• Tag Archives Washington
  • How to Learn About Finance

    Lots of people ask me for good beginner books about finance.
    That’s one of the hardest questions I get.
    I think back to when I was learning about finance – one of my Coast Guard shipmates had these things called ‘mutual funds,’ so I found some free literature about mutual funds and started reading.
    At the time, I was living in an economically unfortunate town in coastal Washington State. There was a used bookstore in town. I bought two books: A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Burton Malkiel, and Bogle on Mutual Funds, by John Bogle. The first two books I read were books on indexing!
    After reading them, I knew with every cell in my body that the Efficient Market Hypothesis was wrong, and had to be disproved.
    But those books were a good start. So sometimes when people ask me what books they should start with, I tell them about Malkiel and Bogle. Then I tell them that those books are all wrong. They look at me like I have a cabbage for a head.

    This post was published at Mauldin Economics on JULY 27, 2017.


  • Demand for Physical Gold Up, Supply Down in First Half of 2017

    It’s easy to get caught up in what the Fed will do next, or the latest political brouhaha in Washington D. C. And of course, this stuff matters. But when it comes to gold, you should never lose sight of fundamentals.
    Nothing is more fundamental than supply and demand. Based on the GFMS Gold Survey 2017 H1 Update Outlook, the fundamentals for gold are trending in a positive direction. Demand is pushing upward, while supply is falling.
    Demand for physical gold rose to 1,895 tons in the first half of 2017, a 17% increase over the same period last year.
    Comparing the first and second quarter of this year also reveals an upward trend. Demand climbed in Q2 2017 to 957 tons. That was up from 938 tons in Q1, a 2% increase.
    Meanwhile, total supply dropped 5% in the first half of the year. Mine output was stagnant, falling by 0.2%. Production dropped precipitously in China and Australia, the world’s number one and number two producers. The amount of scrap gold also fell, helping to drive the decline in supply.
    In many ways, the demand increase signals a return to normalcy after a tumultuous 2016.
    After the rollercoaster ride of events for the gold market in 2016, from a jewelers’ strike to Brexit to Trump to demonetization, 2017 has avoided similar dramatic events in the first half, at least from a gold perspective with far right candidates seeing little success in a range of European countries. Indeed the first half of this year has arguably been more of a reversion to normality across much of the gold market, with neither the highs (of ETF demand) or lows (of truly pitiful Asian demand) that were recorded in the first half of 2016 being repeated.’

    This post was published at Schiffgold on JULY 27, 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.


  • Greece Approved for $1.8 Billion Conditional Loan From IMF

    The International Monetary Fund agreed to a new conditional bailout for Greece, ending two years of speculation on whether it would join in another rescue and giving the seal of approval demanded by many of the country’s euro-area creditors.
    The Washington-based fund said Thursday its executive board approved ‘in principle’ a new loan worth as much as $1.8 billion. The disbursement of funds is contingent on euro-zone countries providing debt relief to Greece.
    ‘As we have said many times, even with full program implementation, Greece will not be able to restore debt sustainability and needs further debt relief from its European partners,’ IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement. ‘A debt strategy anchored in more realistic assumptions needs to be agreed. I expect a plan to restore debt sustainability to be agreed soon between Greece and its European partners.’
    IMF officials estimate that, even if Greece carries out promised reforms, the nation’s debt will reach about 150 percent of gross domestic product by 2030, and become ‘explosive’ beyond that point. European creditors could bring the debt under control by extending grace periods, lengthening the maturity of the debt or deferring interest payments, the IMF said in a report accompanying the announcement.

    This post was published at bloomberg


  • IMF Sees U.S. Fading as Global Growth Engine

    The world is leaning less on its biggest economy to sustain the global recovery, according to the International Monetary Fund.
    The fund left its forecast for global growth unchanged in the latest quarterly update to its World Economic Outlook, released Monday in Kuala Lumpur. The world economy will expand 3.5 percent this year, up from 3.2 percent in 2016, and by 3.6 percent next year, the IMF said. The forecasts for this year and next are unchanged from the fund’s projections in April.
    Beneath the headline figures, though, the drivers of the recovery are shifting, with the world relying less than expected on the U.S. and U.K. and more on China, Japan, the euro zone and Canada, according to the Washington-based IMF.
    The dollar fell to its lowest in 14 months last week as investors discounted the ability of President Donald Trump’s administration to deliver on its economic agenda after efforts by the Republican Senate to overhaul health care collapsed.
    ‘U.S. growth projections are lower than in April, primarily reflecting the assumption that fiscal policy will be less expansionary going forward than previously anticipated,’ the IMF said in the latest report.

