This post was published at Ben Swann
This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Zillow has a fascinating, yet troubling study. It says that rent consumes a growing share of household income in many cities, some people must relocate or find ways to offset rising prices. An increasingly popular way to cut costs is by adding a roommate. Nationally, 30 percent of working-age adults – aged 23 to 65 – live in doubled-up households, up from a low of 21 percent in 2005 and 23 percent in 1990.
Doubing up is a close relative of young adults continuing to live with their parents. Even though U-6 unemployment is at 8%, wage growth continues to be considerably lower than before the financial crisis. This offers a partial explanation for the doubling-up phenomenon.
Of course, doubling-up is typical is high cost of living areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Chicago and Washington DC. Not surprising is the doubling-up trend in Mexican border cities like El Centro California, Tucson and Yuma Arizona and El Paso and Laredo Texas.
This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B Sanders ‘ December 27, 2017.
Just in from a reader….. Texas’ teacher’s retirement system (TRS) served up an upper-decker for Christmas.
You know all those teachers and others who say “they’re protected” in their retirement — and health care?
This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-12-26.
Houston-area auto sales rise, but not nearly enough.
The total damage Hurricane Harvey inflicted on parts of Texas, particularly the vast Houston area, may never be fully known. In terms of vehicles, the estimates were all over the place. But one thing is known: Before the flood waters had even begun to recede, the entire industry, was salivating over that huge ‘replacement demand.’
This would come just in the nick of time, as total new vehicle sales in the US had already fallen by about 300,000 units for the year through July, despite record incentives, historically low interest rates, and muscular all-encompassing marketing. The industry’s elements on Wall Street propagated the idea that post-Harvey ‘replacement demand’ would boost auto sales in 2017, turn the year around, and possibly create another record year, with more booming sales in 2018.
The estimates I have come across at the time ranged from 300,000 vehicles at the low end to over 600,000 vehicles that would need to be replaced. Much of this replacement demand would occur over the remaining months in 2017 and early 2018. These sales would be so big that they would boost US sales overall to new highs.
This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Dec 13, 2017.
Update (5:30 pm ET): House Republicans are moving ahead with a plan to avoid a shutdown after the House Rules Committee approved a rule change that will allow Republicans to bring a two-week stopgap plan up for a floor vote Thursday, allowing the senate until end-of-day Friday to avoid a shutdown. The plan helped Speaker Paul Ryan override conservative GOP lawmakers who were pressing for a longer extension to get more leverage over Democrats and the Senate.
The decision on a stopgap bill with a Dec. 22 end-date came after Ryan and his leadership team held discussions on overall budget strategy with the leaders of the restive House Freedom Caucus. A formal check of how members would vote on the Dec. 22 deadline came back showing widespread support, said Representative Dennis Ross, a member of the vote-whipping team.
The Freedom Caucus will discuss the stopgap at a meeting tonight, according to a House Republican aide. Votes from the group’s three-dozen members may not be needed if Democrats support the stopgap plan.
As part of the talks, the Freedom Caucus has sought and Republican leaders are weighing a plan to attach the House’s fiscal year 2018 defense spending bill to a second resolution to keep the government funded after Dec. 22, according to Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and Representative Mac Thornberry, the Texas Republican who leads the House Armed Services Committee, according to Bloomberg.
* * *
Update: After Trump once again raised the prospect of a shutdown while speaking with reporters following a cabinet meeting today, Nancy Pelosi had a few choice words for the president…
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 6, 2017.
Authored by Rob Shimshock via The Daily Caller,
An editor for a student paper apologized for an op-ed a student journalist asserted that ‘white death will mean liberation for all,’ according to a Wednesday report.
Rudy Martinez, a Texas State University student journalist for The University Star, wrote an article entitled ‘Your DNA Is An Abomination,’ referring to the DNA of white people, reported The College Fix.
‘The original intent of the column was to comment on the idea of race and racial identities,’ said Denise Cervantes, The University Star’s editor-in-chief, in a statement. ‘We acknowledge that the column could have been clearer in its message and that it has caused hurt within our campus community.
We apologize and hope that we can move forward to a place of productive dialogue on ways to bring our community together.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.
This is where Hype Goes to Die.
