us is his imagination.

On Tuesday, President Trump offered an economic prediction to go with his market forecast. He said that GDP growth was accelerating and “could be in the 5s” for this quarter. From the Associated Press: "Trump also hailed his own economic and trade policies, saying he is “taking our economy to incredible new heights” in spite of fears of damage from the escalating trade disputes he has provoked. “You’re gonna see some really super growth,” he promised."

Holy, schmoly. We need sunglasses; we can’t remember the last time so many rosy scenarios all blinded us at the same time. Better trade deals… Soaring stock prices… Growth over 5% (it has averaged only about 2% for the last 10 years)… Record unemployment with more people working two jobs than ever before…

Even our Doom Index is looking less “doomy.” Our head of research, Joe Withrow, reports: "The Doom Index “cooled” back down to a 6 this quarter – our “soft warning” level. We are still seeing a tale of two worlds in that our financial metrics are flashing warning signs… but our “real” economy metrics remain relatively robust. We once again saw more corporate bond downgrades than upgrades this quarter… and that’s been the case for 11 of the past 12 quarters. That tells you that serious cracks are forming in the credit markets. And speaking of U.S. stocks… traditional valuation metrics are still higher than they were in 2007. That hasn’t changed… and, of course, remains a major warning sign.

I attended a talk given by hedge fund manager Mark Yusko in New York last month, and he basically said the same thing we have been saying for a while now: Stock market returns are likely to be awful over the next decade. He thinks we can expect -4% to 0% returns over the next 10 years… Putting it all together, the Doom Index is issuing a soft warning this quarter. It’s probably not going to be smooth sailing in the stock market… But it doesn’t look like the bottom is about to fall out, either."

Sufficient Revenue: But wait, there’s more… Mr. Trump says the national debt is going down, too – thanks to his tariffs. The New York Times has the story: "President Trump has a new plan for how to pay down the national debt: Taxing American consumers and businesses when they buy certain goods from countries subject to his tariffs. […] Mr. Trump contended over the weekend that the tariffs his administration has imposed on steel, aluminum and a variety of imported Chinese goods will soon begin to generate sufficient revenue to reduce the federal debt."

And here we see the delightful quality of Donald J. Trump’s imagination. He’s proposing to turn an $800 billion trade deficit into a tariff-fueled fiscal surplus. Of course, that is never going to happen. But it reveals Mr. Trump as an economic genius… or a hopeless dreamer… or an imbecile. We will deconstruct his weekend tweets; we leave you to decide (emphasis is ours):

"Every country on Earth wants to take wealth out of the U.S., always to our detriment. I say, as they come, tax them. If they don’t want to be taxed, let them make or build the product in the U.S. In either event, it means jobs and great wealth."

"Because of tariffs we will be able to start paying down large amounts of the $21 trillion in debt that has been accumulated, much by the Obama administration, while at the same time reducing taxes for our people."

The suggestion that countries take wealth out of the U.S. is curious. People trade with each other, and all want to come out ahead. Governments get in the way. As of today, for example, we are told that we may no longer buy Persian carpets… because Mr. Trump has some grudge against Iran’s government. (We presume he has nothing against its carpet makers.) 

But how do the foreigners “take wealth out”? When Japanese manufacturers send TVs or cars… they do so in exchange for mere electronic notations – aka “dollars.” Buyers and sellers are presumably happy with the deals or they wouldn’t make them. Who puts in wealth? Who takes it out? How is that to our “detriment”? We don’t know.

Genius Hypothesis: Then, the proposed solution: tax imports. Let’s see, Americans will pay higher prices. Consumers will have fewer options… and less money. Where does the “great wealth” come from? Proponents of the “genius hypothesis” for Mr. Trump will say that his negotiations will lead to freer trade. But that is not at all what the “tax it or build it here” threat implies. It proposes limiting trade. And then, there is the claim that these taxes on imports will reduce the federal debt.

Hmm… Here, the president really has let himself run away with his mythomaniac tendencies. The federal debt is not going to be reduced by tariffs. Not even close. Obama ran big deficits. Trump has caused even bigger ones. If you were to lower the national debt, you’d first have to bring the deficits down to zero.

There’s a trillion-dollar gap that needs to be filled. Total imports in the U.S. are about $2.3 trillion. You’d need to tax the whole kit and caboodle – raising the cost on a vast range of consumer items in America – by about 40%.

Is that going to happen? Of course not.
Would it help the economy or make Americans wealthier? Of course not.

What will happen? We don’t know. And we can hold out hope that Mr. Trump and his fans are right. But our guess: The good news and fantasies will continue until they come to an abrupt stop. Then, the 5s will become 0s."
http://www.thedailyreckoning.com

          There’s A Big Asterisk In Bernie Sanders’ Claim That ‘Medicare For All’ Plan Saves $2 Trillion In Health Spending      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Associated Press fact checks Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) spin on the report that analyzed the cost of the senator's "Medicare For All" plan, which is gaining steam in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
          The Yin and Yang of the US-China Relationship      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Chimerica always seemed like an oversimplification of a complex and dialectic relationship between the US and China.  However, it did express an underlying truth, that China's rise over the last 40 years has been predicated on Deng Xiaoping's political and economic reforms and, importantly, the world of free-trade (a reduction in tariff barriers to trade) promoted by the United States.  

