Spot The Outlier – Seattle Home Prices Go Vertical As Laundered Chinese Money Flows In

Last summer we declared that “China’s favorite offshore money laundering hub is officially no longer accepting its money” after the city of Vancouver slapped a 15% tax on foreign real estate buyers. The tax was intended to curb a massive real estate bubble which had resulted from an influx of Chinese money over the preceding years. The move seemingly worked as it resulted in a staggering and immediate 96% drop in foreign buyers (see: Foreign Buying Plummets In Vancouver: Sales To Foreigners Crash 96%).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.

DEMS PUSH FOR $15 MINIMUM WAGE WHILE PAYING THEIR OWN STAFF WAY LESS

The Democratic Party is pushing for a federal $15 minimum wage as part of its recently revealed ‘Better Deal’ economic platform, despite paying its own field organizers significantly less than that during the 2016 election cycle.
The new platform, announced Monday at a press conference in Berryville, Va., aims to ingratiate the Democratic Party with blue collar voters through populist economic messaging focused on prioritizing the interests of workers over those of corporate interests.
However, the same party pushing the dubious $15 minimum wage chose not to implement the policy itself during the 2016 election.
A group of roughly 40 field workers filed a class action lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and six state party organizations in May, alleging that they were not fairly compensated for their work during the 2016 campaign. The field organizers claim to have been paid $3,000 per month while consistently working 80 to 90 hours per week.
Justin Swidler, the attorney representing the workers, described their treatment as ‘obscene.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JULY 26, 2017.

Foxconn To Get $230,000 In Incentives For Every Wisconsin Job Created

To much fanfare, President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, best known for making the iPhone, will build a new plant producing LCD panels in Wisconsin that will bring thousands of jobs to the state. On the surface it’s a great deal: in what’s being called the largest economic development project in state history, Foxconn plans to build a $10 billion plant that will eventually employ as many as 13,000 people, according to the White House and Gov. Scott Walker.
“It starts today with this investment in Wisconsin,” Foxconn chairman Terry Gou said at announcement in Washington D. C. on Wednesday.
The plant is expected to open in 2020 and be on a 20 million square-foot campus on at least 1,000 acres, a campus Walker’s office has dubbed “Wisconn Valley” according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The plant could be the first of several facilities the company intends to build in the United States and will start with 3,000 employees, a staff that could eventually grow by 10,000.
Furthermore, Walker’s office projected the project would create at least 22,000 “indirect and induced jobs” throughout Wisconsin and will generate an estimated $181 million in state and local tax revenues annually, including $60 million in local property taxes.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.

Total Government And Personal Debt In The U.S. Has Hit 41 Trillion Dollars ($329,961.34 Per Household)

We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world. In 1980, total government and personal debt in the United States was just over the 3 trillion dollar mark, but today it has surpassed 41 trillion dollars. That means that it has increased by almost 14 times since Ronald Reagan was first elected president. I am searching for words to describe how completely and utterly insane this is, but I am coming up empty. We are slowly but surely committing national suicide, and yet most Americans don’t even understand what is happening.
According to 720 Global, total government debt plus total personal debt in the United States was just over 3 trillion dollars in 1980. That broke down to $38,552 per household, and that figure represented 79 percent of median household income at the time.
Today, total government debt plus total personal debt in the United States has blown past the 41 trillion dollar mark. When you break that down, it comes to $329,961.34 per household, and that figure represents 584 percent of median household income.
If anyone can make a good argument that we are not in very serious debt trouble, I would love to hear it.
And remember, the figures above don’t even include corporate debt. They only include government debt on the federal, state and local levels, and all forms of personal debt.
So do you have $329,961.34 ready to pay your share of the debt that we have accumulated?

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on July 26th, 2017.

Why Illinois Is In Trouble – 63,000 Public Employees With $100,000+ Salaries Cost Taxpayers $10 Billion

The ‘Big Dogs’ of local government in Illinois.
Illinois is broke and continues to flirt with junk bond status. But the state’s financial woes aren’t stopping 63,000 government employees from bringing home six-figure salaries and higher.
Whenever we open the books, Illinois is consistently one of the worst offenders. Recently, we found auto pound supervisors in Chicago making $144,453; nurses at state corrections earning up to $254,781; junior college presidents making $465,420; university doctors earning $1.6 million; and 84 small-town ‘managers’ out-earning every U. S. governor.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.