Today was the monthly moment of truth for automakers in the US. They reported the number of new vehicles that their dealers delivered to their customers and that the automakers delivered directly to large fleet customers. These are unit sales, not dollar sales, and they’re religiously followed by the industry.
Total sales rose 0.9% from a year ago to 1,393,010 new vehicles, according to Autodata, which tracks these sales as they’re reported by the automakers. Sales of cars dropped 8.2%. Sales of trucks – which include SUVs, crossovers, pickups, and vans – rose 6.6%. Strong replacement demand from the hurricane-affected areas in Texas papered over weaknesses elsewhere. As always, there were winners and losers.
And one of the losers was Tesla.
First things first: There is nothing wrong with a tiny automaker trying to design, make, and sell cool but expensive cars that a few thousand Americans might buy every month, and trying to do so on a battleground dominated by giants. Porsche has been doing that for years. Porsche AG is owned by Volkswagen AG, which is itself majority-owned by Porsche Automobil Holding SE. Tesla is out there by itself.
This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Dec 1, 2017.
Things just went from bad to worse for embattled Minnesota Senator Al “Frankenstein” Franken.
In an explosive new allegation, a Texa woman has told CNN that Franken grabbing her butt while the two were taking a photo together at the Minnesota State Fair, a story that several members of her family who were present at the time corroborated in separate interviews. The accusation is particularly troubling for Franken because the incident in question occurred in 201, two years after he had been elected to the Senate. Previously, former Playboy Playmate and sports broadcaster Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of “kissing and groping” her during a USO tour in 2006. To support her claims, Tweeden supplied a photo depicting Franken groping her breasts while she was sleeping with a wide grin spread across his face.
Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live, where Franken made his name as a comedy writer, included a few jokes bashing the alumus, currently a sitting Democratic senator, during its “Weekend Update” segment.
Lindsay Menz, a 33-year-old woman who now lives in Frisco, Texas, reached out to CNN on Thursday hours after Tweeden made her story public saying she wanted to share an “uncomfortable” interaction with Franken that left her feeling “gross.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 20, 2017.
The Texas Bullion Depository took a step closer becoming operational earlier this month when officials announced the location of the new facility. The creation of a state bullion depository in Texas represents a power shift away from the federal government to the state, and it provides a blueprint that could ultimately end the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.
Gov. Greg Abbot signed legislation creating the state gold bullion and precious metal depository in June of 2015. The facility will not only provide a secure place for individuals, business, cities, counties, government agencies and even other countries to store gold and other precious metals, the law also creates a mechanism to facilitate the everyday use of gold and silver in business transactions. In short, a person will be able to deposit gold or silver in the depository and pay other people through electronic means or checks – in sound money.
Earlier this summer, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Austin-based Lone Star Tangible Assets will build and operate the Texas Bullion Depository. On Nov. 3, the company announced it will construct the facility in the city of Leander, located about 30 miles northwest of Austin. According to the Community Impact Newspaper, the Leander City Council has approved an economic development agreement with Lone Star. Construction of the depository is expected to begin in early 2018. Lone Star officials say it will take about a year to complete construction of the 60,000-square-foot secure facility located on a 10-acre campus.
This post was published at Schiffgold on NOVEMBER 16, 2017.
Here’s a live transmission from the Texas courtroom where JP Morgan Chase & Co’s lawyers are asking a judge to throw out one of the largest punitive judgments in legal history…
…Instead, the bank’s lawyers say the $8 billion judgment should be reduced to zero.
‘The law and evidence do not support any claim against JPMorgan, much less the unprecedented multi-billion-dollar punitive damage award, which the heirs have already admitted is unconstitutionally excessive,’ the bank said in a filing in Dallas probate court according to Bloomberg.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 12, 2017.
Recently I identified five agents of change that I believe investors should know about right now. I’d like to add one more to the list: Mohammad bin Salman. The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, 32, was little known outside the region before this past weekend when he jailed members of the royal family, presumably in an attempt to consolidate power ahead of taking the throne. Resembling a plotline from an episode of ‘Game of Thrones,’ the mass detentions signal a seismic change in Saudi leadership – which, in turn, is putting upward pressure on global oil prices.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s second-largest oil producer and single biggest oil exporter, so any development that might alert investors that the kingdom’s production levels or oil policy could be disrupted has historically had a profound effect on prices. When the country’s former king, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, passed away in January 2015, oil jumped more than 8.6 percent for the week.