America seems to hold two seemingly contradictory views about China.  Many economists and hedge funds have emphasized the heavy debt burden and excess capacity plaguing numerous industries.  Kudlow, the top economic adviser of Trump's, has scoffed at the Chinese economy, noting that it is weakening while the US is enjoying robust growth.  Kudlow and others also point to 15.5%  slide in Chinese shares compared with a nearly 7% rise in the S&P 500 this year as more evidence of China's underperformance.  

The other camp makes it sound like China is about to eat America's lunch.  The yuan is being internationalized and will eclipse the dollar.  China's unfair trade practices have stolen well-paid American manufacturing jobs.  It is stealing American technology.  Its "Made in China 2025" is nothing short of trying to dethrone the US from the economic heights.  It One Belt One Road Initiative seeks to create a Sino-centric world based on debt, trade and investment ties and wants to displace the US.  

Some in this camp also emphasize other potential harm China can inflict in the US.  There is seemingly ceaseless speculation that China would sell its Treasury holdings, which are over a trillion dollars.  Others speculate that China will allow its currency to depreciate to offset the US tariffs.  

Ironically both camps tend to support an aggressive confrontation of China.  US and European policymakers and press complain that China violates global norms and rules. A recent article in Foreign Policy was explicit. "Many Americans agree that solving the distorted U.S.-China economic relationship is critical. But the answer isn’t to be found in trade alone. The root of this problem is not the deficit, but China’s deeply held belief that it is not beholden to the same rules as other nations.".

Few outside of China dispute these claims.  The problem is to find a major country that doesn't.  Chinese policies, as Dani Rodrik, noted in a recent op-ed piece in the Financial Times, that "China's policies are not so different from those they [US and Europe] embraced while catching up with technological leaders of the time."

On another level, this tactic is misdirection.  For the last 18 months or so, it is the US words and deeds are seen to be violating global norms and rules.  From threatening to withdraw from NATO and casting dispersions on Article 5 that commits to a common defense and blocking the appointment of judges to the WTO adjudication panels to tariffs on aluminum and steel on national security grounds, the US has emerged as a powerful disruptive force.  

Even in domestic affairs, including comments about the appropriateness of Fed policy and exchange rates, the US President is shown disregard for what has emerged as norms of behavior.  To many, American exceptionalism has often meant that the US acted as if it was an exception to the general rules of engagement.  

The biggest threat to the multilateral trading system right now is not China, which has never implemented the spirit or the letter of the WTO.  It is the United States that seemingly no longer is a proponent of that post-WWII order that it was so instrumental in building.  

Abigail Grace concludes her Foreign Policy essay with a spirited defense of that order:  "For all its flaws, the post-World War II order has succeeded in making the world a more prosperous and secure place, nominally devoted to liberal democratic values and the inherent worth and autonomy of the individual." But there is no room for China because its  "political priorities continue to stand in direct contrast to this concept of open governance."  Grace does not recognize that Trump Administration's efforts to cast the US as a revisionist power has weakened that order by claiming it does not serve US interests.  

What is also lost on many observers is that like football or basketball, the violation of the rules has been incorporated into the game itself.  Sometimes is it perfectly rational and within the rules to violate them to prevent an opponent from getting an advantage such as a score.  The importance of the rule-of-law is not that the law is not broken but that there is a conflict resolution process.  

The US has lost many cases before the WTO that other countries have brought against its practices.  It typically wins cases that it brings against others.   The US, no more than China, puts the WTO at risk from violating the rules and more than a basketball player fouling an opponent to prevent an easy score puts the game at risk.  Instead, the more powerful threat to the WTO and the rules-based system is the US blocking appointments to the conflict resolution mechanism.  

Some observers who might otherwise be defenders of free-trade are frustrated by the fact that China is not evolving into more like the US.  They say that since everything else has been tried, the new tariffs are the only way forward.  We doubt the premise (everything else has been tried, and there has been no progress) and the conclusion (that tariffs will work).  Few observers integrate into their analysis that fact that more than half of China's exports to the US come from factories that are at least partly owned by non-Chinese companies.  These are inputs for American manufacturers (e.g., LED devices).  Hence Trump's tariffs on China will hit US and European companies and boost prices for goods impacted, likely washing machines.  

The US is attacking the international supply chains, and Trump insists that companies build locally to serve the domestic market.  China is defending the international supply chains.  Unlike the US, it is trying to minimize the disruption of imports that are input into its domestic and foreign-owned factories.  Almost two months ago, China reduced barriers for foreign investors to enter banking, agriculture, automotive, and heavy industry.  It reduced some tariffs on countries in Asia that have entered into trade agreements with it. China recently allowed Tesla to be the first foreign automaker to operate without a local partner.  