FOMC Preview: Just 2 Things To Watch For In Today’s Fed Statement

Unlike the June Fed meeting, the FOMC announcement at 2pm today is expected to be an uneventful affair: as DB’s Jim Reid pointed out earlier, “given its late July and given the Fed will likely announce an end to balance sheet reinvestment in September (starting from October), this could be a relatively dull meeting.”
Big picture: the FOMC is expected to keep interest rates unchanged at this meeting at 1.00%-1.25%, after hiking last month. According to RanSquawk, all analysts surveyed by Reuters expect the Fed to keep rates unchanged. The market agrees with them: Fed Funds currently price in a 0% chance of a rate hike today.
And, as BofA notes, the market is clearly not expecting any Fed balance sheet reduction today either:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – Nocturne

“A horse walks into a bar, the bartender says, ‘Why the long face?’”
And so we had both an FOMC and a precious metals option expiration on the Comex today.
Stocks are continuing to edge higher, although with a big less verve than previously.
Pundits are now saying that a crash is probably at least two months away, so now is a good time to buy more stocks.
You cannot make this stuff up.
I think that the theory is that when the Fed starts unwinding their balance sheet in September, that the air of liquidity, which is one of key components of these bubbles, is going to start coming out of the markets much faster than it went in.
And the result may be terrific – not with a bang, but a whimper.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 26 JULY 2017.

Meet Tally: The Grocery Stocking Robot About To Eradicate 1,000’s Of Minimum Wage Jobs

Amazon wiped out billions of dollars worth of grocery store market cap last month when they announced plans to purchase Whole Foods. The announcement sent shares of Kroger, Wal-Mart, Sprouts, and Target, among others, plunging… (WMT -4%, TGT -5.5%, SFM -7.6%, KR -12%).
But, as we pointed out back in May, well before Amazon’s decision to buy Whole Foods, Amazon’s success in penetrating the traditional grocery market was always a matter of when, not if. Concept stores, like Amazon Go, already exist that virtually eliminate the need for dozens of in-store employees which will allow them to generate higher returns at lower price points than traditional grocers. And, with grocery margins averaging around 1-2% at best, if Amazon, or anyone for that matter, can truly create smart stores with no check outs and cut employees in half they can effectively destroy the traditional supermarket business model.
And while the demise of the traditional grocery store will undoubtedly take time (recall that people were calling for the demise of Blockbuster for nearly a decade before it finally happened), make no mistake that the retail grocery market 10-15 years from now will not look anything like the stores you visit today.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.

JULY 26/DOVISH FED WITH ‘LACK OF INFLATION’ SENDS GOLD AND SILVER SOARING AFTER COMEX CLOSES/NORTH KOREA WILL LAUNCH ANOTHER ICBM MAYBE BY TONIGHT/USA PASSES LEGISLATION ORCHESTRATING MORE SANCTI…

GOLD: $1249.85 DOWN $2.55
Silver: $16.46 DOWN 9 cent(s)
Closing access prices:
Gold $1260.75
silver: $16.67
SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1254.41 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1248.40
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $6.01
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1252.10
NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1245.65
Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$6.45
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1245.40
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1246.50 ???
LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1248.10
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1248.15
For comex gold:
JULY/
NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH: 14 NOTICE(S) FOR 1400 OZ.
TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 171 FOR 17100 OZ (.5318 TONNES)
For silver:
JULY
21 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR
105,000 OZ/
Total number of notices filed so far this month: 3170 for 15,850,000 oz
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
WE HAVE NOW ENTERED OPTIONS EXPIRY WEEK:
COMEX OPTIONS EXPIRY: TONIGHT JULY 26.2017
LONDON BASED OPTIONS EXPIRY: JULY 31.2017 AT 11AM OR SO.
(OTC/LBMA CONTRACTS)

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on July 26, 2017.

Outside the Box Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook, Second Quarter 2017

I have often written about the Fed’s abysmal track record in managing the economy. In today’s Outside the Box, Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington of Hoisington Investment Management give us an in-depth tutorial on the reasons for the Fed’s consistently poor record.
They start by considering the Fed’s ‘dual mandate,’ which sets ‘the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates.’ (And yes, that is actually three goals, not two.) But a problem arises, the authors note, ‘because considerable time elapses between the implementation of the monetary actions designed to follow the mandate and when the impact of those actions take effect on broader business conditions.’ The time lag can easily be three years or longer, with the result that policy changes often end up being pro- rather than countercyclical. To make matters even worse, ‘the economic risks from adherence to this dual mandate are now much greater than historically due to the economy’s extreme over-indebtedness, poor demographics and a fragile global economy.’
In the real world, the dual mandate can break down. Now, the Fed is tightening over concerns about wage pressure from a low level of unemployment, yet inflation has run consistently below the Fed’s 2% target for the past year or more. Enter the Phillips curve.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on JULY 26, 2017.

The Fed Delays Raising Rates As It Waits Patiently For The Economy To Collapse – Episode 1342a

The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 26, 2017
DR Horton posts slowest growth, this has to do with the housing market losing steam, not because of lumber prices or the weather. The Fed is holding steady on interest rates, they say they are going to unwind their balance sheet. They are waiting patiently for the economy to come crashing down, if rate increase didn’t trigger it, they will raise rates one more time. The USD is crashing as the Fed raise rates the dollar collapses further.