And so was the case on Monday, after news broke of the shakeup. West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the American benchmark for crude, closed above $57 a barrel for the first time since June 2015, adding nearly 35 percent from its summer 2017 low. A weaker U. S. dollar, down about 3.2 percent from the same time last year, is also providing support, as is slower U. S. supply growth following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
This post was published at GoldSeek on 9 November 2017.
While we await the full details of the Senate bill, moments ago the House Ways and Means Committee released the Amended House GOP tax bill, as well as its summary.
Here are the key highlights from the Amendment (link), first in principle:
Amendment to the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H. R. 1 Offered by Mr. Brady of Texas The amendment makes improvements to the amendment in the nature of a substitute relating to the maximum rate on business income of individuals, preserves the adoption tax credit, improves the program integrity of the Child Tax Credit, improves the consolidation of education savings rules, preserves the above-the-line deduction for moving expenses of a member of the Armed Forces on active duty, preserves the current law effective tax rates on C corporation dividends subject to the dividends received deduction, improves the bill’s interest expense rules with respect to accrued interest on floor plan financing indebtedness, modifies the treatment of S corporation conversions into C corporations, modifies the tax treatment of research and experimentation expenditures, modifies the treatment of expenses in contingent fee cases, modifies the computation of life insurance tax reserves, modifies the treatment of qualified equity grants, preserves the current law treatment of nonqualified deferred compensation, modifies the transition rules on the treatment of deferred foreign income, improves the excise tax on investment income of private colleges and universities, and modifies rules with respect to political statements made by certain tax-exempt entities.
And the details, from the summary (link):
Maximum rate on business income of individuals (reduced rate for small businesses with net active business income)
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 9, 2017.
There is an unfortunate correlation between crises and catastrophes and mass psychology. For those with a decent long-term memory, you may have noticed that the frequency of attacks and tragedies taking place today around the world is far above and beyond what occurred 10 years ago. So much so that many in the public have moved beyond the point of outrage and have now embraced complacency.
The mass shooting issue, for example, once inspired fevered debate over gun rights. Not so much anymore. While I am happy that the relentless attempts by leftists to exploit every shooting as a tool for their gun grabbing agenda have taken a backseat, I see a trend in another direction which is equally dangerous. That trend is a move towards acceptance that “these things happen,” instead of a healthy discussion on real solutions (and no, more gun control is not one of them).
A decade ago the Vegas shooting would have inspired media and social discussion for at least a year. Now, the story disappears in two weeks and is replaced with 10 others. I will be surprised if the latest church shooting in Texas in which 26 people were killed stays on the news feeds for more than a few days.
This post was published at Alt-Market on Thursday, 09 November 2017.
GOLD: $1280.15 UP $11.25
Silver: $17.22 UP 37 cents
Closing access prices:
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: $1291.77 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1269.00
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $22.77(premiums getting larger)
SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1291.58
NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1268.50
Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$23.08 PREMIUMS GETTING HUGE)
CHINA REJECTS NEW YORK PRICING OF GOLD!!!!
LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1271.60
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1271.60
LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1270.90
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 1271.80 ??
For comex gold:
NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR OCT CONTRACT MONTH: 27 NOTICE(S) FOR 2700 OZ.
TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 856 FOR 85,600 OZ (2.662TONNES)
10 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR
Total number of notices filed so far this month: 856 for 4,280,000 oz
Bitcoin: $7361 bid /$7368 offer up $138.00 (MORNING)
BITCOIN CLOSING;$7099 BID:7124. OFFER down $124.00
Let us have a look at the data for today
In silver, the total open interest SURPRISINGLY FELL BY A SMALL SIZED 1130 contracts from 206 ,068 DOWN TO 204,938 DESPITE FRIDAY’S TRADING IN WHICH SILVER FELL BY A CONSIDERABLE 27 CENTS. THE CROOKS NO DOUBT ARE PULLING THEIR HAIR AS THEY ARE STILL HAVING AN AWFUL TIME TRYING TO COVER THEIR MASSIVE SILVER SHORTS. THEY TRY TO CONTINUE WITH THEIR TORMENT LIKE THE RAID ON FRIDAY. A FEW NEWBIE SPEC LONGS LEFT THE SILVER ARENA AND THUS WE HAVE A VERY TINY BANKER SHORT COVERING.