Both those that see China as being strong and bent on global domination and those that argue China is weak and headed for a dramatic debt crisis provide fodder for the war camp.  China is dangerous and is a threat to our way of life.  They provide a narrative for what the noted foreign policy expert and former presidential adviser Graham Allison called the "Thucydides Trap."  This is when a rising power causes fear in an established power, which escalates toward war.     

There is no doubt that many of China's practices and policies are not fair and do cause harm to other countries, like subsidizing heavy industry and excess capacity from which it exports deflation.  It shows little respect for the individual and liberty (property rights).  The US economic model is superior and has turned back other state-capitalist and authoritarian challenges.   What worked on Japan is unlikely to be effective on China.  The leverage is different, and China is more resolute.  Investors should be prepared for a protracted period of confrontation between the US and China.  



Disclaimer




          Amazon could seriously disrupt the travel industry, say analysts      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Amazon, Amazon Q218, Amazon Pharmacy, Amazon UK, sell on Amazon, Amazon turkey, Amazon #1, Amazon Feedback

Apple may have taken the laurels to become the first trillion dollar firm in the history of the world. But Amazon will most likely follow suit soon. And one of the reasons is that it still has plenty of opportunities to pursue. Two one trillion industries it doesn’t (yet) currently tap into are petrol (gas) stations […]
          H1 2018: GTBank records Profit Before Tax of N109.6BN      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has released its audited financial results for the period ended June 30, 2018 to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges.

A review of the results shows positive performance across all financial indices, reaffirming the Bank’s position as one of the most profitable and well managed financial institutions in Nigeria. Gross earnings for the period grew by 5.9% to ₦226.6billion from ₦214.1billion reported in June 2017. Profit before tax stood at ₦109.6billion, representing a growth of 8.4% over ₦101.1billion recorded in the corresponding period of June 2017.T

he Bank’s Loan Book dipped by 10.8% from ₦1.449trillion recorded as at December 2017 to ₦1.293trillion in June 2018, while customers’ deposit grew by 10.0% to ₦2.269trillion from ₦2.062trillion in December 2017.

The Bank’s balance sheet remained strong with a 5.9% growth in Total assets as the Bank closed the period ended June 2018 with Total Assets of ₦3.549trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of ₦497.1Billion.

In terms of Assets quality, NPL ratio improved to 5.8% in June 2018 from 7.7% in December 2017. Overall, Asset quality improved with Cost of Risk of 0.1% and adequate coverage of 167.5% for Lifetime Credit Impaired Loans i.e. NPLs. Capital remains strong with CAR of 22.04% in spite of the implementation of IFRS 9. On the backdrop of this result, Post- Tax Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA) closed at 34.1% and 5.5% respectively.

Commenting on the financial results, the Managing Director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, said; “In spite of declining yields and the challenges in the operating environment, we have delivered a decent half year result. The quality of this result is built on the strength of our businesses as well as the success of our digital-first customer-centric strategy in delivering financial services that are simpler, cheaper and more valuable to our customers’ everyday lives.”

He further stated that “We will continue to focus on consolidating our leading position in all the economies in which we operate by staying committed to building a business that is both nimble and efficient whilst strengthening relationships with our customers and creating business platforms that provide them with additional benefits beyond banking.”

GTBank continues to be best in class in terms of all financial ratios posted by Financial Institutions in the Industry as indicated by its Post-Tax Return on equity (ROE) of 34.1%, Post-Tax Return on Assets (ROAA) of 5.5%, Cost to Income ratio of 38.8%, NIM of 9.6% and PBT margin of 48.4%. These ratios are testament to competent and experienced Management and work-force, efficient Balance sheet structure complemented with Operational efficiency of the Bank.

In recognition of the Bank’s bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service delivery and innovation, GTBank has been a recipient of numerous awards over the years. These include Africa’s Best Bank for SMEs and Best Bank in Nigeria from Euromoney Magazine, African Bank of the Year from African Banker Magazine, Best Banking Group and Best Retail Bank from World Finance Magazine, Best Bank in Africa for Corporate Governance from Ethical Boardroom Magazine.

The post H1 2018: GTBank records Profit Before Tax of N109.6BN appeared first on The Icon.


          'Walking a tightrope': China's debt situation is drawing comparisons to the US mortgage crisis      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

china investor worried stock market

  • Wealth-management products are collections of financial instruments sold as one high-yield investment.
  • They may pose risks similar to those of mortgage-backed securities in the US leading up to the financial crisis, according to analysts. 

A trade war may not be China's biggest problem.

Analysts are cautioning against the country's use of wealth-management products, or groups of financial instruments that are sold as one high-yield investment. Takahide Kiuchi, an economist at Nomura, thinks they may even pose risks that mirror those that led up to the Great Recession.

"The situation revolving around these [wealth-management products] is similar to the residential mortgage-backed securities problem in the US that eventually triggered the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the global financial crisis," Kiuchi said.  

Kiuchi is referring to 2008 when mortgage-backed securities, financial instruments that bundled risky home loans for investors, threw the world into years of economic turmoil.