Is The Fed Poised To Ignite A Violent Dollar Rally?

As ther world waits with bated breath for Janet Yellen’s statement this afternoon – whiche is uniformly expected to be a nothing-burger, some are wondering if the recent flip-floppery by Yellen, Draghi (and even Kuroda with his ‘actual’ tapering while lowering inflation expectations) does not leave today open to another modst shift back in The Fed’s ‘hawkishness’. As Bloomberg’s macro strategist warns, this sets the market up for a surprise and as he warns: “Dollar risks are starting to seem skewed all one way: toward an immediate rally.”
There’s extremely bearish positioning, that’s failed to adapt to changing circumstances, into event risk that’s structured to surprise in the opposite direction. That’s an explosive mix.
When something seems so obvious, your immediate instinct should be to ask, “what’s the catch?” My problem is that this time, I just can’t see one.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.

Strong Demand For “Stopping Through” 5Y Paper, As Fed Looms

While yesterday’s unexpectedly strong 2Y auction left many scratching their heads (recall 2Y net specs are the shortest on record, betting on ever higher short-end rates), today’s sale of $34 billion in 5Y paper was just as strong, if not quite as perplexing as neither technical positioning, nor a hawkish Fed announcement in less than an hour would have as negative an impact on the price of the tenor. This was the highest yield for a 5Y auction since the 1.95% yield in March.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.

These Blue Apron Stock Price Predictions Are Absolutely Wrong

Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (NYSE: APRN) stock has been trading for about a month, and a slew of bullish Wall Street ratings and Blue Apron stock price predictions were just released. However, Money Morning experts believe those predictions are dangerously wrong…
The meal-kit delivery service stumbled as a public company right out of the gate with a stock issue price some 40% below estimates. That was thanks in part to the giant Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) announcement that it will buy Whole Foods Market Inc. (Nasdaq: WFM) released nine days earlier. And when Blue Apron stockstarted to trade, it almost immediately began to slide lower.
From its June 29 debut at $10 per share, its price tumbled 35%.
Analysts, however, see investors changing their views on the company even with competition from Amazon. According to data from MarketWatch, Blue Apron now enjoys seven ‘Buy’ ratings and four ‘Equal Weight’ ratings. Only one analyst in the group maintains a ‘Sell’ rating.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on July 26, 2017.

North Carolina Governor Signs Bill Eliminating Sales Tax on Gold and Silver

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has signed a bill into law exempting the sale and purchase of gold and silver from state sales taxes. This removes one barrier from buying gold, silver and platinum. It will also help encourage their use and take the first step toward breaking the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.
Rep. Dana Bumgardner (R-Gastonia) and Rep. Jeff Collins (R-Rocky Mount) introduced House Bill 434 (H434) in March. The legislation exempts precious metals in various forms from state sales tax, including investment metal bullion, US Mint-produced gold and silver, investment coins and non-coin currency.
The House passed H434 on second reading by a 104-8 vote in May. It then gave final approval on the third reading by a voice vote. The Senate concurred with a vote of 35-13 on June 27. With the governor’s signature, the law went into effect retroactively to July 1, 2017.

This post was published at Schiffgold on JULY 26, 2016.

22 Troublesome Facts

Below are 22 troublesome facts explaining why the herd may, in fact, have it wrong.
Equity/Bond Valuations
The S&P 500 Cyclically Adjusted Price to Earnings (CAPE) valuation has only been greater on one occasion, the late 1990s. It is currently on par with levels preceding the Great Depression. CAPE valuation, when adjusted for the prevailing economic growth trend, is more overvalued than during the late 1920’s and the late 1990’s. (LINK) S&P 500 Price to Sales Ratio is at an all-time high Total domestic corporate profits (w/o IVA/CCAdj) have grown at an annualized rate of .097% over the last five years. Prior to this period and since 2000, five year annualized profit growth was 7.95%. (note- period included two recessions) (LINK) Over the last ten years, S&P 500 corporations have returned more money to shareholders via share buybacks and dividends than they have earned. The top 200 S&P 500 companies have pension shortfalls totaling $382 billion and corporations like GE spent more on share buybacks ($45b) than the size of their entire pension shortfall ($31b) which ranks as the largest in the S&P 500. (LINK)

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.

Five Years Ago Today…

ime flies when you are printing money.
As Citi’s FX desk is kind enough to remind us, it was five years ago today that Donald Trump was a businessman and TV personality, and ECB President Mario Draghi vowed that:
‘The ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough.’
He then compared the common currency to an insect:
‘The euro is like a bumblebee. This is a mystery of nature because it shouldn’t fly but instead it does. So the euro was a bumblebee that flew very well for several years. And now — and I think people ask ‘how come?’– probably there was something in the atmosphere, in the air, that made the bumblebee fly. Now something must have changed in the air, and we know what after the financial crisis.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.