    This post was published at bloomberg


  • Scientists Warn That The Countdown To The Extinction of The Human Race Is Accelerating

    Humanity is steamrolling toward a date with extinction, and yet most people have absolutely no idea that this is happening. Most of us like to think that we are part of the smartest, tallest and fastest generation in human history, but science has actually shown that the exact opposite is true. Compared to our ancient ancestors, we areshorter, slower and we have been losing mental capacity for thousands of years. And just this week, a groundbreaking study that discovered that large numbers of human males in the western world may soon be incapable of reproducing made headlines all over the planet…
    Humans could become extinct if sperm counts in men from North America, Europe and Australia continue to fall at current rates, a doctor has warned.
    Researchers assessing the results of nearly 200 separate studies say sperm counts among men from these areas seem to have halved in less than 40 years.
    The 185 studies that the researchers took their data from were all conducted between 1973 and 2011. Dr. Hagai Levine was one of the lead scientists involved in the study, and he found that for men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, sperm concentrations declined by 52.4 percent during the study period, and total sperm count declined by a whopping 59.3 percent.
    If these trends continue, we will soon have tens of millions of young men that are incapable of producing children. The following comes from the Washington Post…

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on July 25th, 2017.


  • Why Robots Will Win the Coming Trade Wars

    The first step to surviving a war is knowing which side you are on. But in a trade war, that’s not always easy.
    Suppose the US imposed tariffs on steel imported from the European Union. Prices on goods made with that steel would probably rise, but this would affect you only to the extent you rely on those particular goods.
    When the EU responded by slapping tariffs on items ‘Made in USA,’ it would hurt you only if your livelihood depended on those export revenues.
    Of course, we may be headed toward a wider trade war, which could cause more general price inflation, hurting everyone in some way – though I think it will be more targeted at first.
    But one group is sure to win in a trade war because demand for their services will skyrocket.
    Who are these lucky people?
    They aren’t people at all. They’re robots.
    Trade Talks Fizzle
    If you monitor trade and logistics news like I do, the signs are everywhere. Last week, US and Chinese negotiators met in Washington to cap the 100-day dialogue that Presidents Trump and Xi promised at their April summit.
    It didn’t go well, apparently.

    This post was published at Mauldin Economics on JULY 25, 2017.


  • Lagarde Hints At IMF Being Based In China In Future

    In a comment sure to stir up questions over dollar hegemony (and new world order conspiracy thoughts), IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde admitted during an event today in Washington that The International Monetary Fund could be based in Beijing in a decade.
    As Reuters reports, Lagarde said that such a move was “a possibility” because the Fund will need to increase the representation of major emerging markets as their economies grow larger and more influential.
    “Which might very well mean, that if we have this conversation in 10 years’ time…we might not be sitting in Washington, D. C. We’ll do it in our Beijing head office,” Lagarde said. Lagarde’s comments build on questions raised in May on The IMF’s push for World Money… Yi Gang, the Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China disclosed to the IMF panel that,
    ‘China has started reporting our foreign official reserves, balance of payment reports, and the international investment position reports.’ ‘All of these reports, now, in China are published in U. S dollars, SDR and Renminbi rates… I think that has the advantage of reducing the negative impact of negative liquidity on your assets.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 24, 2017.