RESULT: A SMALL SIZED FALL IN OI COMEX DESPITE THE CONSIDERABLE 27 CENT PRICE LOSS. OUR BANKERS COULD HARDLY COVER ANY OF THEIR HUGE SHORTFALL DESPITE THE MANIPULATED CRIMINAL BANKER RAID WHICH HAD THEIR OBJECT OF THE EXERCISE TO CAUSE AS MANY SILVER LEAVES TO FALL FROM THE SILVER TREE. AS WE HAVE WITNESSED ON COUNTLESS OCCASIONS WITH RESPECT TO SILVER, IT FAILED MISERABLY.
In ounces, the OI is still represented by just OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.025 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 146% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).
FOR THE NEW FRONT OCT MONTH/ THEY FILED: 10 NOTICE(S) FOR 50,000 OZ OF SILVER
In gold, the open interest FELL BY A LESS THAN EXPECTED 4,347 CONTRACTS WITH THE GOOD SIZED FALL IN PRICE OF GOLD ($8.65) WITH FRIDAY’S TRADING . The new OI for the gold complex rests at 529,124. NEWBIE LONGS EXITED THE ARENA TO WHICH THE BANKERS COVERED.
NO EFP’S WERE ISSUED FOR THE NOVEMBER CONTRACT MONTH.
Result: A GOOD SIZED DECREASE IN OI WITH THE FALL IN PRICE IN GOLD ($8.65). WE HAD SOME BANK SHORT COVERING AS SOME OF OUR NEWBIE LONGS GOT STOP LOSSED OUT OF THEIR CONTRACTS.
we had: 27 notice(s) filed upon for 2700 oz of gold.
With respect to our two criminal funds, the GLD and the SLV:
A tiny change in gold inventory at the GLD/ a withdrawal of .29 tonnes to pay for fees and insurance
Inventory rests tonight: 845.75 tonnes.
TODAY WE HAD NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV
INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.018 MILLION OZ
This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on November 6, 2017.
To the moon, Alice!
Ralph Kramden, The Honeymooners
And at the current rate it might not be too long before it’s actually there. The moon, that is. No, not Alice – Bitcoin. Yes, Bitcoin crossed $7,000 this week. It was less than a month ago Bitcoin passed $5,000. The riches are dazzling as Bitcoin is up 640% this year alone. Bitcoin now has a market cap of $100 billion. How much longer before it’s bigger than Amazon or Apple or worth more than the entire gold stock market? But the question continues to beg – is Bitcoin an historic bubble? Until it bursts, the question is strictly academic. And don’t forget, not only is there Bitcoin but there are now over 1,000 other cryptocurrencies. And Bitcoin has forks as well called Bitcoin cash and Bitcoin gold.
Okay, we are not going to get into a huge discussion of Bitcoin and how it is structured and what blockchains are all about. It is mind boggling enough trying to figure all of that out. We will have further comments on our weekly ‘Bitcoin Watch!’ commentary.
The stock markets made new all-time highs again this past week. That comes against the backdrop of the terrorist attack in New York City, indictments in the Russia investigation including former top aides of President Donald Trump, and possible brewing trouble in the Mid-East. There is also the escalating crisis in Catalonia in the heart of the EU, ongoing trouble between Kurds and Iraq/Iran/Turkey, and continued moves afoot to lessen the use of the US$ in world trade. As well, a new Fed chairman has been proposed. But all the stock market cares about is the potential to pass the tax bill that could put billions into corporations and the 1% even as it could create deficits estimated at up $1.5 trillion over the next decade.
Maybe the stock markets are also headed for the moon, albeit at a much slower pace. Still, the records just keep on falling and there seems to be little in the way of stopping it. We may wring our hands over the alleged terrorist attack that killed 8 and injured many more but largely ignore an attack in a Walmart in Colorado that left 3 dead that occurred not long after the NYC attack. And I might add as we prepare this for distribution another attack in some small Texas town in a church that has left multiple fatalities.
This post was published at GoldSeek on 5 November 2017.
Update (8:50 pm ET): Trump offered his condolences for victims and their families after today’s “horrific” shooting during a press conference in Japan.
