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Germany- People might have to work till after they are 70. Not just low earners but engineers as well. This is what happens when you don't support parenthood but let in an endless amount of underqualified people living off social benefits!https://t.co/hESLTU8p5v pic.twitter.com/mPCkgguVj3
— Stan (@StanM3) February 20, 2018
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– US Treasury Posts Gigantic $1.16 Trillion Shortfall in Fiscal 2017, Hilariously Points out “Where We Are Headed”:
Just add tax cuts and ballooning expenditures. The media chose to silence the report to death.
“If a tree fell in a forest and nobody heard it, did it really make a sound?” asks our favorite fiscal gadfly and Director of Research at Truth in Accounting, Bill Bergman, referring to the media coverage that the Treasury Department’s “Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Report of the U.S. Government” has received, which was, at the time he wrote it 24 hours after the February 15 release of the report: “Nothing. Zip. Scratch.”
“Where We Are Headed”
That $1.156 trillion in Net Operating Cost occurred in fiscal 2017. But these are the good times, the boom years, if you will, when shortfalls should shrink into oblivion. So what will happen to the shortfall when the economy slows down or goes into a recession? That was a rhetorical question.
For fiscal 2018 and going forward, the tax cuts will lower revenues by about $150 billion per year on average over the next ten years. And for fiscal 2018 and 2019, Congress passed the two-year budget resolution that will add about $150 billion on average per year to the outlays. Both combined will drive up the deficit by about $300 billion a year on average.
“Where We Are Headed” a chapter heading (pages 9 and 14) says. I can supply my own chart, based US Treasury data, to show exactly “where we are headed” in terms of the US gross national debt:
United States Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin has a sweet gig. He writes rubber checks to pay the nation’s bills. Yet, somehow, the rubber checks don’t bounce. Instead, like magic, they clear.
How this all works, considering the nation’s technically insolvent, we don’t quite understand. But Mnuchin gets it. He knows exactly how full faith and credit works – and he knows plenty more.
In fact, Mnuchin’s wife, Louise Linton, says she admires him because “he understands the economy.” And Mnuchin, no doubt, admires Linton, a Scottish actress 18 years younger, because “she loves SoulCycle Snapchat filters that make people look like puppies and piglets.” Naturally, Mnuchin gets the importance of puppy and piglet filters and how this bizarre fad fits into the big picture of the economy.
Unlike Mnuchin, we find the economy, and its infinite and dynamic relationships, to be beyond comprehension. But that doesn’t deter us from attempting to make some sense of it each week. When it comes to Snapchat filters we know nothing – and we could care less. Still, who are we to question Snap Inc.’s $24 billion market capitalization?
Private companies such as Coca-Cola and Nestlé are allegedly in the process of privatizing the largest reserve of water, known as the Guarani Aquifer, in South America. The aquifer is located beneath the surface of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay and is the second largest-known aquifer system in the world.
Reported by Correiodo Brasil the major transnational conglomerates are “striding forward” with their negotiations to privatize the aquifer system. Meetings have already been reserved with authorities of the current government, such as Michel Temer, to outline procedures required for private companies to exploit the water sources. The concession contracts will last more than 100 years.
The first public conversation about this dilemma was scheduled on the same day the process of voting for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff was opened. As Central Politico reports, “This coincidence was fatal for the adjournment of the meeting.”
H/t reader squodgy:
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Now, it’s the UK’s second-largest bank Barclays’ turn to face the music. A week ago, it was the UK’s third-largest bank, state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland, that faced one of its biggest scandal yet after whistle-blowers accused the bank of systematically forging customer signatures. RBS also faces the prospect of a multi-billion dollar fine for the way it sold residential mortgage-backed securities during the lead up to the Financial Crisis.
On Monday, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced that it was charging Barclays for a second time over a deeply suspicious £2.2 billion ($3 billion) loan it issued in 2008 to Qatar. To avoid a government bailout, Barclays took a £12 billion loan from Qatar Holdings, which is owned by the state of Qatar. Under that deal, Barclays loaned £2.3 billion back to Qatar Holdings, which allegedly was then used to buy shares in Barclays. If true, it would amount to “unlawful financial assistance,” the SFO says.