Wealth-management products offer implicit or explicit guarantees from Chinese banks, which are exposed to them through investment companies. The outstanding amount of non-guaranteed bank wealth-management products was more than $3 trillion at the end of June, according to Reuters, and about 15% of that appears to be invested in shadow lending. 

Kiuchi said any sudden removal of bank guarantees on these instruments would likely lead to individuals pulling their funds out. That could cause the collapse of the investment companies that issue the wealth management products, he said, and subsequently hit small and midsized banks and insurance companies.

China's financial authorities have been taking steps to address these risks. Last month, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission rolled out new regulations and guidelines on wealth management products. 

But with an ongoing trade war between the US and China, Beijing appears to be shifting gears. Kiuchi said officials seem to be placing more emphasis on economic stimulus and less on structural reforms and financial stability.

"A change in the environment could suddenly turn risks into real problems," Kiuchi said. "The authorities are walking a tightrope in their efforts to carefully unwind these complex and tightly intertwined financial risks."

Others see financial system risks as more manageable. While UBS strategists led by Adrian Zuercher acknowledged in a recent note that some investors are concerned China could face a financial crisis under the debt buildup, they don't think it's likely. 

A majority of debt is domestic and funded by stable sources, they noted. And much of that credit has been used for investment rather than consumption, which they said makes additional restructuring options possible.

"Still, the rapid rise in debt-to-GDP ratio reflects that China has borrowed a lot from the future," Zuercher wrote. "Another issue in China's credit market is the lack of credit differentiation and prevalent implicit guarantees in investment products."

SEE ALSO: The stock market is stretched to double tech-bubble extremes, according to one measure — here's why investors should be very scared of the implications

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Super-Earths are real and they could be an even better place for life than Earth


          UNEXPECTED HEADLINES: Democratic Socialist Agenda To Cost $42.5 Trillion In Next Decade, Says … Vox?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
via hotair: Now wait just a minute, some astute readers will protest, that doesn’t sound like the Vox we know. And you’d be right — because to Vox’s credit, they offered ... Read more
          Universal health care? How much does our current health care cost?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Dear Editor: I have heard some big numbers suggested, what a universal health care system would cost us here in the US of A.  The most recent estimate I saw, in the Detroit News, was $32 trillion.  The article didn’t break down toe components that were calculated to arrive at this figure.  The estimate I’ve [...]
          The rise of the IoT and artificial intelligence in industry [Q&A]      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
While the consumer IoT has captured the imagination with smart appliances and devices, the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a rapidly growing market. According to Accenture, the IIoT market could add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030. IIoT is also breathing new life into industries that are in great need of digital transformation, such as manufacturing, oil and gas, and more. As a result, artificial intelligence and machine learning are quickly becoming one of the biggest priorities for companies that want to make the most of their operational data to increase outputs using less energy and costs.… [Continue Reading]
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Captain Sonar has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Tyrants of the Underdark has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Forbidden Stars has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Rising Sun has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Decrypto has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Roll Player has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Tiny Epic Galaxies has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Too Many Bones has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Empires of the Void II has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "Empfehlungen"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Trillion123

An item Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG has been added to the geeklist Empfehlungen
          NASA is flying a $1.5 billion spacecraft into the sun — here's why      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

NASA will soon launch its Parker Solar Probe on a mission that will take it closer to the sun than any spacecraft in history. The probe will fly straight into the sun's outer atmosphere, called the corona, where violent storms erupt that could destroy our tech-driven way of life. If we want to avoid living like people did back in the Stone Age, we'll need Parker Solar Probe's data. Following is a transcript of the video.

NASA is about to go where no one has gone before. The Sun. That’s right. NASA is flying a 1.5 billion-dollar spacecraft into the hottest, most violent object in our solar system. All in the name of science.

NASA’s unmanned Parker Solar Probe will come to within 3.83 million miles of the solar surface. Now, that might not sound very close but it’s about SEVEN TIMES closer than any spacecraft has gone before. And puts the probe smack inside one of the sun’s most treacherous layers:  The corona. The outermost layer of the Sun.

Here, the temperatures fluctuate from 1 to 5 million degrees FahrenheitAnd solar flares exist that are so big they could swallow our planet whole. So, why are we going here, again? It turns out, the sun poses a major threat to our modern way of life. Powerful magnetic fields form near the sun’s surface. Where they sometimes spark violent eruptions called coronal mass ejections.

These ejections fire a surge of highly-charged particles into space that will fry any electronic circuits on impact. That includes circuits inside our satellites that control cell service, the internet, GPS, the stock exchange, and much more.

In 2014, for example, astrophysicist Daniel N. Baker explained what may happen if one of these powerful storms hit Earth directly, explaining that it could:

“cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.”

Such a strike could cost an estimated $2 trillion in damage — 10 times more than Hurricane Katrina. Now luckily, space is a big place, which makes Earth a relatively small and tricky target. In fact, the last time a powerful storm like this struck our planet was more than 150 years ago, back in 1859. But the risk is there. And NASA predicts there’s a 12% chance we’ll get hit within the next decade.