  • New Age Mandate — Doug Noland

    There is no doubt that central bank liquidity backstops have promoted speculation, securities leveraging and derivatives market excess/distortions. I also believe they have been instrumental in bolstering passive/index investing at the expense of active managers. Who needs a manager when being attentive to risk only hurts relative performance? And the greater the risk associated with these Bubbles – in leveraged speculation, derivatives and passive trend-following – the more central bankers are compelled to stick with ultra-loose policies and liquidity backstops.
    After all, who will be on the other side of the trade when all this unwinds? Who will buy when The Crowd moves to hedge/short bursting Bubbles? This is a huge problem. Central bankers have become trapped in policies that promote risk-taking and leveraging at this precarious late-stage of an historic Global Bubble. These days, central bankers cannot tolerate a ‘tightening of financial conditions,’ and they will have a difficult time convincing speculative markets otherwise.
    I’m reminded of the Rick Santelli central banker refrain, ‘What are you afraid of?’ Yellen and Draghi seemingly remain deeply concerned by latent market fragilities. How else can one explain their dovishness in the face of record securities prices and global economic resilience. A headline caught my attention Thursday: ‘Bonds: ECB Gives ‘Green Light’ to Summer Carry Trades, BofA says.’ It’s been another huge mistake to goose the markets this summer with major challenges unfolding this fall – waning central bank stimulus, Credit tightening in China and who knows what in Washington and with global geopolitics.

    This post was published at Credit Bubble Bulletin


  • Small Town Suburbia Faces Dire Financial Crisis As Companies, Millennials Flee To Big Cities

    College graduates and other young Americans are increasingly clustering in urban centers like New York City, Chicago and Boston. And now, American companies are starting to follow them. Companies looking to appeal to, and be near, young professionals versed in the world of e-commerce, software analytics, digital engineering, marketing and finance are flocking to cities. But in many cases, they’re leaving their former suburban homes to face significant financial difficulties, according to the Washington Post.
    Earlier this summer, health-insurer Aetna said it would move its executives, plus most of technology-focused employees to New York City from Hartford, Conn., the city where the company was founded, and where it prospered for more than 150 years. GE said last year it would leave its Fairfield, Conn., campus for a new global headquarters in Boston. Marriott International is moving from an emptying Maryland office park into the center of Bethesda.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 22, 2017.


  • Venezuelans Are Now Paying 1000 Times More For US Dollars Than They Did In 2010

    The hyperinflationary-hell in Venezuela’s currency is deepening as a crippling dollar shortage and a threat of oil sanctions (amid President Maduro’s attempts to rewrite the constition to maintain his grip on power) take their toll on the economy.
    Venezuela’s Latin American neighbors urged President Nicolas Maduro to refrain from actions that might exacerbate the country’s political crisis in a disappointment to some regional governments that favored more direct and forceful criticism. As Bloomberg reports, Mercosur, South America’s largest trade bloc, called on ‘the government and the opposition not to carry out any initiative that could divide further Venezuelan society or aggravate institutional conflicts,’ in a joint statement issued at the end of a summit in Mendoza, Argentina. Member countries Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay were joined by Chile, Colombia, Guyana and Mexico in signing the statement.
    International condemnation of the Maduro government’s plan to rewrite the country’s constitution to maintain its hold on power is gathering pace after the U. S. said it would impose sanctions on Venezuelan officials if Maduro goes ahead.
    As we noted earlier in the week, The Trump administration is mulling over sanctions against senior Venezuelan government officials, and additional measures could include sanctions against the country’s oil industry, such as halting imports into the U. S., according to senior Washington officials who spoke to media.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 22, 2017.


  • The Never-Ending Woes of a Government “Enterprise”

    History is something one can try to escape, but sometimes you can’t as millions of train riders find out every day.
    They can’t escape Penn Station falling apart along with Amtrak, New York City commuter railroads, and the New York City subways. They all have the same problem: Every day they are reminded of the sordid history of government enterprise with derailments, delays and the billions of dollars of red ink of these dysfunctional systems. The bill is handed to the taxpayers whether they ride these trains or not.
    As the New York City subways, Amtrak, and other government enterprises continue to fail, mainstream media and our political class have consistently missed how we reached this point of rail disasters as the norm. That’s because few of them have time for history. The management of Amtrak, New York Subways is actually a story of generations of the limitless failures of government. Indeed, most of the analyses and criticisms of government ownership and management of the subways are hopeless.
    Among the lost are the Goo-Goo groups of the 1930s – who called for public subway ownership – and their scions, the Straphangers Campaign of today. And then there’s the allegedly laissez-faire Manhattan Institute. All reject the privatization discussion. That’s because they work from a proposition that Albany and Washington, owing to their ability to tax and spend, are omnipotent and should continue to run transit systems; that they are part the solution. History proves the opposite.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on July 22, 2017.