“Victims and their families were in their sacred place of worship. We cannot put into words the pain and grief we all feel,” Mr. Trump said in televised remarks.
“In dark times such as these, Americans do we what do best and we pull together. We lock hands and we joins arms. Through the tears and through the sadness we stand strong.”
Meanwhile, a new photo of the shooter has been released…
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 5, 2017.
Comments made by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), sent Brent crude to its highest in more than two years (highest since July 2015), above $60 a barrel, Reuters reports. West Texas Intermediate was more impervious to the comments, but it also gained a few cents, to the highest in six months.
‘The Saudis keep pressing for an extension of the output-cut deal through next year, so the market is feeding off that and we are seeing signs of tightening out there as a result of the program,’ John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital, told Bloomberg. At the same time ‘the Iraq-Kurd situation is also getting the attention of the market. The volumes are down out of Ceyhan’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.
After a NYT report last Friday that as part of Trump tax reform, 401(k) plan contributions could be capped at $2,400 annually, Trump was quick to deny tweeting on Monday that “There will be NO change to your 401(k). This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!”
There will be NO change to your 401(k). This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2017
That, however, appears not to be the case because as NBC and the WSJ report, Republicans are still weighing adjustments the 401(k) program, according to the chief of the House tax writing committee, contradicting Trump’s statement this week that it would be unchanged in the forthcoming tax overhaul proposal.
Speaking at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, declined to rule out changes when asked whether Trump’s position had killed the idea. “We think in tax reform we can create incentives for Americans to save more and save sooner which can help,” Brady said. “We are exploring a number of ideas in those areas.” While he did not offer details, Brady said there were “continuing discussions with the president” on the topic.
That could be a signal that Republicans might pinch pretax savings for high-income households and use the money to beef up an underused tax break known as the saver’s credit, which acts like a government matching contribution to retirement accounts for low-and middle-income Americans.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 25, 2017.
Over the past two months, General Motors’ stock has rallied nearly 30% on the notion that hurricanes in Texas and Floridasolved the company’s nagging inventory problem. But, even after two of the most devastating hurricanes in U. S. history wiped out hundreds of thousands of vehicles and GM’s preemptive elimination of some 6,000 jobs, Automotive News says the company still has a ways to go at certain plants if they want to bring system-wide inventories down to healthy levels.
Even after cutting more than 6,000 jobs this year, General Motors might need to further shrink its manufacturing operations to address bloated inventories of some vehicles amid plateauing U. S. sales and pressure from Wall Street to avoid overproduction.
The majority of GM’s U. S. assembly plants, including some where a shift already has been eliminated, produce vehicles that on average have at least an 80-day supply, 33 percent more than what the industry generally considers healthy, according to estimates from the Automotive News Data Center.
“The danger zone is definitely consistently staying in that 80 to 100 days,” said Joe Langley, a senior analyst at economic forecasting and data company IHS Markit. “The ultimate red flag is when volume is at that 120 days or more consistently and incentives aren’t moving the needle.”
GM has at least seven U. S. assembly plants that on average produced vehicles with greater than an 80-day supply entering October, including four that have more than 100 days, according to the estimates. That does not include GM’s two U. S. plants for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, because pickups commonly have higher inventories to meet demand for a variety of trim and feature configurations.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 23, 2017.
[This is a transcript of Professor Joseph Peden’s 50-minute lecture “Inflation and the Fall of the Roman Empire,” given at the Seminar on Money and Government in Houston, Texas, on October 27, 1984. The original audio recording is available as a free MP3 download.] Two centuries ago, in 1776, there were two books published in England, both of which are read avidly today. One of them was Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations and the other was Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon’s multivolume work is the tale of a state that survived for twelve centuries in the West and for another thousand years in the East, at Constantinople.
Gibbon, in looking at this phenomenon, commented that the wonder was not that the Roman Empire had fallen, but rather that it had lasted so long. And scholars since Gibbon have devoted a great deal of energy to examining that problem: How was it that the Roman Empire lasted so long? And did it decline, or was it simply transformed into something else (that something else being the European civilization of which we are the heirs)?
I’ve been asked to speak on the theme of Roman history, particularly the problem of inflation and its impact. My analysis is based on the premise that monetary policy cannot be studied, or understood, in isolation from the overall policies of the state.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on October 20, 2017.