That’s where Parker Solar Probe comes in. The probe can’t prevent an ejection from happening. But it can study the corona so that we may better understand the warning signs of an impending storm. And with enough notice, we may be able to protect our satellites from harm.

In addition to spying on the sun, Parker Solar Probe has another very important job: Don’t. Melt.

To that end, NASA has prepped the probe with four highly-tuned sensors and an impressive heat shield that will protect the probe’s instruments. The sensors are there to make sure the shield stays directed at the sun at all times. The mission will involve not one, or two, but 24 dives into the sun. Which are scheduled to take place up through the year 2025.

Join the conversation about this story »


          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
                Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Wait until you see the price of gold in Venezuela right now Stockhouse Brent Cook sees big opportunities despite the “chaos” SmallCapPower Tesla’s Gigafactory to be world’s biggest battery plant, but China will dominate electric vehicle lithium-ion production for next decade Benchmark Mineral Intelligence The U.S. government to fork out a half-trillion to service its [...]
                Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Brent Cook sees big opportunities despite the “chaos” SmallCapPower Tesla’s Gigafactory to be world’s biggest battery plant, but China will dominate electric vehicle lithium-ion production for next decade Benchmark Mineral Intelligence The U.S. government to fork out a half-trillion to service its debt in 2018 GoldSeek Chinese battery-grade lithium carbonate prices extend downtrend Industrial Minerals [...]
                Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Tesla’s Gigafactory to be world’s biggest battery plant, but China will dominate electric vehicle lithium-ion production for next decade Benchmark Mineral Intelligence The U.S. government to fork out a half-trillion to service its debt in 2018 GoldSeek Chinese battery-grade lithium carbonate prices extend downtrend Industrial Minerals Cerro Rico—The greatest of the great Geology for Investors [...]
          Sizes of cash prizes for science awards (up to $ ten trillion)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
none
          Fact check: Could Bernie Sanders' 'Medicare for All' save $2 trillion?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Democrats across the country are touting 'Medicare for All,' but many candidates are leaving out important context.
          Comment on Does Apple’s landmark $1 trillion valuation even matter? by ftpbook      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
i remember someone saying they would sell the company and give the money back to investors , where is that person NOW.
          Comment on Apple could be decisive bringing hyperloop to California by Reality      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Nobody here has ever promoted that Apple drop everything else to only work on cutting edge desktop Macs. A trillion dollar company ought to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Under Timmy, product gestation has stretched to ridiculously long schedules with no quality advantage to show for it.
          Hardly anyone wants to admit America is beating poverty      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Hardly anyone wants to admit America is beating poverty
- Those on the right, meanwhile, have argued that the U.S. has spent trillions to no effect. In fact, poverty has declined significantly over the past 50 ...

          Voters have spoken: Student debt is officially a crisis      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Republican and Democratic voters agree on the need to address America’s $1.5 trillion student-debt problem.

          When the Resistance is Really the Assistance      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

We all learned in school that some countries have a single governing party. If you’re not in that party, you can’t be part of the government. The US has two government parties, Republicans and Democrats, both funded by the corporations and wealthy individuals who make up this country’s capitalist elite. If you’re not in either one of the government parties, you’re denied access to media and in many states, laws are passed specifically to keep you off the ballot.

While the two parties are funded by pretty much the same class of people, their social bases are different. Since the 1960s, Republicans have made it clear that they are the white man’s party, the party of war abroad and racist reaction at home. Democrats, for electoral purposes are obliged to stake a contrary claim. Since the election of Donald Trump Democrats have branded themselves “the resistance.”

This month the House and Senate passed the reconciled version of the 2019 Pentagon budget on to the White House. On TV and establishment media they call it a defense budget, but that’s branding too. The second world war which ended in 1945 killed 60 or 65 million people, after the first world war claimed 30 million only a generation earlier. This sort of gave war bad name. So in 1948 they changed the name of the US Department of War to the US Department of Defense. With the stroke of a pen, wealthy merchants of death as they were widely known, the war contractors, all became patriotic defense contractors. The US Secretary of War became the US Secretary of Defense, and the US war budget, by far the world’s largest, became the defense budget. And so it’s been for seven decades.

Early this month, the House and Senate passed the reconciled version of the US war budget to the president for signatgure. It’s the earliest in the budget cycle Congress has done a military budget since 1996 or 1997, when a Democrat in the White House and Democrats in Congress were anxious to assure Republicans that they were all on the same side.

They call this year’s atrocity the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act, worth a record $716 billion. This total doesn’t include the budget of the Afghan war, which lives somewhere else, or the budgets of several other known programs, and there are secret budgets for more or less secret programs as well. Nobody really doubts that actual US military spending has hovered around a trillion a year for several years now.

So how did the resistance perform? In the Senate the vote was 87 to 10, three not voting. Only 8 Democrats resisted. Among them Liz Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand. Dick Durbin of Illinois also voted against the Pentagon bill. This is purest theater, because Durbin since 2005 has been Democratic Whip in the Senate, the man responsible for lining up the votes of his fellow senators. If this meant anything to him, why did only 7 other Democrats vote with their supposed leader?