  • The Imperial City’s Fiscal Waterloo — David Stockman

    ‘It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world.’ That was George Washington’s Farewell Address to us.
    The inaugural pledge of Thomas Jefferson was no less clear in stating, ‘Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none.’
    So when Woodrow Wilson embarked the nation on the route of Empire in April 1917 and FDR launched the domestic interventionism of the New Deal in March 1933, the die was cast. It was only a matter of time before the disconnect between a robust Big Government and the structural infirmities of Madison’s republican contraption resulted in a deadly impasse.
    The Fed has now backed itself into a corner and is out of dry powder. Even its Keynesian managers are determined to normalize and shrink a hideously bloated balance sheet. The current account has no basis in sustainable or sound finance.
    The time of fiscal reckoning has come. With the financial sedative of monetization on hold, bond vigilantes will soon awaken from their 30-year slumber.

    This post was published at Daily Reckoning


  • Kunstler Fears “Violent Revolt” As “Soft Coup” Against Trump Looms

    Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,
    For all his blunders and stumbles in his first half-year as President (cough cough), Donald Trump seems to have more lives than Schrdinger’s Cat. Or maybe it just seems that way. Or maybe he isn’t really there at all (like the news these days). Maybe Trump only represents one comic probability in an infinite number of universes of probability, both comic and tragic. I begin to understand why the folks in Hollywood are having a whack attack over the chief executive: you can’t storyboard this bitch; it’s like leaving The Three Stooges on their own in a sound stage to re-make Gone With the Wind.
    But then, you begin to wonder: is Russia really there, or is it, too, just another figment of possibility? Don’t try to figure that out by reading the oracular observations of The Washington Post. These days Russia seems to be at once everywhere and nowhere, like the Devil north of Boston in 1693. For example, this fellow Jeff Sessions. Have you noticed that his name rhymes with Russians? Hmmmm. And wasn’t he caught chatting with the Russian Ambassador at the very same convocation of Republicans that picked notorious colluder Donald Trump to stand for President? That’s enough of your damn evidence right there!
    Yes, things are passing strange in the world’s greatest democracy these days. To me, seeing the thing through an historical lens, it’s looking more and more like the Salem Witch Frenzy meets the French Revolution with a spin of quantum confusion on top. Right now we’re in the first phase, sheer political lunacy. Beliefs have become ungrounded from the facts of life. The guy whom fate or a prankish deity put in the White House doesn’t even fit the template of the world’s most infamous heads-of-state. I’m sorry to dredge up old Adolf, but really, Hitler himself seemed to have a much firmer idea about what he was doing than Trump does.
    The Oba

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 21, 2017.


  • Meow

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Kunstler. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    For all his blunders and stumbles in his first half-year as President (cough cough), Donald Trump seems to have more lives than Schrdinger’s Cat. Or maybe it just seems that way. Or maybe he isn’t really there at all (like the news these days). Maybe Trump only represents one comic probability in an infinite number of universes of probability, both comic and tragic. I begin to understand why the folks in Hollywood are having a whack attack over the chief executive: you can’t storyboard this bitch; it’s like leaving The Three Stooges on their own in a sound stage to re-make Gone With the Wind.
    But then, you begin to wonder: is Russia really there, or is it, too, just another figment of possibility? Don’t try to figure that out by reading the oracular observations of The Washington Post. These days Russia seems to be at once everywhere and nowhere, like the Devil north of Boston in 1693. For example, this fellow Jeff Sessions. Have you noticed that his name rhymes with Russians? Hmmmm. And wasn’t he caught chatting with the Russian Ambassador at the very same convocation of Republicans that picked notorious colluder Donald Trump to stand for President? That’s enough of your damn evidence right there!

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on July 21, 2017.