Top cryptocurrency bitcoin recovered to $11,000 on Monday, having almost doubled in value since hitting a low of $6,000 earlier this month.
On Sunday, its price rose to $11,328 following news that an unknown investor had bought $344 million worth of bitcoin between February 9 and February 12. The purchase was preceded by a huge sell-off that had erased more than 50 percent of the cryptocurrency market value amid speculation of growing regulation and security fears.
Bitcoin fell from $20,000 in December to below $6,000 on February 4. However, after the news of the huge buy, other investors poured money into crypto-assets.
Justin’s note: Volatility has come storming back.
Just look at the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), which measures how volatile investors expect the market to be over the next 30 days.
It’s up 89% since the start of the year. Last week, it hit the highest level since 2016.
Investors aren’t used to this. After all, last year was the least volatile year ever for U.S. stocks. That lulled many investors to sleep. It led them to take risks they would normally never take.
Now, those same people are wondering what to do. They aren’t sure if this is just a run-of-the-mill pullback…or the start of something much worse.
To help answer this question, I called up Doug Casey. I knew he would have an interesting take on this matter…
Justin: Doug, U.S. stocks took a beating recently. Where do you see things going from here?
Doug: Well, I hate to make a firm prediction of timing. The fact that things have held together, against all odds, since 2009, has underlined the old saying about just because something is inevitable doesn’t mean it’s imminent. Predictions of disaster, and all these things unwinding, have been wrong over the last half a decade. And the smart bet is always for muddling through, in the direction of progress. But it seems that we’ve finally reached a peak, a major turning point.
Justin: So, what have you done to protect your wealth?
Doug: At the beginning of the year, I took all my original capital out of cryptos, plus 150% profits. I also took profits on crypto stocks. I got in late, and out a bit late. But it was a happy experience.
CCH Daily recently reported that, in respect of Carillion, “the official receiver will make an application to the High Court for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to be appointed as special managers, to act on behalf of the official receiver, and we further anticipate that an order will be granted to that effect.”
It has also emerged that the government had awarded “contracts worth £2bn to the firm even after it had issued profit warnings.” When challenged on this issue a senior government minister replied that “contracts awarded after the profit warnings were only won as part of joint ventures (JVs) where the other JV partners would guarantee the provision of services.”
H/t reader squodgy:
“My own experience with “The Big Four” was along the same lines.
They audited the books with small random samples as against checking the full monty as it used to be done.
Sadly the Accountancy charters are as much to blame for lowering the standards in favour of speeding things up for the big boys.
A classic case of pressure from above.
They all deserve what they get….except the poor minion.”
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“Karen Hudes used to be a key pro at the World Bank until she joined the dots & blew the whistle.
Here she joins with what David Icke has been trying to get over for nearly 30 years.
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The greatest financial/economic collapse in (known) world history has been planned a long time ago.
I’ve told you about this many, many times.
Continue to prepare for (total) collapse,…
…because it’s coming.
Financial insiders contemplate “imminent” 2018 US stock market crash of up to “50%”https://t.co/fw7bgkHZxL
— Infinite Unknown (@SecretNews) February 17, 2018
Coming dramatic decline of US stock prices would trigger global recession, finds grim forecast to be explored at roundtable hosted by British financial services think-tank
A new analysis published on the website of a London-based think-tank, funded by the world’s biggest banking and financial services institutions, warns that the US stock market is on the brink of an imminent crash that could trigger another global recession.
The document by a senior US economist and former Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England is published on the website of the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI), which runs around 100 roundtable events a year involving financial services insiders from the UK and beyond.
The document forecasts that in 2018, US stock prices are likely to plummet by as much as “forty to fifty percent” — compared to the less than five percent plunge in early February. The document was published weeks before the recent stock market volatility.
The warning of a forty to fifty percent drop points to the prospect of a global financial crash worse than the 2008 banking collapse.
Billionaire Wilbur Ross made his money working for Rothschild, has an apartment in the same building as Evelyn de Rothschild & Henry Kissinger.
— Infinite Unknown (@SecretNews) February 16, 2018
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