In the House the vote was 351 to 66, with 139 Democrats voting yes, 49 voting no, and 5 not voting. So the resistance was really the assistance, voting almost 2 to 1 to continue spending as much on US wars around the world as the next nine or ten countries put together.

The Congressional Black Caucus was even more eager to assist the US posture of global war than Democrats as a whole, a pattern Glen Ford has called out repeatedly in recent years. CBC members voted 34 to 8 in favor of the permanent war budget, which includes Trump’s military parade, a new Space Force, and scores of drone bases in Africa that put almost the entire continent under US cameras and guns. Noted progresssive Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the only Muslim in Congress, abstained. The CBC members who found the spine to cast votes against the war budget were Bonnie Watson-Coleman, Barbara Lee, John Lewis (who does have a US Navy oiler named after him), Hakim Jeffires, Yvette Clarke, Karne Bass, Bobby Rush, and Hank Johnson.

The House Progressive Caucus did a little better, but still only 28, less than half its membership of 64 opposed the Pentagon budget. That’s what it means to be a progressive Democrat these days.

When most of the so-called progressives are pro-war we can legitimately say that the resistance is really the assistance.

For Black Agenda Radio I’m Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email notices of new content. Google and other social media continue to suppress our content in search results, so this is the only way you can be certain you receive fresh weekly news, commentary and analysis from the black left each week.

We invite you to join the discussion on this and other Black Agenda Report content on our Facebook page.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report and a state committee member of the GA Green Party. He lives and works near Marietta GA and can be reached via email at bruce.dixon@blackagendareport.com.


          Shell Game      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
“I’m already locked inside a trillion cells. What difference does one more make?” He shouted this from his cage, the words slipping past receding guards to find more receptive ears in similar cages lining the ... [continue]
          Bankrupt America: A Fragile Nation Grappling With Unprecedented Debt Problems      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

America, you officially have a debt problem, and I am not just talking about the national debt. 

Consumer bankruptcies are surging, corporate debt has doubled since the last financial crisis, state and local government debt loads have never been higher, and the federal government has been adding more than a trillion dollars a year to the federal debt ever since Barack Obama entered the White House. 

We have been on the greatest debt binge in human history, and it has enabled us to enjoy our ridiculously high standard of living for far longer than we deserved.  Many of us have been sounding the alarm about our debt problem for a very long time, but now even the mainstream news is freaking out about it.  I have a feeling that they just want something else to hammer President Trump over the head with, but they are actually speaking the truth when they say that we are facing an unprecedented debt crisis.

For example, the New York Times just published a piece that discussed the fact that the bankruptcy rate among retirees is about three times higher than it was in 1991…

For a rapidly growing share of older Americans, traditional ideas about life in retirement are being upended by a dismal reality: bankruptcy.

The signs of potential trouble — vanishing pensions, soaring medical expenses, inadequate savings — have been building for years. Now, new research sheds light on the scope of the problem: The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991, the study found, and the same group accounts for a far greater share of all filers.

Infographic: Bankruptcy Surging Among Older Americans | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

Overall, Baby Boomers are doing a whole lot better financially than the generations coming after them, and so this is very troubling news.

And here is another very troubling fact from that same article

Not only are more older people seeking relief through bankruptcy, but they also represent a widening slice of all filers: 12.2 percent of filers are now 65 or older, up from 2.1 percent in 1991.

The jump is so pronounced, the study says, that the aging of the baby boom generation cannot explain it.

Of course it isn’t just Baby Boomers that are drowning in debt.

Collectively, U.S. households are 13.15 trillion dollars in debt, which is the highest level in American history.

All over the nation, companies are also going bankrupt at a staggering pace.  This week we learned that the biggest mattress retailer in the entire country “Is considering a potential bankruptcy filing”

Mattress Firm Inc, the largest U.S. mattress retailer, is considering a potential bankruptcy filing as it seeks ways to get out of costly store leases and shut some of its 3,000 locations that are losing money, people familiar with the matter said.

Mattress Firm’s deliberations offer the latest example of a U.S. brick-and-mortar retailer struggling financially amid competition from e-commerce firms such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

We have seen retailer after retailer go down, and it is being projected that this will be the worst year for retail store closings ever.

But it isn’t just retailers that are hurting.  Yesterday, I came across an article about a television manufacturer in South Carolina that just had to lay off “94 percent of their workforce”

A TV manufacturer based in South Carolina have blamed Trump’s trade tariffs for laying off 94 percent of their workforce.

Element Electronics now has just eight employees in their company after letting 126 members of staff go.

They said the tariffs imposed on goods from China mean they can no longer buy essential components for their TVs.

During this next economic downturn, I believe that we are going to see the biggest wave of corporate bankruptcies that this country has ever seen.