  • One Trader Warns – Next Week’s FOMC Meeting May Not Be As “Benign” As The Market Believes

    If ever there was a chance for The Fed to ‘sneak’ in a rate-hike while everyone is distracted, it’s next Wednesday as Trump Jr testifies to Congress. As former FX trader Richard Breslow remarks, The Fed “woulda, coulda, shoulda [hike] next week… but certainly won’t,” noting that if they are truly concerned about the “stretched valuations” taking an extended vacation through the summer is the worst thing The Fed can do…
    Via Bloomberg,
    It feels strange but, curiously, not entirely pointless, to suggest the Fed do something that there’s zero chance they will even contemplate. I’m talking about next week’s FOMC meeting and using it as an opportunity to be bold. This is mostly a meeting they hold in mid-summer to justify the fact that no one has any desire to be in Washington DC in August, and September is a long way off.
    But taking an extended holiday is precisely what they oughtn’t do. The only thing it will accomplish is forcing, as well as encouraging, investors to carry on with the types of trades every right-minded observer thinks has a large element of recklessness. Which is just a somewhat less nice word for ‘financial conditions remain benign.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 20, 2017.


  • Deutsche Bank Faces DOJ Subpoena Over Trump-Russia Probe

    Deutsche’s relationship with Trump and questions about hundreds of millions in loans have dogged the German bank and the White House for months, abd now, ‘according to sources’ reported by The Guardian, Robert Mueller’s team and Trump’s bankers have established informal contacts and formal requests for information are forthcoming.
    According to an analysis by Bloomberg, Trump now owes Deutsche, his biggest creditor, around $300m. He has four large mortgages, all issued by Deutsche’s private bank. The loans are guaranteed against the president’s properties: a new deluxe hotel in Washington DC’s old post office building, just around the corner from the White House; his Chicago tower hotel; and the Trump National Doral Miami resort.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 20, 2017.


  • Washington D.C. Is Essentially Just A Gigantic Money Machine

    If you have ever wondered why our leaders in Washington D. C. seem to act so strangely, the truth is that it almost always comes down to just one thing. It has been said that ‘money makes the world go round’, and that is definitely true in Washington. This year the federal government will spend more than 4 trillion dollars, and that represents well over one-fifth of our national GDP. With so much money coming in and so much money going out, the stakes are incredibly high, and that is why so much money is poured into political campaigns on the national level.
    And it shouldn’t surprise anyone that those that live the closest to this gigantic money machine have benefited greatly. Forbes just released their brand new rankings for 2017, and they found that five out of the top 10 wealthiest counties in the entire country are suburbs of Washington D. C….
    Virginia’s Loudoun County holds the title of the nation’s richest county with a median household income of $125,900. While nearly 10,000 residents commute to the District, according to Forbes, about 11,700 businesses employ 161,000 county residents, with Dulles International Airport, Loudoun County Public Schools and the Department of Homeland Security leading that charge.
    The nearby city of Falls Church, Fairfax and Arlington counties in Virginia and Howard County in Maryland also lead the nation based on wealth.

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on July 19th, 2017.


  • Why People Love And Hate Trump

    A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Sunday put President Trump’s six-month approval rating at a historic 70-year low amid controversy over connections between the White House and Russia. Interestingly, as Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, most of Trump’s detractors actually dislike him due to his personality and character, rather than specific issues and policy, according to a Gallup poll published late last week.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 19, 2017.


  • BOJ Plans To Drop Inflation Target At Thursday’s Meeting

    The Bank of Japan is finally acknowledging something that Federal Reserve policy makers like San Francisco Fed President John Williams acknowledged months ago, when he published a paper highlighting the growing disconnect between the tightening labor market and consumer prices. As Credit Suisse strategist Burkhard Varnholt explained two months ago, the growing heft of e-commerce companies like Amazon represents a new disinflationary paradigm, weighing on the costs of consumer goods. Meanwhile, the intensifying three-way battle between Amazon, its chief brick-and-mortar rival Wal-Mart and discount grocers like Aldi have helped keep consumer prices anchored, while rent, tuition and medical costs have continued racing higher.
    And now that the company is preparing to take over Whole Foods Market, fire the grocers’ human employees and replace them with kiosks and sensors, allowing customers to walk out of the store with their items without waiting in a checkout line, the disinflationary trend is expected to continue. In fact, as the Washington-based e-commerce giant expands aggressively in other major developed and emerging economies, price pressures are expected to abate as the Bezos behemoth tightens the screws on its rivals.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 18, 2017.