State and local governments don’t go bankrupt, but they are drowning in debt as well.  State and local government debt has ballooned to the highest levels on record in recent years, and one of the big reasons for this is because we are facing a coming pension crisis that threatens to absolutely overwhelm us

Many cities and states can no longer afford the unsustainable retirement promises made to millions of public workers over many years. By one estimate they are short $5 trillion, an amount that is roughly equal to the output of the world’s third-largest economy.

Certain pension funds face the prospect of insolvency unless governments increase taxes, divert funds or persuade workers to relinquish money they are owed. It is increasingly likely that retirees, as well as new workers, will be forced to take deeper benefit cuts.

Meanwhile, the federal government continues to engage in incredibly reckless financial behavior.  When Barack Obama was elected, we were 10 trillion dollars in debt, and now we are 21 trillion dollars in debt.

What that means is that we have been adding more than a trillion dollars to the national debt per year since 2008, and we continue to steal more than 100 million dollars every single hour of every single day from future generations of Americans.

And even though the Republicans have been in control in Washington, very few of our leaders seem to want to alter the trajectory that we are on.  But if something is not done, absolute disaster is a certainty.  At this point, it is being projected that our debt will reach 30 trillion dollars by 2028 if we stay on this current path.  It would be difficult to overstate the grave danger that we are facing, but nothing is being done to turn things around.  Here are some more projections from the Congressional Budget Office

In 2022, the Highway Trust Fund will run out of full funding. In 2026, the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund follows. In 2032, the Social Security trust fund surpluses run dry, and all beneficiaries regardless of age or income level will face a 21 percent across-the-board benefit cut. Before 2030, we could have trillion-dollar annual interest payments. Interest rates have been low until now, but that is changing. As rates go up, we have to pay more on new debt and on all accumulated debt.

The amount we pay in interest on the debt is set to triple over the next ten years. But if interest rates rise just 1 point higher than expected, the government will owe an extra $1.9 trillion over 10 years.

On top of everything else, everyone else around the world has been on a massive debt binge as well.

Total global debt is well above 200 trillion dollars, and it has nearly quadrupled over the past 17 years.

Are you starting to understand why they call this a “debt bubble”?

Unfortunately, all debt bubbles must burst eventually, and the one that we are in right now is definitely on borrowed time.


          Bonds & Bitcoin Bid As Musk Massacred, Russia Routed, & Turkey Trampled      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

To all the Tesla bulls who bought earlier in the week on Musk's Tweet...

China stocks rebounded overnight

 

Mixed day for Europe, Germany up, Italy down...

 

Nasdaq and Small Caps in the US led the day (short squeeze, see below) but Dow, S&P, and Trannies could not hold a bid...and the close was really ugly (like yesterday)...

Nasdaq's 8th gain in a row - best streak since Oct 2017.

2nd day in a row with  a weak close...

 

"Most Shorted" stocks have been squeezed at every open so far this week...

 

FANG Stocks managed gains on the day - but are holding below the FB gap...

 

 

Tesla tumbled... erasing all the "going private" tweet gains...

 

Seems like Tesla bondholders were on to it all along...

 

The big banks erased the week's gains today...

 

Amid all the chaos, Treasuries were bid...

 

With 30Y yields tumbling after PPI...

 

And the yield curve flattened...

 

The Dollar Index ripped higher today (but remains in a week-long range for now)...

 

EURUSD is testing the critical 1.15 level...

 

Emerging Market currencies were a bloodbath...

Led by a 5% plus collapse in the Turkish Lira - the biggest drop since Oct 2008...

 

Russia and Turkish bond yields spiked...

 

Cryptos managed a small rebound today after an ugly week...

 

Despite the surge in the dollar, commodities trod water today (no bounce in crude)...

 

Finally, we note that market breadth remains seriously lagging - Nasdaq near new highs and yet fewer and fewer of its members are even above their 200DMA...

 

And finally finally, who do you trust? US Macro data, the Nasdaq (and its 4 or 5 stock driver), or the NYSE Composite of over 2000 stocks and $23 trillion in market cap...




Next Page: 10000

Site Map 2018_01_14
Site Map 2018_01_15
Site Map 2018_01_16
Site Map 2018_01_17
Site Map 2018_01_18
Site Map 2018_01_19
Site Map 2018_01_20
Site Map 2018_01_21
Site Map 2018_01_22
Site Map 2018_01_23
Site Map 2018_01_24
Site Map 2018_01_25
Site Map 2018_01_26
Site Map 2018_01_27
Site Map 2018_01_28
Site Map 2018_01_29
Site Map 2018_01_30
Site Map 2018_01_31
Site Map 2018_02_01
Site Map 2018_02_02
Site Map 2018_02_03
Site Map 2018_02_04
Site Map 2018_02_05
Site Map 2018_02_06
Site Map 2018_02_07
Site Map 2018_02_08
Site Map 2018_02_09
Site Map 2018_02_10
Site Map 2018_02_11
Site Map 2018_02_12
Site Map 2018_02_13
Site Map 2018_02_14
Site Map 2018_02_15
Site Map 2018_02_15
Site Map 2018_02_16
Site Map 2018_02_17
Site Map 2018_02_18
Site Map 2018_02_19
Site Map 2018_02_20
Site Map 2018_02_21
Site Map 2018_02_22
Site Map 2018_02_23
Site Map 2018_02_24
Site Map 2018_02_25
Site Map 2018_02_26
Site Map 2018_02_27
Site Map 2018_02_28
Site Map 2018_03_01
Site Map 2018_03_02
Site Map 2018_03_03
Site Map 2018_03_04
Site Map 2018_03_05
Site Map 2018_03_06
Site Map 2018_03_07
Site Map 2018_03_08
Site Map 2018_03_09
Site Map 2018_03_10
Site Map 2018_03_11
Site Map 2018_03_12
Site Map 2018_03_13
Site Map 2018_03_14
Site Map 2018_03_15
Site Map 2018_03_16
Site Map 2018_03_17
Site Map 2018_03_18
Site Map 2018_03_19
Site Map 2018_03_20
Site Map 2018_03_21
Site Map 2018_03_22
Site Map 2018_03_23
Site Map 2018_03_24
Site Map 2018_03_25
Site Map 2018_03_26
Site Map 2018_03_27
Site Map 2018_03_28
Site Map 2018_03_29
Site Map 2018_03_30
Site Map 2018_03_31
Site Map 2018_04_01
Site Map 2018_04_02
Site Map 2018_04_03
Site Map 2018_04_04
Site Map 2018_04_05
Site Map 2018_04_06
Site Map 2018_04_07
Site Map 2018_04_08
Site Map 2018_04_09
Site Map 2018_04_10
Site Map 2018_04_11
Site Map 2018_04_12
Site Map 2018_04_13
Site Map 2018_04_14
Site Map 2018_04_15
Site Map 2018_04_16
Site Map 2018_04_17
Site Map 2018_04_18
Site Map 2018_04_19
Site Map 2018_04_20
Site Map 2018_04_21
Site Map 2018_04_22
Site Map 2018_04_23
Site Map 2018_04_24
Site Map 2018_04_25
Site Map 2018_04_26
Site Map 2018_04_27
Site Map 2018_04_28
Site Map 2018_04_29
Site Map 2018_04_30
Site Map 2018_05_01
Site Map 2018_05_02
Site Map 2018_05_03
Site Map 2018_05_04
Site Map 2018_05_05
Site Map 2018_05_06
Site Map 2018_05_07
Site Map 2018_05_08
Site Map 2018_05_09
Site Map 2018_05_15
Site Map 2018_05_16
Site Map 2018_05_17
Site Map 2018_05_18
Site Map 2018_05_19
Site Map 2018_05_20
Site Map 2018_05_21
Site Map 2018_05_22
Site Map 2018_05_23
Site Map 2018_05_24
Site Map 2018_05_25
Site Map 2018_05_26
Site Map 2018_05_27
Site Map 2018_05_28
Site Map 2018_05_29
Site Map 2018_05_30
Site Map 2018_05_31
Site Map 2018_06_01
Site Map 2018_06_02
Site Map 2018_06_03
Site Map 2018_06_04
Site Map 2018_06_05
Site Map 2018_06_06
Site Map 2018_06_07
Site Map 2018_06_08
Site Map 2018_06_09
Site Map 2018_06_10
Site Map 2018_06_11
Site Map 2018_06_12
Site Map 2018_06_13
Site Map 2018_06_14
Site Map 2018_06_15
Site Map 2018_06_16
Site Map 2018_06_17
Site Map 2018_06_18
Site Map 2018_06_19
Site Map 2018_06_20
Site Map 2018_06_21
Site Map 2018_06_22
Site Map 2018_06_23
Site Map 2018_06_24
Site Map 2018_06_25
Site Map 2018_06_26
Site Map 2018_06_27
Site Map 2018_06_28
Site Map 2018_06_29
Site Map 2018_06_30
Site Map 2018_07_01
Site Map 2018_07_02
Site Map 2018_07_03
Site Map 2018_07_04
Site Map 2018_07_05
Site Map 2018_07_06
Site Map 2018_07_07
Site Map 2018_07_08
Site Map 2018_07_09
Site Map 2018_07_10
Site Map 2018_07_11
Site Map 2018_07_12
Site Map 2018_07_13
Site Map 2018_07_14
Site Map 2018_07_15
Site Map 2018_07_16
Site Map 2018_07_17
Site Map 2018_07_18
Site Map 2018_07_19
Site Map 2018_07_20
Site Map 2018_07_21
Site Map 2018_07_22
Site Map 2018_07_23
Site Map 2018_07_24
Site Map 2018_07_25
Site Map 2018_07_26
Site Map 2018_07_27
Site Map 2018_07_28
Site Map 2018_07_29
Site Map 2018_07_30
Site Map 2018_07_31
Site Map 2018_08_01
Site Map 2018_08_02
Site Map 2018_08_03
Site Map 2018_08_04
Site Map 2018_08_05
Site Map 2018_08_06
Site Map 2018_08_07
Site Map 2018_08_08
Site Map 2018_08_09